The Record - Issue 20: Spring 2021

56 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om I NT E R V I EW T he digital revolution has intensified, and businesses around the world have felt the pressure to ‘adapt or die’. For Konica Minolta, an enthusiastic pursuit of the former has helped it steer clear of the latter. The global brand which previously focused primarily on hardware such as cameras and multifunction copiers, then established itself as a leading pro- vider of document and print workflow solutions, has gradually expanded its portfolio of services as part of the digital transformation to deliver digital workplace solutions that align with the 21st-century needs of its customers. “I suspect that some portion of the readers will associate the Konica Minolta name with a device or product,” says Todd Croteau, Global Head of IT Services and President All Covered - IT Services from Konica Minolta (US). “But we have moved away from this. We are no longer just ‘your father’s copier company’.” The traditional, hardware-based business has deliberately transformed itself into an agile, customer-centric provider, and its relation- ship with Microsoft is playing a key role in this change. Konica Minolta recently became a Microsoft Global Managed Partner, something which Jaromir Sponar, European Microsoft partnership programme advisor, believes will have a significant impact on how the organisa- tion manages its businesses. “Over time, Konica Minolta has acquired many businesses worldwide,” he says. “Previously, Microsoft saw us as multiple, individual, smaller brands, but this global relationship has unified us.” Its new status with Microsoft means that Konica Minolta will now be able to unite its brands, leverage the local knowledge and exper- tise of each and share this throughout the whole organisation and in various industries and local- ities around the world. “For example, we have been working with colleagues in the UK to serve a customer with offices in the US, UK and Japan,” Croteau explains. “Previously, our teams in these coun- tries would serve each as separate entities, but soon we will be able to use a common platform and go-to-market so that we know exactly what’s going to be delivered to our customer’s employ- ees, whatever their location. Previously our teams in different countries acted with different approaches. While they all worked, it required a lot more coordination internally. A global approach will transform this.” From a business perspective, a unified strategy has significant benefits, but the new approach will also provide customers and partners with a whole new level of value. “Previously, the customer would be limited by what knowledge, expertise and investment existed in the country,” says Croteau. “In the US, there is a lot more investment and expertise on classic managed service provider offerings. However, there has not been the same invest- ment in this area in Europe, so now that will Konica Minolta has repositioned itself to deliver digital workplace solutions that meet the needs of its customers. A pandemic and expanded Microsoft relationship have accelerated this shift Embracing change BY E L LY YAT E S - ROB E R T S “We are repositioning ourselves to become a solutions provider that is constantly striving to deliver innovation for the digital workplace” OL A F LOR ENZ , D I G I TA L T RANS FORMAT I ON L E AD