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Kyocera on track with plans to swell reseller base

It has been a few months since the print vendor created its alliance partner level but it remains on track to hit sign up targets

It has been slightly more than a month since Kyocera officially cut the ribbon on its revised partner programme and it remains on track to hit its target on expanding its reseller base.

The firm had operated two levels of partners, which have now become enterprise and enterprise plus from the start of last month, but it has added a third level with alliance partners that it will offer direct account management.

The target was to get 200 alliance partners on board and the vendor has so far signed up 120 accounts, since that part of the programme was launched in July, that have been profiled and 90 of those have gone to the next step and signed up.

The plan is to hit the target over the next few months and develop some of those alliance partners to become enterprise level.

"This is a key area for us because that is where we haven't really looked and engaged at that level. That is to drive additional marjet share and transactional business. But we have overlay programmes, like managed print, which any partner can engage in," said Moya Kelleher, systems integrator and IT channel sales manager at Kyocera.

"In order to give what we think is the right level of support we have increased our IT channel team and have almost doubled the head count in the last six months on the back of these new partner programmes and on the back of the long term business plan," she added.

The firm hs two broad routes to market through the copier players and the IT channel and it has adapted the latest programme to provide more support to that part of the market.

"In terms of the IT channel we had quite a narrow engagement and we relied a lot on quite a small number of partners and in terms of the strategy with the channel it was still very much around a transactional basis, rather than looking longer term around solutions sales, which is where the channel is looking to move as well," she said.

The idea was to increase the breath of the reseller base to get a clearer picture of which parts of the channel were moving forward with managed print and document management.

When it comes to managed print the awareness has grown but there continues to be a sizeable opportunity for the channel. According to Quocirca, which Kyocera use for market analysis, around half the customer base is yet to move to some form of managed print.

"There are still a lot of businesses that buy out there ad hoc and replace a printer as and when it is needed, so you have a mixed fleet. Different people order the hardware and the toners and then it all becomes a bit blurred. What we are seeing, and what has driven a lot of our channel engagement in this is that print has become the domain of the IT department and they are looking to their trusted IT providers to fulfill that requirement," said Kelleher.

The alliance partners have already started to bring in revenue with some of them quickly getting up to speed with Kyocera.

Kelleher said it had not put in revenue targets for those partners as it did not want to put people off that might want to work with the vendor.

"We are seeing growth in all of the three levels and we are starting to see a return from the programmes," she said.

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