The only competition was RBS on a few deals and another Ricoh "wide format dealer only"
Kyocera when selling a 470 because the scan quality is a little better due to .jpg ability.
And Savin on any deal because they are selling the systems at ridiculously low prices. When you have a system such as the 240, you don't discount the product. There isn't any competition except yourself.
The biggest challenge that I see right now is HP. I have been looking for applications where people are currently using plotters....Everything always goes great but HP can sell a plotter with a scan option for under 6k....The differnce on the front is hard to offset the differeces on the rears with supplies, not only that, the HP gives the opportuntity to provide full color.
In response to your issues - yes - Ricoh is following/benchmarking Oce's practice of setting up dealer vendors at local repro shops that sell only Ricoh wide format (instead of full product line). This has been a successful model for Oce and I could only imagine that Ricoh wants to follow suit. Duncan-Parnell is a Carolinas based Wide Format Repro/Surveyor Supplies/Xerox full line wide format dealer with roughly 1,200 wide format placements in this area. They have just recently begun to sell the Ricoh 240W product only. It is a little frustrating as they have marketing resources specific to wide format to tap from (that Ikon has not negotiated), but there are ways around it.
1) Usually when I go head to head with a Repro-House, I point out that the print shops usually sell other brands but use Oce in-house. If Xerox is so good, then why do they use Oce behind closed doors? -- I don't know how that is going to work now that they will be selling the exact same thing that I am selling.
2) Service Tech familiararity - Their service techs have just begun learning the intricacies of handling Ricoh wide format - instead of Ikon/or your vendor - who has been in it since the beginning.
Other than that, this practice of infiltrating through the wide format repro's is going to be a big challenge to overcome and will commodotize the product offering because there aren't a whole lot of differentiators from one vendor's Ricoh 240w to my Ricoh 240W. That is where Trix software and knowing some short-cuts like that may help.
For the record, I think in the long term, it is a terrible way to treat the vendors that have been selling Ricoh family wide format for years and NOW that we have a tool that really raises the bar: give it to the competition.
Better known in Romania, good history, we have better price and most of the time better service.