Scaling up

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Scaling up

SPONSORED BY SAMSUNG: Managed print provider Vision explains how it has broken through the £20m sales barrier by targeting bigger deals in partnership with vendor ally Samsung

For an ambitious, mid-sized reseller looking to sink its teeth into larger deals, having the backing of a household name like Samsung can be a huge asset.

Vision is one of the UK's fastest-growing managed print and document management providers, with consistent year-on-year growth and forecast annual revenues this year of over £22m.

The Hertford-based firm is two years into a five-year growth plan that has seen it attack larger opportunities in verticals such as healthcare, education, retail and legal.

"We've experienced three consecutive years of double-digit growth, and are heading for a fourth, and the Samsung partnership has absolutely contributed to that"

Samsung, for which Vision is just one of two UK-based Global partners, has been an integral part of several key wins during that period, according to Vision's operations director Mark Smyth.

The Korean vendor's willingness to invest in innovation around application development proved a key differentiator in a managed print deal Vision recently won with a university, he explained.

"We were selected to provide a managed printing solution across 13 campus-wide sites at a university and the decision was partly based on the power of Samsung's innovation - particularly around the use of tablet and

Android-based technology that enabled apps to be utilised within the university to improve the academic and student experience," Smyth explained. "We possibly wouldn't have got that from other vendors."

Vision also recently won a managed print deal for a large NHS trust Smyth said may have proved elusive without Samsung's help.

"The fact that Samsung doesn't sell direct in the B2B sector means they rely on partners like us, and the more we join up with them and leverage the strength and depth of their brand and resources, the more successful we are likely to be with sales opportunities," he said.

"The support we get from them and their ability to respond quickly - we don't often see that with other vendor relationships we have."

Vision's growth defies the challenging market backdrop, with IDC data suggesting the number of hardcopy peripherals shipped in the first half of 2016 fell seven per cent year on year to 46.2 million.

"We've had three consecutive years of double-digit growth, and are heading for a fourth, and the Samsung partnership has absolutely contributed to that," Smyth said.

"Lots of people would suggest that output of printing is on the decline. Our market is a very tough one to grow in. Growth has to become a formula and a business plan that everyone signs up to. We have a five-year business plan that we're two years into, and so far it is working."

Helping clients with their digital transformation efforts will be a key focus area for Vision as it looks to maintain its growth rate, Smyth explained.

"Our core business is managed printing services and what's happening now is that there's a far greater acceptance of moving services and applications into the cloud," he said. "The MPS platform we put in place becomes the building block to take clients to that next level, and that's the longer-term opportunity we have to sustain our growth."

But aligning with the right vendors will also be critical to Vision's growth aspirations, Smyth added.

"They have to be market leading, otherwise clients are simply not interested. They have to be flexible and agile so we can make decisions quickly and be flexible and agile ourselves. We are only as quick, or as good, as the support we get from partners such as Samsung."

Mark Ash, director, enterprise business at Samsung UK, said Vision is known as a pioneer in the Samsung channel, often being first to market with new offerings, including those launched recently by Samsung Capital.

"Working with Samsung enables Vision to use our people, resources, and also the brand, and enables them to enter some fairly large sales pursuits knowing they are backed up by Samsung," Ash said. "We have some very experienced, talented individuals that will go hand in hand to a sales pursuit, and their sole mission is to enable the partners to win.

"Vision absolutely understand the benefit of partnering and leverage all the resources that Samsung can provide. They are very skilled and adept at doing this quickly."

■ This article was commissioned by Samsung. Visit www.samsung.com/uk/business for more details.

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