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 user 2004-01-02 at 11:30:00 am Views: 68
  • #4405

    Printer vendors promise stronger channel commitments 29 December, 2003
    As colour printing and multi-function devices were bright opportunities for the channel over the past year, printer makers plan to position resellers in a good position to capitalize on the growth of colour printing within Organizations during 2004.


    Looking back at significant channel announcements in 2003

    Xerox was busy over the past year attempting to make it easier to buy from them by expanding its worldwide distribution channels, such as TeleWeb operations, resellers, dealers, agents and concessionaires in addition to direct sales.

    “A key part of Xerox’s new office strategy in the SMB market is to engage our channel partners in selling Xerox multifunction products in addition to the current network printer portfolio,” said Donna Wittmann, Canadian region vice president, Xerox Channels Group.

    In Canada, the company launched its first multifunction product through the channel in September and will be expanding the multifunction products offered to the channel in early 2004.

    What the channel can expect in 2004

    The company expects the coming year will be a very good one for its channel partners by positioning them in a good position to capitalize on the growth in colour expected in the new year.

    “Not only will they benefit from increased hardware sales, the revenue and profit stream from colour consumables is several times larger than the black and white streams that they will be replacing,” she said.

    The vendor will also continue to expand its multifunction products through its channel partners, enabling them to expand their reach into new markets and new customers.

    “We are planning to further enhance our award-winning Peak Partner program with better programs and partner benefits than ever before,” Wittmann commented. “It will be a very good year for our channel partners.”


    Looking back at significant channel announcements in 2003

    During Comdex Las Vegas, HP made its Chapter 2 announcement by introducing its first copier-based MFPs and network management products.

    “The Chapter 2 announcement was a significant one within the Canadian channel because in Canada, the go-to-market approach is based on a channel-led model,” said Peter Grady, director of commercial marketing for HP Canada. “Initially, six partners have been certified to deliver the solutions — Comprint, Compugen, Island Key, NexInnovations, Protek and VMX.” During the year it also announced enhancements to its PartnerOne program to eliminate complexity and increase profitability for HP partners.

    “HP also invested more than $1million on upgrades and improvements to its partner Web site, which now enables partners to track their HP sales targets, get the latest HP product pricing and sign up for customized e-alerts, among other things,” he added.

    What the channel can expect in 2004

    “We will continue our strategic focus on business partner success and profitability and will continue to invest significant resources to make HP a more predicable and effective partner,” says Grady. “Partners will continue to be an integral part of our go-to-market strategy.”


    Looking back at significant channel announcements in 2003

    “In spite of many difficult and instable factors in the market, we have expanded our sales through different sales channels with developing the reliable high quality products and services,” said Yuji Obata, senior product manager at Brother Canada.

    Last year Brother exerted its efforts to strengthen the relationship with its customers to maximize sales for their channel partners.

    What the channel can expect in 2004

    “Our basic philosophy ‘At your side’ will never change to grow together with our customers and business partners in this market,” Obata added. “In 2004 we will continuously create the exceptional values for the existing channel partners by providing reliable products.”


    Looking back at significant channel announcements in 2003

    According to Howard Nason, channel marketing specialist, printing solutions and services division at Lexmark Canada, the company continued to support the channel last year and celebrated the accomplishments of Canada’s channel leaders.

    “We did more in the way of co-branding with our channel partners on initiatives like Lexmark’s trade-in program to better communicate with users,” Nason said. “We also continued to reach out to new, different types of resellers to broaden our reach into specific verticals, as well as the SMB market.”

    What the channel can expect in 2004

    The company does have a number of plans for its channel partners in 2004 that will be focused on keeping resellers profitable and up to speed on how Lexmark solutions can help their customers.

    “We are revamping our reseller Web site in early 2004, modeling it into a true information portal for our reseller network,” Nason added.


    Looking back at significant channel announcements in 2003

    “In 2003 Canon worked very hard to meet the product and marketing needs of our retail distributors,” said Jerry Hosier, senior sales manager, consumer imaging group at Canon Canada. “Canon began selling customized clamshell packs based on the requests of individual retailers.”

    Clamshell packs include Canon paper and ink cartridges at a competitive price to give SOHO and small businesses the abilities to print digital images.

    As consumers have become more educated about digital technology, Hosier believes it’s very important that retail staff is knowledgeable about the latest in digital imaging technology and Canon products.

    Last year Canon launched the Canon Imaging Academy to provide retail sales staff with the knowledge necessary to better educate and answer consumer questions concerning the advantages of Canon digital technology.

    What the channel can expect in 2004

    “In 2004 Canon will continue to work closely with our distribution partners to deliver quality products to consumers,” Hosier said. “We will continue to support channel partners with aggressive advertising and promotional support.”