HP has outlined its imaging and printing channel strategy for the next 18 months and urged resellers to move from volume to value sales.
According to Neil Sawyer, enterprise marketing manager at the division, the imaging and printing market has been in massive transition for 18 months, creating tough circumstances for the channel.
“We want to move resellers away from volume printer sales and into the value
sales market,” said Sawyer.
Sawyer outlined a two-pronged strategy. First, traditional printer resellers are to be invited to join the Office Print programme. Second, HP will invite selected resellers to join its Office Printing Solutions partner programme.
Sawyer is particularly enthusiastic about the latter. “This is where we will really work with partners to transform their businesses. There is not much margin in selling printers. But resellers could create value for their existing clients by optimising their infrastructure.”
Resellers should not be merely selling printers, but document management and workflow systems too, Sawyer argued.
He added that he is keen to train resellers on how to offer remote management of systems and selling the concept of improved workflow.
HP will be investing in creating demand for these new reseller services too, he promised.
“We need to build a strategy to help customers change the way they operate. We want resellers to fill this gap with smart printing services. At the same time we are going to create a programme that helps IT resellers sell managed print services contracts. Then you will be able to lock customers into three- to five-year relationships,” he added.
James Kight, managing director of HP partner Printerland, applauded the move, but warned that HP may be a little late to the table.
“The value is definitely in contracts and providing a service that means IT managers can manage their costs more easily,” said Kight.
“That’s what Xerox did. Now Brother and Oki are going to try to offer something similar. If HP can repeat the trick, that’s great. But it has some catching up to do.”
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