After years of turning its back on resellers, Canon is holding the white flag out to the channel in an effort to expand the way it brings its products to market.
"We are too reliant on the direct approach," Mark Deere-Jones, general manager of Canon's business imaging solutions group, told industry pundits recently. "In the solutions division, 85 per cent of our revenue is still from direct sales."
Canon is in the midst of positioning itself as an IT solutions management company and while much of those solutions will still be directed through its own operations, the company is increasingly looking to resellers and distributors to move product to end users.
"The customer is keen on the end-to-end solution, but is also looking for additional value," Deere-Jones said. "We make no apology that in the past we have been very focused on direct sales. We have neglected the reseller and distributor channels."
To this end, Canon is planning to double its channel sales business in the next 12 months. The company has also launched a new range of scanner products as part of its repositioning as an IT solutions management company.
The most recent product offering is the DR-3080C, the second in Canon's colour document scanner range. The new scanner features 24-bit colour scanning at 20 pages per minute, black and white at 40 pages per minute and also includes skip blank page and de-skew functions.
According to Suzannah Donnelley, Canon's product manager for document management solutions, the compound annual growth rate for the departmental scanner market is around 40 per cent.
"Customers are driving the requirement for knowledge management and decentralisation," she said.Photograph: Canon's Mark Deere-Jones