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ECI eyes up UK channel for growth

ECI Software Solutions is looking to emulate the success it has enjoyed in its home market in the UK. PrintIT Reseller caught up with Field Service President, Laryssa Alexander, to find out more

ECI has over 25 years of industry expertise delivering business management solutions designed to simplify day-to-day service operations. Its Field Service division largely serves managed print providers, providing ERP software that streamlines daily processes, and provides real-time visibility into every area of a dealers’ business, as well as device management solutions.

The company has invested heavily in the field service industry, expanding its primary solution FM Audit, through acquisition. It acquired Ontariobased PrintFleet, a provider of device management and assessment software solutions, and Print Audit. Print Audit’s product suite includes tools for managed print services, device data collection and document management for both dealers and users. Both organisations have become part of ECI’s Field Service Division.

Alexander said that these deals will enable the company to leverage the best in class elements of each of the solutions. “Our goal going forward is to make sure that we’re supporting the needs of the dealers, evolving the product and adding innovation to it to stay ahead of the game,” she said.

Currently ECI offers the solutions under the existing brand names. “We do have a plan to offer a ‘go forward’ technology where we will pull the best features of each of those products and bring them together, but that’s a longterm project, it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. The goal is that our customers will see value in that go forward solution when the time is right for them and it will be something they will move to or upgrade to. We’re trying to make that transition as smooth as possible. It will take us a couple of years to get to that point, so in the meantime nothing really is changing,” she said.

“We also have integrations with numerous partners to drive efficiency within the business,” Alexander explained, citing Konica Minolta. Sharp, Canon, Ricoh and Xerox as examples. “Those integrations help dealers to be as effective as they can and do as much as they can with minimal resources or manual intervention, helping to keep margins as high as possible.”

UK channel focus

In terms of the UK channel, Alexander said that geographic expansion is a key strategic initiative. The company has put the foundations in place, building a UK team and a stronger marketing presence. “We have a large share of the market in North America with over 2,000 users using our combined solutions. The goal is to replicate that in the UK (and other areas including Australia and New Zealand),” she said, adding: “We are focusing on what’s needed to work in these markets, starting to build out partner integrations, working with partners such as the OEMs, to make sure that we’re accommodating their needs, to make our value proposition as strong as it is in North America.”

Previously Europe was a separate business unit, but over the past twelve months, that’s changed. Alexander now has direct responsibility over all of the field service solutions that are in the UK. “We have a new UK dedicated team in place,” she said, adding that these people are new to the division, but not new to the industry.

Looking ahead to 2020
Moving forward, ECI is looking to sign up new dealers. “We have a very healthy pipeline. I think that’s the result of some of the changes and consolidation the market has seen. The current climate has given us a great opportunity to be able to introduce new dealers to E-automate and the other products that we have. I think a lot of the dealers are looking for stability – and that’s what we can provide. We’ve been in this space for many years and we will continue to invest and grow, because we know how important it is for the dealers to have a system that they can rely on.”

Looking ahead to 2020, Alexander is optimistic. “We have lots of opportunities we are hoping to close. Our marketing initiatives will work around roadmap and development. Our focus is firmly on understanding the different nuances between the US and UK markets, making sure we participate in dealer events and meetings and leverage opportunities to interact with dealers and show them what we have to offer,” she said.

Alexander recognises the biggest challenge is to achieve higher brand recognition. “Our goal is to provide the best technology available to help our customers stay competitive and profitable. We have really strong recognition in the US, people are very familiar with our brands and we have to replicate that in the UK,” she said in conclusion.

www.ECIsolutions.com

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