ARC 2011: Multifunction Printers


In the brand-spanking-new category of Multifunction Printers, Xerox came out on top; a narrow victory, yes, but a victory just the same. Its score average for the support subcategory was just one percentage point ahead of Lexmark, and three points ahead of HP. Even closer were score averages for partnership, which Xerox eked out by just 0.7 of a percentage point, and surpassed HP by a healthier margin of 5.2 percentage points.

"We're excited that [CRN] broke that out," said Gary Gillam, Xerox's vice president of channel operations for North America, of the new category. "There's enough of a critical mass of customers moving from single- to multifunction printing, and a value proposition is relevant to the VAR channel to make money with them." (Check out photos of Gillam and other award winners at the ARC event starting with the gatefold on page 37.)

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Xerox saw its strongest results in the partnership subcategory of partner portal, where it led Lexmark by a full seven percentage points and outstripped HP by 13 points. According to Gillam, that was no accident. "With what we've brought to market, we bring the full Xerox service program, just like we do for the full-line copier in the mail room. That's clearly been a differentiator for us in the marketplace."

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Also a differentiator is eConcierge, the company's printer-supply replenishment program, which received an award for technology innovation from the CRN Test Center earlier this year. EConceirge provides users with free on-site service for their Xerox printers while they continue to purchase consumables through the service. Revenue is generated automatically for the reseller with each order.

The service might be particularly important for products in the multifunction segment, where half or more of a device's lifetime revenue comes from its consumable supplies. The ratio can be as high as two-thirds for devices such as color printers, according to Gillam."Managed service is the highest attach," he said. "And multifunction printers are often used more like copiers or going into deployments where they're replacing a network copier-type device."