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Xerox this week bolstered its managed print services offerings with the addition of tools that make it simpler to integrate Xerox managed print services within their overall managed services portfolio.

Xerox is exposing an MPS Application Programming Interface (API) that makes it simpler for managed service providers (MSPs) to integrate their front-end customer systems with the backend services that Xerox uses to process transactions. In addition, Xerox also added a NewField IT e-Commerce Storefront through which partners order and renew assessment tools that Xerox makes available to help partners generate new business.

Additionally, Xerox has made it simpler for its partners to reorder supplies online and make use of Xerox Digital Alternatives, a mobile application that Xerox developed that partners can now use themselves to share, sign and annotate digital documents.

John Corley, president of channel operations for Xerox, said these enhancements are the beginning of a concerted effort for the company to expand the role the channel plays in delivering managed print services. “We want the channel to drive two-thirds of our business within the next two years,” said Corley. “Today, that number is at about 50 percent.”

Corley said that Xerox has come to realize that the only way it can gain share is via the efforts to channel partners that can extend its managed print services reach. At the same time, Corley said Xerox has taken note of the fact that managed print services are becoming part of larger solutions. To facilitate that process, Xerox has invested in creating a wizard-driven software development kit (SDK) that makes it simple to make managed print services a part of any document management process.

Xerox is not the dominant force in printers that it once was. However, at a time when Hewlett-Packard, its major rival in the printer category, is experiencing a fair amount of turmoil in the wake of breaking the company into two separate entities, Xerox is betting that exposing higher-margin managed print services opportunities to the channel will shift more business its way.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.