Magazine Article | November 14, 2010

Tech Trends: Talk Security To Boost MFP Sales, Add Value

By Gennifer Biggs, Business Solutions magazine.

With the ongoing issue of data loss prevention, often linked to internal sources, and the impact of compliance across numerous vertical markets, vendors and VARs alike are faced with educating customers about risk connected to their multifunction peripherals (MFPs) and then deploying comprehensive security into the realm of document management. "We find there are tremendous partnership and revenue opportunities surrounding security because a comprehensive solution goes well beyond the bells and whistles of the MFP. The opportunity lies with the management, correct deployment, and disposition of the box," explains Robin Wessel, director of product marketing for the Indirect Channels Business Group at Xerox. "We are starting our education efforts with the channel because while they know the technology features of our products — that bell or whistle — they don't always think to take the very simple next steps to further enhance the customer's experience and provide total security." Helping fuel that conversation is more media coverage highlighting the fact that MFPs are connected to the infrastructure of companies big and small and store data. "We must treat them the same way as we treat the security on a laptop," says Wessel. "When we put it that way, there is a big ah-ha moment." In fact, that "ah-ha moment" has been helped along by a rather high-profile media investigation by CBS News that involved refurbished MFPs with unscrubbed MFP hard drives ( "For many years, the whole channel was ignorant that MFPs have just as many sensitive files as any laptop or PC," explains Wessel. "Now, as trusted advisors, VARs must be prepared to help their customers with this, both internally and when they are replacing or trading in devices.