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Laser-focused on expansive growth among SMBs, Xerox has formally launched a new managed print services (MPS) accreditation program for what the vendor calls a select group of channel partners who demonstrate MPS expertise, as well as business and revenue growth.
The three-tiered program – MPS Accredited, MPS Master Accredited, and MPS Master Elite Accredited – is built on best practices rather than a cost-per-copy strategy, which drove the vendor’s authorized program.
“The difference between authorized and accredited is that in the past we used authorization, which was the completion of some training — but that didn’t mean that someone who became authorized actually focused on and drove MPS in their market. Those with accreditation are not only getting trained but have an MPS practice with a number of registered devices in their MPS program,” Jim Joyce, vice president, MPS, U.S. Channels Unit at Xerox, told us.
While Joyce didn’t give specifics about accreditation best practices, he did point out that no MPS deal or opportunity is the same.
“Delivering managed print services to a hospital is different than delivering [them] to a high tech company, which is different than [a] bank, which is different than federal or state government, or whatever it may be. Your rationalization levels are different, the amount of office production blend is different, and drivers for cost savings versus productivity [are] different for different participants … so that’s why [the MPS accreditation program] will be game changing,” he explained.
That said, any authorized partner with a focus on MPS and a skill set in MPS can be part of the accredited program. However, there are requirements to join the program and participate at the various tier levels.
For example, regarding the number of registered devices a partner has to have in their business is, at a minimum, 150 for Accredited, 500 for Master, and 1,500 for Master Elite — to demonstrate the ability to focus on and drive MPS into the market.
Sales, operations and consulting training are also program requirements, with the number of certified individuals getting each type of training different at each tier level — more with each step up in tiers.
Xerox introduced the MPS accreditation program to partners late last year and already has more than 150 applications, with 40 partners achieving accreditation at various tier levels. Xerox authorized partners are showing a strong interest in the accreditation program, and the vendor has doubled the number of active partners in the program since the soft launch, Joyce said.
“We’ve also tripled the number of new business opportunities that are being driven by our partners,” he said.
Partners who participate in the new MPS accreditation program get access to custom training, exclusive access to sales and assessment tools, pricing considerations and marketing support, which increases as partners move up the program tier levels.
This news follows other recent news from Xerox, including the rollout of new marketing kits and promotional tools last month, and the hiring of Pete Peterson, 19-year veteran at Tech Data, as senior vice president of global channel strategy.
Xerox also recently launched its ConnectKey portfolio, providing partners a new combination of technology, software and services to grow their business.