Q&A with Moya Kelleher, Head of IT Channel Sales
With new technology consumption models radically evolving the role of channel partners, we talked to KYOCERA’s UK channel chief, Moya Kelleher, about the brave new world of automated replenishment via Amazon.
Q. Please tell us about the new development with Amazon
A. KYOCERA is introducing a new capability that allows SMB customers to integrate their ECOSYS devices with their Amazon corporate account so that toner can be automatically ordered and resupplied in line with need. It’s based on Amazon DRS (Dash Replenishment Service) and we’ve done it in response to customer demand and to underline our market leadership in smart connected devices.
Q. Isn’t that just like a managed print contract?
A.Yes and no. Yes in the sense that, as with a managed print contract, customers avoid the risk of unexpectedly running out of toner and no longer have to put aside extra room to stockpile supplies that may go out of date or be lost in a busy office environment. There is no requirement on them to monitor toner levels or respond to alerts either. And, because the toner is guaranteed to be KYOCERA product rather than non-brand equivalents, the ongoing health of their devices is optimised.
But managed print contracts provide a range of additional benefits over and above toner restocking alone. The Amazon DRS service is limited by comparison, and really designed for SMBs who can’t justify a managed print approach.
Q. Why is KYOCERA bringing in a new Amazon DRS service?
A. KYOCERA is committed to giving customers the best possible experience throughout the life of their device. SMB customers have told us how much they value the convenience of using Amazon for business e-commerce transactions, and this service directly integrates their Amazon account with the toner refill demands of their KYOCERA appliances.
The result is a completely automated, ‘just-in-time’ way of ordering KYOCERA approved toner for KYOCERA devices.
Q. Why can’t customers carry on ordering toner in the normal way?
A. They can if they wish. This new capability is optional, and we don’t expect all SMB customers to switch over to it if they prefer their current approach.
We do hope to see this being a catalyst for more partners to focus the conversation with customers onto strategic needs; talking to them about the additional value they can provide over and above restocking toner. This could range from offering consultancy services to taking on a completely managed approach to print.
Q. How much does the service cost and can partners provide it?
A. Users only have to download a simple, free app from KYOCERA and run it on their devices – so there is nothing to resell. Amazon’s toner pricing is set to ensure that KYOCERA partners will continue to be able to sell our toner without fear of being too expensive.
It’s initially only available on the following ECOSYS A4 colour devices: M5521, M5526, P5021 and P5026. These are most popular among our SMB customers.
Q. What else does this mean for KYOCERA channel partners?
A. E-commerce is nothing new, but this industry-wide trend of print manufacturers integrating with Amazon could herald a slowdown in the number of partners who regularly contact their customers to ask if they need toner refills.
This kind of innovation gives partners extra opportunity to have more strategically valuable discussions with customers about – for example – document workflows, security, cloud enablement, mobility and productivity.
KYOCERA is continuing to invest in equipping its partners to deliver value to customers; attracting additional margin opportunities, as well as underscoring our commitment to technology excellence.