Brother looks to software and services for channel growth

Channel News

Will develop relationship with systems integrators for ‘double digit growth’

Brother is looking to drive more growth through its channel by expanding into software and services, along with the development of new hardware technologies.

Printing firm Brother, which does all of its business through the channel or national retailers, is looking to push growth in double digits by increasing its software and services offerings to end users.

Brother General Manager for Sales and Marketing in the UK, Andy Forsyth, told ChannelBiz that the firm has been delving further into the software and services market with the release of it B-guard software, and sees this as a real area of opportunity for the channel to get higher margins.

“We are driving a a solutions type business particularly on mobile devices, particularly in the software arena,” Forsyth says.

“From a growth point of view, we anticipate a much higher growth opportunity with our solutions business,” he says.  “That would include mobile and managed print services and software solutions.

“Realistically our mindset is high double digit growth on that particular area of the business,” he says, which will will outpace the “not quite so high” growth in its traditional business.

This means an increase in business for the channel, though the partner programme itself – described as “stable”, and not going through any overhaul as a result.

“We need new partners as we go into these new areas of software and service, for example in mobility, managed print services etcetera.

“Brother is a very channel centric business – we only deal through the channel.”

Brother currently has a network of around 2,500 highly varied resellers that are connected to its distributors, and Forsyth says that working with more systems integrators will be on the cards as it increases its software movements.

“One of development areas is driving the partner programme and our relationships with the SI community.

“This is because Brother has a number of products and services that could be of use to SIs and their customers,”  he says.  “This is particularly suited to the developments in mobile printing, an area which is increasing with cloud service.”

Updates to hardware will also play a big part at the core of Brother’s business, with innovations offering customers more cost effective options.

“We have some new categories coming on board – scanners are a new category for us, we have made some extensions for our mobile devices, and our laser range.

“There are some really exciting technological developments in our print range, 100 page per minute ink devices that have been trialled in some countries.

He says that we will be seeing these devices in the UK channel “shortly”.   That will help drive down cost per page “in a dramatic fashion”.

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