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Samsung Canada signs Ottawa partner

IT division of the electronics manufacturer inks solution provider PrintersPlus

According to Ron Hulse, the vice-president of sales and marketing for Samsung Canada‘s IT division, the Canadian marketplace is accepting his company’s branded printing products instead of buying OEM versions.

It has led to Samsung attaching themselves to high profile solution providers such as PrintersPlus, which the subsidiary signed this month.

Samsung Canada’s strategy is to play in the corporate and low end of the market below where HP and Lexmark start to play says Hulse, the former Compaq Canada channel chief.

`“By building up demand (for our product) in those areas we get Printers Plus in Ottawa, who are a strong business partner. Now it has become a reasonably-sized business for them,” said Hulse.

Hulse added that Samsung business is still no where near what Printers Plus does with HP or Lexmark, but it is a starting point for the subsidiary, which entered the printing market only a few short years ago.

Through its two main channel programs, Power Partner Program(P3) and Printer Power Partner Program (P4), Samsung Canada sends leads to partners. It has also hired former Kyocera Mita executive Mike Rizzo as sales marketing manager for VARs.

“His job will be to knock on doors to build up demand for our printers. We will get some momentum from that and it is a crawl, walk, run strategy. We are in the walking moving into a slow run stage,” said Hulse, who also was a key executive in Beyond.com.The crawl, walk, run strategy is one of the main reasons why Samsung Canada has not introduced the Certified Partner Program, which was brought out by Samsung Electronics America as a way to expand business printer programs for its MFP products.

Currently, Samsung Canada has built up a network of 60 copier dealers. The concept of the Certified Partner Program would work better in a mature market where there are VARs in that space, Hulse said. Samsung, he added, is still working on developing that channel.

“It might make sense for us in the future,” said Hulse. “There is a demand in the market to do that, but we need to get some more success in the printer market before we can announce this kind of a program.”

And Samsung Canada has been having some success lately. The subsidiary has been netting key accounts such as the Department of National Defence and Corrections Services Canada, Hulse said.

“We are still the channel guys. We do not have any direct programs, even the consumables business is through the channel,” Hulse said.