Epson has launched its first ever formal partner program in Australia as it attempts to carve a bigger foothold in the enterprise market.
The print solutions giant already has a modest channel in Australia, consisting of up to 100 regular transactors, but has never operated a formal program locally before.
However, following the ascension of Craig Heckenberg as regional managing director last year, the vendor is now keen to grow its partner numbers in the business and enterprise space.
Named the Premium Partner Program, the new scheme will follow a traditional metal tier structure of Platinum, Gold and Authorised, providing go-to-market assistance and marketing development funds.
The vendor also hopes to use its Sydney experience centres, and later in Melbourne, to host demonstration events with partners and end-users, depending on the partner tier.
Epson general manager of marketing Bruce Bealby told ARN that its recent launch of enterprise grade and large format printers was the driving force behind the formal program.
“In the past, we were more in the consumer market but now we have launched a lot of these new products over the last 12 months, we wanted to get closer to our channel partners and start taking on new ones.”
In particular Epson is seeking resellers and integrators who can handle both the sales, installation and managed services.
The vendor currently does not work with a distributor in the enterprise space and instead works with a group of select partners. Meanwhile with its consumer segment, it works with Ingram Micro and Dynamic Supplies.
The move comes during a tough period for Australia’s technology industry as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hamper economic growth both local and international.
Reflecting on this, Heckenberg added: “Australia, along with the rest of the world, has recently experienced challenges and tragedies the likes of which have rarely been seen before. For us, locally, it was first the bushfires and now COVID-19.
“Despite these challenges Epson remains as committed as ever to its customers and the communities in which it operates. Right now our focus is getting business back on track and our new Premium Partner Program is very much part of that.”
Heckenberg replaced the previous Australia and New Zealand boss Bruno Turcato who retired after 30 years last August.
Having spent 20 years with the company, Heckenberg was previously general manager of Epson Australia and was said to have helped grow its commercial print revenue by more than 450 per cent.