Printer vendor, Epson, has launched a new channel program giving its business systems division partners an official stamp. It has been designed to tackle grey marketing.
The new Epson One initiative was prompted by several incidents during the past 12 months where local agents had sold products that were not produced for the Australian region, marketing director, Mike Pleasants, said.
"Australian and New Zealand products are configured to meet C-Tick approval," he said. "If a dealer buys from another source and that product is designed for other territories, there can be some mismatch issues."
In a couple of recent examples, dealers were found to have delivered products that did not have the appropriate firmware for the local market, he said.
"We found ourselves embarrassed," Pleasants said.
"The products had been sourced from somewhere other than our [local] channel. The customers were then left in a difficult position."
The creation of a formal sales program would recognise those systems integrators, distributors and resellers providing the right products for the local market, Pleasants said.
"We are putting the wrapper around this channel so the end-user knows they are dealing with an authorised Australian systems integrator, distributor or partner who will get support from us," he said.
The business systems division is focused on providing printing equipment and services for cash points. Pleasants said its customers included retailers, banks and the hospitality industry.
Although there are no new services for its channel, Pleasants said the program would raise the awareness of the availability of pre- and post-sales support, technical assistance and product tracking with partners and end-users. Epson also offers a serial number checking system to confirm product authenticity.
The company currently has six integrators and about 10 resellers working with the division. Local distributors are DH technology, Pos Pos and Unique Micro Design.
Pleasants said the vendor was interested in hearing from new channel players who were targeting niches within its target markets, as well as those working in areas it did not currently have a presence in.