I have had the privilege of attending several multi-city Canon events in past years, but the one held in Las Vegas in early May was noticeably different. This is anything but a normal time for the print industry, and Canon mixed it up accordingly. This year, Canon brought sales and service professionals from their dealer partners together under one roof to learn about Canon’s diverse portfolio and the competitive advantage that it provides. That move resulted in more people attending and a great atmosphere of — dare I say it — excited interest in Canon’s latest offerings.
The general session
In the general session, we heard from several representatives from Canon, including Shinichi “Sam” Yoshida, executive vice president and general manager, Canon U.S.A., Inc., and Mason Olds, executive vice president, Sales, Canon U.S.A., Inc. We heard a lot about Canon’s success through tumultuous times, and how the company is assembling a diverse product line on top of a successful core of office and home print devices. I was also able to speak with Bob Barbera, director, Product Marketing, Production Print Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc., in the hallway and got a little bit more info on the latest with the production equipment.
Canon made $30 billion in revenue in 2022, according to Olds. And while Canon has been diversifying its portfolio, print still makes up over half of its revenue and most of its profit. Canon took home $2.6 billion in profits during 2022. And the hot streak continues in 2023 as Canon reported double digit increases in revenue and profitability in its first-quarter figures, according to Olds.
Breakouts by track
There were nearly two dozen breakout sessions organized across four tracks. But regardless of what track you attended, there was a healthy dose of large format, production, service, and solutions (cloud workflow automation and device management systems) information baked in.
In the sales track, sales managers and top performers learned about Canon’s large format, production, office MFP, and cloud print management solutions portfolio. Canon also hosted sessions focused on helping reps succeed in the healthcare and education verticals.
- Large format: Canon explored the different kinds of large format opportunities, overviewed its ColorWave, PlotWave, and imagePROGRAF TZ devices, and explained how dealers can use large format as a springboard into new opportunities within markets like production CAD.
- imageRUNNER ADVANCE DX: Attendees got to experience firsthand the competitive advantages that Canon’s A3 MFP brings to the table.
- Cloud print management: Canon discussed the cost, security, productivity, and maintenance problems that come with managing print fleets, especially in the age of hybrid working, and how its uniFLOW Online platform can solve them.
- Production: The production print session focused on the new imagePRESS V family and varioPRINT 140 QUARTZ devices, as well as PRISMA cloud-based workflow applications. Attendees got to see the technology in action during a live demonstration.
- Healthcare and education: Over two separate sessions, Canon helped reps and managers sharpen their sales strategies in healthcare and education environments. In each session, Canon overviewed the industry-specific problems in each vertical, and how Canon’s technology can solve them.
The service track was tailored for service leaders and managers, and allowed them to see firsthand how Canon’s portfolio can optimize the service department.
- Serviceability done right: In this session, attendees got to experience Canon’s enterprise, production, and large format devices, and learned how they are designed with serviceability in mind. Canon’s expert service team was on hand to provide demos and take questions.
- Solutions: Canon’s professional training and planning teams discussed roadblocks and how to overcome them when deploying solutions.
- Canon Smart Services: Attendees learned about the integrated lifecycle tools, support updates, and the technical support center that are available to them so they can optimize their service engines.
The solutions track was hands-on and built for solutions analysts and technical experts.
- Advanced print and scan workflow skills: Reps from Canon and NT-ware (developer of uniFLOW) helped attendees sharpen their print and scan workflow development skills in a demo environment, so they can have better outcomes during customer engagements.
- Device management skills: This was a hands-on review of Canon’s Smart Services and other tools that can help streamline daily workflows within your dealership.
- Workflow automation with Therefore: Reps from Canon’s Digital Imaging Solutions (DIS) team and Therefore discussed current customer pain points (like manual processes) and how Therefore can help solve them so dealerships can build stronger customer relationships.
Production specialists and managers were able to attend sessions with product demos and competitive insights.
- imagePRESS V: In this session, attendees saw the imagePRESS V1000 (with sensing unit) in action. They could print mixed-media books, packaging, synthetic and magnetic materials, and textured output.
- Competitive insights: The folks from ProPrint Performance overviewed the production marketplace.
- Color controls: Attendees learned how the imagePRESS V family and PRISMA solutions can elevate color quality and provide a competitive advantage.
- Cloud production workflow automation: Demos of PRISMA cloud solutions including PRISMAprepare go, PRISMA Home v1.5, PRISMAlytics, and PRISMAdemo.
It’s refreshing to attend an event that is focused on educating as many frontline sales and service professionals as possible — this was a great initiative. There were no empty seats in the general session or breakouts that I attended, and I expect a full house when they do it again in a few weeks in Nashville. But two cities are not enough – I think Canon will need to keep the visits across the U.S. coming!
Patricia Ames is president and senior analyst for BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines. As a market analyst and industry consultant, Ames has worked for prominent consulting firms including KPMG and has more than 15 years experience in the imaging industry covering technology and business sectors. Ames has lived and worked in the United States, Southeast Asia and Europe and enjoys being a part of a global industry and community.