New Epson printers are exclusive to reseller channel

Epson Canada has expanded is line of business-class colour printers with the launch of its Workforce Pro C Series Workgroup printers, which will be available exclusively through Epson’s channel partners, through its newly expanded partner program.

It’s part of a new push for Epson in the channel said Grace Huang, group product manager for business imaging with Epson North America.

“For SMB VARs, the business printer is a key component of the solution they’re trying to sell and, with our line, they can offer businesses real cost savings, especially if they’re using colour lasers today,” said Huang. “It’s about increasing productivity for their organization. There’s value for the reseller base in the Epson line of business printers.”

Six models are included in the line: three single-function printers and three multi-function devices. They’re all targeted at SMB customers, typically organizations with 20 to 99 seats. The base models offer Ethernet connectivity, the mid-range models add WiFi, and the high-end models also support Printer Control Language (PCL) and Postscript

The single-function models are priced at $199, $299 and $399, while the multifunction models are priced at $299, $399 and $499.

The new models come with a three-year limited warranty and can print up to 3,400 pages per cartridge using Epson’s highest capacity 711 XXL cartridges.

Huang said the new line is a particularly good fit for SMBs in verticals such as real estate, back office, hospitality, health care, finance, banking and other environments using colour lasers today. Epson already has Workforce Pro offerings in the retail space, but she said the C Series are white instead of black, are designed for business users, and will be exclusive through partners. The ability to handle the extra-large cartridges is also unique to the business models.

An expanded partner program

Epson already has the ImageWay Partner Program for its document scanner and projector offerings, and with the launch of the C Series printers Epson is adding a new category — printers — to the partner program. Large format printers were included before, but it was a rather specialized market.

The new program is available in the U.S. now, and is expected to be available in Canada by June.

“All ImageWay partners will have access to participate in all three categories, whether they joined as a document scanner or projector VAR,” said Huang. “Although they seem like different universes we have seem some cross-sell, which is interesting. Printers are more universal. In any type of environment they’re selling in to, they also use printers.”

For the new focus on printers, Huang said Epson will be looking to VARs they’ve worked with in the past as well as recruiting new ones, getting the work out at reseller shows and other industry events about the program, the new printers and their advantages.

“There will be a big effort in terms of outreach and awareness because this is a new opportunity for us and our partners,” said Huang. “I’m not aware of any program that allows you to cross-sell product categories. There’s a really good advantage in joining the ImageWay program.”

Though Epson’s demo program, partners will get product training and a free Ethernet-enabled MFP so they can try the product out. Huang said ImageWay has no tiers and offers “very aggressive” margins.

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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