Phil Madders, Managing Director of Print Audit EMEA, shared details of some exciting new product launches and explained how the company is geared to deliver further value-added opportunities for partners in 2017
Since the launch of its Premier partner programme in 2014, the number of channel partners has more than doubled. Madders estimates that across Europe, the company currently has in excess of 300 resellers signed up.
The company extended Premier membership via its European-wide distribution partners – the main ones being Katun, Toshiba (Italy), Olivetti and Ricoh (UK), and according to Madders, this played a key role in meeting its objective to proactively target further expansion by growing its network significantly.
“Across the past two years, as a business we have enjoyed steady consistent growth year on year,” he said. “In 2016, our overall business grew by 24 per cent and we’re targeting to continue that growth trajectory through 2017.”
Madders sees much of this future growth coming from a number of new products it is adding to its portfolio. “We also assumed responsibility for the Middle East and Africa regions last year which will also add to the growth,” he explained.
Comprehensive and scalable
The company’s suite of products is designed to support resellers delivering managed print services to provide customers with the opportunity to reduce the cost and environmental impact of printing. “Print audits seem to have come full circle and are very much back in fashion,” Madders commented. “We’ve seen an increasing number of enquiries from channel partners for user and device assessment tools in recent months,” he added.
The offering is comprehensive and scalable, from Print Audit Facilities Manager, which simplifies MPS delivery for the reseller by remotely collecting meter readings, automating supplies fulfilment and providing service information across the fleet; to Print Audit 6, which enables users to account for every document produced per individual user, allows limits to be set by volume, or to restrict colour printing, and via its embedded option tracks copying, scanning and faxing, to permit accurate internal recharging by department if required.
Print Audit is introducing some new products for 2017. These include MySalesDrive, a new auditing tool designed to streamline data collection. This new solution will enable dealers to seamlessly build proposals and produce reports on total cost of ownership and environmental impact. “We did a soft launch to partners the first week of January and it was really well received with two signing up on the spot,” Madders said.
The company has also partnered with a UK based company to develop a solution that enables partners to improve how they analyse and leverage data collected from customers’ fleets. “We have developed a dashboard that interrogates our device management and assessment software and provides business intelligence. It marries device utilisation, user behaviour, application utilisation and toner usage. It also updates automatically and provides partners with a quick view of key performance indicators, from our MPS portfolio,” Madders explained.
The new solution which will launched in Q1 this year, will also have the capability to plug into other software such as service management systems, a functionality that will enable resellers to bring different silos of information into one place. This can be used internally to run the business, and as a sales tool for key accounts or winning new business. It takes complex data and makes it simple to analyse and present.
“Our core product range remains extremely relevant but we are focusing on enhancing and refning what we do, extending our offer and giving dealers added value,” Madders added.
One major development is within seat-based billing (SBB) for managed print. “This is a totally new concept and is being driven out of head office in Canada,” Madders said. “We have just partnered with Great America Leasing to present the market’s first SBB financing options for managed print. That’s something we’re looking at closely, with a view to rolling out across other regions.”
Whilst SBB is a model widely adopted in the IT sector, up until now it hasn’t gained any traction within the print world. “It’s about aligning the dealers’ offer with the customer need,” Madders commented.
“There is a disconnect between the customers’ wish to print less and save more, and the dealers’ desire for them to increase volumes in a bid to secure revenues. What we are proposing is a move away from the traditional cost per page model, which means that reductions in volume actually benefits both parties in the deal. It’s quite radical, but it was designed in partnership with 29 US office equipment dealers and is already winning business. A number of our UK partners are looking at it as a way of protecting margins.”
Print Audit sells exclusively to the channel and offers partners a flexible subscription plan that provides access to all of its products for a low monthly fee. Madders said: “The Premier pricing model is totally flexible, we’ve designed it to support dealers for whom MPS is a new area, as well as those who require the ability to seamlessly adjust the number of licences they deploy as customer requirements change.”
He added: “The biggest challenge the channel is facing now is pressure on margin and we can help them to add value to customers’ businesses and ensure recurrent revenues. We’re committed to supporting partners in moving their businesses forward.”