Konica Minolta Business Solutions, U.S.A., Inc.: Faster and Smarter Ways to Transform Business Processing
Focusing on these five areas has enabled Konica Minolta to better manage rapid growth, especially with All Covered, its Managed IT division and their expanding ECM division. They have implemented an aggressive services acquisition strategy, purchasing 26 companies: 21 focused on IT Services and 5 specializing in ECM.
“We are setting our direction and destination for areas in the business where we believe we can excel and deliver customer value,” says Sam Errigo, Executive Vice President, Sales and Business Development, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, U.S.A., Inc. “I believe we look different than our competition and, over time, the gap between traditional multifunction manufacturers and servicing companies that adopt a technology and services-led strategy will ultimately prevail and assist in the needed industry transformation.”
Worldwide, companies are projected to spend $2 trillion on IT-related infrastructure and services by the end of the year, according to the online statistics portal, Statista. This spending makes the solutions and services focus fundamental for success in a changing environment. Unlike some tech giants and unsuccessful start-ups, Konica Minolta has prioritized its transformation, acknowledging that the shift reflects leadership’s forward thinking and aggressive viewpoint of an industry that is in a state of flux.
"Dispatcher Pro allows users to build simplified or complex workflows that enables a machine to scan, share, and redact a document, then create a PDF and archive it into their ECM platform"
Setting a Course
Konica Minolta has been driving business toward technological solutions that impact a company’s operational expenses and improve employee productivity. From workflow automation and document management to secure cloud operating environments and seamless help desk support through IT services, Konica Minolta recognizes that meeting the needs of a customer to improve operations is a critical avenue. “We've invested heavily in security and compliance as a core competency related to data capture and storage, and encompass services related to the management of IT security infrastructure,” says Errigo. “We also offer disaster recovery services because businesses need to safeguard their data. Our customers want world-class data center services that deliver application and data back-up with redundancy to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster.”
Emerging cloud services, coupled with automated workflow solutions, apply to all businesses regardless of size. “It’s no longer just the innovators or large enterprise organizations who are adopting cloud or mobile enhancements for their operations,” says Errigo, “Today, we see all companies, big and small, looking for efficiencies to streamline and enhance their work environment.”
Konica Minolta helps organizations determine the right ECM solution for their needs and then how to best implement that solution cost effectively. The company has an established record of success with both on-premise and cloud deployments that automate workflow and assist customers with optimizing their business-processes.
“Our customers have the freedom to decide which deployment option works best for them, regardless of their size, complexity or industry,” says Errigo. “But, where we excel is in understanding that business needs change, so we offer each customer the flexibility to change should it be necessary at any point in time."
Also changing is the way in which customers do business. More and more are utilizing cloud-based solutions, therefore, one of the main advantages of implementing ECM in the cloud is its integration to mobile devices.
Raising the bar
While providing ECM and document management solutions, Konica Minolta also recognizes the need for other solutions that can help a business operate more efficiently. File Assist™, a robust collaboration tool, allows users to change how they create, organize, share and store information. It is hosted in the Konica Minolta cloud by All Covered, Konica Minolta’s IT Services Division, and enables customers to back up their data and automatically prepare for disaster recovery situations. Cloud services also accommodate mobile functionality and integration with multi-functional printers (MFPs) and desktop devices. For security, the information captured through scanning devices such as MFPs is integrated with products, like OnBase® by Hyland, which provides a secure repository for the captured data.
Konica Minolta supports small-to-medium businesses (SMB) with two products, Prism and SmartSearch™ by Square 9, for document management with built-in workflow. Additionally, with the recent acquisition of Hershey Technologies, a Kofax and Microsoft SharePoint® consultancy for customized services such as content migration, search/view, image annotation and website development, Konica Minolta has expanded the breadth of its ECM solution. With OnBase for the large enterprise platform and Smart Search for the SMB–the SharePoint consulting services round out their portfolio of solutions.“We’re adding to our portfolio because most of our Fortune 1000 and mid-market customers use SharePoint,” says Errigo. “The ability for us to integrate or add value to SharePoint is where we see a big opportunity.
Konica Minolta's bizhub™ Extended Solution Technology (bEST) allows for the seamless integration of Konica Minolta products with third-party software applications, embedding applications directly into the user interface (UI) of the control panel. This functionality allows companies to integrate workflow productivity solutions directly into Konica Minolta MFPs for scanning, document processing, print management, cost control and document management. For customers struggling with inefficient or fragmented workflows, Konica Minolta can provide consulting services that assess existing processes and architectures to guide the customer to the right solution for their business needs. And to streamline and automate common document processing tasks, Konica Minolta developed the Dispatcher™ Phoenix family of bEST-certified document workflow products.
"With Dispatcher™ Phoenix, our customers can build simplified or complex workflows that automatically scan files, store them in ECM platforms, share them via email, convert files to PDF or Microsoft Office, redact sensitive information, Bates stamp, and much more," says Errigo.
One example of Konica Minolta’s drive to succeed and willingness to adapt can be seen in its work with Clay Lacy Aviation, an aircraft management and charter company operation that services more than 70 business jets around the world. Clay Lacy’s Accounting Department was loaded with unnecessary tasks. For every invoice, there were 30 touch points, and the process was expensive. The Accounting Department was tasked with coding, auditing and scrutinizing invoices to ensure that suppliers were paid on time and billing was correct. Konica Minolta’s ECM consultants were able to reduce the 30 touch points to fewer than five, successfully integrating two ERP systems, one of which was a legacy system, and creating an end-to-end financial system specific to the aviation industry with OnBase. Overall, Konica Minolta helped Clay Lacy increase invoice processing volume by over 50 percent and introduced OCR technology that reduced key strokes.
I’m trying to set our own direction and destination for areas in the business that we believe we can excel in
Konica Minolta developed the bizhub Marketplace to further the company’s commitment to providing cutting-edge solutions for its customers. A user-friendly platform for easy access to downloadable apps for use at the MFP, Konica Minolta’s bizhub MarketPlace offers a variety of apps that streamline workflow, improve productivity, and enhance the MFP user experience. Using the bizhub MarketPlace, users can even create their own custom UI MFP screens, personalizing their device with not only the features they need but also corporate branding images and colors. Users can take advantage of enterprise-level device management features, including managing/ installing custom UIs and bizhub MarketPlace apps from a single location.
Maintaining an Innovative Mindset
Konica Minolta’s successful redefinition of its focus is demonstrated best by its $9,170 billion in consolidated net sales; several million of which was spent on world-class data centers with disaster recovery and fail over capabilities. According to Errigo, the Konica Minolta portfolio of products and services will look very different in the future due to the investments the company is making today. This position enables the budding tech giant to view its competition differently.
The printing industry is anticipating a gradual decline in multifunction unit sales and print volume over the coming years that will impact the industry. Errigo stresses that while print is not going to completely disappear in the future, the company is looking to new complementary and innovation driven revenue streams to deliver long term customer value.Therefore, he firmly believes that commitment to innovation, creative thinking and embracing change will be the keys to longevity. Konica Minolta’s investment in five Business Innovation Centers (BIC) that look at emerging and ground breaking technologies, trends, and opportunities demonstrates the company’s efforts to continuously improve and innovate.
“The BIC speaks to the culture of Konica Minolta, which is progressive in terms of our appetite for change and innovation,” says Errigo. “Our BICs will help us transform our organization, ensuring we can serve our customers for the long term.” The BICs will drive this transformation by leveraging specific areas of interest, including Robotics, Workplace of the Future, Healthcare, NextGen Enterprise Solutions, Connected Intelligent Ecosystem and 3D Printing. All partnerships and investments that the BIC has made thus far are tied to one of these areas.
Konica Minolta’s mission is to lead the industry by engaging with its customers to develop deep domain knowledge of future business requirements and drive innovation to satisfy the future demand. Its strategic investments, forward thinking and carefully mapped business goals put them ahead of the competition. They have managed to secure a spot as a tremendously successful entity despite the dynamics in the print market because they proactively recognized the need for change before it was too late to make key transitional moves. With their aggressive acquisition of ECM and managed IT companies, and a significant investment into their BICs, Konica Minolta is ready to face the challenges of the next big trend by staying flexible.
Sticking to the strategy isn’t a challenge, says Errigo.“The reason I show up to work is: I’m passionate about this industry, and I know that Konica Minolta and our leadership team are building something pretty special here.”