Oki planning to boost SMB revenue in 2007

Printing specialist Oki is looking to significantly boost its presence in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market during 2007, according to senior company executives

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By  Administrator Published  December 29, 2006

Printing specialist Oki is looking to significantly boost its presence in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market during 2007, according to senior company executives.

Currently SMB sales make up just 10% of the vendor’s total revenue in the Middle East, but Oki Europe CEO Rainer Sauer told IT Weekly the company planned to increase this to 30% within 18 months.

“In the EMEA region the SMB market makes up around 50% to 60% of revenue for Oki Europe. Obviously here in the Gulf region we are just at the beginning of the process, however I believe we can bring a lot of skills and experience to the Gulf region to support the SMB channel of distribution,” Sauer said earlier this month.

“This will allow us to make fast progress in establishing this channel. I believe we can achieve a 30% share in our Gulf revenue in a period of 12 to 18 months,” he added.

John Ross, Middle East general manager for Oki, added: “We will be getting more focused on the SMB space. There will be extra effort made to address that end of the market.”

The SMB market is important to all vendors operating in the region because of its size. According to the Madar Research Group, as many as 70% to 80% of the companies in the region can be classified as SMBs.

Ross admitted Oki Middle East had under-performed in the sector during the first 18 months of operation because its single tier channel structure was geared much more towards the enterprise market.

He added that a second tier programme was “ready to go” and was slated to be launched around April next year.

“I think the SMB space is where we are not getting growth at the moment and where we are traditionally strong in the rest of the world. We haven’t got the growth at the moment because of the channel that we have, as we are single-point distributors,” Ross went on to say.

“We have been telling our distributors for years to develop a business that is sustainable for them. So for them to develop business relationships with major airlines, banks and government ministries is relatively simple. To try and then address 20 to 100 dealers is a different measurement and they need support from the vendor to do that,” he added.

Oki recently launched its C8600 A3 business colour printer in the region.

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