Printer and copier specialist Ricoh is opening up its printer business to channel partners for the first time.
While the company has six branches and sells through dealers in other areas it wants to move away from directly selling printers to fully concentrate on the more lucrative multifunction devices (MFDs).
Murray Clark, Ricoh marketing manager, says a business channel manager has been appointed and is due to start within the next month.
“His role is to establish relationships with systems integrators and VADs [value-added distributors], train them and set up support systems,” he says.
Clark says there are several business models for partners to choose from, depending on how involved they want to get.
“It depends on what suits our partners and whether they want to get involved in servicing or stick with a more traditional model. Either way it’s got to be a win-win situation for both sides.”
The benefit of signing up business partners, says Clark, is their established relationships with organisations.
Although Ricoh will continue to sell printers direct, Clark doesn’t foresee any competition.
“I don’t see any battles on the street over this. My sales team is heavily focused on high-end MFDs. At this stage Ricoh will keep its copier business direct but we may review that in the near future.”