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Xerox Partners Brace For Change As CEO Visentin Moves Agenda Forward

“I think he wants to make changes. I think he wants to move fast. I just don’t know if they can get there,” one partner told CRN. “I like the guy. Personally, I think he’s a dynamic leader ... I like the things they’re going to do, but it’s a tough road right now.”

Xerox partners said while the plan to reorganize the structure of the organization into a holding company will likely not have an impact on business, it is the latest example of leadership being “aggressive” when it comes to turning fortunes around.

One large partner, who just returned from the company’s partner summit in Atlanta and asked not to be named, said CEO John Visentin is taking bold steps, but he is not sure if it will work for everyone.

“I think he wants to make changes. I think he wants to move fast. I just don’t know if they can get there,” the partner said. “I like the guy. Personally, I think he’s a dynamic leader. He seems to hire really good people and give them the freedom to do their job. He did a lot of talking at the summit. I like the things he had to say. I like the things they’re going to do, but it’s a tough road right now.”

[RELATED: Xerox To Close About Half Of XBS Offices: Sources]

Shareholders yesterday approved a plan to merge Xerox into a holding company by a wide margin with 99 percent of those in attendance voting in favor of the plan. The move is intended to eliminate duplicate administrative requirements and costs, the company said. The merger must still be approved by regulatory agencies. Xerox said in a statement it expects to trade under the same symbol on the New York Stock Exchange, but will delist from the NYSE in Chicago.

Xerox stock edged up 2.5 percent following the announcement with shares up $0.79 to $32.91.

However in the dealer channel, where longtime Xerox partners have seen significant changes to the company since last year, the news was greeted less enthusiastically.

“Xerox reorganizing as a holding company does not immediately impact my business,” said one reseller. “I know Google and other large companies have done similar things.”

Another partner said Xerox itself told resellers not to pay any mind to the news.

“Quite frankly, I just came from a launch meeting in Atlanta, the reseller summit,” he said. “They mentioned announcements in the coming days that will have no effect on businesses.”

He said at the Atlanta meeting, Xerox pushed dealers to differentiate with apps and software, and lower the barrier to entry on selling production printers, which the partner believes mean they have a lot of product on on the shelf.

“They’re aggressively pursuing new dealers,” he said. “They’re aggressively pursuing new software. The one thing they’re not doing is they’re making it a little more difficult to get special bids. They’re increasing those requirements. You can’t get a special bid on a $50,000 deal like you used to. The deal’s gotta be six figures to get special pricing on … They’re sitting heavy on inventory.”

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