By Cassandra Balentine
As technology continues to advance, it affects nearly every aspect of our daily lives—including personal and professional. As trends like big data, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) make their way mainstream, the document lifecycle is in transition.
In the July issue of DPS Magazine, we feature an article on the office of the future, where we discuss the digital transformation of document communications within the enterprise. Several providers are pushing office technology into the next era, offering IT management services and smart devices that support modern business needs.
Modern Document Solutions
Here we highlight modern technologies available today.
Canon is currently emphasizing cloud connectivity and security. “This can be seen through the recent refresh of our imageRUNNER ADVANCE platform and imageCLASS models, as well as through its partnerships with Nuance, Box, mxHero, and its own software solutions—uniFLOW and imageWARE Security Audit Manager Express,” says Hiro Imamura, SVP/GM, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Konica Minolta offers the Workplace Hub, designed to connect and optimize different technologies within an office environment. It’s a complete system that adapts to provide companies with the freedom, ease, and power to unlock their potential. It combines leading hardware, software, security, and a full suite of services to provide a standardized way for organizations to manage IT, with one contract and one point of contact to resolve issues.
Ricoh constantly evaluates the marketplace for new technologies, listening to stakeholders and determining how Ricoh can play a role that helps its customers grow. “Ricoh offers diverse array of ways to support customers and we see a tremendous opportunity to help our customers benefit from the use of innovative technologies such as AI, robotics, and more,” says Dale Walsh, director of service advantage innovation, Ricoh USA, Inc.
According to Vince Jannelli, associate VP, software product management, Sharp Imaging Information Company of America. Sharp has a strong presence in the information business today. “Both our traditional MFPs and our visual display products are used to share, distribute, and communicate information, whether that is from a business process or visual communication perspective. Through open APIs and a flexible partner program, we have led the way by supporting IT industry standards for integration and compatibility. Also, through our relationship with Tech Data Corporation, we are uniquely positioned to provide a wider variety of integrated and bundled products to our channel partners.”
Sharp provides channel partners with a broad section of services that work with its products, allowing the channel to provide customized solutions that meet customer needs. “These services have to be smart for both the end customer as well as our channel partners,” says Jannelli.
One example of a Sharp smart service for its channel partners is the MICAS service. Jannelli explains that this provides a snapshot of a mix of devices in the field, predicts when preventative maintenance is necessary, and delivers the knowledge assets to the support team in the field to increase first call resolution.
Roadmap for the Future
While many providers are admittedly in the early stages, they can all agree that the next-generation office will look a lot different than current workplaces.
“We have much to be excited about at Canon as we enter into new markets, from our recent announcement of Canon Medical Systems and expansion into security with Axis to our continuance with groundbreaking innovations, such as the soon-to-launch Voyager Inkjet Photo Press,” says Imamura. He says Canon will continue to listen to its customers in order to bring market innovative enterprise and production solutions that address new demands of modern workflows. The company leverages IoT, AI, and cloud-based services, such as production PRISMAlytics dashboard for its own employees and dealers through innovative predictive service methodologies built into its solutions.
For example, Océ Remote Services as implemented on the VarioPrint i300 as well as Canon remote services for the fleet, leverage ML, AI, and cloud-based dashboards to continuously improve Canon’s responsiveness, first time fix rates, and overall service efficiency. “This combined with the reliability of Canon’s imagePRESS and varioPRINT production presses utilizes the discussed technologies to maximize customer uptime and revenue opportunities. Further, in addition to the newest models within the imageRUNNER ADVANCE and imageCLASS lineups, we look forward to continuing to refresh and expand our vertical solutions offerings into key markets like healthcare, legal, education, and finance.”
Imamura says Canon takes great care designing and implementing workflow solutions as well as expanding its relationship with like-minded and forward-thinking channel and alliance partners to help today’s offices stay on the pulse of innovation.
Konica Minolta’s Workplace Hub is an extensible intelligent edge platform that provides the infrastructure for the future office services from cloud integration and disaster recovery to IoT and security applications. The hub is just the beginning. “Over time we will extend the Workplace Hub portfolio including Cognitive Hub, which is designed to improve the way people work, learning to predict the needs of the user and orchestrate between AI and distributed intelligence systems, traditional business intelligence tools, and unstructured data to deliver optimized data to support better decision making,” says a representative from the company.
Sharp is currently transitioning into making the smart office part of its overall business offerings, which include document systems and displays.
Jannelli says one example is enhancing the usability of its products and services with voice-based access to commonly used functions. The experience extends beyond products themselves, into the broader context of how and where they are used.
Jannelli says the company recently previewed a Smart Meeting service, designed to automate the meeting experience—a key place where information is assessed, consumed, and shared.
A Better Tomorrow
Today’s businesses look for secure, cloud-based systems that enable collaboration and the ability to act on real-time actions reporting from on business analytics. The communications of tomorrow look much different than they did five to ten years ago, but familiar leaders in document output are ensuring customers are prepared to successfully continue their digital transformations. dps
Aug2018, DPS Magazine