Convergence between Datacentre and Corporate Printing : the 2bn Euro Opportunity

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European private and public sector organisations could save around 2 billion Euros over the next five years by converging datacentre and corporate printing operations, according to a new study by Danka, the leading vendor-independent provider of print and document solutions.  In the UK, there are approximately 1700 organisations with a datacentre and estimated convergence savings over a five year period amount to nearly 380 million Euros.
 
Although the study found that only 6 per cent of organisations with a datacentre have so far taken steps towards convergence with the Central Reprographics Department (CRD), respondents estimated that almost 50 per cent would have achieved full print convergence in five years time.
 
Datacentres tend to create regular peaks of output followed by intervening periods of almost complete redundancy. The Danka study highlights the financial rewards achievable by balancing print workload peaks and troughs between printing facilities.  Operational efficiencies are particularly evident for the marketing department, for whom converged operations allow advertising messages to be carried on existing lines of customer communication such as statements and bills.

Datacentres are typically found within large companies that have a special reliance on transactional output (such as financial services, utilities, telecoms, mail order and Government), in addition to many smaller financial services and mail order companies for whom billing and statement printing is a fundamental part of the business.
 
Graham Moore, Director, Professional Services & Solutions, Danka Europe, comments, It is a standard mantra of the IT industry that corporations often operate computing silos for different divisions or functions across a business, resulting in gross inefficiency.  However, the separation of CRD printing from the datacentre is often overlooked. 
 
It is clear that centralising printing operations as much as possible allows organisations to dramatically reduce the cost of output.  Recent technical developments in print technology have eliminated all obstacles to a unified print function.  It is even possible now for specialist applications such as secure cheque printing to be bolted-on to standard production-level printers, allowing more of the traditional datacentre output to be processed in the CRD.
 
Summary of Methodology
The Danka study combined original research amongst the European top 1000 companies with qualitative case study research amongst representative companies from key business types running formal datacentres.  Secondary research was also conducted based on recognised statistical sources such as Eurostat, The Office of National Statistics (UK), CapVentures and Gartner.

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