Printer company Ricoh has entered the IT infrastructure managed services business in New Zealand following the signing of a value-added email security service agreement with cloud-based email security company SMX.
Ricoh New Zealand consulting manager John King says the partnership and joint development agreement between Ricoh and SMX creates a cloud services entry point for Ricoh’s customers.
“We have 5500 customers in New Zealand alone. We are making a long-term investment – as part of a worldwide strategy – to add and offer a full range of IT infrastructure managed services to our customers,” he says.
“This strategy is already successful, with IT service revenues now running at $3 billion worldwide.”
He says the partnership agreement with SMX will see Ricoh’s consulting division work with SMX to develop a Ricoh-branded anti-spam and anti-virus cloud service – “Ignite MailReady” - with a range of additional email security features designed to differentiate Ricoh’s email security offering.
The service will extend to Ricoh customers in the Pacific Islands. The SMX agreement also covers Australia, with the potential for Ricoh to extend the service to Australia once it has been established and proven in New Zealand.
King says key reasons for the selection of SMX included the ability of SMX to be easily integrated with Ricoh’s New Zealand helpdesk so helpdesk operators can be immediately alerted to any customer email issue. Local ownership and a cloud model with all email filtered in New Zealand were also important factors.
SMX CEO and co-founder Jesse Ball says the partnership with Ricoh represents an opportunity for SMX to get in on the ground floor of Ricoh’s evolution beyond document printing, copying and management to becoming a broad-based office technology solutions and services company.
“Ricoh is growing its IT services business from the enormously strong platform that comes from being one of the top three document solutions and services companies in New Zealand and around the world.” he says. “Already, around eight percent of Ricoh’s global revenue is coming from IT services. They are becoming a major player.”
SMX Cloud integrates user provisioning and billing and is designed to be easily “white labelled”, which means customers, including telcos, IT services companies and internet service providers can incorporate SMX services under their own brands.
Data is served in the customer’s own country, under local law and jurisdiction.
SMX has international partnerships with Symantec, Fujitsu, Message Systems, CMC India and KVH, in Japan.