Channel players may emerge stronger by listening to customer needs and focusing on products and solutions that consolidate costs and drive efficiencies.
Managed service offerings give an ongoing revenue stream and opportunity to forge closer partnerships with customers.
Resellers are paying close attention to their vendor relationships, seeking greater stability and growth opportunities.
Logistics and manpower must be effectively aligned by vendors to respond to reseller needs, alongside a dedicated IT channel team implementing programmes specifically tailored for the UK.
Market-specific reseller portals can provide a one-stop shop for marketing materials and information on the latest technologies or products. A training division can offer new online modules that will support reseller efforts.
Other focus areas that have been successful in recent years, such as green IT, may suffer. Green IT remains extremely important for many customers, but they must also save money and look to meet future needs.
Applying reduction targets to all areas of the business means that companies will continue to operate sustainable practices in manufacturing, distribution and product recycling. Look for Energy Star compliance.
Innovation drives competition, so it is imperative that leading vendors do not sacrifice their development. The channel is more competitive than ever and innovative technology will help customers stay ahead.
Look for a broad product portfolio, which includes a comprehensive range of products including A4 single function, A3 multi-function and production printing.
High-spec printing equipment can be affordable. This helps customers modernise their work environments, leaving time to focus on what matters most – moving their businesses forward.
High levels of support and service are also important, supplemented by UK-wide service engineers and standard channel warranties.
Debbie Hage is channel marketing manager at Ricoh UK
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