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Xerox kicks off new channel partner scheme

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Copier giant Xerox is reaching out to its customers in a touchy-feely approach with the launch of a new global partner programme.

As we reported yesterday, the firm has changed its business strategy by dipping its toes into the so-called solutions marketplace by touting its HTML-based software, EIP (Extensible Interface Platform), which it hopes will ease SMB customer "pain points".

Explaining the rationale behind Xerox's move away from simply punting hardware, senior VP and general manager Rick Dastin told The Register:

"We've had these partners for a long time and we kind of plateaued to the point where even our revenues associated with those solutions got stagnated because we were just doing the same old solutions, you know re-branding them or dusting them off.

"There was a while when our partners were wondering 'how are we going to be able to grow with Xerox?'"

In the hope of addressing this problem, the firm has set up a new channel partnership bringing together its previous US and European programmes into one scheme to heavily push EIP on small businesses.

To encourage competition among its 54 alliance partners, Xerox has created a three-tier rating system - developer, gold and platinum.

Dastin also talked up the difficulties associated with engaging the reseller channel in order to bring EIP to market.

However, he claimed the copier firm is ahead of the game because it has the technology in place, partners on board, and an open developer programme for collaboration.

"With this approach we can be a lot more rapid than we have been in the past because it's not as dependent on what Xerox does internally...Now it's really about the market and channel and how quickly we can engage them."

But it remains to be seen if the copier vendor can successfully adopt such a different mindset in its approach to tackle the solutions marketplace. If it doesn't deliver, criticisms of an identity crisis could yet be levelled at Xerox. ®

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