More than 700 Xerox partners from across Europe were encouraged to 'Go for Gold', as the vendor unveiled a host of new products and services at the Hotel Renacimiento and Conference Centre in Seville recently.
Xerox Europe has three main businesses: Office Group, Production and Global Services. The vendor explained to partners who attended the event how it is planning to make life easier for its customers and partners to do business with it.
Cees van Doorn, senior vice-president and general manager of Xerox Europe's Office Group, said in his keynote speech: "The Office Group focuses on two markets: the large account market such as corporate and public sector, which makes up 25 per cent of our business, and the SME market which accounts for 75 per cent of our business."
The Office Group has moved from primarily using a direct model to a two-tier business model, he said.
"In the past few years we have totally rebuilt the Office business. We have moved from a very direct model to an indirect model, which we did to drive costs out of the operation of going to market and to enable us to work with partners. It has given us a healthy business model with enough returns to continue this business," van Doorn added.
The Dutch boss told delegates at the conference that he wants to zoom in on the SME market.
"I think there are enormous opportunities for Xerox in this space. The channel is doing very well, but there is still a lot of opportunity for us to go beyond where we are today. SME customers have different requirements from large accounts. My priority is to look at various customers in different sectors and make sure we deliver what they expect and to make their life a little easier," he said.
Van Doorn said he believes a key element of success in the print industry is to "refresh the product range and consistently deliver new products". Hence the announcement of 12 new products at the event. One of these was Xerox Copier Assistant, which makes it easier for blind or visually impaired people to operate digital copiers. Another was Xerox DocuShare 4.0 , the latest version of the company's secure, web-based enterprise content management software. The vendor also announced Xerox Smart eSolutions, a suite that simplifies administration of customers' Xerox devices.
On the same PagePack
Asked what Xerox Office will do to support its channel, van Doorn said: "Channel partners need opportunities to expand their business. We need to give them opportunities to make revenue, and we need to create new market opportunities for them. We need new products and the right programmes to support them."
One way Xerox showed it will help its partners grow is with PagePack.
"PagePack was launched last year, but was available only on multifunctional devices. Now we have extended this to cover printers. With PagePack the reseller can sell a cost- per-page contract that includes consumables, supplies and servicing. PagePack will enable resellers to build equity for their company and secure long-term relationships with their customers," van Doorn told CRN.
PagePack is available to accredited Xerox resellers on completion of a certification course.
Kevin Jones, managing director of reseller Printware, which has partnered with Xerox for nearly nine years, said: "The event in Seville was great. I came back with an amazing amount of information. It is easy to forget how big Xerox is, and all the technology it showed us was very impressive.
"The big commercial thing for us is PagePack. We are very well placed to use it. The main benefit for us is that it allows us to go to our customers and say: 'We can reduce your costs by 25 per cent. Are you interested in talking to us?'
"They obviously are. We have a service contract, called Pointability, which we can incorporate with PagePack to provide a single point of billing for customers."
The right stuff
"Overall, from a technical point of view and considering the investment in time, the Seville event was great for us. We came back thinking that we were definitely with the right company. In fact we will be considering dropping two vendors we currently work with as it just isn't worth our while any more."
Catherine Charlery, European group director at InfoTrends, agreed that PagePack is a key offering from Xerox and a good idea.
"It should reduce customers' costs as it is a fixed cost per page whatever the coverage," she said.
"The key thing for Xerox is productivity. It needs to maintain that as a unique selling point. Although Hewlett-Packard (HP) is the market leader, I don't believe it can compete in terms of productivity against Xerox. HP does not have as robust a machine. Xerox has it, and needs to keep pushing this message.
"Xerox's channel strategy is good, but it needs to keep pushing the resellers all the time," she added.
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