Print.IT Reseller - issue 110

01732 759725 40 VIRTUAL SHOWROOM continued... Paul Leach Stuart Sykes Leach adds that the aim of the experience is to provide dealers with a way to help their customers and prospects explore what they can achieve with technology in their workplace and organisation. “Saving time and travel evaluating our portfolio more easily, to quickly reach that all-important conclusion as to which product, solutions and or service, is right for their organisation. Our virtual showroom will help them to make more informed decisions with features like AR, which lets them use their mobile phones to view scaled product renders, visualising solutions in their own workplace,” he explained. Managing Director Stuart Sykes concurs: “This is a hugely valuable tool for our salespeople to use out in the marketplace to help boost customer confidence in Sharp as a technology partner and in our products and services.” Sharp did a soft launch of the platform showcasing it to select partners prior to the official launch last month. Feedback from partners was really positive. Suzanne Maxwell at McManus Consulting, a Sharp certified dealer said: “McManus Consulting offer Sharp’s products and solutions via the technology partner programme, as a business we work with our customers on their technology journey, selling not just a singular product. “The virtual showroom will add real gravitas to our offering, providing a real live experience when talking to new and existing customers.” valuable for the sort of kit that you can't bring to a customer in person, they need to go to you, so at least if they can research online, look at all the specs and see it virtually in their environment via AR, that’s a good start.” Another move designed to support the shift towards a self-serve approach to B2B buying, is the implementation of a live chat service. The Gartner research suggests that people would rather research digitally before engaging a salesperson, however, with complex technology purchases, expert guidance is important to help customers reach the right conclusion. The live chat service is designed to help people get instant answers to their queries with dedicated agents to support them throughout the buying journey. Supporting dealer partners Director of Dealer Sales Paul Leach said that Sharp is always looking for ways it can improve its technology partner programme to further support its dealer partners. “We simply can’t stand still. Innovation is key to continue meeting the changing needs of buyers, and to stand out to our dealer partners and their clients and prospects as a supplier that goes above and beyond to help them make the best decisions for their organisation. “Our new virtual showroom experience is a perfect example of this. We’re providing our dealer partners and their clients with options, retaining our physical showroom, but enhancing the client journey with the virtual showroom experience.” Sharp expands A4 MFP range Sharp has expanded its Workgroup A4 MFP series with the launch of four new models. The MX-B468F, MX-B468P, MXC358F and MX-C428P offer improved productivity and connectivity features and top-tier security enhancements, while also supporting businesses with their environmental goals. Sharp’s new print devices offer businesses efficient document management, feature a capacitive touchscreen that includes multitouch capabilities to improve the user experience, particularly with the 'Preview' functionality, boast print speeds of up to 44ppm, and offer double-sided scanning. The new models also enable seamless collaboration for workforces split between offices, homes, and other remote locations. Cloudbased functionality allows teams to collaborate with ease from anywhere, while the integration of wireless LAN connectivity guarantees secure wireless usage without compromising security protocols. Additionally, mobile connectivity features allow employees to manage their printing tasks from their smartphones. Security features include an optional Trusted Platform Module (TPM) which provides a more secure experience for users by storing hard drive encryption keys on a separate piece of hardware and SSL Certificate Validation which automatically checks that all third-party servers communicating with devices are safe, to prevent any unauthorised attempts to access information. Sharp’s new A4 devices also include features to support sustainability goals. Faster warm up time reduces power consumption by up to 11% compared to previous models, while longer life toner cartridges reduce waste and require less servicing.