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Xerox Rolls Out Hardware, Software, Services Offerings To Deepen Channel Push

Xerox launched Tuesday a suite of updates to its hardware, software and services lines in a move executives say will push it to a more channel-focused model and help partners drive more revenues from printer sales.

Xerox rolled out a series of updates to its hardware, software and services lines as it looks to embrace a more channel-focused model and help partners drive revenues from printer sales, the Norwalk, Conn.-based company said Tuesday.

The news comes just days after Xerox's new Channel Chief John Corley officially stepped into his position as channel partner operations president at the start of the month. Corley previously led Xerox's Canadian channel efforts.

In the past, Corley said Xerox was often too insular of a company, and now that he is at the helm of the U.S. channel organization, he said he hopes to drive growth through a partner-centric organization. Today, the channel program represents a little more than 50 percent of the Xerox business. Corley's goal is to grow indirect sales to two-thirds of the business by 2016.

[Related: 8 Things That Might Surprise You About The Multifunction Printer Market]

"There's plenty of opportunity out there for everyone. When you view the marketplace like that, it really fosters more of a win-win mentality. I believe in our business. We need a win-win-win mentality -- a win for us, a win for our partners and a win for our end customers," Corley said.

To do that, Corley said he plans on leveraging the channel to make sure Xerox is part of the sales conversation along with making it easier for partners to do business with and continue to invest in its people.

"All in all, I feel that we've got the momentum now. It's just about doubling down and time to accelerate the growth," Corley said.

ConnectKey 1.5

As Xerox continues to build on the ConnectKey platform it launched last February, the company said it is expanding its portfolio breadth around the technology. The four printer additions center around A4 devices, an expansion partners have been pulling for since the ConnectKey launch, said Jim Rise, vice president and general manager of the Entry Products Business Unit. The new ConnectKey-enabled devices include the WorkCentre 3655, WorkCentre 6655, WorkCentre 7970 and WorkCentre 5945/55.

"From a solutions technology direction perspective, you're going to see us continue to unify our solutions arch across our portfolio," Rise said.

Personalized Application Builder

The company said it is moving from targeting its Personalized Application Builder only to ISVs to now embrace channel partners as well through a new Authorized Developer Program in a move Xerox said will help partners differentiate their brand and generate new streams of revenue. Xerox's more than 10,000 channel partners can build custom applications for their customers and become certified to sell those applications to other partners through the program.

Xerox also revealed four new application types to its offerings, including one that lets users scan directly from printers to Office 365 and an application to print directly from cloud accounts and servers.

Elizabeth Fox, vice president of channel partner operations, said she sees it as a way for both hardware-centric resellers to break into recurring revenue streams, as well as managed service providers to reign in extra hardware revenue.

"We think this is a way to reduce the barriers to entry for those partners who haven’t yet made the switch [to services]. That, in fact, extends the value of our ConnectKey MFPs," Fox said.

Xerox brought in five partners as part of its pilot program for the launch.

Joshua Justice, president of Waldorf, Md.-based Southern Solutions, was one of those partners who used the program to build a "Contact Us" custom application for his clients to directly access support and submit orders for supplies. For his SMB-focused business, Justice said he expected the application to "be a differentiator" against his competitors in the market.

NEXT: More New Solutions For Partners And How Xerox Will Bring Them To Market


Xerox PageConnect Services

In an effort to better fit managed print services into the business model and act as an on-ramp to the offerings, Xerox has announced expansions to its Xerox PageConnect Services, a program it first announced in April to rebrand its Basic Print Services.

"It is the next phase in our journey," Fox said.

Xerox also announced Tuesday the addition of distribution integration into the platform. Xerox Supplies Services now allows the reseller to install the Xerox Device Agent at the site, where the reseller can then order supplies directly from the distributor and the supplies will be shipped directly to the end user customer. This model is vendor agnostic, supporting more than 300 non-Xerox devices and is a "touchless" way for resellers to boost their revenues through margin-laden supply sales, Fox said.

Xerox Small Office Savings Plan

In what Xerox says is the first plan of its kind, the Small Office Savings Plan is aimed at letting channel partners target users who want a level budget and don't want to invest in expensive hardware. Under the program, resellers can offer small business customers a free printer in exchange for a monthly fee for supplies and services, ranging from $59 per month to $149 per month. The partner would get paid commission on the sale.

"We think it’s the first printer-as-a-service offering," Fox said.

Bringing Solutions To Market

Tuesday's announcements are part of a focus on what Xerox sees as the "keys to new business," VP of marketing and communications Leah Quesada said, adding that includes managed print services for SMB, automated supplies, cloud-ready multifunction printers (MFPs) around Xerox's ConnectKey platform and lucrative color.

"What we're trying to do now is package it all together and tell our partners 'Here is everything you want and more and here's how you capture new business with it,'" Quesada said. "We will have new offerings until the balance of the year in all of these four categories."

Xerox will offer integrated co-marketing tools, sales enablement tools and financial incentives around these offerings, Quesada said.

"We need to build off of that momentum and accelerate our growth plans. ... Now we just have to go out and execute. That’s what's going to drive the results. We've got amazing partners. We've got amazing people and the brand and the portfolio of technology solutions and services has been validated. ... Now it's up to us to go out and drive the heck out of it," Corley said.

PUBLISHED SEPT. 9, 2014

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