Get Ready For Increased Competition

Listen to savvy print VARs today and it’s clear that competition for managed print services is ready to get red hot in the months ahead.

The heat is coming not only from traditional channel competitors but also from copier dealers seeking new sales opportunities as their business models go through upheavals. Then add in large regional and national office supply stores that try to lock in supplies business, and it’s becoming a buyer’s market for end users.

To thrive, VARs and MSPs need a clear managed print message, a competitive edge in technical expertise and a back-end infrastructure that can deliver premium customer service. Another differentiator: the ability to offer a service beyond just a take-it-or-leave-it managed print product.

Tom McDonald, president of NSI and NSIserv.com, is finding the latter with Xerox eConcierge™,  an online tool that makes it easy for end users to order printer supplies and then sends the revenue to a solution provider like McDonald’s company. Because the tool doesn’t require a contract or a long-term commitment from the customer, it represents a no-risk way for them to develop a new kind of relationship with VARs and MSPs. “It’s an excellent entry point to get customers that aren’t ready to bite off a full managed service to start on a simpler, easier basis,” McDonald says.

Xerox eConcierge is equally low-risk for VARs, too. “When we initially kicked this off we did it as an e-mail blast, and we didn’t even speak to our first three customers. We just got an e-mail [from Xerox] that said ‘You have a new eConcierge customer,’”

McDonald says. “[The customers] just downloaded the tool, walked themselves through the setup—the pricing was all preloaded for them—and off they went.”

Tell us how you will overcome the competitive threats that loom in months ahead.