After two years of drastically reducing the number of dealers it works within enterprise, corporate and government (ECG) markets, Lexmark is looking to pump new blood through its channel.
Three or four years ago, the printing vendor had about 500 ECG partners but this number had since been boiled right down to about 50, according to its ECG channel business manager, Tim Champion.
The company had now set its sights on winning more ECG business in the SME space, he said, which it categorised as organisations with more than 50 employees and an IT manager.
"We have good coverage in the large government and corporate accounts but there are good opportunities in SME," Champion said. "We are looking to identify partners that can improve our geographical coverage in regional Australia as well as those that have the capability to provide users with a managed services offering."
Lexmark currently had a team of about 30 consultants that were identifying opportunities in a number of key verticals and applications including finance and document management.
It now needed a highly skilled base of partners to drive them into the market.
Champion said it was looking to partner with a mixture of service integrators and outsource suppliers, print specialists, PC vendors and IT resellers. While it had good tier one relationships in all these fields, it wanted to filter the program down to smaller players.
A small number had been offered the opportunity to get involved in its Total Care program, he said, with Lexmark having pitched the idea to about 15 partners so far.
Total Care is the vendor's name for its managed print services offering and a wholesale model has been trialled with laser print specialist, Upstream.
"Total Care is about securing long-term repeatable revenues by locking customers into high levels of service," Champion said. "It reduces the total cost of printing for customers while ensuring partners are earning good margins by allowing them to get a piece of the consumables action.
"Most resellers have some level of service capability but very few understand how to ship toner to a desktop. We are implementing backend systems with our distributors, Ingram Micro and Cellnet, to make this process smooth for our resellers."