Fuji Xerox is not a name that you would normally associate with the reseller channel, with the company selling its copiers, printers, faxes and other devices through Xerox shops for many years.
But all that's about to change, says Forest McGregor, Xerox's recently appointed manager for Office Network Printers. As part of his company's channel unit, McGregor's first assignment is to build a strong reseller infrastructure for his division's products. In doing so he will emulate Xerox's efforts elsewhere in the world to make major investments in chasing indirect sales.
McGregor says it is the intention of Xerox that 100 per cent of sales of its network printers go through channels.
"We don't want to do the network printer business ourselves, and so we're talking to various people who are appropriate to work with," said McGregor. "We're not trying to go out and blanket the market. What we want is a good, strong reseller coverage in the major centres, which can really go out to market in a quality way. And it may be that they are not going to do $10 million of our printers, they might do a couple of hundred thousand. But they're adding value to a particular vertical market.
"And we want to grow them. We want a good number of these people getting more and more revenue and more and more profit out of our product so that they grow and our business grows."
McGregor says some of that profit will come from an aggressive discounting program. "We need the resellers to be making more money from our products than they are making from somebody else's otherwise they are not going to sell it."
Beyond dollars and cents, though, McGregor says there are many strong arguments for resellers to consider the Xerox network printers. "Fuji Xerox is a company with a lot to bring to the table in the network printing market," he said. "There's a lot of printing technology that it's going to bring to fairly strong bearing on that part of the market. And our intentions are to be a very large player against the likes of Hewlett-Packard and Lexmark."
While Xerox will maintain direct sales of many of its other products, McGregor says the intention of all network printer sales going through the channel is a genuine one. He added that as more of the Xerox range moves down in price and complexity there is no reason why the variety of products going through resellers won't grow.
"The next grouping are the types of products that are starting to come out of the copier side of Xerox's capability, and into the networkable area," said McGregor. "The plan over time is to grow reseller's capabilities to be able to sell those products for Xerox."