ThinPrint Urges Partners to Recognize Printing Opportunity

Many solution providers think little of it, but for CEO Henning Volkmer and his company ThinPrint, it’s a crucial piece of a partner’s portfolio: printing.

The revenue opportunity totals as much as $900 million, Volkmer told Channel Partners.

ThinPrint's Henning Volkmer“As we’re looking at the present market and what’s happening in printing and how the overall desktop space evolves, we believe there’s a tremendous opportunity for us, but also for our partners,” he said.

ThinPrint modified its channel program last month, making membership free and generally simplifying the process of becoming a registered reseller. Volkmer said some of the changes are in line with common industry trends, but also in the interest of giving partners “unprecedented” access to technical assistance.

“We really want to make sure that partners have access to the know-how that we have in printing and that we can help them get a sizeable share of that $900 million opportunity, as people are starting to look at printing a little bit differently than they have in the past,” he said.

And how did they view it in the past? Very little, Volkmer said.

“People don’t really realize how important printing and how much of a business opportunity printing is,” he said.

He offers a few reasons, one of the main ones being how printing has remained largely the same for the past 20 years.

“After such a long time, you sort of get used to things being a certain way. There have been some changes to driver technology and print standards, but a lot of that hasn’t really caught on,” he said. “It’s one of those topics that exists in an office or corporate environment, but no one really pays attention to it unless something’s really seriously broken.”{ad}

But for those that do take note of printing, ThinPrint bills itself as one of a select group of experts in the space. Volkmer returns to the phrase “know-how” to describe what the company offers.

“Not a lot of people really have deep knowledge of printing and how you can optimize and manage printing,” he said.

Volkmer said a typical ThinPrint partner varies. Some companies sell on large scale, but, “a lot of the opportunity really lies more in the midmarket type of reseller.” These partners often have known their client for a very long time and have served as a “trusted adviser,” he said.

“They’re always looking for a different angle to help maintain their trusted adviser status. Bring something to their client that’s new and exciting, that helps them to set themselves apart from their competition,” he said.

Complex trends such as mobility and the virtual desktop have made printing “know-how” an even more valuable differentiator for a partner, Volkmer said.

ThinPrint has been around for 16 years, and Volkmer said it has always focused on the channel.

“This is not us suddenly discovering that the channel exists. It’s us looking at the immense value that our partners are bringing to us and trying to figure out how we can best support them,” he said.

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