How Konica Minolta grew in the cloud
providers on the matter
Konica Minolta can look back over 140 years in the technology industry and has historically developed a focus on the printer. The company is now moving more towards IT, which is also impacting the partner landscape.
Konica Minolta is reinventing itself a bit in terms of digitization. The journey from print material supplier to service provider is characterized by “value added through data” and the cloud.
(Image: Konica Minolta)
“In 2019, the Workplace Hub was – if you will – the entry into these new segments,” says Joerg Hartmann, CEO of Konica Minolta, looking back. Then, an MFP device was expanded to become a standardized IT platform. Along with HP Enterprise, a server was housed within the MFP to also offer managed applications.
The portfolio for this product segment has since expanded. “Workplace Pure” is the name of the cloud platform for print and document infrastructure, and “Workplace One” is about the digital workplace, including managed services.
According to the CEO, Workplace Pure is “the answer to the question of how we can achieve hybrid multi-site work and what that means for the print area and for documents.” It is a cloud platform on which various applications can be run, for example to map complete print infrastructures. Finally, print jobs and document scans can be moved to the cloud. Cloud fax is part of this and is of particular interest to lawyers, notaries and health authorities as fax is still the communication medium of choice here. In addition, scanned documents can be converted to, for example, PDF, PowerPoint, Word and more.
In collaboration with companies such as ELO, Konica Minolta offers an archiving solution based on Workplace Pure that covers the basic requirements for document handling. Sharepoint also plays an important role here, says Hartmann. Further applications are possible for the future or are in development – for example regarding automated document archiving with AI technology.
Rack instead of MFP
Workplace Hub, with which it started, still exists as a concept in new solutions, but the demand for cloud solutions is now significantly higher. “We usually offer installed systems as managed devices, that is, not as MFPs but as rack solutions,” says the Konica Minolta boss.
Azure-based cloud offering
According to Hartmann, Workplace One is basically a cloud offering based on Microsoft Azure: “It’s virtual desktops offered as a managed service in Europe. Office 365 is an important part of that.”
Overall, IT expertise is gaining importance in business. “To put it bluntly, the store sold and made some printers as merchandise, installed drivers and provided support. Now it is more and more necessary to introduce cloud platforms, integrate Azure or other hyperscale clouds like those of Google. In this respect, the level of integration is much greater than it was in the past. The issue of archiving solutions is also increasingly coming to the fore,” says the CEO, describing the change that the cloud has brought with it for Konica Minolta’s partners.