Solutions Take Center Stage at Konica Minolta’s 2015 Dealer Show
“Our choice is to disrupt or be disrupted…I’ve heard that today, the riskiest thing we can do is play it safe,” declared Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. (KMBS) President and COO Rick Taylor.
This year’s Konica Minolta show, quite aptly titled “The Art of Disruption,” revolved around disturbing the status quo and sailing ahead of, rather than with “the fleet.” And one can’t talk about forward thinking and innovation without talking about software, which is as at the forefront of the ever-changing digital imaging industry. “The days of simply selling hardware are diminishing at a rapid pace,” said KMBS Senior Vice President of Business Intelligence Services Sam Errigo.
“In a business world of non-stop change, there’s only one way to win at this game. We have to transform it entirely,” Errigo continued. “And this requires a revolution in thinking; a string of disruptive strategies and unexpected solutions.”
Konica Minolta serves the needs of numerous verticals, with a current emphasis on the healthcare, legal and education markets, and Errigo has spearheaded the company’s vertical market-based solutions initiative. According to Konica Minolta, the EnvisionIT program helps dealers better understand this strategy, as it breaks the various verticals up into portfolios of solutions (healthcare, education, legal, government, finance and manufacturing portfolios).
Vertical Market Offerings
Some of the latest solutions highlighted at the show for the vertical markets Konica Minolta serves included:Healthcare
- ImagePilot Sigma: Available via Konica Minolta Medical Imaging (KMMI), ImagePilot Sigma is an all-in-one digital radiography solution that simplifies imaging workflows. It includes patient registration, image review, long-term archive, web-based collaboration, cloud-based backup/disaster recovery, anti-virus protection and information portal features.
- Sonimage P3: Also offered by KMMI, Sonimage P3 is a personal, portable, point-of-care ultrasound system that can works in conjunction with ImagePilot Sigma.
- Inofile Kno2 and Surescripts: Users can scan to Kno2 (also available through KMMI) and have the files distributed to other healthcare organizations; Surescripts acts as the pipeline for this process. Kno2 transmits files in a way that complies with HIPAA and other regulations, improves workflow and represents a true fax server replacement strategy, according to Inofile.
- MFPs for healthcare: Konica Minolta announced a number of devices being positioned as “healthcare MFPs.” Among these are the bizhub 4750MD/4050MD, which offer bizhub SECURE lock-down protection for HIPAA and HITECH compliance, as well as optional drawer locks to protect sensitive information; are Surescript-validated, allowing for clinical document exchange via Inofile Kno2; and are compact (making them ideal for nurses’ stations, for example).
- Stanford Oculus Rift: One of Konica Minolta’s Business Innovation Center’s (BIC) many announcements included a possible partnership with Stanford University to provide Oculus Rift 3D technology. With this technology, medical students can practice performing surgery and view human anatomy models using a 3D headset.
- EFI M500 Station: Designed for organizations with pay-for-print needs (particularly schools), the EFI M500 is a self-serve station that allows users to copy or print from USB drives, mobile devices or cloud accounts. It works with most Konica Minolta MFPs and supports all major credit cards, cash cards and campus cards.
- Book scanning solutions: Konica Minolta’s ScanDIVA and Zeutschel Zeta from The Crowley Company, (which Konica Minolta has partnered with) are full-color digital scanning solutions for books and large originals, geared towards environments such as libraries. ScanDIVA supports scanning up to 18" x 24" and Zeta supports up to 19" x 14". ScanDIVA can also scan 3D objects up to 2" and allows users to print to any networked Konica Minolta device, save images on hard disk or USB memory, and scan to dozens of software apps via its TWAIN driver. Zeta offers pay-as-you-go options and supports scan to USB, email, MFP and cloud.
- Promethean’s ActivClassroom: Konica Minolta has partnered with Promethean to provide ActivClassroom (powered through All Covered). ActivClassroom enables instructors to teach off of the ActivBoard, which is a large, interactive digital whiteboard. A suite of assessment and student response systems are also available through AcivClassroom.
- Precision Discovery: Sold and supported via All Covered, this solution offers eDiscovery, computer forensics, early case assessment and consulting.
- Dispatcher Phoenix: Konica Minolta’s Dispatcher Phoenix solution offers law firms valuable tools such as automatic bates stamping, redaction, and PDF/A creation. It also integrates with Worldox to allow for automated workflows and supports “Live Flow,” which simulates advanced workflow processes in real time.
- Copitrak Eclipse Terminal: Konica Minolta highlighted its integration with Copitrak, which enables legal organizations to track data and recover costs. Copitrak’s Eclipse Terminal features a large touchscreen display with a built-in keyboard and Smartbar interface, and communicates with an organization’s central Copitrak server to provide quick, convenient user access and control, according to the company.
- MFPs for legal organizations: Konica Minolta presented a number of devices that are being positioned as “legal MFPs,” such as the bizhub 224e and PRO C754e, which offer integration with legal software and a number of security features that will likely be welcome by legal environments, where privacy is key.
More Innovations from Konica Minolta’s BIC
Konica Minolta’s Business Innovation Center (BIC) embodies what “The Art of Disruption” is all about, with a mission to be an engine of growth for the company through continuous innovative strategies. The BIC showcased a number of new and exciting technologies at this year’s show—including irisauthentication and robots!
Iris Authentication with EyeLock myris
Say goodbye to usernames and passwords—Konica Minolta, which was the first MFP vendor to offer biometric means of authentication, announced plans to integrate with EyeLock myris, which allows users to authenticate at a device with the iris of their eye. Since no two irises are alike, the chances of a false match are less than one in 1.5 million, which makes it much more reliable—and not to mention, convenient—than other authentication methods, according to EyeLock. To authenticate, a user simply stands in front of the small, circular device (which can be attached to an MFP), allowing it to scan their iris. Plans to eventually integrate EyeLock myris into the control panel of Konica MFPs are also underway, according to the company.
SaviOne and Knightscope Robots
The BIC also introduced two robots that Konica Minolta has invested in—Savioke’s SaviOne, a delivery robot for the service industry, and Knightscope, a security robot designed to predict and prevent criminal activity.
SaviOne, which was displayed at the show, is geared primarily towards hotels; it delivers amenities to the rooms of hotel guests, enabling hotel staff to focus on other tasks. It is able to detect and maneuver around people and objects, and features a top that pops open where items are stored, and a screen that displays messages to guests.
Knightscope, on the other hand, is a security robot that collects on-site data through multiple sensors, and processes it through a predictive analytics engine to determine if there is a threat to the area. If so, an alert level is assigned and a notification is sent to the authorities through the Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC), a browser-based user interface. There are a number of organizations already using Knightscope, including campuses, data centers and shopping malls, to name a few.Innovative Solutions for Day-to-Day Business Needs
The BIC announced a new Konica Minolta-developed solution called KnowledgeHub, which consolidates data from multiple sources into one central location with a straightforward user-friendly interface. Additionally, it provides support for many data discovery tools out-of-box.
Also announced were plans to integrate Konica Minolta MFPs with Sigsense software. Sigsense provides detailed data on equipment condition and history, monitors maintenance status and consumable levels, ensures equipment operation is within OEM specifications, and offers analytics abilities. This helps organizations be proactive rather than reactive, identifying equipment issues before failures occur.
On the security front, the BIC introduced two new Konica Minolta products—a Digital Rights Management (DRM) software application for protecting information and allowing for “complete control” over all digital documentation, and a Paper Security solution, which compares electronic and paper copies with the original document, and automatically highlights all differences between the two. It also includes built-in tamper detection. According to Konica Minolta, this solution is ideal for content authentication and significantly reduces the potential for error. The Paper Security solution is offered as either a standalone MFP-based comparison or a server-based verification solution.
Another interesting innovation on display was Robin, a conference room-booking tool. Robin, which recently partnered with Konica Minolta, allows users to search for and schedule available meeting rooms right from their mobile phones or tablets, and automatically syncs to team calendars. Room analytics are provided (usage, calendar and occupancy data) and presence-sensing technology is available as an add-on.
IT SERVICES, CLOUD, MOBILITY AND MORE
Konica Minolta estimates that, at this time one-third of its dealers have a relationship with a branch of All Covered, the IT services firm the company acquired in 2011. In addition to offering a comprehensive collection of IT management resources, All Covered enables and provides support for Konica Minolta’s cloud services. One such service highlighted at this year’s show was FileAssist, a solution that allows users to securely store, share and back up files online, and access them from anywhere. It also provides technical support for Konica Minolta’s embedded software platform, bEST (bizhub Extended Solutions Technology), which provides bizhub MFPs with direct access to many could-based solutions right from the control panel.
Taylor elaborated on the crucial and ever-growing needs of the mobile workforce, citing that there are already more internet-connected devices in the United States than there are people living in the country. To meet these needs, Konica Minolta has constructed an ecosystem of cloud-based and mobile connections to support on-the-go professionals, beginning with the PageScope Mobile app (see ourSolutions Test Report from January 2014) that allows users to print from, and scan to, iOS or Android devices.
Some of the more recent mobile print software integrations spotlighted were with Breezy (available on-premise or in the cloud—see our Solutions Test Report from September 2013) and EveryonePrint (available on-premise—see our Solutions Test Report from October 2014). The company has also offers the xPrintServer through its partner, Lantronix, which enables wireless direct printing from Android and Google Cloud Print-ready devices to any Konica Minolta bizhub MFP. NSi Mobile, which in addition to offering mobile print, allows for document capture, comes with mobile eForms and supports secure pull printing, was also highlighted. Additionally, Konica Minolta now supports NFC (Near Field Communication) printing, which enables users to print with the simple tap of their NFC-enabled device to an NFC-enabled MFP.
Apps, Security and Diagnostics
Also showcased was Konica Minolta’s handy bizhub MarketPlace, which can be accessed via a browser or, after an i-Option kit is purchased, at the display on Konica Minolta hardware. The company releases a new app every month; some apps are free, while others, such as the embedded connectors, carry a cost. Accessing the MarketPlace from the desktop is free (some similar tools from competing manufacturers use a fee-based subscription model).
The bizhub SECURE solution, which consists of a set of enhanced password and data security measures to provide bizhub MFPs with an additional layer of security, was also highlighted, as was bizhub vCare. A software piece for service providers who primarily handle the their customers’ equipment, bizhub vCare provides automatic meter collections, status updates, consumables levels and alert notifications when service is required for vCare-enabled devices, all without getting in the way of using the devices.