How Brother’s customisable solutions are helping SMBs overcome printing challenges

As printer vendor Brother outlines plans to targeting the enterprise market with its new printer range, PCR speaks to head of UK product management Andy Johnson to find out more about its plans for this market.

Why is Brother targeting the enterprise sector with this printer category? Why now?

We have identified the enterprise sector as a particularly high-growth area and, as the number one brand in the mono laser category, we feel it’s the right time to give our partners a market-leading offering in the space.

SMBs are facing an increasing number of challenges when it comes to their print infrastructure today – be more secure, be less expensive, be more efficient. For this reason, businesses are thinking more carefully about the technology they have in place. Not only are standard, centralised A3 MFCs in decline in the office, but they don’t always make sense anymore as businesses look for a tailored solution to meet their specific print needs.

By launching our L6000 Workgroup range now, we’re giving partners a customisable enterprise-level solution enabling them to target this market, safe in the knowledge that the models have been developed to our usual standards of high quality and reliability.

What are Brother’s aims and ambitions in the enterprise space?

Brother is the leading brand in the mono laser category and our ambition is to match this in the enterprise space.

Our view is that print structures in this arena operate more effectively with a cluster of networked devices than a single, centralised print solution. It reduces the risk of downtime due to one point of failure, but still offers businesses volume output when required.

What’s more, due to the optional modular stacking of our L6000 Workgroup range, businesses can have desktop devices alongside larger standalone models. This type of approach offers end users resilience, convenience and productivity.

We want to offer businesses a fully tailored solution – from the number of machines, the volume of output trays, their MPS package, and more. This will help partners sell more effective solutions for end users that truly meet the specific challenge of the business.

What are the opportunities for channel/reseller partners, what kind of margins can they make?

It’s one of the fastest growing sectors of the print category and there’s a real opportunity for resellers to capitalise on this and increase revenues.

Businesses in this sector aren’t simply looking for print hardware, they’re looking for a bespoke solution to help them overcome specific business challenges. This opens the door for resellers to sell MPS offerings, securing reoccurring revenue streams as well as increasing margins by offering installation and aftercare service.

Resellers can also take advantage of the range of enterprise-level features that the L6000 Workgroup range offers, as these will be significant to securing sales in this market. For example, we recently surveyed more than 2,500 SMBs, 75 per cent of which said that security is very important to their organisation.

Understanding the range’s enterprise-level security features will help partners demonstrate how the Workgroup range is the best option for their business.

What are your thoughts on the recent news that courtrooms and law firms may become paperless in the future?

We have a lot of experience working within the legal sector and, while digitisation is big in the industry, the journey towards a paperless office won’t lead to a complete end to printing.

There is, however, a trend across sectors for businesses to print more smartly to minimise costs. We’re working with a range of businesses to help them do this through our print management software, which offers pull printing with NFC/PIN authentication. This helps to ensure that only necessary documents are printed and monitors print usage across businesses.

These trends actually offer resellers the chance to increase revenue streams, as long as the importance is placed on understanding the end user’s pain points and offering the right solution.

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