Oki has recently streamlined its channel sales structure to focus more on winning sales by emphasising the specific product's ability to fulfil particular customer needs.
In the move, the vendor has appointed Tressa Whitby as its new head of reseller sales for the UK, combining management of the Executive Series and traditional IT reseller teams.
"Over the past few years, the emergence of managed print services (MPS) has brought the two channels closer together," explained Whitby. "The new structure will drive efficiencies, and it will also allow us to provide our resellers with greater flexibility to sell a broader range of products to a wider array of customers."
No further consolidation of staff or resources, or of the reseller line-up, is currently expected, she said.
Whitby told ChannelWeb that the vendor wishes to help resellers get close to customers, and move beyond selling the printer as just a printer, instead tailoring its sell towards what applications customers specifically need.
"There is a gap in the marketplace, we think, for a value-added manufacturer as well as your VARs," she said. "From a reseller point of view and an account manager point of view, we are trying to engage with resellers directly, but also with the end-user level."
Oki would work with customers directly and feed those opportunities back to the channel, helping VARs grow any opportunities. It would not attempt to bypass the channel, said Whitby.
Nick Munton, UK sales director at Oki, said that Whitby was previously UK channel sales manager, overseeing distribution as well as mail order, e-commerce, and other strategic partners.
"Whitby's in-depth expertise and experience in printing solutions, coupled with deep-rooted knowledge and understanding of channel partners makes her ideally suited to the challenge of redefining our channel offering," said Munton.
Oki hired Whitby in 1996 as an account manager for hardware distribution. Before that, she was an account manager at Northamber for two years, and a general manager for networking reseller Generation 9.
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