Paul Leach, UK Sales Director for the Indirect Division Sharp Business Systems, says that news of the alliance has been well
received by Sharp’s UK channel partners.
PITR: Has the uncertainty over Sharp’s future damaged Sharp in the UK?
PL: We haven’t seen any major decline. There has been a level of uncertainty, but apart from that it has been business as usual. Now the announcement’s been made, there is a level of excitement specifically in the dealer community because they can see the opportunity that such as alliance will bring.
PITR: The actual MFP side of the business has been doing well hasn’t it?
PL: Yes. We’ve just launched a new range of MFPs on the A3 colour side and we’ve had strong salesthrough performance on those products, along with the Integrated Office. We’ve now reached out to the dealer community and have fully launched the visual solutions panels, the Big Pads and the interactive panels to further strengthen our messaging regarding the integrated office.
PITR: How has the reseller community received that message?
PL: Enthusiastically – trying to understand the best way to take technology forward, especially when, as more BYOD devices come onto the market, they can see the ease of connectivity within the Sharp product range that enables different devices all to connect together. There is certainly lots of enthusiasm and dealers are starting to take on board the message that we’ve really got to move from selling just the box to the integrated office, to find the bottlenecks within business, and education especially, and to help improve that sales cycle.
PITR: Have many traditional copier dealers taken on your AV products?
PITR: Have you had to do anything in particular to encourage them to do that?
PL We had to build an infrastructure to support the product group, especially on the installation side. We now offer that, and warranty and servicing, to the dealer community as a package. Apart from that, we’ve done some vertical marketing campaigns that we offer to resellers and some roadshows. So, as a manufacturer, we are investing in support to help our dealers push this technology into the wider space.