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HOME REGIONS Russia & CIS › Ricoh eyes IT channel potential in Russia

Ricoh eyes IT channel potential in Russia

by Stuart Wilson, Tuesday 19 June 2012

Office and printing solutions vendor Ricoh will look for local feedback on its go-to-market strategy at this week’s DISTREE Russia & CIS. The company will also use its participation at the event to showcase new products, including its GelJets printer range, to existing and potential partners from across the region.

Evgenya Ansimova, IT channel development manager at Ricoh Russia, said: “First of all we would like to meet our potential partners, to understand their needs. We are currently in the process of developing a partner support programme. The pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings during DISTREE Russia & CIS will give us a great opportunity to obtain feedback regarding our partner programme.”

“During the event we will also be showcasing our new product range, including GelJets – a cost effective and eco-sensitive alternative to laser and inkjet printers for homes and offices. Finally, we want to get IT market insight into the Russian & CIS channel,” she added.

For IT channel partners, Ricoh offers a range of laser printers and multi-function printers - both colour and monochrome devices. Ricoh will also look to sell its GelJet range through the channel and build routes-to-market for its projectors.

“This year we have made a decision to enhance our product portfolio with low end printer models to be able to enter the small office home office (SOHO) segment,” explained Ansimova. “In Russia we haven’t worked within this segment before. Our colleagues in other countries started this process three years ago and now we can utilise their experience to enter this market.”

“As the number one brand for multifunctional devices in Europe, Ricoh knows what businesses expect from a printer supplier. For home and small offices the Ricoh SME print range is perfect, requiring little IT set-up and delivering time and cost saving features, ease of use and market leading reliability,” she continued.

“We believe that IT distribution channel development is the best way for us to enter the low end printer segment. So the target customers for us are distributors and their channel partners - resellers and retailers,” explained Ansimova.

Working with IT distributors

Ricoh believes that it has a product portfolio suitable for all market sectors and compelling partner programmes for resellers to participate in. The vendor believes it is able to offer a strong alternative to Xerox and HP, allowing partners to achieve a more balanced portfolio. Ricoh Russia’s current channel programme engages with its traditional partners that are wholly focused on sales and service of the vendor’s kit. The plan now is to add IT distributor status into the programme.

Ansimova explained: “Through IT distributors we are planning to increase quantity of second tier partners and work more closely with the IT channel. For these second tier partners we’ve been developing a partner support programme.”

“We are planning to launch this programme at the beginning of 2013. During this year our main focus is to engage with second tier partners through regular communication and pilot programmes. We want to understand their needs and requirements and build our channel program based on this feedback,” she added.

Ricoh will soon launch its new partner portal - a one-stop-shop for information on the vendor’s latest technologies, product information and marketing tools and materials. Ricoh plans to work closely with distributors to create awareness of the products and services available to IT channel.

“We will be creating channel specific promotions and incentives to help resellers create new business and expand offerings to their existing customers,” commented Ansimova. “We are also planning to provide our second tier partners with access to our own training division, the Ricoh Academy, with new online modules that will support reseller efforts to sell our technology.”

Sales growth

Ricoh reckons that is now in fourth spot in the Russian MFP market with 8% market share. The vendor’s in-country sales rose 40% in 2011 compared to 2010.

“Our share of colour printers and MFPs went up which increased our sales,” explained Ansimova. “Secondly the share of MFPs went up in comparison to printers. This trend helped us to improve our position in office segment. Lastly customers focused more on driving efficiencies and consolidating costs.”

“Ricoh understands that businesses, regardless of size, require machines that can be relied upon to produce professional looking documents at high speed and low cost. Ricoh will continue to offer feature-packed products that customers are seeking right now,” Ansimova added.

Ricoh’s GelJet range, to be sold through the IT channel, offers a number of attractive features that small businesses are seeking right now, according to the vendor. Ricoh believes it delivers savings in four key areas: running costs, energy, space and time.

“The Gel technology offers the optimal balance and maximisation of print speed and image quality It provides, high-quality colour output, less smear with a highlight pen, resists fading from exposure to sunlight and is waterproof,” commented Ansimova.

In the low-end printer and MFP space, Ricoh has a broad product portfolio that includes a comprehensive range of products including A4 single function, A3 multi-function and production printing.

“By distilling the capabilities of some of our most advanced machines into more portable desktop products, Ricoh is now offering customers high-specification printing equipment at an affordable price,” concluded Ansimova.

Meet Ricoh at Stand 84 in the Exhibition Area at DISTREE Russia & CIS 2012 to find out more about the company’s latest products and channel plans.

About DISTREE Russia & CIS

DISTREE Russia & CIS is the region’s premier annual channel event for vendors looking to manage, build or launch channels in this strategically important market. Leading retailers, resellers and distributors from across Russia & CIS attend the event, allowing vendors to accelerate their channel development and drive business success acrossRussia & CIS.

DISTREE Russia & CIS operates a unique business model based on an ‘invitation only’ event format, offering a compelling mix of pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings, keynotes, awards and networking opportunities for vendors and channel executives operating in the Russia & CIS region. For more information, visit www.distree.com/ru.

DISTREE Russia & CIS 2012 takes place at the Pulkovskaya Radisson Hotel in St. Petersburg from June 21st to 23rd. To apply to attend the event, please contact fsimard@distreevents.com quoting reference code DRU12.


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