ChannelLife New Zealand logo
Industry insider news for New Zealand's technology resellers
Story image

Thorley tackles Kyocera NZ...

By Heather Wright
Thu 11 Sep 2014
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Chris Thorley has seen big changes in the printing industry over the years. He talks to Heather Wright about price breakthroughs, Kyocera's Kiwi plans, and keeping the balance.

Don't tell Chris Thorley that print solutions is just about selling printers.

The New Zealand general manager for Kyocera Document Solutions Australasia says too many fall into the trap of just selling a printer, rather than taking the time to discuss with customers  what they are doing with documents and how the appropriate document management solution could provide efficiencies for their business.

It is, he says, all part of the conversation the company and its partners are having with customers, with document processes extending well beyond the printer itself – and increasingly frequently out to the cloud.

“The devices are cloud connected and in Australia that's being used as part of the pitch to customers. “What do you do with the document?

"Nowadays you can scan a document and sophisticated software recognises that it's an invoice and sends it to a specific location so you can store power bills etc in the cloud.”

For Thorley, the changing market means a changing business model for Kyocera in New Zealand. Last month the company added four New Zealand staff – a channel manager, reseller development manager and two BDMs, charged with finding new business.

“We are changing the business model to become channel focused.”

While Thorley acknowledges that Kyocera has a 'very small' number of long term, historical direct customers in New Zealand, he says channel is very much the way forward.

The next 12 months, he says, will see the company solidify its existing copier channel and work with partners on a more strategic basis to help them launch managed print programmes.

The company will launch a managed print service for the channel in the next quarter.

“We will be working more closely with our partners, which by and large we haven't done. We've left it in the hands of the distributors to do rather than doing it ourselves.

“We'll still be fulfilling through distribution, because that's still an important part of the relationship, but certainly having contact directly with the reseller.”

Pricepoint breakthrough!

For Thorley, it's a big change from his early days in the printing business.

“I can remember when we had an enormous price breakthrough and a colour laser printer that could print four pages a minute in colour – which was amazing – was $2000 wholesale. And that was wow, what a price breakthrough!

“It makes me laugh to think about that now. And we were selling 100 a month. It was a nice business to be in!

“Things have changed dramatically over the course of the last 15 years.

"In some ways the game is still the same: people will move the box at whatever price they need to, to try and make a living off the consumables.”

Thorley says Kyocera's hardware price across its print and desktop multifunction range, is one of the most expensive in the market, with the company instead focusing on a value proposition of low running costs.

“Even at a moderate printing volume, spending more upfront, customers can typically break even in six to 12 months and given that they're going to own it for three to five years or longer, everything from that point onwards is money in the pocket.

“But even today, that can be a hard conversation to have. Customer's can be very fixated on what it's going to cost today.”

Printing and document management – or for that matter, technology – didn't actually feature in Thorley's early ambitions.

His great ambition was to run a white water rafting company, which explains his diploma in tourism, and to this day he says he still loves adrenalin activities and team building events with his own team, customers or the channel.

“I'm naturally a sporty, active person.”

But while he was studying he realised that he had a passion for marketing. That, combined with the realisation that tourism really is a 'lifestyle choice where very few people can make money - onlyabout the top 5% make a decent crust – it's far more about the lifestyle', saw Thorley do a bachelor of business studies.

After graduating he worked for Genesis Computer Supplies at a time when the company held a large number of corporate accounts, including all of the office supplies and consumables for ASB.

Six months later, Comworth offered him a position as marketing co-ordinator. Roles with Ingram Micro and Corporate Consumables would follow, before Thorley headed to Australia to work for Konica Minolta.

Come 2009, a family illness saw Thorley back in New Zealand – and back with Comworth, where he set them up to be a distributor of Konica Minolta.

Before long it was back to Sydney again, and a role with Oki.

“I really, really enjoyed working in the Australian market, but then a little over two years ago we were blessed with twin boys and made the decision to come back for more support from family and friends, familiarity.

“It's not easy moving back and forth across the Tasman. I don't know if I would 100% rule out going back at some stage, but we've now got four boys [aged 11, 8 and the two-year old twins], so moving is increasingly difficult for now.”

With four active boys, Thorley says family time is busy, with the older boys both into cricket. His eldest is a North Harbour representative  for cricket. “He plays in four cricket teams so over summer I am literally just a taxi service,” he quips. Winter is taken up with basketball.

Due diligence

He says one of the reasons he took the Kyocera role was for work-life balance.

“It was a long recruitment process. The longest I have been through. And that was because I wanted to do my own due diligence around the company...

“One of the things that really appealed to me was that they have a real appreciation for family life. They appreciate that sometimes work might dictate that you do a 60, or in extreme cases 70 hour week, but they also know that that will balance out because at times something will happen in a personal sense and you might only do a 30 hour week or a 40 hour with 20 of those done at home.

“There's a good degree of flexibility. And what that means is there's a good culture at the company. It's certainly not ruled by the iron fist.”

Thorley says his own management style is much the same.

“What's important to me is making sure everyone has a clear understanding of what their individual role in the business is, how they fit within the overall master plan for the business, where the goal posts are and then making sure everyone is enabled with the tools they like to get the job done.”

He says he can't stand being micromanaged, so won't inflict that on others.

“At times everyone has employees that might need a little more attention, but that just means having a few more conversations on a one-to-one basis than you otherwise would have.

But I wouldn't put that in the territory of micromanagement, it's just an increased level of communication. And typically that will be because something is happening with them and they just need an additional bit of coaching for a period of time till things get back on track.”

Of his career, he says: “I've had experiences working in a reseller environment, distribution and vendor as well, so I can have the different perspectives.

“The objectives of a reseller and a vendor are often two very different things and it's all about finding that middle ground of where these two can align and co-exist, a middle ground to achieve the same thing.”

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Frost & Sullivan recognises Genesys as leader in new reports
Frost & Sullivan has recognised Genesys as a leader in the cloud contact centre market for its robust cloud and digital capabilities.
Story image
Manhattan Associates
Shortening the click-to-customer cycle through smart technologies
Speed of delivery without accuracy is a dealbreaker for consumers. How can retailers operating in an omnichannel environment overcome the challenge of click-to-customer cycle times.
Story image
Vectra AI
Vectra’s inaugural Partner of the Year Awards revealed
APAC companies Baidam, Firmus, ShellSoft and Macnica have been recognised in Vectra AI's inaugural Partner of the Year Awards.
Story image
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Fonterra to use automated guided vehicles by Dematic
New Zealand's dairy giant Fonterra is upgrading its manufacturing facility in Edendale with new automated guided vehicles (AGVs) from Dematic.
Story image
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Story image
Getac and Optalert expand partnership to promote industrial safety
Getac’s ZX70 Android tablets will be used to support Optalert’s Eagle Industrial early-warning drowsiness detection system for use in mining and transportation.
Story image
Delinea enhances partner experience with new training initiatives
Delinea has announced a range of training and certification initiatives to help scale the capacity of VARs, System Integrators, MSPs and MSSPs to meet the demand for PAM solutions.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Apple previews new features for users with disabilities
Apple says new software features that offer users with disabilities new tools for navigation, health and communication, are set to come out later this year.
Story image
Digital Transformation
How to modernise legacy apps without compromising security
At a time when digital transformation has become central to business, even the most important applications come with a ‘use-by’ date.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Noname Security partners with Netpoleon to target API issues
Specialist API security firm Noname Security has appointed Netpoleon as its distributor in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
PNY launches XLR8 Gaming EPIX memory products in A/NZ
PNY has launched its XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB™ DDR4 Silver 3200MHz and 3600MHz memory products in Australia and New Zealand.
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Meadows exits Ingram Micro New Zealand on a good note
We look at the resignation of Danny Meadows from Ingram Micro's New Zealand Unified Communications & Collaboration business unit.
Story image
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Vodafone NZ buys remaining stake in retail joint venture
Vodafone New Zealand has purchased the remaining 50% stake in the specialist joint venture (JV) with private equity company Millennium Corp.
Story image
Tyson Beckford partners with Element Case on new AppleWatch band
Celebrity Tyson Beckford has collaborated with STM Brands' Element Case brand to create a rugged new accessory.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
AI-based email security platform Abnormal Security valued at $4B
"A new breed of cybersecurity solutions that leverage AI is required to change the game and stop the rising threat of sophisticated and targeted email attacks."
Story image
Hands-on review: Technics EAH-A800 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
Designed in Osaka, Japan, these headphones just exude quality. They aren’t heavy, but they feel well built and solid.
Story image
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Lightspeed launches all-in-one marketing platform in A/NZ
ECommerce provider, Lightspeed has launched a new all-in-one marketing solution, Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
Application Performance Monitoring / APM
Why SolarWinds Partners will have big wins in 2022
We summarise the key recent changes that the monitoring software vendor has made to accelerate its channel business.
Story image
WolfVision announces new range of visualisers
WolfVision has announced a new range of visualisers to help meet multiple industry demands for remote learning and educational solutions.
Story image
New Relic enters multi-year partnership with Microsoft Azure
New Relic has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to help enterprises accelerate cloud migration and multi-cloud initiatives. 
Story image
Cloud Security
Aqua Security createa unified scanner for cloud native security
“By integrating more cloud native scanning targets into Trivy, such as Kubernetes, we are simplifying cloud native security."
Story image
Digital Marketing
Similarweb acquires SEO and rank tracking company Rank Ranger
Digital intelligence company Similarweb, which specialises in analysing web traffic, has acquired Rank Ranger, a market leader in SEO and rank tracking.
Story image
NCSC advisory highlights poor security configurations
The GCSB's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released a cyber security advisory identifying commonly exploited controls and practices.
Story image
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
Cradlepoint expands its Cellular Intelligence capabilities
Cradlepoint has announced additional Cellular Intelligence capabilities with its NetCloud service.
Story image
PwC NZ unveils new Cloud Security Operations Center
PwC New Zealand has unveiled its new Cloud Security Operations Center for the entire Microsoft technology stack.
Story image
Workato unveils enhancements to enterprise automation platform
"The extra layer of protection with EKM, zero-logging, and hourly key rotation gives customers a lot more visibility and control over more sensitive data."
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Hands-on review: WD_Black SN770 NVMe SSD Game Drive
Western Digital expands its WD_Black range of NVMe solid-state drives with the WD_Black SN770 Game Drive.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Motorola Solutions acquires Videotec S.p.A for security portfolio
Motorola Solutions has acquired Italian ruggedised video security company Videotec S.p.A, along with its portfolio of highly versatile cameras.
Story image
Lexmark launches A/NZ first with retail publishing solution
Lexmark, a global imaging and IoT solutions leader, launched its Publishing Platform for Retail (PPR) in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Nozomi Networks
Nozomi Networks, Siemens reveal software integration
Nozomi Networks and Siemens have extended their partnership by embedding Nozomi Networks’ software into the Siemens Scalance LPE local processing engine.
Story image
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Pluralsight and Ingram Micro Cloud team up on cloud initiative
Pluralsight has teamed with Ingram Micro Cloud to build upon cloud competence and maturity internally, and externally support partners’ capabilities.
Story image
BlackBerry offers Kaspersky replacement cybersecurity for the channel
BlackBerry advises that users of Kaspersky software in Australia and New Zealand undertake a rigorous risk analysis of their current security posture.