Print in the Channel - February 2023


February 2023

T uprang et o2 5



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Staying safe The issues facing businesses are evolving at an ever-increasing rate – whether it is the threat of cybercrime or saving money through sustainable technology – which means resellers are becoming increasingly important.

Some battles are never ending, whether it’s finding the end of the laundry pile or keeping one step ahead of cybercriminals. The advance of technology means that some crimes are rarely seen these days. If someone wants to rob a bank, they are more likely to use a laptop than run into a branch with an imitation shotgun and a pair of tights on their head. Likewise with businesses – stealing data can be more lucrative than physical assets, and doesn’t require the effort of having to break in to an office. This explains why the number of security attacks are increasing year-on-year – and why the cost to businesses of experiencing an attack is also increasing. This is why most businesses now appreciate the need for network security to try and ensure this doesn’t happen, but not necessarily that it requires constant updating if it is to be as effective as possible. Secure office networks are a must today, but to be done effectively, resellers must work in partnership with customers to ensure the right solution is implemented that works for the business. See page 32 for more. Another constantly evolving issue is sustainability. Businesses in all sectors have

a growing appreciation of what advantages it can bring to a business, not just with how the company and its brands are perceived, but it can also help to save money. Given the rising costs that businesses across the board are facing, anything that can help to save money is welcome, and printers being looked at for savings – and they can bring that while also using fewer resources. See page 26 for more. This shows that with issues facing businesses – from security to sustainability, and many things in-between – evolving faster than ever before, arguably, it means resellers have an ever-more important role with their customers to be a consultant and ensure that they do have the latest and most effective technology to fight off threats and realise the potential of their businesses. It means that, while being at the cutting edge of technology is essential, so is the age- old skill of customer service. Those that foster close links with customers are the ones that will thrive – the age of just selling technology and moving to the next customer are gone. I hope you enjoy the issue. As always, if there are any topics you would like to see covered in the coming issues, or you wanted to get involved in editorial, please contact me at .

Dan Parton


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News You should know p6 Product News New on the scene p9 VOW Wholesale Amplifying expectataions p12 Lexmark Two new solutions p16

Sustainable Printers – p26

MPS in a Hybrid World – p37

Hybrid working is now a fixture of the working world, which means that managed print solutions must evolve to fit this – but there is still good money to be made.

Sustainability is a priority for many businesses now, as they seek to cut their carbon footprint and they are looking at all aspects of operations to do this.

People Moves Recent Appointments p22 Sustainable Printers Going green p26 Secure Office Networks The challenges p32 MPS in a Hybrid World Flexible friends p35 Paper Update 2023 looking positive p42

Cover Story – p25

UFP’s much-loved HP promotion has returned – win the ultimate multi-store

shopping spree wrapped in one eGift card!

Secure Office Networks – p32

People Moves – p22

Ensuring office networks are fully secure is a complex business, and many businesses – especially SMEs, need help to ensure that they are fully protected from potential attacks, and resellers have a crucial role to play in this.

Business Intelligence Toner cost savings p50

A round-up of recent appointments at Exertis, Banner, Spicers UK and Network Group.



Lexmark – p16

Editorial Dan Parton 07941 979 845 dan@ Head of Sales Martin Jenner-Hall 07824 552 116 martin@ Publishing Director Justin Penn 07816 573 186 justin@ Written permission from the publisher is required before any part of Print in the Channel can be reproduced. © 2023 In the Channel Media Ltd.

Product News – p9

Lexmark has always had a commitment to bringing the latest technology to customers to help improve the efficiency of their business, and two recent announcements show that the company is continuing to do that in 2023.

Brother unveils a new range of pocket size printers.. plus Konica Minolta launches new AccurioPrint series and UltiMaker launches new S-Series 3D printer.

VOW Wholesale – p12

VOW Wholesale recently held its first Amplify event – just part of the company’s commitment to enhance its services to customers.

The paper sector endured a torrid time in 2022, with rising costs, strikes and supply chain issues causing major problems. But these problems are easing and 2023 is looking much brighter for manufacturers, sellers and customers.

Business Intelligence – p50

With prices continuing to rise in 2023, many businesses are increasingly feeling the squeeze and are looking at all areas of operations for cost savings – and getting the right printer toner could help.

Published by: In the Channel Media Ltd Company registration number: 14363401 Registered office address 14-18 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom, W1B 4DA In conjunction with:

Paper Sector Update – p42


NEWS adds new feature to its serverless print management solution has added a new internal directory to its serverless print management solution, making it easier for customers to seamlessly take print to the cloud. Designed to complement existing support for Microsoft Azure AD and Google Workspace, which simplifies the user provisioning and account set-up process, this latest development also paves the way for future integrations with leading cloud-based authentication providers such as Okta and Ping Identity. With the launch of the new internal directory, is empowering customers not currently on Azure AD or Google Workspace to seamlessly and securely leverage the full capabilities of the cloud, automate time- intensive tasks and cut costs by consuming print management as-a-service. The feature-rich internal directory enables IT admins to simplify printer provisioning and ongoing management and adopt a group policy to manage printers from a single console for improved security and control. IT staff can assign specific users to specific

printers, easily deploy and remove new printers to end users, apply print privileges, set print limits or enforce rules on OUs, groups or devices. The directory capabilities ensure simple printer deployment: by downloading the application and clicking an invite link, end users are signed in and automatically gain access to allocated/ available printers, which significantly reduces the IT workload. “We are committed to continuous investment in the platform to ensure it delivers all of the features and functionality our customers need to deploy, secure, control and track print in the cloud,” said David Jenkins, CEO of “Full directory integration enables seamless deployment and provides unparalleled configuration control, and with this new feature we’re opening up all of those advantages to customers who either don’t leverage Google or Microsoft-centric directory capabilities or who wish to utilise a proprietary internal directory to connect users with printing devices in the cloud.”

David Jenkins CEO,

Kodak Alaris partners with Mailcoms

Kodak Alaris has partnered with Cannock- based Mailcoms, an independent supplier of mailroom equipment and solutions. Under the new agreement, Mailcoms will enhance its solutions offering with the addition of Kodak Info Input Solution, an intelligent web-based software that quickly transforms paper-based documents from a variety of sources into actionable business data. Working with Kodak Alaris, Mailcoms will help customers looking to accelerate their digital transformation and automate key business workflows, to enable work to be conducted more efficiently and effectively. By leveraging Info Input Solution in areas such as such as accounts payable, mailroom automation, records management, forms processing and customer on-boarding, organisations can eliminate time-intensive document preparation; capture complete, accurate information on the first scan; and dramatically reduce the time to get information into business processes. “Scanners and software from Kodak Alaris empower businesses to capture, manage and

action information easily, quickly and securely, unlocking significant savings and productivity gains while accelerating digital transformation and innovation,” said Graham Etherington, Northern Cluster Solutions sales director at Kodak Alaris. “We are excited by this new partnership and look forward to working together to help Mailcoms customers realise all of the benefits of a digital mailroom.” Mailcoms will resell intelligent capture solutions from Kodak Alaris, integrate them into business workflows and help ensure an optimal customer experience. “Having helped over 40,000 companies with their outbound document solutions many have looked to us for additional help with automating internal document workflows,” explained Mailcoms founder, Des McManus. “With Info Input Solution we have a robust value-added solution that will enable customers to transform how they process physical and digital information, by automatically classifying inbound documents, extracting the relevant data and routing it through the relevant business workflow.”

Des McManus founder, Mailcoms



TSC Printronix Auto ID establishes UK repair resources

UK end users and channel partners no longer face time delays or transportation costs returning failed TSC or Printronix branded printers to Germany for repair as TSC Printronix Auto ID has opened a UK repair centre. “By opening a satellite repair centre in the UK, we can deliver faster resolution of repairs and a more cost-effective service for our distributors (VAD), resellers (VAR) and end customers nationally,” said Jaime de Sousa, service specialist, TSC Printronix Auto ID EMEA. “The centre enables us to abolish the shipping and import/export charges of returning failed printers to and from Germany, as well as get rid of delays caused by completing paperwork and awaiting custom checks. A UK base also ensures greater spare parts availability and alleviates any language barriers.”

In practice, end users will report TSC printer faults to their VAR or VAD who will troubleshoot the issue with TSC’s technical team in Germany. Targeted repair times will typically fall within three to seven days of receiving the device, depending on spare parts availability and the type of failure. The satellite centre will repair in-warranty and potentially out-of-warranty printers. Only full printers, complete with options and accessories, will be accepted not parts for repair. “This new UK repair facility reinforces our commitment to better supporting the country’s end-users and our channel partners and demonstrates our dedication to improving customer service here,” added Jamie. “It will be a seamless, more efficient process to repair and return hardware, with the repairs carried out by TSC Printronix Auto ID certified engineers.”

Jamie de Sousa service specialist TSC Printronix Auto ID EMEA

Brother UK rolls out upgraded features for label printers

Brother UK has upgraded two of its most popular label printing lines to

The new QL models will feature improved 5.2 Bluetooth and WPA3-supported Wi-Fi capabilities, boosting the range’s security and connectivity capabilities. The updated devices are also more energy-efficient, with an auto- sleep mode introduced as a default setting. These models are designed for address labelling in offices and small businesses trading online. They’re also used for pricing and barcode labelling in retail, name cards for visitor management and temporary signage for facility managers. The new range consists of four two-inch and two four-inch devices that can print up to one metre in length. “Businesses across the hospitality, retail, healthcare and logistics sector are increasingly turning to labelling technology to help them meet new challenges and opportunities,” said Aaron Hopkinson, product manager at Brother UK. “The refresh of two of our most popular professional labelling ranges ensures that we have the availability of stock and the competitive product specifications to help partners meet growing market demand. “These updates ultimately enable us to deliver every label with precision, and to give our customers the freedom to concentrate on other important tasks, safe in the knowledge that labelling is taken care of.”

boost connectivity, security and energy efficiency to help resellers meet increasing demand from customers in sectors such as hospitality, warehousing and logistics and ecommerce.

The TD-2000 and QL ranges have been refreshed with new computer

processing units that will allow Brother UK to manufacture devices on a greater scale, increasing availability of stock to support channel partners, while introducing a host of new benefits for customers. Four new models have been added to the desktop TD-2000 range. The TD-2125N, TD- 2135N, TD-2125NBW and TD-2135NWB will provide new built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for enhanced connectivity. The TD-2000 upgrades will make it easier for businesses to implement the digital labelling systems they need to meet Natasha’s Law, creating long-lasting, high-resolution labels that are printed accurately at speed. It will also enable logistics and healthcare customers by enhancing connectivity between labelling devices and third party hardware and software. Their compact size also means they can be added to portable workstations in healthcare settings.

Brother QL range



Katun makes major change to waste toner cartridge range

Katun Corporation has announced it will only use recycled plastic for the manufacture of newly launched waste toner cartridges in 2023 and onwards. Katun has made the eco-friendly choice to make a difference by using less waste – all new waste toner cartridges will be produced using recycled plastics. In most cases that means that more than 90% of the plastic used for the finished product will be recycled material. Following this announcement, Katun has launched the Katun Performance™ Waste Toner Cartridge for use in Konica Minolta Bizhub 300i/360i/450i/550i/650i/750i-series applications (made with over 90% recycled plastic), which is available to order now from Katun’s online catalogue. This exclusive waste toner cartridge range will display Katun’s Eco-Friendly logo on the packaging, confirming that Katun is taking steps to protect the environment and adopt sustainable business practices. Katun’s portfolio already contains

many sustainable examples, including remanufactured toner cartridges and drum units, and refilled OEM cartridges. Using fewer raw materials and less energy consumption during production, these products impose considerably less environmental impact compared to the manufacture of new-build products. Sustainable practices are not only demonstrated in the Katun product range but also to services. Katun’s ‘Print it, Plant it’ program, which, in partnership with

PrintReleaf™, allows customers to offset their paper printing output through reforestation. To date Katun customers and its customers have contributed to the planting of more than 6,800 trees in reforestation projects across the globe.

Konica Minolta retains Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World listing

Konica Minolta, Inc has been listed among the ‘ 2023 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World’ . This is the sixth time Konica Minolta has been included on the list and the fifth year in a row, following 2011 and 2019-2022. The Global 100 is announced annually by the Canada-based Corporate Knights at the meeting of the World Economic Forum, known as the Davos Meeting, which this year was held from 16-20 January. The 2023 Global 100 corporations that excel in sustainability were selected based on a rigorous assessment of more than 6,000 public companies, with more than $1 billion in revenues around the globe, based on an evaluation of environmental, social and governance indicators as well as the ability to promote diversity and innovation and the percentage of sales of eco-friendly products. Four Japanese companies are on this global list of corporations that excel in sustainability. Konica Minolta continually develops products and solutions to address social and environmental issues that are energy- efficient and help customers transform their

production processes and promote workstyle reform. When developing a new product, Konica Minolta identifies the impact the product would have on the environment at each stage of its lifecycle, from manufacture and transportation to use and disposal, and assesses the items the company has set for this purpose. In doing so, Konica Minolta endeavours to reduce environmental burdens across the lifecycles of its products. This product assessment system allows the company to release only those products that have met the standards of environmental labelling schemes of various countries, including the International ENERGY STAR Program, Blue Angel Mark of Germany, and Eco Mark of Japan, while complying with the latest environmental laws, properly managing chemical substances, and improving the environmental performance of its products without fail. Konica Minolta will continue to take on the challenge of innovation that can promote the growth of its business and the creation of new value for the global environment and all human society.



Brother UK unveils new range of pocket-sized A4 printers

Brother UK has launched a new series of pocket-sized mobile A4 printers to help resellers boost productivity for businesses with people operating on-the-move and in the field. The new PJ800 series includes five compact models – PJ-822, PJ-823, PJ-862, PJ-863 and PJ-883 – which are the smallest A4 portable thermal printers in the UK market. These will support channel partners targeting opportunities in the field sales and services, delivery and logistics, and the blue light emergency services. Field operators use mobile print devices to instantly create documents on-site, from contracts and invoices to medical prescriptions and gas safety certificates, which will help them to save time by not needing to follow up by email or post out physical documents. The launch replaces the PJ700 series and marks the first evolution of Brother’s Pocket Jet range in seven years. Brother is the only major brand to manufacture portable A4 printers. The new series delivers faster print speeds of up to 13.5 pages per minute, as well as an enhanced battery performance that can print 600 pages from just one charge. Users can quickly send print requests from any device for fast, accurate printing via the latest connectivity options – USB Type C, Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi – and Brother’s iPrint & Scan app, which is compatible with Windows, Android and Apple smartphones. The printers use direct thermal technology, rather than ink, which removes the need to change cartridges on the move, meaning the

only consumable required is the paper. The image quality of up to 300dpi ensures the machines also meet the high standards required in many industries, such as healthcare. “Users operating in the field need fast and reliable print devices with a range of connectivity options to efficiently carry out routine signature collection and information sharing,” said Aaron Hopkinson, product manager at Brother UK. “This new PJ800 range provides resellers with new, market- leading options to help customers maximise the productivity of workers on the move. “Faster print speeds and improved connectivity make it easier for users to produce documents as and when they’re needed, which will help them to avoid added admin at a later date. “We understand that many of the sectors that need these solutions are heavily regulated, and quality printing on the spot ensures that errors and poor legibility from hand-written documents are removed. Ultimately, the new PJ800 series is a great tool to help businesses boost efficiency, professionalism and customer service in field operations.” The mobile printers are rated IP54 when equipped with a roll case, meaning they can withstand tough environments in all weathers. Additionally, the printer is tested to withstand drops of up to 1.2 metres. The models, which are compatible with the ZPL 2 command language to support growing demand for label printing, also come with a three-year warranty as standard.

Brother PJ-883

Aaron Hopkinson product manager Brother UK

Konica Minolta launches AccurioPrint 850i and 950i series

A new line-up of toner monochrome machines has been unveiled by Konica Minolta to help empower customers to rethink efficiencies in inplant print rooms and commercial print environments. The AccurioPrint 850i and 950i offer simple operability and high-quality performance, while providing full integration with cloud services and workflows. Increasingly, customers demand maximum efficiencies and highly automated, efficient systems, as well as the latest security technology to ensure a reliably safe user environment. Konica Minolta’s AccurioPrint

850i and 950i Series provide all this and more, according to the company. The two models – printing at up to 85 pages and 95 pages per minute respectively (up to 48 A3 pages per/m) – offer outstanding print stability thanks to multiple improvements to basic functionality. The i-Series offers advanced digital connectivity, enabling printing anytime from anywhere, plus powerful finishing functions. The Konica Minolta AccurioPrint 850i/950i is the highest-end model of the bizhub i-Series, keeping the Minerva engine

AccurioPrint 950i





and combining unified functions, operations, and services. The models will be suitable for central reprographic departments in government and commercial sectors, as well as print for pay and commercial printers. Other features of the AccurioPrint 850i/950i include: l An innovative media sensor that automatically detects paper type and weight, reliably applying correct settings. The sensor also detects envelopes, saving time and minimising operator intervention l Supporting an extensive variety of media (up to 300g/m2) l A new paper cabinet allowing mixed-size paper loading l Ready-made print products such as 20-sheet booklet making, 100-sheet stapling and letter fold-in capabilities l True 1200x1200 dpi resolution and Simitri HD toner technology l High-end print controller with innovative colour touch screen panel l Seamless integration into document workflows l Improved environmental performance and low power consumption. “We place great importance on empowering

our customers in a partnership approach to grow their business with our solutions,” said Malcolm Smith, category manager – professional print at Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd. “The Konica Minolta AccurioPrint 850i/950i Series represent an expansion of our professional print offering, which is equally suitable for the reprographics departments within the public and private sector as well the commercial print customers. “Simple operability and high-quality performance are preconditions to achieving maximum efficiency and completing work quickly and without fuss. The latest security technology and a host of finishing options will also add to the appeal of these advanced systems.”

Malcolm Smith category manager – professional print Konica Minolta Business Solutions

Interested to see all features and options and build your very own AccurioPrint

850i/950i ? CLICK HERE

UltiMaker launches new flagship S-Series 3D printer

Desktop 3D printer manufacturer UltiMaker has launched the UltiMaker® S7 – the latest entry in the company’s series of ‘S’ 3D printers. The UltiMaker S7 introduces a range of new features designed for ease of use and print reliability. A new flexible build plate makes removing prints a breeze and the integrated Air Manager filters out up to 95% of UFPs and improves temperature regulation. The S7 also features improved automated bed levelling for reliable first-layer adhesion. “Over 25,000 customers innovate with the UltiMaker S5 every day, making the award- winning machine one of the market’s most used professional 3D printers,” said Nadav Goshen, CEO of UltiMaker. “With the S7, we took everything our customers loved about the S5 and made it even better.” Advances in temperature regulation on the S7 allow users to capitalise on the large 330x240x300mm build volume – with reliable accuracy from the first printed layer to the last. The flexplate also provides easy part removal post printing, reducing labour so users can get

on with other tasks. The S7 is compatible with the UltiMaker ecosystem of more than 200 materials and offers seamless integration with industry- leading software, UltiMaker Cura, easy printing with the widest range of materials on the market, and support dedicated to customer success. “The UltiMaker S7 is a fantastic addition to our S-Series of printers,” said Nadav. “As more customers are using 3D printing to grow and innovate their business, our goal is to provide them with a complete solution to be successful. With the new S7, customers can be setup and running in minutes: managing printers, users, and designs with our Digital Factory software, improving their 3D printing knowledge with e-learning courses on the UltiMaker Academy, and choosing from hundreds of materials and plugins using the UltiMaker Cura Marketplace.” With the S7 ProBundle, users can also pair the S7 with the UltiMaker Material Station to print with up to six spools with automatic material switching and humidity control.

UltiMaker® S7



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Amplifying expectations VOW Wholesale recently held its first Amplify event, which saw hundreds of resellers attend – and a surprise celebrity guest – but this is just part of the company’s commitment to enhance its services to customers.

Elland Road, the iconic home of Premier League side Leeds United, was a fitting venue for what VOW Wholesale will become in time an iconic event in the office supplies sector calendar. VOW Wholesale’s first Amplify event took place in January, with hundreds of resellers attending the workplace supplies exhibition. The event was curated to bring resellers together to discover the latest products and services across the industry, and give them the tools required to continue driving growth. More than 250 delegates from VOW Wholesale’s loyal resellers were able to receive product training and demonstrations from some 90 exhibitors, including headline sponsors 3M Post-It, ACCO Brands and Dettol Pro Solutions. Delegates were delighted when the host of VOW Amplify, kept a secret until the day of the event, was none other than legendary TV personality Denise van Outen. The actress, singer, dancer and presenter, best known for appearing in TV shows such as The Big Breakfast, The Masked Singer and Gogglebox , collected a haul of stationery goodies throughout the day. She took the time to visit as many stands as possible and even participated in live product demonstrations. “This was our very first VOW Amplify event and I couldn’t be happier with it,” says Adrian

Butler, VOW Wholesale’s managing director. “It was brilliant to get so much face-to-face time with our valued suppliers and customers, in a more informal setting than previous events. The feedback we’ve received has been outstanding, which is testament to the hard work the team put into making this event happen. I can’t wait for an even bigger and better VOW Amplify next year!” Indeed, various attendees said how much they enjoyed the day. “The energy and passion in the room was electric!” says Jason Jones, Nestle Business account manager. “The level of engagement and positive conversations were excellent. Really looking forward to VOW Amplify 2024.” Alex Stone, Office Friendly sales director, agrees: “It was a fantastic day at VOW Amplify and was great to see the Office Friendly membership community out in force,” he says. “The product mix is constantly changing so I would encourage every dealer to attend these events to make sure they stay on top of new trends from our manufacturer partners.” Following the event, VOW Wholesale hosted a social evening at The Flight Club, Leeds. This provided the opportunity for industry peers to catch up in an informal setting, and, of course, play darts! The venue was packed to capacity and spirits were high as live music finished what was a brilliantly received day and night by exhibitors and resellers. Increasing support The Amplify event was just one of the ways that VOW Wholesale has been looking to increase its support to resellers in the industry recently. While VOW Wholesale has a distribution network delivering more than 24,000 business supplies products to some 4,000 resellers and customers in the UK, the company recognises it is not just about supplies but also service. To this end, VOW has enhanced its suite of initiatives as part of its service offering to resellers, in response to the difficult trading conditions the business supplies industry has experienced over the past few years, and the current demanding trading landscape, with

Adrian Butler managing director VOW Wholesale

It was brilliant

to get so much face-to-face time with our valued suppliers and customers, in a more informal setting than previous events.

Denise van Outen TV personality, actress, singer, dancer and presenter



We have listened carefully to the open and honest feedback we have received, which has helped us identify some crucial steps towards a more sustainable and collaborative future for resellers,

challenges including general cost inflation, rapidly rising overheads, chronic labour shortages and ongoing supply chain disruption. However, VOW is in constant dialogue with its customers to ensure the company understands the ongoing challenges and is committed to alleviating the impact on its customers by expanding and enhancing its value-added services. On top of their existing service offering, VOW now includes these supportive measures: l The re-introduction of timed AM dealer drops to provide greater all-round service flexibility and enable qualifying resellers the option to receive deliveries at a time that then allows for better planning of onward delivery on their own vans – something that had been much-missed during the pandemic l Improved order tracking visibility through commencement of end-to-end scanning for all deliveries made via Truline. This provides complete visibility of all orders within VOW’s Self-Serve Portal, through seamless real-time tracking l VOW Specials for bespoke product sourcing, whereby customers can raise a request via VOW’s Self-Serve Portal, which will then be handled by a dedicated team to source and quote on non-stocked items, saving resellers time and resource.

VOW recognises that with costs increasing across the board, service can be a key differentiator for customers. VOW’s renewed focus on its service offering comes from experience and an understanding that during times of uncertainty, it can be fine margins of change that make all the difference. “We understand and recognise that times have been tough for our resellers over the past few years, and the challenges seem to keep on coming,” says Adrian. “We are determined to support our loyal customers with positive steps forward. We have listened carefully to the open and honest feedback we have received, which has helped us identify some crucial steps towards a more sustainable and collaborative future for resellers, VOW and the industry as a whole. “With our experienced teams behind each initiative, I am excited to see where these developments will take us. We see great positivity for the future, and we will continue to move forward and make improvements utilising the feedback and support we gratefully receive from our valued customers. Now more than ever we are stronger together.”

VOW and the industry as a whole.

For more information on the next VOW Amplify event, please visit:


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Efficiency at the double Lexmark has always had a commitment to bringing the latest technology to customers to help improve the efficiency of their business, and two recent announcements show that the company is continuing to do that in 2023.

For small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), time is everything. Often with small teams, getting side-tracked in admin tasks and things like printer management can take staff away from more productive uses of their time – ones that can help to impact the bottom line. Wanting more time and less admin is a common complaint from business owners, and one that Lexmark has been listening to – and that they have done something to address. In February, Lexmark launched its MPS Express product, a cloud-based program that will provide SMBs with a solution to streamline their document management processes and free them from day-to-day printer management. MPS Express, which replaces the Lexmark MPS Core channel offering, incorporates feedback from partners on their MPS needs and increases the offering to go beyond basic print services. The program stops short of a fully customised enterprise managed print services (MPS) solution, is packaged with services that meet the needs of a SMB customer through a partner and provides a turn-key cloud-based solution. “Many channel partners have been asking for a solution that enables them to minimally invest in their MPS infrastructure and still create a competitive offering for end customers,” explains Steve Kendall-Smith, Lexmark’s managing director UK & Ireland. “We are excited to announce a new offering that fits that bill – Lexmark MPS Express. The new program includes services, support, proactive replacement of supplies and remote management capabilities, meaning that small businesses will no longer have to worry about managing their print infrastructure – especially when they do not have internal IT resources.” By relying on the experience and capacity to deliver services and solutions from Lexmark, an industry leader in managed print solutions with a 95% renewal rate, partners can benefit from advanced diagnostics systems that help to anticipate incidents and enable predictive maintenance, to ensure workflows are:

l Efficient: proactive replacement of supplies and proactive maintenance l  Simple: optimised administration, operations and billing processes l  Secure: comprehensive security features thanks to secure-by-design approach. MPS Express provides tools that allow partners to create their own commercial package for SMB customers, thereby building a long-term relationship that frees end customers from the daily management of printing services and enables them to better focus on their core business.

Steve Kendall-Smith managing director UK & Ireland Lexmark

Quocirca Managed Print Services Market

Landscape 2022 report

Lexmark has yet again proven that it is able to quickly adapt to changing market demands “ ”

Managed print services leader Of course, for those that require MPS, Lexmark has long been recognised as a leader in this field. Global print and market insight research firm Quocirca named Lexmark as a leader in MPS for the 10th consecutive year in its Managed Print Services Market Landscape 2022 report. Quocirca highlighted its Global IoT System, which provides increased uptime and cloud-native services. “Lexmark has yet again proven that it is able to quickly adapt to changing market demands and customer needs when it comes to managed print services,” says Quocirca director Louella Fernandes. “By adopting a technology-based, data-driven approach to MPS, and making significant investments in adjacent technologies like IoT and interactive analytics, Lexmark has sustained a strong position in the market.” The report also highlighted Lexmark’s: l Use of IoT technology to

Louella Fernandes director Quocirca



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gather performance data from more than one million devices worldwide l Flexible suite of MPS services for businesses of all sizes, with investment to support MPS growth and bring advanced, enterprise-level capabilities to the SMB market and the hybrid working environment, including the Lexmark Cloud Bridge solution l Vertical industry expertise to optimise customer business processes l Customer security assessments by dedicated security consultants l Cloud Print Infrastructure as a Service offering, which utilises IoT and cloud technologies to manage print environments via a subscription service l Dedication to sustainability through longer-lasting devices, Lexmark’s Smart Refresh programme, recycling initiatives, and partnership with PrintReleaf. “Lexmark’s recognition as a leader in the latest Quocirca Managed Print Services Landscape report validates our ongoing commitment to providing industry-leading imaging and IoT solutions that help customers adapt to the rapidly evolving workplace, including our comprehensive MPS infrastructure, global services delivery platform, and large portfolio of cloud solutions and services,” said Brock Saladin, senior vice president and chief commercial officer, Lexmark. Continued innovation Lexmark’s commitment to innovation has continued with the unveiling of a prototype of its new Smart Retail Solution at EuroShop 2023 in Düsseldorf as Print in the Channel went to press. UK audiences will get to see the Smart Retail Solution Suite at the Retail Technology Show in London on April 26-27. “A combination of volatile economic markets, relentless competition, constant tech-driven innovation and even the big disruptors being disrupted means that retailers are understandably clamouring to find known knowns,” explains Ryan Hatfield,

Brock Saladin senior vice president and chief commercial officer Lexmark

director of Lexmark Smart Retail Solutions. “We’re thrilled to showcase how we’re merging digital and physical worlds and share our insight on how smart retailers cannot just survive but thrive in the years ahead.” Lexmark’s Smart Retail Solution suite is driven by artificial intelligence and connects a retailer’s physical and digital worlds. The prototype solution enables brands to understand in real-time what is happening in and around the store, so they can swiftly react to those insights to: l Streamline operations and simplify task management l Improve employee productivity and engagement l Ensure store compliance to uphold in- store brands l Notify store associates of stock-out events of high-margin items l Personalise signage based on customer behaviour. This shows how Lexmark is continuing to innovate to benefit businesses of all sizes and make their print solutions more efficient and ensure they can spend more time on business-critical tasks and deliver greater value for the business. SMART RETAIL Drive store efficiency, grow revenue and solidify customer loyalty

Lexmark’s commitment to innovation has continued with the unveiling of a prototype of its new Smart Retail Solution at EuroShop 2023 in Düsseldorf.

Düsseldorf EuroShop Feb 26 – Mar 02 London Retail Technology Show April 26 – 27

Ryan Hatfield director Lexmark Smart Retail Solutions



UK technology distributor Exertis UK has made changes to its senior management structure as part of its ongoing commitment to growth and customer experience. Tim Griffin has taken operational leadership of the Exertis UK business, becoming CEO. In this capacity he takes direct responsibility for the entire Exertis UK, Retail & B2B operations and have oversight of other businesses in the UK and Ireland of parent, DCC Technology. As part of this, Tim will lead an ambitious development plan for the business in the UK to drive growth, innovation and market leadership. “The size of the opportunity in the UK, both now and in the future, is a major prize and I’m excited to be taking the CEO role leading the evolution of our UK business as we drive it onwards to ever-greater success,” said Tim. “The work we’re doing now will bear fruit for many years to come, and I’m incredibly proud to lead the amazing team we have here in the UK, who are helping me implement a vision that will keep Exertis in its market-leading role long into the future.” Tim Griffin appointed Exertis UK CEO

Tim Griffin CEO Exertis UK

Meanwhile, former Exertis UK managing director, Paul Bryan, has moved into a new international role, leading DCC Technology operations in the Benelux, Nordics, France and Middle East. Having led the UK business as MD for many years, Paul brings a wealth of success and experience to bear in driving growth in these key markets. “I’m immensely proud to take up this new international challenge, and I’m very excited to start working with the amazing teams across these territories, to further develop the strong platform of success,” he said.

Paul Bryan leading DCC Technology operations in Benelux, Nordics, France and Middle East Exertis

Sharon Billingham joins Network Group executive board

replaces Paul Moore of Urban Network, who stepped down from the position after a four- year tenure. Following a period of handover, Sharon is excited to be taking on responsibility for this role. “I’m looking forward to getting into the saddle and fully taking charge of the financial reins at Network Group,” she said. “Paul is going to be a tough act to follow as his experience and knowledge is second to none. I hope to bring my own spin on the role (watch this space!) within an organisation which has impressed me with how it supports all its members in an ever-changing IT industry.” David Tulip, managing director of Network Group and Technology To Go, added: “I’m delighted Sharon has stepped forward and been elected to serve as the Group’s FD. Sharon has previously delivered some content and workshops for our member companies finance managers and brings not only a wealth of knowledge and expertise but an energy and enthusiasm. I’m looking forward to working closely with Sharon as we continue to strive to do more for the technology service providers within our Group.”

Sharon Billingham financial director Network Group

Network Group, a member-owned community of Managed Service Providers (MSPs), IT resellers and retailers has welcomed Sharon Billingham to its executive board as financial director. Sharon brings a wealth of experience from her current role as director of finance at member company CWL Systems Ltd, a Cambridgeshire based MSP. Sharon was nominated to join the executive board in October 2022 to manage the financial governance of the group. She


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