Printer manufacturer Lexmark has claimed its new channel programme will help it win business for its SME multi-function devices, and is looking to double its number of resellers over the next three years.
From today the vendor is promoting its modular printing machines, targeted directly at the SME sector, which resellers can upgrade to multi-function printers (MFP) when required. Jane Cronin, marketing and channel director for the SME division at Lexmark, said: "We have been successful in the high-end corporate and consumer markets, but the next step is moving into the SME market."
The decision to establish the new partner programme is based on five years of research and discussions with the channel, the company said. The new partner programme, known as 100 per cent Partners, has already proved successful in Germany and the US, Cronin said. It is now being rolled out in France and Italy, as well as the UK. Reseller partners that want to sell the company's range of products can register via the Lexmark website.
The vendor has recognised the need for margins on hardware and will offer rebates to its accredited partners, Cronin said. Printer Configurator, a training facility, is also part of the programme, and the firm has unveiled demonstration facilities for reseller use.
Lexmark has also launched a multimillion-pound advertising campaign.
"This is the first advertising campaign we have done and all the leads generated will be passed to registered resellers," Cronin said.
Mark Bayliss, product manager for printing and imaging at reseller Integrex, said selling the MFPs was a value-add exercise that could add margin for VARs.
"These MFPs can provide fax from scan, fax from desktop, scan to PC and more," he said. "Resellers must understand the range of the products as well as the customer's infrastructure to be able to sell them. If resellers do not put focus on the product and sell it as a box at a competitive price they will not make good margins."
CRN's Nima Green caught up with Chris Labrey for a quick Q&A at CRN's recent European Channel Leadership Forum
We caught up with the Atea chief exec at CRN's European Channel Leadership Forum in London
Andy Gillett has been appointed GM for the UK and Ireland
UK is one of two countries to see rollout of vendor's newest subscription service