Computerworld

Samsung ramps up print channel efforts

Samsung recruits new channel team to drive print sales

Samsung is ramping up channel activity around its mid-range colour laser and multi-function printers and has appointed several new staff members to assist with its plans.

The vendor has installed four new regional channel managers in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. All will report to national printer manager, Greg Wallis, who took up the role in February.

Newly appointed NSW channel manager, Phil Tarbox, has more than 10 years in the channel and was most recently with NSW distributor, Tecksel. He will be joined by new Queensland channel manager, Adrian Franklin, who was also with Tecksel as state manager. At the other end of the scale, joint Victorian channel manager, Stephen Worgan, has held sales and marketing roles with Konica Minolta and HP. His new Victorian colleague, Tony Menz, also has vendor sales experience and previously worked for Kyocera.

Samsung retains a separate team dedicated to pushing print solutions through mass merchants.

Wallis said the channel team's first point of focus was to form closer ties with its 200 resellers. This included undertaking joint business plans and launching targeted marketing programs to push up reseller awareness of the Samsung brand and its mid-range and multifunction printer lines. It has also unveiled a rewards program.

"There are still major print resellers focusing on print. It's not an easy market, which is why we have resourced up to address it," he said.

Samsung was also planning to launch a suite of print solution training programs in August, Wallis said.

The staff appointments are part of a global effort to ramp up Samsung's presence in the printer market.

"We have OEM relationships and manufactured indirectly for many print and copier vendors for a number of years and felt it was crazy not to take part in that business," Wallis said. "It's a great opportunity to further cement our relationships with the channel by engaging with print."

Wallis acknowledged the local printer market was overcrowded and agreed with recent industry predictions that some vendors would inevitably fall by the wayside. But he argued Samsung's broad product lines would hold it in good steed.

"We are a very diverse company - we don't just sell print, we have consumer electronics and IT. We have also always been channel focused so our cost structure is low, and we have a strong financial base," Wallis said. "Consolidation will happen but it will be companies that aren't as diverse who only focus on technologies like colour lasers or are at the copier end of the scale."