Kyocera has claimed its first managed print service aimed at the IT channel is purely a transactional sale for resellers,who have the option of outsourcing paperwork, field engineers and everything post saleto the vendor.
The off-the-shelf contracts available through distributor Midwich from Monday are based on usage models and billed upfront so the customer knows the cost of printer hardware, supplies and services including maintenance from the start.
Offering managed services through IT resellers is not new - HP launched its version in 2006 - but selling printing as part of a contract is something resellers have struggled with, a point not lost on Alicia Shepherd, Kyocera distribution sales manager.
"We took our time [to launch], we have got once chance to get it right," she told Microscope, "We wanted a managed service that was easy for IT resellers to promote and not alien to them."
This could explain why Kyocera has to date relied on the copier channel to promote printing as a service, they have a proven track record.
Resellers that join forces with Kyocera will be given a web-based tool that takes customers through a basic print audit and makes recommendations on products and print packs which start at 25,000 pages per year.
The support hotline, field engineers and paperwork among other things can be managed directly by the manufacturer if required. The customer will also be given software built into the printer that allows them to monitor usage.
The30 resellers that are initially expected to promote the service will be able to sell Kyocera MFPs which were previously peddled exclusively by copier dealers.
This is the first time Midwich has engaged with a vendor's managed print service said Alex Ward, commercial director at the Diss-based distributor, who believed it represented a good revenue opportunity for resellers.
"Resellers are looking at 50 per cent more margin on the printer hardware and ongoing revenues for consumables and services, things that they typically have not benefited from in the past," he said.
Customers do not like surprises and billing in advance of the service would be a good door opener said James Kight, managing director at Printerland, which specialises in the education market.
Shepherd at Kyocera said it was likelythe service would be opened itsother distributors Ingram Micro and Interface Solutions, bought by SCH Distribution last week.