Canon Solutions America held their 3rd Anniversary Event at the Boca Beach Club in Boca Florida in late February. It was a chance for Canon Solutions America to give us an update on what they’ve been up and What’s Happenin’ for 2016.
Things started off great with a nice welcome reception at a beautiful hotel. I met Canon Solutions America’s president and CEO Toyo Kuwamura, who has since been promoted within Canon U.S.A. Toyo is very outgoing and friendly and even got involved in the entertainment a bit.
The next morning we received several overviews, including one from Toyo before EVP Mal Baboyian talked to us about wide format. Mal has run this group for years. Prior to that, he was president of Océ NA. Mal told us of Canon Solutions America’s growth even in a down market for toner based wide format. Color was up big time in 2015 with some placements up as much as 40%.
Canon Solutions America’s production print was also up 5% in 2015, with 80 billion pages being printed in the US. Canon production inkjet was also #1 in placements again (according to slides). Tell me again how print is going away.
EVP James Sharp also took the stage and talked to us about what makes Canon Solutions America great. “It’s our people,” he professed. 350 professional services people at Canon Solutions America keep customers happy and keep them running. SVP Art McGinn of service discussed predictive maintenance and the potential savings Canon Solutions America is already starting to reap. His team make 1.2 million site visits per year. Quite a reach.
Later in the morning we heard from several Canon Solutions America customers who talked to us about the new opportunities they’ve found with Canon Solutions America technology. Everything from commercial printers who turned a corner offering products they didn’t know existed to a non-profit who loves the changes Canon Solutions America helped them make to their processes.
New products were also announced such as the ColorStream mono device as well as the VarioStream 4000.
Later in the day we were taken to Canon Solutions America’s customer experience center a short distance from the hotel. It’s a great set up with everything from A4 printers up to massive Océ presses. And it’s not just in the show room. A tour of the building showed paper testing labs, back room press operations with new technology and more. We went through stations to see overviews on workflow in the office, wide format, ink and toner production and more.
During the show, we got an overview of Canon’s mobile app (for use on Android and Apple tables) that contained product videos, brochures, news, etc. It’s a great way to keep sales reps up to date on What’s Happenin’ at Canon Solutions America. It also makes for a great presentation in front of customers. I’ve seen a couple of companies that have rolled out apps like these, I don’t know why everyone doesn’t.
The next morning I had excellent access to senior executives with 1:1’s. Meetings with EVP Peter Kowalcuk, VP Tracie Sokol, SVP John Reilly, EVP James Sharp and VP Sal Sheikh gave me a great understanding on Canon Solutions America, Canon and their direction and strategies. Wide format/large format will continue to be an area of expansion as will high-speed inkjet. Workflow solutions continue to be a critical part of Canon’s approach, both at the office level with NT-ware and uniFLOW up to super high end production on roll fed devices (big iron) with elaborate workflow, both internally and externally developed.
In an industry where perennial giants have struggled the last few years, Canon and Canon Solutions America continue to thrive with competitive and innovative products at all levels. Their strategy and growth has been solid and going forward there’s no reason to believe they won’t continue to be a force to be reckoned with.