Canon's consulting and solutions division has turned to the channel to help build its presence in the specialised wide-format printer market.
Last year the division separated from Canon's Business Imaging Solutions group, which deals directly with end users. The group still retains a direct sales force, but also relies on the channel to take its combination of document management and multifunction solutions to the market in volume.
Its products include document management, scanners, projectors and the newest edition to the unit, wide-format printers. The company will launch several new printer models from July and is looking for resellers, particularly those who specialise in the graphic arts market. It will also hold a product showcase for its channel in Sydney and Melbourne next month.
"While we are number one in BubbleJet technology, we are not really known as a wide-format printer vendor," said product manager Suzannah Donnelley.
Canon will also make its BJW9000 model, a BO-sized wide-format printer previously only sold direct to the end user, available to the channel.
"We want to open our products up to the marketplace and resellers," Donnelley said. "We haven't been pushing the wide-format technology, but we want to sign up resellers who are specialised in this field."
Canon is up-front about its use of a direct sales force, but the vendor hopes its direct dealings will not deter the channel from doing business.
"We have the quality of technology and the print speeds. The feedback from resellers is that many face a lot of competition from other resellers who are selling the same product, and as a result margins are disappearing. We don't want to flood the market with resellers.
"Our products have a high price-performance and allow resellers to compete anywhere. We want to look after the reseller and maintain margins," said Donnelley.