Xerox offers two new printers exclusive to the channel

Xerox Canada (NYSE: XRX) has unveiled five new printers and multi-function products for the desktop market as part of its Your New Workplace strategy, including two products that will only be sold through its channel partners.

The new products, all focused on the desktop and small workgroup market, include two new multi-function products and three new laser printers. MJ Bulmer, national marketing manager, desktop products with Xerox Canada, says the launch is designed to address the desire of small businesses to be as cost-competitive as their enterprise cousins.

“It’s our strategy to help our customers deploy a print strategy from desktop to print shop, a complete and streamlined office environment,” said Bulmer, noting Xerox is working to improve its offerings in the desktop space. “We’ve owned the A3 market for a long time, but customers have gotten to the point where they don’t want to sacrifice productivity for size. They want all the functionality of our big production units on the desktop.”

Available exclusively thru the channel will be the Phaser 3100 MFP, priced from $299-$369, and the Phaser 3250, priced from $299 to $399. The 3100 is designed for SMBs and virtual office deployments, and offers 21 ppm black and white printing, 600 dpi scanning and USB connectivity. It’s also available with out without fax. The 3250 replaces the 3150, and offers 30 ppm printing with first page out time as fast as 8.5 seconds.

“These are smaller, more personal printers,” said Bulmer.

The other new offerings include the Phaser 3635 MFP from $2199 to $2599, the Phaser 3600 from $599 to $869 and the Phaser 5550 from $2499 to $3999. The 3635 offers 35 ppm printing, USB connectivity and, depending on model, a convenience stapler. The 3600 replaces the 3500 and competes with HP’s 3005, targeting workgroups with 40 ppm black and white printing and a one-year on-site warranty. Finally, the 5550 replaces the 5500 and competes with HP’s 9040 and 9050, targeting the departmental market with 50 ppm back and white.

Xerox’s channel consists two elements: agents that are exclusive to the vendor and have access to the full product-line, including high-end copiers, and resellers that are limited to the desktop lineup. Bulmer says the new offerings are bringing the functionality of Xerox’s high-end products to its desktop line, opening-up new opportunities for its resellers.

“We’re concentrating most of our product-focus on the IT side,” said Bulmer. “It’s something HP has excelled at, and we’ve had to come-up to speed selling to IT.”

In the personal/low use and MFP market, Bulmer says companies don’t want to sacrifice colour or other functionality for the smaller footprint, but they also want more robust products they don’t have to replace every nine to 12 months.

In the workgroup market, she says businesses are looking for products that are “future-proofed” for new technologies such as IPv6 and IPSec, are looking for high productivity, and value reliability over feature-set. She adds they’re also much more concerned about total cost of ownership.

“People don’t just look at the box price anymore,” said Bulmer. “They want to know about all the other things that come with it; operating cost as well as acquisition cost.”

A key trend for the channel, Bulmer says, is the increasing printer lifecycle. While in the past the typical replacement cycle in the desktop space was one year as users upgraded frequently for the newest features, now she says Xerox is seeing the lifecycle looking more like three to four years. With much more margin in the supplies than in the box, it opens channel opportunity.

“We say it’s the razor in the razor blade, you practically give away the razor and make your money on the blades,” said Bulmer. “We don’t have a choice; we have to practically give away the boxes.”

It’s not in the boxes that Xerox and its partners make their money though, says Bulmer. It’s in all of the professional services and supplies that are required and can be layered around a unit that is no-linger a throw-away after one year.

“The longer life-cycle means we have more time to get to profitability with the unit, and that’s why we can be more competitive than we’ve been in the past on box price,” says Bulmer.

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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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