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Canon could expand Business Centre network

Having opened its first UK-based Canon Business Centre last year the firm's channel boss is looking into building on that progress

Canon is planning to expand the number of Business Centres it has across the UK after successfully cutting the ribbon on the first one back in November.

The vendor chose to work with long-standing partner DMC Canotec to increase its reach into the South West from offices in Bristol.

The two companies have worked together for 25 years and the Business Centre model has been used elsewhere across Europe by Canon, with a network of 130 already set up, as an opportunity to drive sales into a specific region.

James Pittick, director of B2B indirect sales at Canon, said that it would not be covering the whole country with Business Centres but this year would see the addition of "one or two".

"We are working to identify a geography or area Canon doesn't have a strong presence in and where we make the assessment that we could approach it in a different way," he said.

He added that the joint working relationship with DMC was a blueprint that it would look to replicate potentially in other areas.

Canon relaunched its partner programme last summer with one of the aims to encourage existing partners to sell more of the firm's portfolio.

Pittick said that there were concerted efforts to get those resellers selling business print products and services to move more into the high-end professional print world.

"A lot of partners will typically operate with a technology set that they have built their businesses on and are comfortable with. There is not a huge crossover with professional print but we are putting a lot of focus into encouraging more expansion into the pro-print range," he said.

In order to make that easier for partners Canon is taking the services burden off the first few sales while resellers make the transition and add the skills to their engineering teams.

The firm has also responded to feedback form partners and is making the sign posting to customers looking to work with a certified professional print partner much clearer.

At the time Canon relaunched the partner programme it made it clear that it was open to working with more partners and Pittick said that it had seen more MSPs, SIs and traditional VARs seeking it out to add more products and services to its portfolio.

The other aim of Pittick’s appointment 18 months ago was to drive more growth via partners and he said that the revised programme has supported that.

“We have seen growth in a wide number of areas, despite some challenging market conditions. The software portfolio grew,” he added that it was looking for 2019 to include more cloud sales as its uniFLOW print and scan management was now available as a hosted offering.

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