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Xerox Partners Are Upping Their Apps Game In Managed Print Services Blitz

Xerox partners are finding more recurring revenue opportunities with Xerox's new Innovate To Grow initiative.

Xerox solution providers are transforming themselves into application developers as part of the $20 billion company's managed print services recurring revenue sales offensive.

Southern Solutions, Waldorf, Md., is already driving significant recurring revenue as the first solution provider participating in the Xerox Certified Personalized Application Builder and Authorized Developer program, said Southern Solutions President Joshua Justice.

"My app business has created a recurring revenue stream for us," said Justice. "It has already increased our monthly recurring revenue by 10 to 15 percent."

[Related: Partners High-Five New Xerox 'Work Can Work Better' Branding]

The Xerox app builder program enables partners to build applications for Xerox ConnectKey-enabled desktop printers and copiers. The ConnectKey devices are cloud-connected, providing customers with the ability to download apps -- including workflow apps -- directly to printers and copiers with the supported touch screen.

Southern Solutions has tapped into the ConnectKey platform with its own Contact Us App, which allows customers to communicate with its sales team. The application is now actively being sold by 30 other Xerox partners in the United States.

The Southern Solutions Contact Us App is expanding rapidly and will earn more in its first year than either its managed print services or its IT and network solutions businesses did in their first year, said Justice.

Precision Document Solutions, a Carrollton, Texas-based Xerox partner, meanwhile, has developed a custom workflow software application for Xerox printers and PCs to help hospitals expedite the admission process and monitor patient progress. The application helps secure the flow of information between doctors and patients.

Xerox's channel commitment is going to lead to big sales gains for the company, said Precision Document Solutions President Steve Jenkins. "They truly understand the MPS space, and they are willing to be a true partner for the channel," he said.

Xerox, for its part, is encouraging more partners to take the app development plunge to build a recurring revenue stream.

Not enough partners are leveraging the ConnectKey platform, "which means they are not as relevant, as differentiated, as profitable and as successful as they could be in the technology and services they sell by themselves or with Xerox," said Toni Clayton-Hine, vice president, global marketing and value proposition, channel partner operations at Xerox.

"Our responsibility as a vendor is to try and figure out what we can do to educate and empower them to be able to have those conversations," she said. "We are only successful as far as they are successful."

Xerox is hoping to get more partners to transform themselves into app developers for ConnectKey as part of its new "Innovate to Grow" initiative aimed at helping channel partners capitalize on growth opportunities in the SMB market.

The initiative, which was launched on Wednesday, includes a number of tools aimed at educating partners on the value of offering Managed Print Services and utilizing Xerox's application platform for its ConnectKey multifunction printers.

The tools include videos, sales talk tracks and marketing kits to help partners take full advantage of Xerox's new marketing strategy, as well as an offering called the Partner Solutions Playbook.

The playbook is an interactive library filled with researched, real-world scenarios that show how one of Xerox's technologies can help solve a workflow problem. The playbook explains the solution, the technology, the time needed for deployment and lists potential revenue for the partner.

The Innovate To Grow initiative was launched during an aggressive drive by Xerox to increase the total percentage of technology revenue coming from the channel from 50 percent today to 66 percent by 2017.

John Corley, president of Xerox's Channel Partners Operation group, said Xerox is on track to meet that channel sales target as it moves away from its historically direct sales-oriented mindset.

As part of Innovate To Grow, Xerox is recruiting more SMB partners. "We are building a strategy for the future ... generating sustainable growth through a strong portfolio of partners," said Corley.

The No. 1 challenge that Xerox's traditional partner has to overcome is the concept of selling printers like they have in the past, as stand-alone devices, said Clayton-Hine. Partners need to think of selling products as "more than a box," she said.

"There really are productivity enhancements that can, and should, be made by unlocking that potential," she said.

Xerox's own research shows that 75 percent of small and midsize businesses have no managed print services contracts.

The Innovate to Grow initiative represents a marked, new commitment to the channel, said Clayton-Hine.

"This is huge," she said. "I don’t see another manufacturer as focused on empowering the partner to brand and be successful in their own environment."


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