Xerox is just a few days away from opening up its platform to help partners build their own managed print services (MPS) offerings that incorporate Xerox MPS and even integrate them with other vendor technologies.
Speaking at the Xerox Channel Congress in London this week, Darren Cassidy (pictured), the vendor's vice president of global and partner print services, told 150 partners from around Europe that the firm is within days of launching a platform that will make the APIs available for partners to integrate Xerox MPS functionality with the offerings they already have, regardless of vendor.
"We are within a few days of launching the partner portal and web site that will open it all up fully," Cassidy said. "This is a huge change. Analysts said they did not think we would really open up our environment in this way – but we have done it. And we are very happy about it."
Cassidy said an open platform for full solution integration is essential if Xerox and its partners are to achieve the vendor's stated mission of making material gains in the MPS space through the largest opportunity for MPS in Europe – the SMB market.
Partners are essential in enabling the vendor to achieve its dream in the SMB space, and for partners to do that, they need to be able to build the best solution regardless of vendor partner, he said.
To back it up, Xerox is offering partners access to 24/7 support in 18 languages, ISO-accredited security, ITIL-accredited processes, its network of discovery centres, and integration with its own offerings and those of its acquisitions, including ACS and NewField IT.
"Last year, we invested more than $50m (£31m) in these tools, and this year we are investing the same amount of money again in them. And whenever we make a release change, you get the benefit of it at exactly the same time as everyone else," Cassidy said. "I describe this [our vision for MPS] as ERP for MPS, for channel partners."
Arnaud Gagneux, director for research into imaging hardware and document solutions at market watcher IDC, confirmed that MPS sales are a growing opportunity, with ongoing print/copy optimisation proving increasingly popular as organisations struggle with diverse requirements and pressures.
From 2010 to 2015, the CAGR for print services in Western Europe is tipped to reach 11.2 per cent, with print services consumption by SMBs – defined as firms with fewer than 1,000 employees – hitting 27.3 per cent.
"There is a strong emphasis on cost control, TCO and RoI and increasing efficiencies. And there is a need to manage the vast amount of information and data that is now available [in organisations]. There is interest in both basic and [full] MPS across EMEA," he said.
"Individual printers are being replaced by one large copier machine. And the largest opportunity is still in the SMB space."
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