VARs Learn How to Leverage Xerox eConcierge for New Revenues

Earlier this year when Xerox eConcierge(TM) debuted, many VARs recognized the potential this cloud-based printer supplies sales platform offered for creating new revenue opportunities. Now, VARs are seeing that potential translate into concrete results.

“We now have 32 clients on the program who are buying supplies from eConcierge regularly,” says Mike Trevisan, president of Atlantic Office and Laser Products Inc., a Beltsville, Md., Xerox Peak Partner and provider of print management solutions. The company took part in the pilot program for Xerox eConcierge earlier this year and has made the platform a complement to its managed print services.

Trevisan says some of the Xerox eConcierge customers are long-term clients of Atlantic Office and Laser Products, while some represent new business. Either way, “once we have them enrolled in the program they are committed to buying supplies in order to continue the entitlements of enrollment,” Trevisan says. “For us, it’s steady income as long as they’re committed to ordering through eConcierge.”

A Window into Consumption

Xerox eConcierge is a partner-branded tool that monitors the supplies consumption of a customer’s networked printer fleet and allows the company to order supplies directly from the solution provider. It supports networked hardware made by Xerox as well as other vendors.

The software behind Xerox eConcierge shows customers exactly how much they are spending on toner and other printer consumables. The platform helps organizations that are not quite ready for a full managed print service.

With Xerox eConcierge, managed service providers can bring in a substantial amount of revenue each year just by managing printer supplies for customers who are not currently under contract. In some cases, they can also use the Xerox offering as lead in to larger managed print services offerings.

So far in 2011, Atlantic Office and Laser Products has taken in total revenue of more than $15,000 from Xerox eConcierge, or about $4,000 to $5,000 per month. “We’re hopeful that will continue to increase as more clients are added” to the program, Trevisan says.

Today, the company mentions Xerox eConcierge in its sales presentations whenever it makes proposals or delivers printers to a current or prospective customer that does not need to implement the Xerox PagePack program. For example, the company recently had a law firm client that was buying a mid-size, color multifunction device. “PagePack was not really competitive on that particular device, so we offered a five-year lease with free service by enrolling them in eConcierge,” Trevisan says. “By packaging that in we entered them into the program and were able to win business and have the most favorable positioning.”

There have been other examples of customers that were using small printers and Atlantic Office and Laser Products was not making much in terms in recurring revenue, until the clients signed up for the Xerox eConcierge program. “In addition to capturing the supply revenue we’re also capturing the warranty work,” Trevisan says.

‘A Foot in the Door’

In some instances where companies are apprehensive about signing a managed print agreement, the company has offered Xerox eConcierge as an option. “It’s a way for us to get our foot in the door,” Trevisan says, and for the client it’s a more flexible move because they don’t have to sign a contract.

With one customer in the cable TV business, Atlantic Office and Laser Products had a managed print services proposal on the table for more than a year. “We approached them about enrolling in eConcierge and they did,” Trevisan says. “They haven’t ordered anything yet, but I hope when they eventually see how this works that might put us in a better position to capture some managed print business” at the company.

In fact, Xerox eConcierge can serve as a stepping stone to larger managed-print deals, although to date Trevisan says his company has not experienced that. “I am trying to position some accounts to do that down the road,” he says.

Service providers need to convince clients or prospective customers to take a close look at the program, Trevisan says. “You have to do more than send a flyer or email,” he says. “You’ve got to contact them either through personal email with an explanation of how the program works, or meet with them in person. Usually when they look at the material they will enroll in the program.”