This month, we ask our panel where they have seen the biggest growth and what they are doing to increase sales further
PART 1:THE VENDORS’ PERSPECTIVE
Where have you seen the biggest growth this year, and do you expect this
growth to continue?
Steven Hastings, IT Distribution Channel Director,Ricoh UK: “At Ricoh, we have seen the biggest growth in the corporate reseller and public sectors. We have a strong and growing footprint in this area. There is also a huge opportunity for growth in the field of local government, as we look to sell more of our desktop printer range and MFPs.”
Mark Ash, Head of Print,Samsung: “The biggest growth we have seen this year is in managed print services, especially with our Android devices. This growth has been exponential, with key wins in all major verticals. We expect this trend to continue, largely due to the fact that the open architecture of Samsung’s Android devices allows us to seamlessly integrate with our clients’ existing mobility strategy and applications.
Jason Cort, Director Product Planning and Marketing, Sharp: “Sharp is having a lot of success with its new-generation colour MFPs. Features like OCR and advanced scanning capabilities are helping companies reinforce digitisation. We have raised the bar in this area, and it has become a key differentiator for us against our competitors. Interactive whiteboard sales continue to grow strongly, both in education and the business sector. “With the wealth of different solutions now accessible to SMBs – video collaboration, mobility, interactive whiteboards – SMBs often find it easier to have fewer suppliers who can help them work smoothly across these different and complex environments. They know there is a lot of technology out there that can help drive their business, but they need a partner they can trust to give them advice; someone they already buy hardware from has a great head start. “We are enjoying success with our IT ervices offering, where we support SMBs in managing their IT environment, provide consultancy on what solutions they need to maximise their business’s potential and help them adopt/maintain these products
Shaun Wilkinson, Managing Director,UTAX (UK): “We recently announced our sixth successive year of double-digit growth and this has been driven by success across the board.
Nigel Allen, Marketing Director, KYOCERA: “This year so far, we’ve continued to see a rise in our managed print services take up. This is becoming far more
popular for public sector organisations wanting to make cost savings and looking for a headache-free solution across multiple sites.“We’re also seeing a lot of growth in sales of A4 devices, following the release of our new TASKalfa range earlier this year. These devices have the capability of A4 devices, but with benefits normally only available on A3 machines, including sophisticated paper handling and finishing.“These devices filled a gap in our portfolio that we had identified through market research. We spent time listening to people and developing the range to meet changing user demands. The market told us it wanted an A4 device that had the functionality of A3, so we created one. Adding the range to our portfolio means we are one of the only document solutions companies able to offer 100% coverage of B2B market segments.
Wayne Snell, Product Manager, DSales: “Document management software
continues to be a key driver for sales and is an excellent opening gambit for our dealers to re-engage with existing customers or prospect for new business. “Customers do not want just a hardware device. They want a complete software and hardware solution to meet their need for document workflow, electronic archiving and so on. With Develop’s Convert+Share 4, for example, customers can easily set up scan capture-process-connect workflows to automate scanning and simplify archiving.”
What can we expect from your company in the coming months?
Steven Hastings: “We will be adding new models to our SP150 printer range, tapping into the consumer, SME and home office market. Our new products will be colour laser printers and will have a new level of specification and quality of performance.”
Mark Ash: “We’re looking forward to bringing new technologies into the market. As we move into H2, Samsung will appoint a dedicated Innovation Team to work alongside our colleagues in app development and R&D to ensure that we bring new ideas and innovation to the market quickly and build upon the personalisation that fits each of our customer’s needs.”
Jason Cort: “In the coming months, we will be launching new workflow solutions for SMB customers based on our light document management platform, Cloud Portal Office. We will also be launching a new range of interactive flat panel displays for the education market and completing the refresh of our flagship MFP range.
Shaun Wilkinson:“We have some exciting product launches coming up,
further enhancing our hardware, software and app range and we’ll continue to invest in our network through training, marketing support and the very real partnership approach that we’ve developed for and with our partners. “Exciting times are ahead for UTAX (UK) and, with our partners and their businesses continuing to grow, we’re certainly aiming for another year of double-digit growth.”
Nigel Allen: “We’ve got some new products and solutions coming out in the second half of the year, developed to meet changes in user demand that we’ve observed in the market place. “In terms of where we’re headed as a company, we have a new innovation team in place to focus specifically on research and development, in response to the ongoing demand for solutions and services that solve users’ real world issues. The team of four will be led by Eddie Ginja, Head of Strategic Business & Innovation, and its remit is to investigate, develop, test and refine new technical solutions.”
Adam Poole, Marketing Director, Canon UK & Ireland: “At Canon, we’re continuously developing our technology, solutions and expertise in order to ensure partners are able to support businesses in tackling everything from improving cost efficiencies to working faster, smarter and more securely. “In September, our imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5500 series will be available in the UK, providing partners with a new platform to offer their customers improved cost of ownership and leading edge integration into critical business processes. The platform will also deliver market-leading service profitability for partners and opportunities for additional professional services revenue through advanced mobility and security features. This series is just one
example of how we are listening to what customers need as we continue to innovate faster than ever before to offer our partners products that meet their customers’ unique requirements.
Wayne Snell: “Nine Develop ineo MFPs already provide NFC capability with more due for launch in the second half of 2016. This will give our dealerships a competitive edge when it comes to talking to existing and prospective customers about upgrading their multifunctionals, because support for flexible mobile working patterns is now a critical MFP application.“We are also upgrading systems in the production print sector of our product portfolio, including some crossover systems that bridge the gap between high volume office use and light digital production.“The Develop ineo+ range of colour MFPs is very strong, particularly in the crucial mid-range, 30-49 ppm category. As most MFP sales are now colour, amounting to over 90% of orders for our Develop dealers, this places us in a strong position for 2016.”