Xerox Buys MT Business Technologies

On May 15, 2017, Xerox’s Global Imaging Systems (GIS) division acquired an Ohio based multi-vendor dealer MT Business Technologies, the first acquisition as part of the $100M Xerox reportedly has set aside for such acquisitions of multi-brand resellers with the intent to convert them to Xerox-exclusive partners. This acquisition effectively kicks Xerox competitors Ricoh and HP off MT Technologies’ line card. As competition heats up in the A3 market following HP’s recent announcement of their new line of laser A3 products, a result of their Samsung acquisition and the new Xerox A3 products announced recently.  MT Technologies is Ricoh’s larger independent dealer in the US.  Xerox values the multi-brand reseller space at $20 Billion. HP claims that its laser A3 lineup delivers 20 to 30 percent lower cost than copier makers like Xerox and Ricoh, soon to be followed by a PageWide technology based A3 product line.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. MT’s president, Chuck Rounds, who has been with the organization since 2000, will remain in that role after the acquisition is completed.  Xerox CFO, Bill Osbourn earlier this year said the company plans to continue to buy independent, multi-branded resellers and convert them to resellers focused exclusively on Xerox.  According to Mr. Osbourn, this class of multi-brand resellers typically only costs 1x the annual revenue and historically have provided a good return. (Source URL: http://www.crn.com/news/components).

Photizo’s View

Xerox’s strategy of acquiring multi-brand resellers is a good one but is very dependent on whether the exclusive partners who they acquire can compete with multi-brand resellers from whom end users always had a choice of suppliers to deal with.  Success will be dependent on how the market responds to Xerox’s recent announcement of 29 new laser products and all of the programs that Xerox has put in place to help ISVs develop software applications (i.e. Personal Application Builder), a common architecture based on Connect Key, and providing tools and training of their partners and direct sales/support people on selling workflow solutions versus selling boxes. So, in Photizo’s opinion, Xerox has the products, tools, and training programs to be successful as they continue to acquire multi-brand resellers to help them grow their market share of the A4 SMB market.  Xerox is a leader in the MPS market where they continue to establish long term contracts which helps defend against competitors.  However, Xerox can’t afford a repeat of the recent loss of the 20 year old Pennsylvania House account to Canon worth $15.7M over 5 years.

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