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Sammy Kinlaw On Lexmark’s New Printers And How His Channel Vision Is Now A Reality

Lexmark channel chief Sammy Kinlaw talks about the big job of selling to small business as the company releases new color printers aimed at small workgroups and micro-SMBs.

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When you get on the main stage at a conference, what reason do you give solution providers as to why they should sell print?

If I was a VAR, and I knew this product was hitting the market, why would I begin to choose selling print? Because they may be walking past the print order today just because they’re selling PCs and server and wireless and networking. They might not be selling print, but they should be because they’re selling data center. They’re selling PC. One-stop shop. I tell people, ‘If you are not looking at print, you should because it’s a recurring revenue stream. Once the hardware is sold once, you still get to sell annuities.’

I think they moved away from print when print was perceived to be a dying industry, and that hasn’t proven to be true. And what that has allowed is VARs who are print experts. Those are our bread and butter. At the same time, I can assure you there are thousands and thousands of VARs today not selling print … and allowing a dot-com to pick up the order.

So the task in front of us is how do we market and explain those compelling reasons: Aggressive price points. The technical specs of the products, the reliability, the serviceability, the footprint and the weight in comparison to what our competition is offering today.

The forecast for print is a slight decline in market, but actually MFP in print is growing, along with PCs where there’s certainly a resurgence and an opportunity. So a VAR today that is considering the print space, the barriers to market are lower now than they have been before and, frankly, that [gives us an advantage] because [a VAR can be competitive in the market] with Lexmark and have fewer competitors with the product line.

Why sell print through Lexmark?

If you’re an HP or Brother reseller or VAR, you are going to be competing against hundreds of people trying to sell this box. So that’s one beauty of a growing brand like ours—you can get behind a brand and have some exclusivity where you wouldn’t be able to find it with another manufacturer.

If you are partnering with Lexmark, you have a path to market that is clearly defined, with products intended for the SMB and midmarket marketplace. You’re not dealing with competition from an e-tail- type community. Who is the enemy of the VAR? Online sellers.

They could show up there, but our primary path to market is the SMB and midmarket VAR, through distribution, with the ultimate goal of having a channel that is independently selling, that is empowered and incented, all the right ways. This is the perfect box for them. That’s not inflating it. That’s what it was designed for.

This has a launch kit associated with it, collateral, co-logo opportunities, all the training, all the videos. Everything that a VAR would need to begin selling this product is served up on a silver platter on July 16.

 
 
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