Canon Business Centre SOS expands geographic reach

Partner able to provide more coverage for the print vendor in Hampshire and the South coast following acquisition

Canon has expanded its Business Centre SOS in collaboration with platinum partner SOS Systems.

The print specialist has been operating the centre for a year, providing print and document services, and is now in a position to widen the reach beyond its Crawley base.

SOS Systems has picked up former Canon partner Abbey Office Solutions and London Legal to expand its geographical and services reach.

Those deals saw SOS gain a second sales office in Southampton, giving it a reach beyond its West Sussex headquarters.

Stuart Miller, director of B2B indirect sales at Canon UK&I, said it had a long-standing relationship with SOS and understood the benefits the partner could bring through an expanded Business Centre.

“We’ve been working alongside SOS for many years and share many of the same values, including an ambition to deliver the best customer service and innovation to our customers. They’re a trusted partner and we’re excited to see their plans to grow, and are here to support them along the way,” he said.

“We’re also excited to see the Canon Business Centre brand spread further across the UK and Ireland, entrusted to our capable and valuable partners,” he added.

In response, Chris Sills, managing director of SOS Systems, said the firm had grown its geographic reach and this was a natural moment to expand.

“This expansion represents a significant milestone for us, reflecting our commitment to growth and excellence. We highly value our partnership with Canon,” he added. “We look forward to leveraging these new opportunities to better serve our clients and drive innovation across the region.”

Canon kicked off its Business Centre network in November 2018, working with its top partners to make sure it could provide UK coverage.

The Business Centre model had 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, even before the firm brought the concept to the UK.

After starting in 2018, Canon has been gradually adding more Business Centres to the network to make sure it can reach customers across the UK, with the SOS operation expansion the latest move in a process that has been evolving over the past six years.

Helping ease customer concerns around security is bound to be one of the key issues the SOS Business Centre will be dealing with.

The vendor recently shared research that shone a light on the high levels of anxiety a significant number of IT directors are struggling with around their data security.

Many users felt they were unprepared if they had to go through an audit to demonstrate their compliance, with a lack of visibility of document management one of the major concerns.

Marc Bory, vice-president of digital printing and solutions, marketing and innovation at Canon Europe, said users were dealing with complex environments and trying to keep on top of their audit requirements.

“Emerging technologies are currently reshaping what’s achievable in the hybrid workplace, where information is exchanged in both digital and paper formats, accompanied by new expectations to manage. Information assumes a critical role in this context, as it can determine how well businesses can adapt and respond to these new opportunities,” he said.

“Yet, our research shows how anxieties related to managing and protecting data, as well as a lack of productivity in document process management, hinder IT teams from harnessing the full potential of their information to increase overall business value,” Bory added.

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