Xerox to expand channel reach with new ConnectKey MFPs

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Xerox is looking to expand its channel partner base with data centre solution providers who could also provide connected workplace environments.

Toni Clayton-Hine, vice president, Global Marketing and Value Proposition, Channel Partner Operations for Xerox, told CDN the ecosystem of partners for the company will expand to include independent software vendors as well. The strategy behind this outreach is for the ISV community to create apps for the 14 newly released multi-function printers (MFPs) featuring ConnectKey technology.

The ConnectKey-enabled i-Series branded MFPs already come with 10 apps. ISVs need to get Xerox approval to be placed on the App Gallery, which looks and works similar to the App Store or Google Play.

Clayton-Hine said 50 solution provider partners are currently developing apps as part of a Xerox SDK development program. “We are already seeing a steady stream of apps coming. Solution providers who are looking to provide a connected environment to all end-points can increase their revenue as a Xerox partner. There is a hardware opportunity, a monitoring opportunity, a management opportunity and they can customize workflows through app development,” Clayton-Hine said.

Do not expect these printers to carry a multitude of apps and Xerox believes customers will see roughly 40 to 50 apps available.

“This gives the partners something to talk about with their customers. We also want to change the terminology a bit with scan to accounting and these apps are not just DropBox, but customized apps with a partner’s own icon that provides more meaningful workflow,” Clayton-Hine added.

Jim Rise, senior vice president, Office and Solutions Business Group for Xerox, said page erosion is occurring as people move to display or mobile environments. “There is less growth in pages being printed,” he said.

There is also price erosion in the printer market. Rise remembers when a desktop colour laser printer was priced at $5,000 per unit. Now the same product costs $500.

But Rise does see a lot of opportunity in what looks to be a flat market. Black-and-white MFP printing is declining, but the space is worth $78 billion and the opportunity is in front of Xerox and its channel partners to exhort leadership.

Today Xerox has 27 per cent marketshare in managed print services through a channel ecosystem of 2,300 partners who use Xerox App Studio 3.0 to tailor MFPs through a template that can be customized for the customer.

Xerox has also introduced a Personalized Application Builder (PAB) program for more complex apps. There are 162 channel partners currently enrolled in the PAB program.

One such partner, Stefan Nilsson, CEO of Foxway International of Sweden, who has developed apps such as Invoice Scan, Visa Scan, Car Rental Scan and Healthcare Record Scan.

Nilsson’s strategy with the creation of these apps is to show customers Foxway is adding value beyond the resale of the MFP and each app provides his company with more re-occurring revenue (approximately 15 per cent margins) and brand loyalty.

The Invoice Scan app, for example, maps the data and gets put into an ERP system from either SAP or Microsoft Dynamics. This app can help to process payments and avoids users from manually imputing data. All the code developed by Foxway is run in the cloud.

The Healthcare app deals with patient records from other hospitals. Today, those records are scanned, but through the Foxway app nurses can search for patient ID on a global cloud-based service that provides patient folders for medical records, prescriptions and release forms. “This helps nurses who struggle with documents focus more on helping the patients,” Nilsson said.

The Visa Scan app process Visa applications for travelers. This process is usually a four to five page form that requires insurance data, social security data and the applicant would wait while all this data is gathered and captured. With Visa Scan these documents are scanned at a kiosk and it sets up with a barcode and unique ID that is available at the beginning of the interview.

Finally Rental Car Scan focuses on capturing application data for contracts, insurance, reporting that can be processed to different back-end systems even if it’s in a different country.

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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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