*NEWS*XEROX EYES BIG CHANNEL EXPANSION

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*NEWS*XEROX EYES BIG CHANNEL EXPANSION

 user 2007-02-12 at 11:37:00 am Views: 81
  • #17427

    Xerox’s Mulcahy Eyes Big Channel Expansion
    Xerox
    Chairman and chief executive officer Anne Mulcahy said the document
    technology giant is gearing up for one of the largest expansions of its
    channel sales ever.Specifically, Xerox is targeting robust growth in
    the small- and midsize-business segment by increasing its number of
    solution provider partners and by doing more business with current
    partners, Mulcahy told CRN in an interview.The Stamford, Conn.-based
    vendor plans to discuss initiatives with solution providers later this
    month at a conference with channel partners, she said, adding that a
    key focus will be to drive document management solutions into SMB
    accounts.”We’re going to focus on the document management space,”
    Mulcahy said. “The intent is to bring a lot of rationalising and
    capability to fleets of devices through the kinds of assessment
    services and office services software that can be deployed across
    different types of technologies.”To that end, Xerox aims to partner
    with VARs on a framework that includes technology such as workflow
    software, hands-on services and utilities, in addition to the vendor’s
    core hardware, supplies and consulting offerings.”A lot of our software
    is embedded in either our services offerings or in the technology
    itself as value-added services,” Mulcahy said, pointing to Xerox
    technology such as DocuShare.Xerox and
    its rivals – Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, Oki Data and others – have been
    locked in a fierce battle for channel and SMB market share,
    with
    each offering various consulting and service solutions on top of
    hardware and supplies. But the market is evolving, and some companies
    are finding it difficult to make the transition.IBM, for example,
    announced last month that it was getting out of the printer business by
    selling its Infoprint operations to Ricoh through a joint venture.
    Dell, which entered the printer business several years ago and has been
    a major OEM customer of companies like Lexmark and Fuji-Xerox, is
    attempting to move from the low-end part of the market to a more
    profitable, higher-end segment.Through that turbulence, Mulcahy sees a
    growth opportunity for Xerox in SMB sales through solution
    providers.Mulcahy began tipping Xerox’s new channel strategy last
    month, when she told financial analysts about plans for significant
    channel expansion in 2007. In addition, the company plans a major
    rollout of products during the year. Later this month in Orlando, Fla.,
    she and other Xerox executives plan to meet with a group of solution
    providers to give more specifics of the company’s plans and road
    map.”For the reseller as well as Xerox, we’re looking for incremental
    revenues,” Mulcahy said. “The output market is one where the majority
    of the profit comes from the aftermarket. We’re not creating a huge
    dependency on profitability at the box level. It’s going to be about
    lifetime profitability.”Xerox has 9,000 reseller partners, about a
    third of which are “deeply engaged partners with regard to product
    distribution,” Mulcahy said.Last year, Xerox began rolling out a
    version of its Xerox Office Productivity Advisor (XOPA) tool to some
    solution providers as a way to help the channel provide workflow and
    document consulting services. The vendor also expanded its Solutions
    Advantage program into several U.S. regions to assist VARs in
    delivering solutions with hardware. Xerox is looking to expand on those
    efforts as Mulcahy and other company executives prepare to meet with
    channel partners.”We’re deeply embedded with Xerox,” said Tom
    Mettenbrink, sales manager at Computer Concepts, a Grand Island,
    Neb.-based solution provider. Xerox’s plans sound bullish for the
    channel, particularly in light of its price competitiveness in the SMB
    space with other vendors, he noted.”I would say we’re priced as
    competitively as we’ve ever been,” Mettenbrink said. He added that he
    doesn’t believe Xerox’s plan to add partners would result in channel
    conflict or competition with other VARs.