The ApPRINTice

Samsung Electronics Canada has a lofty goal for the upcoming year: To become the No. 2 player in printer market share, behind powerhouse Hewlett-Packard.Currently, the subsidiary isn’t doing so bad for a company better known for its monitors and cellphones.
According to Evans Research’s latest figures, Samsung is in the middle of all laser printer sales. HP is the leader with 35 per cent of the market, followed by Brother at 22.3 per cent and Samsung at 16.5 per cent. Right behind Samsung is Lexmark with 16 per cent, followed by the rest of the printer vendors with 10 per cent in total.
In inkjet printer products, Samsung has not hit the radar screen yet, with HP leading followed distantly by Canon, Lexmark and Epson.
I don’t think Samsung should be overly concerned here because the bulk of the profits are coming in laser, especially colour lasers and MFP products. There are certainly margins for resellers to be made in this area, especially if they can tell the total cost of ownership and cost per page story that customers really want to hear.
Recently, Samsung invited me to join one of its reseller events. The Cross Canada Faceoff, held in Niagara Falls, Ont., was meant more for enjoyment than dealing with business issues. However, it brought together some of the the company’s leading resellers here such as Soroc, On The Go/Infinity and NexInnovations.
Besides playing golf, hitting the spa and having dinner at a winery, Samsung asked all the resellers to play a version of Donald Trump’s Apprentice. But this one was called ApPRINTice.
Three groups of resellers went to the ole’ drawing board to come up with new ideas to help Samsung achieve its goal. The teams were called Digital, Imagine and No Nois, after Samsung’s quiet print engine.
Some of the ideas were great, such as a $50,000 contest based on Samsung’s printers 50,000 monthly duty cycle, while others were old, such as offering spiffs.
Other plans made a lot of sense, such as a print assessment program for delivering total cost of ownership solutions to customers.
In the end, Team Digital won the contest in the grand finale. According to Samsung Canada marketing director Bob Park, it was a hilarious TV commercial skit.
But the real winners will be the resellers who came, because Samsung showed it listens to its partners.
This may be very simplistic, but if you want the channel to push your product then you must listen to them. They are on the street; fighting the good fight for the customer, their business and the vendor partner.
A lot of vendors tell me they listen to their VARs, their integrators and their solution providers, but for the first time in a long time I actually witnessed it at this event.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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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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