Simplify, Control, Evolve: Recapping Leg 4 of 5 of the Canon Roadshow
Some interesting things on the company’s technology horizon
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The Canon Roadshow rolled into Atlanta this week. Partners from across the region converged on the Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel, where Canon hosted educational sessions for its partners’ sales and technical staff. The company also showcased some neat remote conference and collaboration solutions, specialty printers, and a commercial cleaning robot.
The Future Is Hybrid
It’s difficult to say exactly what the future office is going to look like. But when you look at the numbers, one feature is clearly defined: The future of the office will be built on a hybrid working model. During the general session, Nathaniel Horenstein, Chanel Sales Manager of the South Region for Canon USA, said that 53% of remote-capable workers will be hybrid in 2022 and beyond—up from 32% in 2019. “We’re in a new world,” he said.
We cannot complain about change. It’s a fool’s errand. The only thing that will never change is that change is constant. This is a sentiment that came up several times over the course of the event. Canon’s message to dealers was simple and effective: You already have the portfolio of hardware and software to help your customers evolve, now it’s a just matter of leading them to water.
In addition to educational sessions, attendees were able to get a firsthand look at some of Canon’s latest and greatest technology, including its new remote conference solution, Activate My Line of Sight (AMLOS); ID card, label, and wire/cable marker printers; and the Whiz Commercial Robot Vacuum.
These products help dealers find new revenue streams outside of their traditional core, allowing them to expand their presence in existing accounts, and, more importantly, provide a foot in the door to find net new business.
Activate My Line of Sight
AMLOS leverages Canon’s camera technology against AI-driven software to enhance remote collaboration experiences. With traditional remote conference tools, remote participants only see what the presenter shows them. They are unable to look around the room, read facial expressions, or get a better look at the whiteboard. The experience can be alienating and make it difficult for remote participants to get fully involved.
Canon’s Activate My Line of Sight solves these problems.
The solution works through a browser, so there is no need for users to install or learn any additional software. The camera captures and broadcasts three separate video streams to remote participants. A neat feature, AMLOS enables presenters to “spotlight” objects, like a white board or a cork board—so remote participants can get a better look. Each remote participant can customize their perspective of the meeting with up to three different views: One focuses on the presenter, another provides a shot of the entire room, and the third offers a close-up, easy-to-read image of the whiteboard in the room.
AMLOS recognizes four hand gestures to make it easy to run meetings. If you give the camera a thumbs-up, it automatically starts a meeting and sends a Teams invite to the meeting organizer, who can then forward that invite to participants. Another hand gesture allows you to stop the meeting. You can also “spotlight” an asset by pointing at it or save an image of spotlighted assets to the meeting, so everyone can take a copy with them afterwards.
Currently, the solution only integrates with Microsoft Teams, but representatives from Canon said the company is working on integrations with other solutions like Zoom.
Canon had three different kinds of specialty printers on display, including its new lineup of ID card/badge printers, label printers, and wire/cable marker printers. These devices aren’t brand new and were typically sold direct or through retailers/limited channel partners. But now Canon is opening the portfolio to all their B2B partners, hoping that they can make headway in the commercial space.
According to Canon, the ID card/badge and label printers present dealers with an excellent opportunity to help customers bring those printing processes back in house. Not only can they save money on those processes, but they reclaim more control over the process.
- ID Card/Badge Printers: Canon’s lineup includes the LXP 1300, LXD 1300, and IXR700. All three devices are inkjet machines and support double-sided printing and 1200 dpi resolution.
- Label Printers: Canon’s lineup of label printers on display included the LXD5500, LXD1300, and LXP1300. Like the ID card/badge printers, these devices offer full color inkjet printing at 1200 dpi and can print to any substrate that works with ink. While there is competition in this space, Canon is confident that its full-color print capabilities will help them stand out.
- Wire/Cable Marker Printer: The MX2600 and MX3600 target electricians and IT teams that need to keep their wiring neat and organized. Both devices are lightweight and portable and can print sleeves or tags, so there is no confusion about which wire goes where and does what.
This Cleaning Bot Is a Whiz
I heard about the Whiz Commercial Robot Vacuum last summer, and I’ll be honest: I had a chuckle and mocked it like almost everyone else. But in hindsight, that was foolish and unwarranted. It was like critiquing an Adam Sandler movie because it wasn’t high art. Adam Sandler never set out to create high art, just as Canon didn’t partner with SoftBank to sell robot vacuums that can replace an entire cleaning staff. What Canon did do, however, is equip their partners with another solution that introduces them to clients that they might have never talked to before. Like I said, they won’t be displacing your entire cleaning staff—or even a single worker. Instead, they are providing a tool that can handle boring, mundane cleaning tasks, so maintenance staff can focus on keeping high-touch areas clean.
Keypoint Intelligence Opinion
Between digital transformation eating away at page volumes and the pandemic upending everything from how we work to our ability to move equipment from this point to that point, these are some tough times for the print industry, but cooperation and support can go a long way in weathering any storm. And that’s what Canon’s Roadshows represent: Commitment to producing products that can solve today’s businesses most pressing problems, and supporting channel partners that get those products into the hands of customers.
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