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View from the channel: Mark Ash, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Altodigital

Q: What are your customers most interested in?

A: Currently our clients are mostly interested in three things: the innovative and market leading Samsung FL!P, an interactive, rotatable and digital flip chart; visitor management solutions and VoIP.

Q: Do clients have the same understanding of industry terms, such as BYOD, MPS or MDS, as we do?

A: We are incredibly guilty in the IT and print industries of using too many acronyms. What we don’t realise is that this is a type of code and often our customers don’t understand what we mean. This is made all the harder when certain terms, such as MPS, are often misused. If in doubt speak plain English!

Q: Where are you seeing most traction at the moment, are there any verticals that are particularly strong?

A: We are fortunate to have great coverage across all verticals, which reduces our reliance on a specific sector.

Q: When selling MFPs, what are the most popular software solutions you provide and why?

A: Our sales teams are reporting that pull printing software, whether Equitrac, PaperCut or MyQ, are proving to be the most popular.

Q: Where do you get information on the latest products and solutions, and do you feel that the OEMs are doing enough to educate their channel partners?

A: We receive huge amounts of information from a wide variety of sources, however this in itself is a challenge. Information saturation actually dilutes the impact of messaging – similar to water passing through an already saturated sponge.

OEMs typically do not think outside of the box and continue to think that that they are unique, with online portals, apps and webinars. The reality is good old fashioned account management and tailored face to face sessions work best.

Q: Is your patch particularly competitive – is it national or local competition that you face?

A: It’s an incredibly competitive market, with both regional and national competitors, plus new entrants to the market that are crossing over.

Q: How do you spend your week – time on phone, face to face meetings with customers etc.?

A: My week consists of internal, external appointments, visiting all of our regional offices and combining the use of skype, voice and email.

Q: What would make your job easier?

A: Teleportation.