In today’s hyper-connected, time-poor business world, global partnerships are often conducted online. However, for a collaboration to flourish, it is important that both parties truly understand how one another works.
There can be few better ways to do this than to invite your partners to your headquarters, speak to them face-to-face and give them the chance to take a closer look at the nuts and bolts of how your business works.
That is why Samsung Printing Solutions recently invited some of its key Italian partners to its Samsung Digital City headquarters in Suwon, Korea, to better present the company’s full range of printing and document management solutions. Among their number were Salvatore Giannetto, CEO of Salvix, and Fabio Bernardini, CEO and owner of BF Forniture.
Salvix is a managed cloud service provider with a sizeable printing division. BF Forniture, meanwhile, is part of Valore BF, a 30-year-old office supply and equipment company that specializes in document management and telecommunications services.
Understanding the Italian Printing Landscape
Giannetto and Bernardini agree that doing print business in Italy provides a unique set of challenges, and requires a deep knowledge of the market. In fact, Italy, they say, presents risks and opportunities quite unlike anywhere else – even neighboring European countries.
“The Italian market is very fragmented, and 95 percent of Italian companies are small- and medium-sized businesses,” explains Bernardini. “During the 2008 global financial crisis, many companies failed, and that presented a critical economic situation. Many companies therefore sought to optimize and improve their market situations. For a number of them, that meant digitalizing processes and documents to optimize costs.”
Giannetto notes that Italians often show a preference for home-grown solutions as opposed to leading global cloud providers. “In Italy, customers prefer to use the local cloud,” he said. “They want to know where their data is, and understand which data center they are working with. The Italian market prefers Italian players.”
Understanding these needs is the key to both companies’ success. Luckily, Samsung Printing Solutions has a range of tools that Italian partners can make use of to meet their customers’ specific needs.
Security, Integration and Uniqueness – Keys to the Italian Market
For both Giannetto and Bernardini, one of Samsung Printing Solutions’ big selling points is the Smart UX Center, featured on many of Samsung’s most-popular devices.
“This function lets us integrate our customers’ systems and provide specific solutions,” says Giannetto. “The Smart UX is easy to use. Customers can integrate the API with the tools they use every day to streamline their printing processes.”
Giannetto notes that having unique features helps distinguish Samsung’s printers in the marketplace. Rather than just lowering prices, he believes he can focus on selling total print management solutions. “If you only sell products, then you can only win on price,” he says. “But if my competitor is selling a product and I’m selling a solution, there is no comparison.”
Giannetto adds, “Customers appreciate the tablet interface on the Smart UX Center. They find it simple to use and like they fact that they can add solutions easily.”
He also says that the Italian companies appreciate Samsung’s commitment to printing security. “For larger accounts, security is more important than cost,” Giannetto says.
BF Forniture thinks Samsung offers a complete range of solutions that its customers appreciate. “In Italy, the typical customer has a lot of suppliers,” Bernadini says. “But Samsung offers a total solution system, and that is why we have decided to work together.”
Building Partnerships for the Future
Both Bernardini and Giannetto agree that visiting Samsung’s headquarters was an impressive experience. More importantly, though, it has helped both partners deepen their relationships with Samsung.
BF Forniture only struck its partnership with Samsung last year, but say it is already happy with what it has achieved. “We chose Samsung because we think it shares our values and strategies,” says Bernardini. “We’re very happy because we understand the message that this is a strong, solid company. It’s a determined outfit. Samsung has a clear strategy for the future.”
Salvix is similarly optimistic for the future. Says Giannetto, “We hadn’t visited Korea before, but Samsung Digital City is a very exciting place. You can see and touch the company’s potential here.”
This year, Samsung is focusing on allowing its partners to provide powerful, localized solutions. More global dealer meetings will take place in the months ahead, with a Samsung delegation set to visit partners in Budapest this June. International partnerships, it seems, function better when collaborators find time to meet one another in the flesh.