Adapting to Maintain Our Innovation Edge, by Rick Taylor

By , President and Chief Operating Officer, Konica Minolta

This is both an exciting time and a challenging time to be in our industry.

New revenue streams are developing: enterprise information and content management, mobility and cloud, managed IT services, production and industrial print. All of these avenues lead to new opportunities for both our direct and dealer channels. And all of these avenues put an even greater emphasis on providing an unparalleled customer experience.

While we see great growth in many areas, we must also look to the changing landscape of modern business. Employees – and employers – want and need new technology that will enable them to work anytime, anywhere. We must adapt our business to support the workforce of the future.

That means we must offer the tools that people need in order to manage the explosion of information constantly bombarding them. We already offer cloud and mobility solutions and will soon add desktop as a service offerings, allowing employees to access their own computers no matter where they are. We must constantly strive to transform not only the way our customers do business, but also the very fabric of their business.

As a company, we must be specialized to create the software technology that solves our customers’ workflow issues and then be the technical consultants who will guide our customers to this transformation: a mobile workforce in a smart office.

The future means more information. The only difference is the medium. There may be less reliance on printed documents, but there will be more need for information and content management. Our role will be to facilitate this explosion of information so that customers can consume it however and wherever they need, whether it is via computer, tablet or smartphone. All businesses, regardless of size, will face the need to manage their flow of information, from content creation to dissemination, storage to retrieval. Our responsibility is to help our customers manage the entire lifecycle of their information.

To that end, we are developing cutting-edge technology and investing in strategic partnerships so that we are in the vanguard of new opportunities. I think back to when I started in this business, selling MFPs and office equipment. What were the cutting-edge technologies then? Faxing. Scanning. And where are we going? Robotics. Near-field communications. Smart offices. We excel at bringing new technologies to market that add real value to our customers’ lives.

I think of Konica Minolta as a very large company with the agility of a small business. That being said, we have much work to do. And we’re up for the challenge.