For years, Brother has been making great printers for business of all shapes and sizes and consumers.
Brother recently launched a new organization to create and sell online services to small businesses competing head to head with point solutions and with the traditional existing online vendors.
Brother’s first two online solutions are 1) web and video conferencing solutions and 2) document organization.
Companies are creating these new services as they want to boost revenues and reach new markets by adding additional revenue and offerings to their current base of offerings. Offering new products and services is not new and will only increase – in most cases this is GOOD for businesses.
However, there’s three things to consider as you consider buying services from mature companies who offer new services outside of their core offerings:
1. It’s easy for large companies, such as Brother, to sell additional products an d services. They can create them in-house or buy them (and license them or otherwise)?
2. Is the company fully committed to selling and supporting the services – especially if selling them to small businesses?
3. Are these BEST OF BREED solutions or just hastily scrapped together solutions to sell yet another product?
If you’re happy with your existing solution – there’s little need to use the new services from Brother Online. However, if you’re looking for a service they’re offering then check out Brother’s new OminJoin and Optimized Workflow services and see if they’re for you.
Brother’s a great brand name, with years of service behind it. Time will tell if the new services deliver (or not).
Brother’s press release reads:
“Until now, experiences with web and video conferencing have often been disappointing and frustrating,” says Bill Henderson, Vice President of Brother International Corporation. “Due to inconsistent video quality and poorly synched audio, online meetings have not always been acceptable substitutes for in-person meetings. The new OmniJoin™ service from Brother changes all that. It offers crystal-clear video quality and seamlessly-synched audio, along with fantastic collaboration tools. Finally, businesses can enjoy productive online meetings that virtually feel like being face-to-face.”
With all the startup and legacy video conferencing services on the market I’m not sure what makes Brother’s service especially different, as many other services offer clearer video and competitive pricing – all video conferencing providers have access to the same great technology.
However, I do applaud Brother for adding new services and products to its portfolio. The more products and services (CHOICE) we small businesses have the better we all are.