In Berlin on Thursday, Konica Minolta assembled their senior directors and management teams along with the world’s top analysts and commentators for the spectacular launch of the Workplace Hub.
The CEO of Konica Minolta Mr Shoei Yamana presented the device itself. The Workplace Hub is a server. It is the product of joint ventures with Microsoft and Hewlett Packard, and of Konica Minolta’s own business innovation department, led by Doctor Dennis Curry.
Launching in October 2017, the Workplace Hub will come in three flavours to start with : integrated with an MFP to host capture and content services, and without any print or scan funtions (Workplace Edge) – and rack-mountable (Workplace Rack). Vertical-specific versions will follow in 2018, starting with a healthcare industry model.
This exciting, all-new product range is the culmination not only of years of customer-need analysis and tech R&D, but also of Konica Minolta’s seven years of strategic efforts to position themselves as providers of real business technical support. This has lent credibility to their software portfolio, and now we see the exciting reality, that Konica Minolta are to be genuine providers of generic office systems well beyond their background in imaging technologies.
The Workplace Hub is a server running a Microsoft operating system. This enables it to fit into a business’ existing IT infrastructure, and provides a platform for the wealth of software Konica Minolta will be providing in years to come through partnerships with Canonical and BrainTribe, and AI and IoT system providers – and also regional and vertical-specific third parties. Since the Komibox, we have seen Konica Minolta drive to put their computing power into customer premises to provide powerful business solutions well beyond what you can deliver through a copier.
Mr Yamana’s vision has been to deliver a single device to enable businesses to make better decisions. The Workplace Hub provides "team spaces," integrates imaging technologies, IoT data and other big data sources along with connectivity technologies to provide meaningful, live dashboards. "Connected intelligent platforms to allow our customers to thrive," said Mr Yamana.
Mr Yamana suggested that his vision had come in part from his analysis of Uber’s business – which helped him see the power of connected data streams. Along with opportunities come problems and challenges. Konica Minolta’s business customers would need help to solve problems. This led the company to study and to deepen their understanding of the new mobile data world. He saw an opportunity to empower his customers by repositioning Konica Minolta as problem solvers, connecting intelligent systems, "focus not on technical details but on usage, [becoming] trusted manufacturers of devices which solve problems, driven by passion to do everything for all customers." The Workplace Hub comes from this customer-centric approach, and is intended to be the crux of the future digital workplace : a Cognitive Hub!