RICOH OUTLINES 2006 STRATEGY
RICOH OUTLINES 2006 STRATEGY
2006-02-10 at 11:17:00 am #14017
Ricoh outlines 2006 strategy
New products and technology to win users
Printer and document management specialist Ricoh this week outlined plans for major new products and technology designed to appeal to IT directors by lowering costs and improving the manageability of their printingg solutions.
Currently in beta in the UK, @Remote is an internet-based support service for the remote management of multi-function devices (MFDs), printers and other output devices which are connected to the network.
It automates the time-consuming task of meter reading and toner ordering, freeing up IT administrators to take on more important tasks, and gives senior IT staff greater visibility into their printing devices so they can manage their fleet better, according to Ricoh.
The firm’s UK marketing director, Chas Moloney, said the system also monitors the status of devices connected to the network and will trigger a service call if it detects potential printer failures, thus reducing the management burden for IT and increasing revenue by limiting downtime.
“The challenge we face is that printing is a low agenda item for the IT manager,” said Moloney. “We are trying to tell them how much cost is leaving their business from a print perspective and the huge opportunities for savings that could be made.”
Ricoh also revealed it will unveil new ink technology in the UK, which is designed to dry faster than conventional inkjet ink so it can print faster and increase user productivity.
According to the firm’s dealer sales director, Paul Cheetham, the new Gel technology is set to be embedded in up to five new “cost effective and ergonomically designed products”, aimed at the low volume market, for release this April.
The announcements came during a press event in New York to showcase the firm’s new product demonstration centre there, which will be complemented by the launch of a similar centre in the UK this spring.
The Ricoh Technology Portal is a purpose-built complex that allows IT administrators to construct and view their existing printing set-up, see where productivity and cost is being wasted and demo potential solutions.
The centres highlight the company’s strategy of engaging closer with IT managers to create solutions tailored to the specific needs of their business, said Ricoh.
“Nothing is worse when you are buying something than for the vendor to say ‘this is how it works, but it will be different when you put it in your environment,” argued Moloney. “This portal will give the IT manager confidence that it will work in their unique environment, because no two companies are the same.”
The portal can also enable IT directors to satisfy the growing concerns of securing devices, legislative compliance, and integrating printing devices with back office systems, added Andrew Young, manager at the New York TechnoPortal.
Ricoh also announced last week that it will be launching a new division, Ricoh Printing Solutions, into the UK within the next couple of months, targeting the high volume datacenter market with products the company acquired when it bought Hitachi Printing Solutions in 2004.