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A channel guide to selling printers - Part 2

For a market long predicted to be doomed, printing is looking remarkably good – albeit it’s a considerably different market place now.

Heather Wright takes a second look at the new(er) face of printing in a four-part feature.

Opportunity ahoy

Cheryl Looi, IDC Asia Pacific (ANZ) market analyst, says there are still plenty of opportunities for the New Zealand reseller channel, with channel partners able to address the evolving printing ecosystem gaining a competitive advantage.

Leveraging key trends such as mobility and workflow solutions, will provide key opportunities.

“Hardcopy vendors will continue the search of channel partners who run their business outside the traditional office solution channel," she notes.

"Take for instance, ‘one-stop’ IT resellers who offer a range of services that covers beyond printing devices.

“In a mature and increasingly commoditised hardcopy market, finer customer segmentation is needed.

"By catering to these specific requirements, such as key vertical markets and company size opportunities, the greater the chance of success exists in building a long-lasting customer relationship which in turn attracts the vendor to partner with these resellers.”

Justin Tye, Exeed managing director, adds the ‘virtualisation of print’, standalone device consolidation into multifunction, higher capacity devices; and faster adoption of colour as pricing becomes easier to understand across managed print contracts and more competitive to attract more customers to use colour as other key trends being
seen locally at the moment.

Also playing a role: the uptake of wireless printing. “Continued innovation around e-print technologies will create some nice solution opportunities for resellers looking to extract better profits out of the category,” he adds.

And he says bundling will become more pervasive as resellers and retailers look at ways to extract annuity from low margin hardware sales.

Exeed, which has long distributed HP product including printers, recently added Fuji Xerox to its portfolio of offerings with its purchase of the distribution business of Renaissance.

Tye says printing isn’t as large a part of Exeed’s business as it originally was due to significant ASP erosion over the years and the business being outpaced by other categories such as PC, networking and servers.

However, he says gaining Fuji Xerox is ‘very’ significant for Exeed. “We have an excellent relationship with HP, but having an alternative to sell when supply is constrained, price points are not obtainable for the type of device and products are not available within the range, is critical to us.

“Fuji Xerox have put a lot of effort into their channel programme. It’s simple and draws on a huge knowledge base around their copier business, so it’s great to have access to that IP.”

Tye says it’s always a risk relying solely on one supplier, though he notes that ‘fortunately for us we have not had any significant challenges with HP over the years, but we are looking forward to being able to offer our customers choice when required’.

For the Part 1 click here and for the next installment visit Techday on Monday