Las Vegas — Kyocera Document Solutions held its Fiscal Year 2018 Business and Technology Conference on April 18-20 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Roughly 1,200 dealers from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Latin America and Caribbean countries attended the conference, which was themed Navigate Your Success. There were general sessions, numerous educational tracks and a technology fair. The educational tracks covered topics such as competitive differentiation, industry trends, successful sales habits, IT services, and utilizing social media in sales which were all relevant to dealers of all sizes.
The most compelling aspects of the conference were Kyocera Document Solutions’ (KDA) announcements around software and services, its willingness to share business results and future directions, and the best practices sharing between the dealers themselves. Kyocera provides a unique perspective on the industry. The company has a fanatically loyal customer and dealer base for enterprise MFDs and printers, but KDA’s gap in light production printers keeps it at just below a billion-dollar company. However, much of that loyalty is due to a strong enterprise product lineup, an increasing number of document-related apps, and a constant focus on their dealer channel, which differs from many of its competitors, who seem to vacillate between using dealer and direct channels.
Fiscal Year 2017 Results
Ed Bialecki, senior vice president, sales of KDA, reported that business grew for the eighth consecutive year (excluding exchange rates) with 7% growth on local currency basis in last year. This meant that KDA had record-breaking results for the sixth consecutive year. He attributed much of the success to dealers embracing the KDA Total Document Solutions (TDS) approach to bringing customers the hardware, software and services needed to run their businesses more effectively.
Yukio Ikeda, who became President and CEO of Kyocera Document Solutions America just over a year ago, provided more details. KDA business in the North American market was 104% compared to the previous fiscal year, with Kyocera Document Solutions Mexico leading at 117%. These are impressive results in a relatively flat market. One factor in this business success was that Kyocera Document Solutions Corporation globally launched 43 models in 12 product series in fiscal year 2017. This included completely refreshing the A3 MFP lineup and launching new low-end A4 color segment products. Another factor is its Total Document Solutions approach and, of course, the best products in the world don’t get sold or solve problems without an effective sales and support channel. KDA recognized their top dealers as well.
Top US Kyocera Premier Dealers:
- Bill Shuey from Phillips Office Solutions
- Todd Moody from KBA Docusys
- Nate Robinson from Impact Networking
- Gary Harouff from Advanced Imaging Solutions
- Dennis Bednar from Meritech
- Kevin Laury from SumnerOne
- Scott Mueller from National Business Technologies
Top US Copystar Elite Dealers:
- Joe Blatchford and Rich Campbell from Image 2000
- Michael Boyle and Dave Thompson from Base Technologies
- David Snyder from Elite Imaging Systems
Top Latin American and the Caribbean Dealers:
- Ernesto De Lima from Datecsa in Colombia
- Karen Felicien-Brown and Wayne Brown from Copiers & Consumables Limited in Jamaica
Top Mexico, Brazil and Chili Dealers:
- Juan Manuel González from Máquinas, Información y Tecnología Avanzada in Mexico
- Héctor Gómez from Servicios Múltiples Corporativos in Mexico
- Omar Mobarak from Mobarak y Compañía in Mexico
- Otacílio Loiola from Tecnovetti Productos in Brazil
- Roberto Inzunza from Upgrade in Chile
- Gonzalo García from Ofimundo in Chile
Top Canada Dealers:
- Mitch Taylor from 4Office Automation
- Sherri-Lynn Teri and Carole Dunkley from Document Imaging Partners
- Rod Runzer from Gold Group of Companies
Looking to the Future
Norihiko Ina, who became president of Kyocera Document Solutions Corporation on April 1, shifted the focus towards the future. While KDS is planning to globally launch 37 new models in 15 product series and 25 new business applications in FY18, most of these will not be in the US. The major focus for KDA will be on TDS 2.0 and on expanding Kyocera Fleet Services (KFS). Ina provided some background on this by listing the five key business challenges he sees:
Five Key Business Challenges
- Maintaining and strengthening price competitiveness in the document market: The market is very price sensitive and KDS is addressing this challenge with a hybrid production line which combines people and robots with high production efficiency. They are also steadily increasing the production volume at their 5-year-old Vietnam factory, where they now produce 50% of their A4 MFPs and printers.
- Environmental Responsibility: KDS has developed a new toner, with a lower toner fixing temperature, which results in lower power consumption. Power consumption in devices using this new toner have been reduced by up to about 50% compared to their previous series
- Changing Print Volumes: KDS is predicting that office printing volume will continue to decline in western countries. The firm is addressing this trend by creating opportunities to expand business beyond printing. In particular, Document Business Process Optimization (BPO) and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) areas have document-related workflows, which are essential, but may not require documents to be printed. The company is already setting the stage for entering these business areas with an acquisition and an alliance. Last year KDS acquired the ECM software development company, Ceyoniq, in Europe. KDS also announced an alliance with DataBank in the US for BPO.
- Change of print demand: KDS sees opportunities with high-speed inkjet on-demand printing, especially with regard to variable data printing. Kyocera has been developing hardware products and solutions in these areas for several years, especially involving inkjet heads, and they expect to start mass production in first half of 2018.
- The Internet of Things: KDS is currently utilizing this concept to offer predictive maintenance service and remote upgrades through Kyocera Fleet Service remote maintenance working in the cloud and expect this to grow.
Solutions are the Answer
Danielle Wolowitz, vice president of the Corporate Marketing Group, provided an overview of TDS 2.0 and a tour of the technology suite. KDA’s Total Document Solutions 2.0 philosophy is to provide the unique combination of hardware, software and services that helps each customer run their business more efficiently, productively and profitably.
The technology suite demonstrated this focus on TDS 2.0 and KFS with a ballroom filled with Kyocera apps, partners and integrated solutions. KDA demonstrated apps that integrate MFPs to OnBase, DocuWare, Square 9 and many of the most popular DMS offerings available. Many of these have overlapping capabilities, which is a good thing. TDS 2.0 aims to provide these types of offerings to all KDA customers, from small to enterprise, with solutions ranging from simple tasks to complex content management solutions. A single solution would simply not fit all these needs. KDA is, however, helping make sense out of this by rebranding all their offerings into three categories: AccuSender products, PinPoint products, and the DMConnect suite of products.
Highlighted TFS 2.0 Solution Examples
- KYOCERA Net Manager, which is a single, secure, server-based web app for integrating key management functions. There are connector apps for Hyland AirBase and Hyland ShareBase to integrate Kyocera devices with various document management packages.
- DMConnect, which delivers flexible document capture through a highly scalable infrastructure, flexible configurations, and easy operability for implementing simple to more complex workflows. It features barcode routing to quickly, accurately and securely store and distribute documents and attached metadata to multiple destinations simultaneously based on specific workflows. It also provides document enhancement through optical character recognition (OCR), blank page removal and Bates editing features.
- PinPoint is getting scanning and mobile enhancements so that users can scan documents to the cloud, get PIN codes and retrieve those documents by entering a PIN code on their mobile devices. It can, of course, go the other way and print to the cloud from mobile. Users then just type in the document’s PIN code at their HyPAS device and print it. And, it’s just an app on your phone. You don’t need to surf to a website.
- DataBank: The most significant announcement, however, is its expanded relationship for dealers with DataBank. DataBank is the single largest reseller of the HyLand portfolio in North America. KDA’s relationship with DataBank will help dealers offer customers a new level of consultative expertise in simplifying complex workflows and optimizing business performance. DataBank brings the experience and resources to bring full BPI and BPO services to any KDA customer of any size. This relationship, with DataBank’s BPI capabilities and the soon-to-come IT Services offerings, specifically Workspace as a Service, are at the heart of the Total Document Solutions 2.0 (TDS 2.0) approach. KDA will be launching the DataBank alliance to a small group of dealers in the first quarter of FY18, rolling it out in the second half.
The past year was a strong one for KDA, which forecasts the coming one to be bright as well, as it helps dealers expand into more sophisticated business opportunities. Next year the event will return to the Omni in Orlando.