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The next generation of channel players come from various directions being born in the cloud or emerging from a place of experience but the common theme is the identification of a customer need that requires solving.
For Ian Birch, who has a CV that includes time at Ricoh, Kyocera and most recently as head of digital transformation at Xerox, now seemed the right moment to help customers with business processes and compliance challenges.
Birch has set up IBC Group and will be looking to provide support for those looking to increase automation and get on the right side of regulations like the forthcoming GDPR.
A lot of the focus will be on managed print services and identifying areas of the business that would benefit from greater automation.
"A lot of the vendors and channel partners are being looked to by customers for guidance. What does the future look like? How can you offer a better employee experience? How are you going to help them be compliant?" said Birch.
IBC will support vendors and work with other channel partners to help customers answer those questions.
The other challenge that will become increasingly important is deciding what the future strategy is around print. Although it remains an important part there are signs that users are trying to reduce the volumes of pages they produce.
"It is going to be interesting to see how this develops. The pace of change is going to increase," said Birch.
With some of the main managed print specialists having gone through some consolidation in the last couple of years Birch stressed the importance of being an fresh independent voice.
“IBC Group will fulfil an important role in offering fully independent, vendor-neutral consultancy to businesses, guaranteeing that they have the most appropriate systems in place to drive efficiency and reduce costs," he said.
The plans over the rest of this year for IBC include hiring more staff, bringing on board more printing experts.