by Amy Weiss
It was just about a year ago that Canon announced Toyo Kuwamura, then president and CEO of Canon Solutions America (CSA), would add the roles of senior (now executive) vice president and general manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A. (CUSA BISG) to his title — an act which may have created more complicated job titles but was a precursor to a simplified approach within the company itself — the One Canon initiative previewed at an analyst event last August. The vision of One Canon, designed to strengthen its B2B divisions and reinforce partnerships with its dealers, has now been in place for more than six months, and in March 2017, press and analysts were invited back to get a feel for how things are progressing.
The two-day event in Boca Raton, Florida, served as both a recap and introduction opportunity for Canon. Francis McMahon, VP of Canon USA, kicked off the day of presentations by discussing the ongoing evolution from a product-centric organization to a customer-centric one, creating a deeper portfolio for customers, and Chairman and CEO Joe Adachi welcomed everyone and spoke more about Canon’s success and plans for the future.
Canon adopted a “show and tell” methodology for the day, allowing executives to not only talk about the various business units’ functions and performance, but bringing on customers and partners to talk about those stories, showing off One Canon in action.
Vaibhav Agarwal, director of procurement for the University of Notre Dame, joined Valerie Belli, VP of CSA’s enterprise managed services division, to talk about its successful partnership. Our favorite success statistic: the university reduced its net printer page consumption from 10,978,862 pages to 7,902,967 pages — a stack of paper equal to 7.8 times the height of Touchdown Jesus.
Mal Baboyian, SVB, BISG Océ Products Marketing and Support discussed the production business results and key accomplishments for 2016, noting a record year in sales in service with revenue at 104 percent of the prior year, profit at 117 percent of goal, and passing 80 billion impressions on production printing products in the U.S. He specifically discussed the success of the Océ VarioPrint i300 inkjet color digital press placements, achieving 97 percent uptime, with one high-use customer running 9 million impressions in one month.
He also previewed the launch of the revolutionary Océ Colorado 1640, the first 64-inch roll-to-roll printer based on new UVgel technology, which Baboyian called the most important product introduction in 25 years. The technology uses UV curable ink that instantly gels on contact with the media, has what Canon touts as “self-aware” piezoelectric printhead technology, an LED-based UV system that cures without adding heat, and continuous, on-the-fly printhead nozzle monitoring and performance compensation, resulting in a device with a top speed of 1,710 feet per hour. We got a first look at the Colorado at the event, and in keeping with the “show-don’t-tell” theme, here it is:
Hiro Imamura, Senior VP and GM of CUSA, discussed some of the group’s strategy and achievements, noting the success of the 10-year-old imageRUNNER ADVANCE and how it is driving growth in the MFP market. Canon announced the launch of several new imageRUNNER ADVANCE models during the event, including the C3530i and C3525i, the first A4 models to be introduced on the third-generation imageRUNNER ADVANCE platform.
Dennis Amorosano, VP of BISG Marketing and Canon Information and Imaging Solutions (CIIS) Professional Services, discussed, among other things, the expansion of Canon’s relationships with Box and its new integration with MxHero, which is a cloud service for intelligent e-mail management and collaboration, helping customers more effectively manage unstructured data. “We’re always looking at ways in which we can drive net new technology into the marketplace,” said Amorosano.
Amorosano welcomed Brian Robbins, COO of law firm Bird Marella, to discuss the improvements to the firm’s workflow. “Lawyers are extremely independent … they don’t like being told what to do, but at some point they recognize they don’t know everything and recognize they need assistance,” Robbins quipped. Robbins had inherited an inefficient situation, in which paper documents came into the firm’s mailroom, and then were distributed to people who hadn’t been trained on how to cope with them. Documents were often being entered incorrectly into the document management system and were difficult to find or simply lost, creating a real pain point for the firm. Canon solutions helped alleviate those manual processes with document input, taking a workflow that averaged 325 minutes and reducing the time spent by 85 percent.
Mason Olds, vice president and general manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, CUSA, noted that CUSA has seen five successive years of dealer channel growth, up 25 percent since 2011. He then brought on LDI Color Toolbox’s Jerry Blaine and one of Blaine’s customers, Howard Zimmerman, an architect with a major New York firm. Blaine discussed how about 300 of LDI’s clients have more than 20 locations in the U.S., presenting a challenge when it came to fleet management. He thanked Canon for being a reliable partner, allowing them to meet these challenges. “We’re not trying to bang any square pegs into round holes,” said Blaine. “We consult with the client, find out what their needs are, find out what their needs are, and architect the best solution.”
Discussing LDI’s vertical alignment, Blaine noted that the firm organizes its approach to the market by vertical territories, rather than geographical, allowing it to achieve growth in desirable markets such as legal, healthcare and education. This approach has also allowed LDI to be a powerful partner to Zimmerman’s firm; Zimmerman praised the partnership, noting that where other vendors were not able to keep up with their fast pace of growth, LDI was able to grow with them.
We then moved on to the real “show don’t tell” portion of the event, since as McMahon mentioned in his opening, software is hard to explain and easier to see. In addition to already mentioned products, we got a demonstration of some other harder-to-explain solutions such as AP automation.
Facing mounting pressure in an increasingly competitive and constricted office print market, Canon is capitalizing on its numerous other strengths; primarily production print and document workflow automation. Amorosano, for example, noted the effect of professional services software revenue in terms of supporting the hardware revenue as being a six-times multiplier of revenue contributions, particularly in the enterprise space. One Canon does not simply add the pieces together, but creates a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
It’s an approach that allowed us to view the Colorado press and see automation software in the same context and appreciate both — the Colorado press excited the hardware geeks in us, while the workflow geeks in us get excited by the term “unstructured data” and found ourselves intrigued by the Box and MxHero story.
Canon One, although it likely simplifies some structure within the organization, is ultimately designed for the company’s customers, allowing them to get the most from the entire company – an independent dealer, for example, can leverage the CUSA service structure and work with CIIS to develop better solutions. One Canon as announced last year made what Kuwamura called “a promise of delivering more integrated solutions offerings based on three pillars: innovation, possibility and smart solutions.” Based on what we viewed at this event, it seems the company is making good strides in fulfilling that promise.