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Xerox Targets Major Opportunity For Partners To 'Lead With Apps'

The company is seeking to make it easier for partners to sell and resell apps for Xerox multifunction devices with the Xerox App Gallery.

As Xerox Channels President Pete Peterson puts it, the company's aggressive push into bringing apps to its multifunction devices should make something clear: "This isn't the old Xerox."

"We're a nimble company, and we're a high-tech company in a really hot space right now," Peterson said in an interview with CRN this week at Xerox's briefing center in New York.

[Related: Xerox Channel Chief Peterson On The 'Huge' Push For SMBs, Apps And New Partners]

Through its ConnectKey interface, Xerox aims to turn multifunction devices into a smart workplace assistant, with access to apps for simplifying and improving business workflows.

The company said Wednesday that its line of ConnectKey-enabled devices will now include access to key business apps such as Salesforce, QuickBooks Online and Concur. In addition, partners can now more easily sell and resell apps from the newly e-commerce-enabled Xerox App Gallery.

Peterson said that 400 partners have now gone through training intended to equip them for building, acquiring and selling apps on the ConnectKey platform. Roughly 70 apps are now available, and channel partners receive a share of revenue when their customers purchase apps.

"This is exciting times to be at Xerox, with the major focus on apps," Peterson said. "I do believe it's a differentiator in the marketplace."

In early 2017, Xerox put the ConnectKey interface on all 29 of the new devices that were part of the company's massive A4 and A3 launch.

This year, the Norwalk, Conn.-based company is expanding on the 2017 device launch by adding capabilities for a number of prevalent business apps in its ConnectKey-enabled VersaLink and AltaLink devices.

The apps include the Xerox Connect App for Salesforce, which provides users with access to the Salesforce CRM from ConnectKey-enabled Xerox multifunction printers. Users will be able to share information by scanning documents right into Salesforce, Xerox said.

The company is also launching apps for easier expense reimbursement with QuickBooks Online, which is popular with small and medium-sized businesses, and with Concur, which is more prevalent in large enterprises.

The new ConnectKey apps will be released between the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2019, Xerox said.

The longest-running app developer partner for the Xerox platform is JustTech, a Xerox Platinum partner based in La Plata, Md., and the company has been seeing strong growth as a result of the app focus.

"We've grown with the apps. We sell more equipment that leverages the apps, and we're licensing apps to clients and partners," said Josh Justice, president of JustTech, during a panel organized by Xerox in New York this week.

The last two years have seen JustTech generate $1.2 million in licensing fees for apps, and margins are high, he said. JustTech has used the money to reinvest in the company, he said, including with three acquisitions in 2017 and 2018.

New and refreshed apps from JustTech include the Cloud Fax Connector app for simplified virtual faxing and the Email Connect app for easier document scanning to email.

"We lead with apps with everything we do," Justice said. "It's at the core of our services."

JustTech has seen 220 Xerox partners install its apps, he noted. "They would not be doing that if it was not beneficial to them," Justice said.

Ultimately, "we've seen tons of wins with apps," he said.

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