Konica Minolta Enhances Workplace Hub Family to Suit Hybrid Workstyles

Cloud-centric infrastructure and support for Windows applications widen its appeal



Jamie Bsales


COVID-19 has upended many facets of our lives, including the way we work. Today, people are more likely to be working from home or splitting their time between home and the office. Document technology vendors have adapted to this new reality with solutions that enable a hybrid approach to working in both environments. A prime example is Konica Minolta’s Workplace Hub “edge” infrastructure computing appliance, which combines a blade server and essential shared network services (such as Internet access, firewall, file storage/collaboration, and shared applications) with 24/7 remote monitoring and tech support. Indeed, the Workplace Hub was one of the contributing factors to the company earning a Buyers Lab (BLI) 2021-2022 PaceSetter Award for its Hybrid Workplace initiatives from Keypoint Intelligence.


When launched, the appliance ran on a Linux open-source operating system. Now, the company has opened its Workplace Hub ecosystem to Microsoft Windows Server operating systems in a bid to significantly increase flexibility in application support (Linux is still available for those who prefer it). This also makes the solution much more attractive to small- and mid-size organizations that are more likely to be “Windows” shops than Linux users. The portfolio will also get a new name: Workplace Hub Pro will become Workplace Hub Smart, and Workplace Hub Edge will become Workplace Hub Core.


The enhanced Workplace Hub family (available as a rack-mountable blade server (pictured) or built into an MFP) now supports Windows Server operating systems in addition to Linux.


“Workplace Hub can now support customers’ Digital Transformation in a broad variety of ways—from enhancing the way their teams work together to how key information is stored, accessed, and shared,” explained Nick Pegley, Senior Vice President of Digital Workplace at Konica Minolta Business Solutions. “The portfolio now offers a range of Managed Application Services to fit customers’ evolving needs.” 


The focus areas of cloud-native print management, workflow automation, and document management deliver those critical functions to knowledge workers no matter where they are located, with an eye toward team efficiency and flexibility. There are even vertically focused offerings, such as for healthcare. Notably, security is built-in throughout the system.


“These packages can be a fit for small companies that need a fully managed solution, or for larger organizations that want to maintain their focus on key IT systems and have other applications run as a service for them, hassle-free for one monthly fee,” Pegley noted. “There’s no need for customers to build, maintain, or support their systems internally—they can just get on and use the applications they need.”


With IT departments having to focus resources on workflow digitization and cloud initiatives in the pandemic’s aftermath, we expect products that combine hardware, solution software, professional services, managed services, and administration support in a single platform (like the Workplace Hub does) to only gain in popularity. Such offerings outsource the day-to-day “care and feeding” required of a typical network infrastructure and let IT personnel attend to higher-value initiatives.

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