In the highly contested printing and imaging market, all the prominent players are betting big on the growing SME and the enterprise segment. Aiming to tap enormous growth prospects in these two verticals, Japanese printing and Imaging, Canon is now approaching the SME and Enterprise customers with a completely different set of partners. Intended to optimize the skills and capabilities of the channel force to gain a substantial share in these two segments, Canon India is encouraging its VARs and SI partners to suggest a right pitch and strategy to tap the enterprise customers. The prominent printing brand is also keen to play a major role in the Digital India initiative.
In order to expand its wings in the B2B and B2G segment and discuss the areas of opportunities, Canon India recently organized its partners meet in Mumbai. The entire event was evolved around understanding partners’ expectations from the Canon in terms of its business and channel strategy and programs. Canon also facilitated discussion with its partners on the scope and opportunities in the Digital India initiatives through engagement in various government projects where partners could play a significant role in increasing Canon’s visibility in the B2G segment. The company said that partners’ feedback and their suggestions were critical for the company to decide its roadmap ahead.
Gautam Paul, Assistant Director & Head – Consumer Systems Group at Canon India said that the company through its SIs and VAR set of partners will tap business opportunities in the enterprise segment. “Canon has established itself in both the Laser and Inkjet business. We have a leading position in the home segment and now we intend to increase our footprints in the SME and the enterprise segment. There is still huge opportunity in the enterprise segment where customize printing is required. We realized that to reach to these segments we need to bring VAR and SIs community on board who will become our intermediaries to reach to that segment and we will become value added vendors to them by providing all support and trainings”, he said.
Canon unveiled a series of Image Class printers in the event designed to cater the enterprise and SME segment. Senior Canon executives Kazutada Kobayashi, President and CEO, Canon India Pvt. Ltd, Andrew Koh, vice president of consumer imaging and information center, Canon India, Toru Arai, Toshiaki Nomura and Gautam Paul, Assistant Director & Head – Consumer Systems Group unveiled the new offerings.
Talking about Canon’s engagement with its partners in the B2G vertical, Paul said that with the government initiatives like Digital India, partners could play very important role in exhibiting Canon’s cutting edge technology solutions to the various government agencies and enterprises. He said that apart from its traditional Inkjet and Laser business, Canon would be engaging in developing color printing as a business segments.
Vinod Verma, owner of Nagpur based Key Computers said that the core idea of Digital India concept is to bring digital revolution in the remote and rural parts of India. Therefore, to grab the opportunities coming up with the initiative Canon needed to focus on the rural market. “If Canon want to play a big role in the Digital India program they have to come up with handy devices at competitive price”, Verma said. He pointed out that the company was far behind in its service support and they needed to realign their after sales service strategies.
Another SI from Hyderabad said that through the schemes like Buy Back Canon could create a separate vertical and could replace other brands by offering its products at a certain rate of discount. “Canon is the best brand in terms of pricing. It has a good product portfolio in duplex, networking and the entry level category. They need to approach newer markets and verticals and try to spread their reach in the C, D and E class cities. They should give more emphasis on educating the partners to take their offerings to the right customers”, he said.
With a growing inclination towards digitization of documents, the print volume has gone down across the verticals. However, Paul said that considering the mindset of Indian customers printing business would continue to grow but content of printing could change. Paul also said that partners would play a major role in providing Managed Print Services (MPS) to the enterprises which intends to move from a capax to opex model. On the B2G front, he said that the company was working closely with federal and state governments and public sector undertakings and it would remain the key focused area ahead.
With over 1100 registered patent technologies in Digital Cameras, 2300 in inkjet printers, 5600 in multifunctional printers and more than 200 in scanners, Canon has emerged as one of the leading technology innovators in the digital imaging space worldwide. The company clocked around 2300 crore revenue during FY 2014-15. HP and Canon together cover 75 to 80 percent of the total printing market in India. With its new business strategy and channel approach, Canon is expected to grab a substantial market share in the Enterprise and SME space.