Madison Advisors has
recently completed a comprehensive examination of the important trends in the
Customer Communications Management (CCM) marketplace. While conducting this
research, we have found that
continue to struggle with the requirement for communications to be compliant, as
well as more personalized and relevant, while striving to support complex
products with clarity and appropriate calls to action. Combined with growing
delivery expectations in the digital world, this requirement has caused many
companies to fall behind as they attempt to achieve their strategic
communication goals.

Traditionally, companies have turned to
software manufacturers in an attempt to enhance customer communications. While
this approach may have been somewhat successful in the past, as communication
requirements have become more complex, off-the-shelf composition software is
failing to deliver the desired results.
A new service delivery model is required in order to overcome the
complexity inherent in the software and corresponding integration tasks; a
model that can guarantee results and leads to the ROI organizations desire.
Madison Advisors refers to this client engagement and technology delivery model
as CCM Hosted Managed Services.

In Madison Advisors' opinion, print
service providers may have the best opportunity to get into the hosted managed
services space and affect this market. Having been trusted partners of
enterprise clients for years, in some cases providing composition, archival,
and electronic delivery services, they are uniquely positioned to leverage and
expand existing relationships. In addition, as market factors place additional
pressures on many in-plants to consider outsourcing print and mail,
opportunities for print service providers will continue to expand. As physical
print has become more of a commodity, recent best practice has been for companies
to take a printer agnostic approach to outsourcing. As contracts expire,
companies want to be free to take advantage of more competitive pricing through
movement to another service provider. If the print service provider also does
the composition work, the transition process becomes more complicated; and
timetables are extended as these services are unraveled and ported to a new
provider. In some cases, the complexity of the move causes companies to forgo
the savings and remain with the current vendor. For this reason, many companies
have elected to keep composition and other upstream tasks in house. This is also
fraught with challenges; and, increasingly, companies have turned to CCM Hosted
Managed Services providers to achieve the desired outcomes. Madison Advisors
has recently assisted a large client with the selection of a CCM Hosted Managed
Services provider, and subsequently ran the RFP to move from one large print
service provider to another to take advantage of downward movement in price. We
believe this will be the trend going forward. Print service providers may
continue to fight this trend but would be better served to execute a strategic
pivot and reposition themselves in the market. Rather than being providers of
traditional print services, they should establish themselves as CCM technology
service providers with print being a separate and distinct offering. To a
degree, this is already true as many print service providers offer additional
services including electronic delivery, archival, and, to a limited extent,
business user control of messaging and variable content. However, these
offerings have been viewed as bolted-on services, inextricably linked to
traditional print and mail services.

Some forward thinking companies are
beginning to take the plunge. One very large traditional print service provider
is in the early stages of rolling out its CCM Hosted Managed Services offering.
Several others are exploring ways to partner with existing providers.

Madison Advisors believes that print service
providers should further embrace this market shift to create a new model of
printer agnosticism by separating upstream and digital services from physical
print offerings. For some companies, this may be a difficult transformation as
it may be seen as taking their eye off the ball or cannibalizing existing print-based
revenue streams. However, until they are willing to let go of print as the
primary business, these service providers will be watching this market continue
to evolve and expand from the sidelines.