Ricoh Canada chief talks Japan, NMSO and channel direction

In an interview conducted yesterday for CDN, Glenn Laverty, president and CEO of Ricoh Canada, said his company would be advancing its channel direction, but would still sell predominantly direct. The full interview will be made available in CDN’s May issue.

Ricoh Canada has recognized that managed document services has become a global trend and that customers are looking for a single trusted advisor who can do more and build print solutions around a mobile strategy. Laverty said that this is a “huge change” in the market and that Ricoh will be working on broadening its capabilities from a delivery standpoint.

Recently Ricoh committed $300 million towards expanding its managed document services offering, which will include a solution for mobile print services. In Canada, that investment will be in people who have expertise in this area and to shore up technical services. Laverty said that he expects to have close to 500 people working in this division for Ricoh Canada.

With that Laverty is attempting to broaden its channel direction. He admitted that Ricoh Canada has a “heavily-laden direct business and that strategy would continue, but he does want to boost the dealer channel currently in place. “I am looking at how to deploy more relationships with Direct Market Resellers and VARs who are partners and alliance partners. The one thing that has been going on is Ricoh is evolving to be an organization that is very much open to partnerships that are strategic and general,” he said.

Laverty also addressed Ricoh’s inactive status on the National Master Standing Offer (NMSO). Three year’s ago Ricoh displaced incumbent HP in the highly prized Monochrome Standalone Printer section of the NMSO only to lose its standing last month.

“We enjoyed being on it and we will continue to look to be on it in the future. The reality of it is that there is still opportunity for us in government and we may seek any number of situations. The standing offer is a natural tool used by the government and it did not stop our competitors from selling to the government when they weren’t on it. Those things come up and its not a question of missing out on an opportunity, but it’s just for now and our commitment to that market and its customers is strong in every respect. We shall be fine,” he said.

Ricoh’s headquarters is in Japan and that region was hit with a devastating earthquake and tsunami. CDN also asked Laverty about the home base and he said that he monitors it daily. Only a few employees have not been reached and the hope is that they are in shelters. Ricoh has no casualties and their factories suffered only minor damage. He expects a productivity impact for about two to three months.

For more on Laverty and Ricoh Canada pick up CDN in May.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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