Kyocera overhauls UK &I partner programme

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Kyocera Document Solutions has re-vamped its UK & Ireland channel programme, overhauling its partner levels, and adding a new third tier to recruit previously unmanaged partners into the programme.

The changes, says Kyocera, are part of an effort to “understand our partners better and deliver the right level of services.”

The vendor is replacing its Business Partner and Major Partner levels with Enterprise Partner and Enterprise Plus Partner, respectively.

While Kyocera’s previous top tier of Major Partners were managed directly, its second level of Enterprise partners were managed through funded heads within distribution, which the firm admits meant it had “little engagement or understanding of their businesses”.

“We looked at where our business was, and our reach within the reseller channel and we realised we had a very narrow reach and we didn’t give enough in terms of understanding and working with partners to grow business,” Moya Kelleher, Kyocera’s SI and IT channel sales manager, tells Channel Pro.

At each of the new partner levels, Kyocera says it will work with individual partners to develop marketing promotions and, where required, provide account management and servicing.

The new third tier, Alliance Partner, will allow what Kyocera describes at ‘Touchstone’ or unmanaged partners – which account for around a third of its business – to get greater access to technical and marketing support as well as training materials. They will also be able to use Kyocera’s technology suites in Reading, London and Manchester for customer demonstrations.

Kyocera says it has been signing up 30 of these partners a month, and now has 120 on its books. Its target is 200 in total.

“We’ll continue to recruit into that area and develop those accounts and ultimately develop those accounts to move up to the next tier,” says Kelleher.

Kyocera firm cites recent statistics from Gartner that report that up to three percent of an organisation’s total revenue is still being spent on print.

“Although that doesn’t sound like much, for the majority of businesses you’re talking about thousands, if not millions, of pounds and this represents a huge opportunity for the channel,” says Kelleher.

In addition, Kyocera has introduced a manged print accreditation to the new look programme. “In the IT channel there’s still a lot of confusion about managed print, and how they can deliver that – it may still be a bit of a dark art,” says Kelleher.

“We’ve been working with a number of partners and the accreditation just cements that and gives us the opportunity to expand the number of partners that we’re working with.”

“I hope what partners will see is a much more focused team,” she says.

Elsewhere as part of Kyocera’s services and dealer channel (which is separate to the vendor’s IT channel), managed print services company Danwood is looking drive the adoption of 3D printers in the UK. The partnership will target sectors including manufacturing, engineering and design, and education, to fuel innovation in the UK.

Danwood quotes a Canalys report that states the 3D printing market will reach $16.2bn by 2018.

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.