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Konica Minolta: Rethinking the scope of business

Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe hosted more than 1,200 partners from more than 50 countries at its European Leadership Campus (ELC) 2019
The 2019 ELC which was held at the Lokomotivværkstedet in Copenhagen, Denmark on October 18, was themed ‘Rethink Your Scope’ – an invitation to partners to grasp the challenges and opportunities that digital transformation offers. Through a series of keynote addresses and business seminars, Konica Minolta encouraged partners to rethink the status quo to create new business opportunities in the DX economy, by enabling customers to seamlessly convert data into actionable business information.
The first keynote address was given by Shoei Yamana, President and CEO of Konica Minolta, Inc. He provided a global perspective on the company which has a 140-year heritage; its commitment to be a digital company, contributing to a sustainable society; to create new opportunities and deliver on its vision of the connected workplace. “We have a plan to be a digital company that knows how to tackle problems and solve them in an unconventional way,” he said.
Yamana spoke about Konica Minolta’s evolution to an organisation that provides solutions that can help shape workplaces today and in the future, one which adds value to customers’ businesses in a digital world.
Connected workplace

“We aim to become a leader in the connected workplace arena,” he said, adding that Workplace Hub, the intelligent all-in-one IT platform that combines infrastructure, services and software into a single fully managed IT service, represents the company’s vision to connect people, spaces and devices. “Workplace Hub is a collection of scalable, easy-to-use technologies, that enable small companies to digitally transform,” he said.

Keiji Okamoto
Keiji Okamoto
In his address, Keiji Okamoto, President of Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe urged partners to dig deeper into the challenges of digital transformation. He outlined Konica Minolta’s focus on transforming from a traditional to a value-add business and channel strategy for the region. “Rethink your Scope is an invitation and a challenge to Konica Minolta and its partners alike. Together, we can question the status quo and realise exciting new opportunities,” he said.
Okamoto said that Konica Minolta is well positioned to guide in the new era of the connected workplace. “By rethinking the nature of work, we are providing solutions such as Workplace Hub that epitomise our vision to bring together people, spaces and devices.”
Practical business seminars
Practical business seminars included presentations on themes such as the evolution of the connected workplace. Hosted by Milan Lakhani of the BIC, this session explored the connection between people, spaces and the devices they use at work, providing insight into how Konica Minolta is thinking about the future which is here and now.

Philipp Schroeder
Philipp Schroeder
Philipp Schroder, Manager Business Development Europe, hosted a session on creating an as-a-service business. With subscription-based billing becoming more commonplace, Schroder explored what it brings to the MFP business and its transformation.
Another session explained how AIRe Lens smart glasses can reduce the time and cost associated with service. Production printing was also high on the agenda, with seminars looking at opportunities within the wide format, augmented reality and labelling sectors on the agenda for partners.
The venue, an old locomotive workshop with large floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights provided an impressive setting for the campus-style exhibition which showcased the company’s wide range of products, solutions and services.
Workplace Hub took centre stage, alongside office and production print products, IT services, virtual reality and augmented reality solutions, as well as solutions designed to support more sustainable business processes.
The exhibition area comprised a number of different workstations showcasing a range of connected products and services.
One great example was the demonstration of its AIRe Lens smart glasses device. Attendees were invited to assemble boxes pre-printed on the AccurioJet KM-1 inkjet press using the optical, head-mounted augmented reality device to guide them through the process, then to literally bring that packaging to life with its augmented reality app, genARate. With genARate, it’s possible to overlay video, animations or 3D models onto printed materials to create rich media communications.

Rethinking service


Another workstation was set up to showcase how partners can radically change the way they service machines in field. Smart glasses technology enables technicians to remotely connect to a customers’ device via both video and audio, to take a photo of the setting, annotate to pinpoint the exact area where the issue is occurring and then to guide whomever is onsite how to fix the problem.

Not only is it a great tool to offer customers who can be coached to fix minor problems in real-time without having to wait for an engineer to attend, but it can also be utilised by engineers in the field for training purposes or for instances when they need to confer with a colleague for a second opinion. The value-add for partners – improved customer satisfaction with faster time to fix, enabling engineers to get to customers who really need onsite presence faster, lower cost to service, reduced travel costs and fewer carbon emissions.
Early reveal
One of the show’s highlights was the early reveal of the new AccurioPress C14000 series – the company’s firstforay into the high volume toner printing segment. The AccurioPress C14000 prints at 140 pages per minute in A4 and is 40 per cent faster than any other toner-based device from Konica Minolta. A second model in the series, the AccurioPress C12000, provides the same print quality and a similarly fast speed of 120 ppm.
The new press is set to fill a gap in the company’s portfolio, sitting between its flagship AccurioJet KM-1 inkjet press which offers a speed of 3,000 sheets per hour and is designed for high quality applications, similar to offset printing and the AccurioPress C6100s series for mid production print. Konica Minolta is setting its sights on this new model which offers a higher print volume and longer duty cycle reaching new commercial print customers requiring high productivity, efficiency of operations and quality for direct mail, brochures and catalogues.
Olaf Lorenz, General Manager DX Branding Division at Konica Minolta said: “This is an extremely important global initiative for Konica Minolta, especially significant because we are not currently known for toner-based high production print equipment.”

Carbon neutral

Virtual reality
Virtual reality

Sustainability was a key component of the day. Konica Minolta remains committed to developing innovations that bring new values beneficial to the global environment and society, and that also support business growth. It has pledged to achieve an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 compared to 2006 and has launched the Environmental Digital Platform vision, which aims to extend environmental efforts by digitising the environmental know-how it has offered individually so far. By encouraging many stakeholders to join the platform, Konica Minolta hopes to accumulate and share a wider range of environmental technologies and know-how, thereby drastically reducing environmental impacts throughout society.

To this end it showcased bizhub ECO, a service that supports companies in achieving their sustainability targets. bizhub ECO consists of three elements: device settings are optimised for ecofriendliness, deleting blank pages for copy and scan jobs as well as enabling a toner save mode as standard, for example. bizhub ECO also includes carbon offsetting where the total emissions over the lifetime of each device is calculated and then offset through a certified carbon offset project. The third element is a partnership with Treedom. The initiative focuses in particular on helping women to generate their own income and support their families by planting fruit trees in agroforestry systems, a tree is planted for each installation.
In line with Konica Minolta’s commitment to sustainability, the ELC 2019 was also carbon neutral. All carbon emissions including all overnight stays and travel activities of all guests and Konica Minolta crew members, meals and drinks, transportation of display items, waste, cleaning of textiles and even exhibition materials will be compensated for.
Next month’s issue will include an interview with Morgan Leucat, Director Europe WPH at Konica Minolta who spoke to PrintIT Reseller about the value of Workplace Hub for the channel.
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