Xerox U.S. Channel Leader: Increasing SMB Demand for Managed Print Services

The company is growing its channel program, with managed print a more than viable option for partner sales.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

January 3, 2018

4 Min Read
Office Printer

Xerox is honing its channel strategy to reach small and medium-size businesses.

The document-services company made major inroads with partners in 2017, hiring a longtime Brocade and Tech Data channel sales leader to head its global channel strategy. Xerox also bolstered its channel program in December with the addition of two new partners. The company says it sees an increasing demand for managed print services.

We spoke to Darren Cassidy, president of the U.S. Channels unit for Xerox, about what his company hopes to accomplish in 2018.

We have edited the transcript for clarity.


Xerox’s Darren Cassidy

Channel Partners: What is Xerox’s channel strategy and how has its business model changed over the last year?

Darren Cassidy: The small-and-medium-size business (SMB) market is highly lucrative and rapidly growing. With 75 percent of office technology sales to SMBs made through indirect channels, Xerox is thoughtfully and aggressively expanding its partner  program — particularly in recruiting multi-brand dealers. At the same time, we’re transforming the way we work with our mono-brand channel, enabling Xerox agents to be more agile and compete better — all backed by our marquee Xerox brand, and sales and service expertise.

In 2017, we signed several dozen high-potential channel partners around the globe. We also began moving tens of thousands of direct accounts to our partners to help Xerox capture a larger share of the SMB market.

CP: What are your predictions for the channel in 2018?

DC: We believe 2018 will be filled with opportunities at SMBs for channel partners who focus on print, and we’re predicting (1) broader demand for managed print services (MPS) among SMBs, (2) rapid advances in apps-based solutions, and (3) continued growth in production color printing.

First, MPS will be a great opportunity in 2018 for dealers who put a strategic focus on targeting the underpenetrated SMB market. With MPS, dealers capitalize on a growth opportunity they know – print – while building a point of differentiation from their competitors, more touch points within their clients’ businesses to strengthen relationships and customer value by better managing print assets. Partners not only grow – many report their year-over-year growth is largely driven by providing MPS solutions to SMBs – but also protect their customer base.

A second strong opportunity in 2018 is in meeting client needs for more device integration to streamline workflows unique to their businesses. More and more channel partners will meet this need by building applications for their customer’s multifunction printers, an emerging trend that will grow exponentially in the coming year.

Finally, we see production color printing as an area of continued growth. Color page volumes continue to grow as offset page migration to digital accelerates, particularly for short runs. Specialized media applications can add true differentiation and deliver high margins.

CP: What major trends impacting your industry did we see in 2017?

DC: Technology adoption has enabled completely new ways to interface with customers, mostly online or mobile. Increasingly, purchasing decisions are practically made before …

… customers talk to sales representatives, making a strong presence online and through social media more important than ever. This growing trend represents a major challenge for the channel and why we support our partners’ digital needs with programs ranging from demand generation to website syndication to social-media advice and implementation.

CP: What is a goal you have for Xerox in 2018?

DC: It’s all about profitable growth — for Xerox and its channel partners. The company is making big investments in products and technology, and with 29 new A3 and A4 products and the broadest portfolio of managed print services in the industry, Xerox isn’t just responding to change — we’re driving it with innovative products, services and partnerships.

Our commitment to our partners, and the customers they serve, is reflected across our entire value chain: from product development to employee-development programs focused on channel knowledge, to our Global Partner Program.

Partners who make the effort to become more relevant to their customers and more market-specific, and who leverage MPS and make their online presence a priority, will be well positioned to prosper and grow in 2018 and for many years to come.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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