Xerox has become the latest digital copier vendor to make an acquisiton to beef up its direct sales efforts. Yesterday, Xerox announced plans to acquire Global Imaging Systems for $1 billion. Global Imaging is a dealer roll-up founded in the 1990s by former Danka and Alco executive Thomas Johnson. It reportedly has a current run rate of around $1.5 billion. Curiously, it does not currently carry Xerox products. You might say Xerox is buying some serious market share with this acquisition.
Xerox competititors like Toshiba and Sharp have also been rolling up dealerships recently, and Ricoh recently announced a major re-org of its sales channels. It’s our theory that as copier vendors are forced into solutions sales, they realize they need more control over their salespeople and buying dealers are one way to do this.
Oh yes, and we had a recent exchange on the blog about “the Great American Copier company,” in which I proposed Global Imaging as a candidate and someone else suggested Xerox could make a comeback. Seems like this deal could create the best of both worlds – perhaps.