Ingram Micro is negotiating with Xerox to become its pan-European fulfilment and logistics partner after the printer vendor signed a strategic partnership to supply its office printers to direct PC giant Dell.
If the deal with Ingram gets the green light in Europe, Xerox will effectively cut out its existing UK distribution partners - Midwich Thame, Micro P and Northamber - from sharing the spoils of the contract. Ingram has already been appointed as Xerox's fulfilment and logistics partner in the US for Dell sales of Xerox printers, offering same-day shipping capability.
Though Ingram is not an official Xerox distributor in the UK, a Xerox representative said the two companies were negotiating to allow Ingram to supply printers to Dell customers. Ingram is an official distributor for Xerox in 17 European countries, added the representative, though she said the two companies were not planning to extend that to the UK.
A representative for Ingram in Europe said the deal was announced to the US markets and did not effect Europe as yet, but added that Ingram's European partner services team was in talks with various business partners to offer similar services.
"This agreement is very strategic to Ingram Micro. It is another demonstration of Ingram Micro really becoming the logistics services provider for top global manufacturers like Dell and Xerox," said the representative.
But Alex Ward, Xerox business manager at Midwich Thame, said it was hoping to be involved in the Dell deal on a UK level. "We're very keen to work with Xerox as we're their biggest UK distributor. We have done a couple of deals with Dell before so we see an opportunity here."
Under the deal, Xerox will supply colour, black and white laser and solid ink printers to Dell, who will market them to its small business and corporate customers. Xerox executives said the deal leveraged the "shared values" of the two companies.
However, Graham Salmons, marketing director at rival Lexmark International, said the announcement offered customers "nothing new."
"It smacks of desperation. Xerox clearly has a lack of focus and with this announcement it is playing catch-up," he said.
First published in Computer Reseller News
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