Copier giant Ricoh has joined the battle for printer supremacy in the UK after making a “seven-figure” investment in its IT dealer channel.
Ricoh admits that it has merely sat back and taken orders for its range of mono, colour and gel-based printers since taking on Northamber as its first IT distributor in January 2007.
But the vendor this month kicked off a distribution campaign with Northamber and new recruit Midwich, enabling it to register 600 dealers to sell its printers. A partnership with a third distributor, Westcoast, will go live next month.
Marketing director Chas Maloney said Ricoh is determined to boost its UK printer market share above its current two per cent.
“Northamber approached us 18 months ago for printers but we did not put in a massive amount of resources to support the channel. Now is the right time to make the investment as our range is at a point where we can service distributors and resellers across the board,” said Maloney.
To support the distribution launch, Ricoh has unveiled a dealer web portal featuring a rewards programme. It is also launching an advertising campaign designed to create end user pull-through.
Ricoh has also recently poached staff from rivals such as HP and Samsung to boost its channel-focused headcount from three to 16 in the past six months.
James Kight, managing director at VAR Printerland, said: “We carry 11 brands and there is no point taking on more just for the sake of it. But Ricoh has some good high-end machines that would fit nicely into our A3 demonstration centre.”
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