VARs Lead In Samsung's Printer Vision

The Irvine, Calif.-based unit of Samsung's IT products division believes it can help the channel win competitive engagements against direct-sales units of large vendor organizations.

Since earlier this year, the fledgling Samsung group has been setting the groundwork to pair with channel partners to custom-tailor both bids and the actual products--and technology, if necessary--to increase its competitiveness.

"This was the year we established the vision, and I think there are some pretty high expectations for '05--but pretty achievable at the same time," said Tony Venice, vice president of Samsung's Business Solutions Group.

The unit has yet to turn down any solution provider looking to team on customizing a bid, but moving forward, the division will review each request individually to make sure the opportunity is strong for both Samsung and the reseller, Venice said.

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Samsung's laser printer business is still in its infancy in the United States, but the company maintains it will continue to do 100 percent of its sales through channel partners and will avoid any direct sales.

"I think Samsung has taken a smart approach," said Brooks McCormick, director of sales at Megabyte International, a Tampa, Fla.-based solution provider and a member of Samsung's solution provider advisory board.

The vendor's move to work with the channel appears ready to hit its stride at the right time, he said.

"I think, particularly with the economy improving and business beginning to expand, there is a lot of equipment that needs to be replaced," McCormick said. "Some businesses have gotten a bad taste in their mouth with direct providers, as opposed to working with solution providers."