New Xerox channel chief to continue managed print message

Xerox Canada channel chief Steven Connor

Xerox Canada channel chief Steven Connor

Xerox Canada has a new channel chief, but its focus on developing managed print services options for its partners will continue.

Steven Connor has taken over for Ajay Dhingra as vice president of channel partner operations for the company, and says one of his top priorities is to continue his predecessor’s top priority – managed print.

“It’s a huge opportunity. There’s a selection of customers who aren’t going to buy or acquire through managed print, but the overwhelming majority will, in some form or another,” Connor said.

The company has long supported managed print – both direct and through partners – and that effort has expanded in recent years, as Xerox has purchased Canadian MPS giant LaserNetworks, and then rolled out a program to make managed print available to a broader array of its channel partners.

“We’re the worldwide leader in managed print, from the high end right down to SMB,” Connor said. “We have a robust set of tools, and it’s not one size fits all.”

Options vary from a wholesale model where partners resell Xerox service fulfillment to a more traditional full-service print service model, where the partner buys supplies from Xerox, but otherwise handles everything.

Connor said Xerox continues to seek new partners to expand its managed print footprint, but tends to do so with partners who are incumbent to a customer, and particularly when that customers indicates an interest in continuing to work with the partner, but also wants to engage with Xerox on managed print. The company is also seeking partners with deep vertical focus on key market, including energy, healthcare, and public sector, he added.

Connor’s a veteran of 20 years with Xerox Canada, including a variety of roles, most recently serving as vice president of agent operations, and before that, vice president of marketing.

Along with the continued focus on managed print, he said one of his major priorities is to make sure partners – and prospective partners – understand that today’s Xerox is not the direct-driven machine of the past, particularly not here in Canada.

“In this country, even a solution for an enterprise customer does not go down without a partner,” Connor said. “I hope people realize we’re not the Xerox of old. We’re maintaining our strength in technology leadership, but this is a new Xerox.”

Two months into his new role, Connor said he’s been getting to know the company’s distributors, agents, and resellers, and thus far he’s seen a very optimistic partner community.

“They all say 2014 is going to be an amazing year,” he said.

Connor inherits an interesting relationship with his predecessor, as Dhingra left Xerox Canada after purchasing Toronto-based Bay Street Document Systems, a major Xerox Canada partner.

“I think that speaks volume to the strengths of our partner organization, and I think he sees the value in the direction of being a partner with Xerox,” Connor said. “He did a great job, and I hope I can follow in his shoes.”