Xerox Targets SMB Market:
Offers Improved Support, Products For Channel Partners
With its sights on a portion of the $44 billion SMB (small and medium size business) market, Xerox hosted its first-ever gathering of channel partners in Orlando last week. The approximately 800 attendees included value-added resellers, agents and independent dealers who already sell Xerox printers and low-end MFPs and copiers to small and medium-size businesses.
By adding a range of new low-priced products that resellers say they need to appeal to SMBs, along with new support and training programs to help resellers improve profits, Xerox hopes to achieve a "richer relationship with long-term partners" that will increase its share in this all-important market-a market that Xerox barely participates in today.
Xerox says that because VARs are "trusted advisors to their customers," with existing relationships with the IT professionals who are increasingly responsible for the MFP purchasing decision, they are perfectly suited to sell more Xerox products and solutions.
What's In It For Xerox's Partners?
Xerox says that by partnering with them, resellers can increase profits by selling document management solutions along with low-end MFPs.
Addressing the resellers at a dinner during the summit, Xerox CEO and Chairman Anne Mulcahy said that just as partnering with resellers is crucial to Xerox's survival, the document management solutions Xerox provides are crucial to resellers because of the hardware revenue associated with it. She noted, for example, that a solutions sale (hardware and solutions software) yields on average more than 25 percent more revenue than a hardware-only sale and that the $1.4 billion market solutions is expected to represent in 2009 is predicted to be tied to $8 billion in hardware. "If you're not in the solutions business, you're missing half of the hardware," said Mulcahy.
Xerox has also lifted restrictions on the types of products resellers can sell and enabled agents to reap rewards on the aftermarket for the products they sell. And to help its channel partners serve as consultants to their customers, it is making available to them Xerox's own Web-based tools for estimating the costs of customers' document output, as well as third-party solutions from vendors such as Print Audit (Print Audit 5
and Print Audit Rapid Assessment Key
) and FMAudit
The New Products
The seven new products announced at the summit include three color printers, two color multifunction products and two fax machines. Notably, four of the new models are priced under $1,000, which is important to appeal to the SMB market. The new printers are the $499 Phaser 6180
, a laser model with speeds of 20 ppm in color and 26 ppm in black; the 30-ppm Phaser 8560
, which uses Xerox's solid-ink technology; and the Phaser 6360
, a 42-ppm laser model. The new MFPs are the Phaser 6115 MFP
, a laser model with speeds of 5 ppm in color and 20 ppm in black; and a multifunctional configuration of the solid-ink Phaser 8560 printer, the Phaser 8560MFP
. The two new fax machines are the $999 FaxCentre 2121
, manufactured by Sagem; and the $1,799 FaxCentre 2218
, which is manufactured by Samsung.
Look for more details on Xerox's new initiative in the March issue of the Digital Imaging Review