Brother's brave push into B2B and Corporate markets

THE team from Brother weren't flinching as they called their new generation of printers the most important in Brother Australia's history.

It may well be, not just for the strong push towards modularity and better build construction but for the new direction Brother have been taking their business.

Brother already has an established and somewhat fortified presence in the consumer market, but for the last few years, they've been retooling their corporate teams to make the move into the B2B and Corporate markets as well.

This latest generation of machines is the vanguard of the new direction, with Brother's reveal to resellers on Wednesday night garnering broadly positive reactions.

"We are extending our offerings to key corporate, healthcare, public sectors, hospitality and retail industries", said Luke Howard, Brother International Australia's Commercial Market Development Channel Manager

"Our aim is to deliver business productivity and cost-efficiencies first and foremost."

At the press launch on Thursday, General Manager of Sales Dean Kendall strongly emphasised how flexibility lay at the core of the new strategy.

Such a vague word might seem cheap if not for the channel structure Brother has built here. Manufacturing, development and servicing are all handled in-house, and while sales are entirely taken care of by resellers, Brother interacts directly with the end user to ensure solutions are delivered profitably for them.

Discovering these 'pain points' in tandem with the customer and dealing with distribution partners to solve them is, according to Howard, made possible by their refusal to sell directly to customers, making resellers and partners less worried they'll have business stolen from them through direct interaction.

Brother has been working with chains such as Lowes and Pumpkin Patch and the results so far have been impressive, if not at the scale they appear to be aiming for. The list of existing solutions partners shows the breadth of implementation scenario Brother has to deal with, hence, according to the press launch, the restructure to the management team before launching the new product line.

  The new L5000 and L6000 printers are aimed at the 1000-5000 pages per month (5-20 networked users) market and offer faster print speeds, more flexible paper handling capabilities, advanced scanning capabilities, convenient mobility features and access to business cloud services.

The printers and MFCs of this generation are more modular and scalable than in the past, with most measurable performance numbers jumping significantly.

The build quality's been bolstered too, with a stronger plastic being used and exterior sections now being 50% thicker.

One build consideration comes directly from the retail sector - a small footprint. From the units on display at the press launch, it was immediately apparent that L5000s and L6000s took up far less floor space than traditional business and commercial-grade printers.

Brother's Mobile printing range didn't disappoint, with the usual high build quality and small form-factor previous reviews have highlighted.

The author was a guest of Brother International (Australia) during the press launch in Sydney.

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