Kyocera Puts Knowledge to Work at 2019 Dealer Show
After Record-Setting Growth, Company Aims Even Higher
April always marks the beginning of Kyocera’s fiscal year—it’s a time to kick off new initiatives and reflect on the last year. According to Norihiko Ina, President of Kyocera Document Solutions, for FY 2019, the company achieved record annual unit sales of 2.15 million units globally. A3 mid-range color MFP and A4 color MFP sales grew at 6 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively, compared to the prior year. Kyocera, in turn, hopes to achieve another year of record growth for FY 2020. Globally, Kyocera hopes to achieve sales of 500 billion Japanese Yen by the end of FY 2021.
The last decade has also been good to Kyocera Document Solutions America. According to Oscar Sanchez, the new President and CEO of Kyocera Document Solutions America, from FY 2009 to 2019, revenue for the company grew by 46 percent and profit almost tripled. The company also increased its market share and has been able to expand its presence in most of the markets in both North and South America.
But for the last two years growth has been relatively flat for Kyocera America. As such, there are several areas where the company sees growth opportunities that it would like to take more advantage of—beginning now.
“I have a long history in this company, and the only thing that has remained constant in my 23 years in Kyocera has been change,” said Sanchez. “That is basically all I have been doing, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, but I have always challenged myself and my teams not to accept the status quo.”
According to Sanchez, the path to growth begins with consistent messaging and branding across all regions of Kyocera and sending a clear message to customers about what the company can do for them.
Putting Knowledge to Work
“During the last year, there has been a combined effort between Japan, the US, Europe, and Australia to reposition our brand and to define a uniform, worldwide brand message that explains how we see Kyocera in the future,” said Sanchez. “This brand positioning will be the compass for all Kyocera sales organizations worldwide, to guide the strategic direction of the company.”
Hardware on the Horizon
One of the areas in which the company is targeting growth is with sales of A3 color MFPs. According to the company, the ratio of color A3 MFP sales for the North American region is 62 percent, compared to a sales ratio of 82 percent in Western Europe and 86 percent in Japan. This marks a significant growth opportunity for the short- and mid-term.
No doubt, Kyocera’s A3 MFP line is as strong as it has ever been. The recipient of Buyers Lab’s award for Most Reliable Color Copier MFP Brand 2018–2021, the company has plans to introduce 26 new models globally during FY 2020.
TASKalfa Pro 15000C
Kyocera looks to finally launch the TASKalfa Pro 15000C this coming fall.
“Since its introduction at last year’s dealer show, we have been developing a go-to-market strategy, fine-tuning our target market, investing in local infrastructure, building up the skill set inhouse, and recruiting new talent in order to have the proper support when we bring this product to market,” said Danielle Wolowitz, Kyocera Document Solutions America’s Vice President of Corporate Marketing.
While Kyocera readily admits that the market originally anticipated for the 15000C last year has narrowed, the company remains confident that the right dealers will sign on to support the full line. As Wolowitz explained, the company is targeting transactional print environments, in-plants, and CRDs for this device, and roughly 20 percent of Kyocera’s current dealer base in the US has the capability to support the 15000C in these markets. Whether or not 20 percent agree to take on the new inkjet production device remains to be seen. The next steps, according to Wolowitz, are to place it in select locations in the US over the summer to confirm the product will surpass expectations in its target market.
The 146-ppm color production inkjet MFP will support media weights up to 360 gsm for paper sizes up to 13" x 19" and oversize media up to 27". The device also supports a vacuum-fed media supply expandable to up to 12,950 sheets, support for an EFI Fiery controller, and a maximum document volume up to 1 million impressions per month.
Several other devices were showcased in the Technology Expo including:
- 96-ppm black-and-white production MFP
- Standard 220 ipm, 220-sheet duplex single pass feeder
- Broad range of media handling and a paper capacity of 12,650 sheets
- Professional finishing with booklet-making, multi-folding, and stacking options
- Maximum document volume up to 1 million impressions per month
- 83-ppm black-and-white, 70-ppm color A3 MFP
- 10.1" color touch-screen control panel
- Standard 220 ipm, 270-sheet duplex single pass feeder
- Paper capacity up to 7,650 sheets
- Advanced finishing with 100-sheet stapling, booklet-making, and tri-folding options
- Standard Data Security Kit
- HyPAS-enabled, and Kyocera Net Manager (KNM)- and Kyocera Fleet Services (KFS)-ready
- 52-ppm color A4 MFP
- Optional 130 ipm, 100-sheet duplex single pass feeder
- Optional 3,200 sheet finisher with 50-sheet stapling
- HyPAS-enabled, and KNM- and KFS-ready
- 62-ppm black-and-white A4 MFP
- Toner yield of up to 40,000 impressions
- Standard 124 ipm, 100-sheet duplex single pass feeder
- Standard 250 sheet internal finisher with 50-sheet stapling
- HyPAS-enabled, and KNM- and KFS-ready
- 62-ppm black-and-white A4 printer
- Toner yield of up to 40,000 impressions
- Standard 600-sheet paper capacity, expandable to up to 2,600 sheets
- Optional 32-GB SSD or 128-GB SSD
- Free activation of Data Security Kit
- KNM- and KFS-ready
Kyocera also expanded its partnership with KIP and will be launching the color wide format lineup in May.
Kyocera hopes software sales will also be instrumental to its growth and its ability to differentiate from other OEMs. In fact, five years from now, Sanchez hopes that 20 percent of sales for both direct and dealer operations will come from software and services. The software and services story is not all that different from the story we have heard from Kyocera—not to mention the other OEMs—for several years. What is different is the company’s plan to focus on four specific software applications that it feels can add new revenue streams into organizations. The company also hopes to move to a more unified global approach for selling and supporting its software, versus the current state of being more region-based, and Kyocera will work to develop some sort of compensation program to motivate dealers to sell more software.
“If we want to be a global company, we have to be consistent on a global level, not only with brand and hardware but also with software,” Sanchez said. “In addition, while we have been successful in selling business applications like PinPoint Scan and Teaching Assistant for several years, these applications do not bring a lot of revenue by themselves to our direct or dealer channels. Plus, the possibilities of selling professional services on top of them are very limited due to their design concept.”
To that end, while these applications will remain in Kyocera’s portfolio, the company plans to concentrate its efforts into four specific software applications with more upside for professional services add-ons.
The New DMConnect
DMConnect is an MFP- and server-based document capture/processing/routing solution that transforms a HyPAS-enabled MFP into an onramp for adding paper documents to emails, network folders, SharePoint, and other document management systems. Documents can be captured, automatically indexed, processed, and routed for storage from the control panel of supported devices. User access can also be restricted, and several different MFP-embedded components were tailored for verticals including education, finance, healthcare, and legal.
“As one of our longest standing, most robust, and best performing business applications, the DMConnect Suite has been an integral part in winning major deals across the Americas,” Wolowitz said. “One of the overwhelming requests was the desire to add capture points beyond an MFP, so that users aren’t limited to workflows that originated from a paper-based document. With the new DMConnect V3, we have stepped up the game in capture.”
The new DMConnect has the ability to take the processing, distribution, and workflow aspects outside of the MFP. For example, documents—regardless of origin—can now be indexed with manual input or automatically through forms recognition, barcode recognition, and data look-up from ODBC or Excel data resources. DM Connect can pick up documents from designated email, hot folders, and FTP locations, and then process it and send it to a workflow. DM Connect also supports mobile capture.
“Now you can step away from the hardware for a moment and offer a comprehensive workflow and capture solution to virtually any customer,” Wolowitz continued. “And because this newest version is not tying you to a piece of hardware as the onramp, it could open doors into customers you have not yet been able to entice with just a hardware offering.”
Enterprise Content Management for the Mid-Market
Kyocera also announced plans to introduce a cloud only, mid-market enterprise content management (ECM) product, powered by Hyland. As Wolowitz explained, up to this point Kyocera’s ECM product offerings with Hyland were targeted primarily at the large to enterprise customer. With that comes a level of complexity and cost, and Kyocera was missing the mark on SMB segments between 50 to 250 employees.
“In the next few months we will be delivering a simpler licensing model for the mid-market ECM space that will be cloud only—and only available through Kyocera,” Wolowitz said. “This will be a turnkey operation ready to use off the shelf that is not only cost-effective, but much more palatable, easily configurable, and repeatable, and can be deployed in 24 to 48 hours. This is a product that dealers called for and can embrace and go to market directly with.”
The new product will support capture, store, basic routing, and have a consistent look from mobile access to PC access. It’s designed to support five users or 500 users and will offer a cost of $10,000 per year for a five-person subscription. Additional users will be $1,000 per year. Along with a document search screen, the system will search document types and notify users about missing documents. The system will also notify users via email if invoices need to be approved and supports options to deny or route somewhere else. DMConnect will also be the initial connector for the product.
Kyocera Net Manager/MyQ
The server-based web application, developed in conjunction with MyQ, is a tailor-focused Kyocera solution to manage print devices and user policies for secure printing and copying and to provide accounting of print-related expenses. The application also supports secure print and follow to ensure documents can only be accessed and printed by authorized people, print and follow with Kyocera Mobile Print, and individualized scanning and advanced capture. Now, through a formalized reseller agreement with MyQ, Kyocera is no longer limited to providing this service for Kyocera-only devices and can now serve mixed- dealer fleet environments in a similar capacity.
Kyocera Fleet Services and eAutomate Team Up
KYOCERA Fleet Services (KFS) is a web-based service that streamlines remote fleet maintenance. The cloud-hosted solution enables administrators to view device status and easily identify and execute high-level maintenance tasks from anywhere. This, in turn, helps to reduce service costs by circumventing on-site visits from technicians. It also includes a Remote Panel feature that allows administrators to remotely access the end users’ operation panel to assist in navigation without a technician onsite. According to Wolowitz, more than 300,000 devices are currently monitored in this system across the Americas, and 75 percent of Kyocera’s dealers are using the system proactively. Now with a deeper integration with eAutomate, toner monitoring and automatic toner ordering can be established. The criteria of toner level can be set as percentage or number of days until empty and an order is automatically prepared for approval.