Canon Canada Inc. has launched a new reseller initiative to expand the distribution and increase sales of its high-speed scanning solutions here.

Called the Canon Premier Reseller Program, it primarily targets information technology VARs selling its DR digital scanners.

While Canon has

been selling the products to resellers through distributors for years, the new program is specifically designed for VARs as opposed to its traditional copier dealers, said Sam Russo, channel marketing manager at Canon Canada.

“The best channel for us to try and develop is the VAR channel and distribution,” said Russo. “We created the program to encourage and reward resellers for their loyalty to Canon and the DR-Scanner line up.”

To date, Canon has signed up eight or nine resellers and expects to grow that number to 40 by year-end, he added.

“We’re really targeting resellers that have a specific focus in the area of document scanning and document archiving,” said Russo. “We don’t want to target the thousands and thousands of resellers out there that sell everything from network hubs to PCs to monitors. We certainly will sell to them but our target market for this program is really those VARs that focus on scanning applications.”

Russo estimates there are several hundred resellers in Canada that focus on document scanning and archiving.

The company also announced that Tech Data Canada, which already distributes Canon consumables and printer products, has signed on to sell the scanners. Ingram Micro and Toronto-based computer peripherals distributor Taknology also distribute Canon products in Canada.

Under the agreement, Tech Data will add Canon’s high-speed document scanning products and fax toner cartridges to its line card. These include Canon DR-Scanners, which feature full-colour and flatbed scanning as well as data recording onto storage media such as CD-R. They range from desktop scanners that scan 40 images per minute to high-performance scanners that scan up to 180 images a minute.

“Having us as another national distributor for Canon expands the reach into resellers,” said Manal Guirguis, director of product management at Tech Data Canada. She added that Tech Data also recently signed an agreement with software manufacturer Kofax to distribute its imaging software. “Combined with Kofax and the scanners from Canon this is a real good solution for document imaging.”

To qualify for the program, which will be offered through Canon’s distributors, resellers are required to meet minimum semi-annual quotas. A Silver reseller, for example, needs to meet a $30,000 wholesale purchase level and a Gold reseller needs to meet a $60,000 wholesale purchase level. The top tier of resellers that achieve these levels will be rewarded with four per cent market development funds and four per cent performance rebates while the second group will receive two per cent MDF and two per cent rebates.

Other program benefits include a dedicated Canon Account Manager, pre- and post-sales and service support, sales tools and a demo unit program.

The new offerings will be available to resellers sometime in the next four to six weeks, said Guirguis. She added the broadline distributor will showcase the products at a series of upcoming road shows across Canada, including stops in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Tech Data has also put up product information on its Web site.

While document imaging as a whole makes up a small part of Tech Data’s peripherals business, Guirguis said it is the fastest growing part of the distributor’s business. However, she declined to give specific numbers.

Key verticals including government, enterprise and legal are driving demand for document imaging, she said. “Offering the solution with a number of choices for document imaging will help the reach from the reseller into the end users,” said Guirguis.

Guirguis said VARs can make double margin points on scanners compared with other hardware items that Tech Data sells. Tech Data also distributes scanners manufactured by five other vendors including Kodak and Hewlett-Packard.

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