Samsung will launch a partner solutions program later this year in a bid to drive its printing range higher up into the corporate spectrum.
Announced at the Samsung Printing InspirAsia Tour conference in Bali, the Solutions Developer Program will hit select Asian countries, including Australia, in the second quarter. Senior vice-president of digital media, Jang Jae Lee, said the program is aimed at enticing systems integrators to take-up Samsung's expanding corporate printing range.
While the details of the program are still being confirmed, Lee said the solutions channel will most likely be divided into three tiers. Partners can expect to be rewarded with better incentives and pricing depending on their level of commitment to Samsung, as well as their capabilities around vertical markets.
The solutions push comes off the back of the launch of 26 new Samsung laser printers targeting the SOHO, SMB and enterprise markets. The corporate printing range gives partners the ability to provide customised document management applications based on technology from IBM, Microsoft and EMC.
Lee highlighted the finance industry as an initial customer target market. Other verticals opportunities for customised printing and document management solutions included government, healthcare and insurance.
He said the first step was to educate existing and prospective partners on what Samsung's expanded product line-up offered in terms of applications customisation.
"It's more important to show partners how they can optimise our solutions and capabilities than setting the number of partners we will work with," he said. "What we're trying to do is strengthen our channel partnerships.
"In the B2B segment we're shifting our focus from the digital copier space to the corporate print market."
Lee said Samsung was also working with its OEM vendor partners on ways to leverage their channels to sell its hardware. This could see EMC, IBM and Microsoft partners gain access to preferred pricing or initiatives around deploying Samsung's printer range, for example.
According to Lee, Samsung's push into the printers market was the first step in developing a more services and solution-oriented business.
"Our other lines of business - memory, mobile phones and flat panel displays - are very hardware-oriented business. The partners we have are also very different," he said. "Services are getting more important than ever before for the corporate market. By going into more services-type business we can provide more value and solutions.
"Printing offers opportunities to solve business issues and is the first of our units moving towards services. We also have a PC and monitors business and if we can set up the infrastructure to solve business solutions there, we can get an advantage with our partner business."
Lee stated Samsung's intention of becoming the number one printer vendor in the global market by 2010. Globally, it recorded 80 per cent growth in 2007. According to figures cited by the company and sourced from IDC, the global printers market is expected to be worth about $US132 billion in 2008.
In South-East Asia including Australia, Samsung is aiming to achieve 90 per cent growth this year. All of its business is done via partners.
Nadia Cameron travelled to Bali as a guest of Samsung.