The 2017 Konica Minolta dealer meeting, with its theme of “FUTUREADY,” was held at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, CA. This year’s event, with more than 700 in attendance, was decidedly different from any we have ever attended. Change is good, and we congratulate Konica Minolta for trying something different.
In his welcoming letter to the dealers, Rick Taylor observed, “This is sure to be our most engaging event yet and will offer you an exclusive look at many of our innovative technologies.”
[caption id="attachment_45803" align="alignleft" width="600"] The three-hour General Session was broken into several different discussions.[/caption]
The meeting was one day shorter than previous meetings. We hit the ground running at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4 for the General Assembly. The program lasted until shortly past 6 p.m. with a champagne break in between.
The three hours was broken into several different discussions on a stage with four different presentation areas. The conversational group settings were focused primarily on Managed IT services. Included in each group were dealers such as Barry Clark of Perry Protec, Dean Swenson of Swenson Group, and former dealer Larry Sudbay who sold his former company, Symquest to Konica Minolta.
This may be the 100th time I have said this, but dealers appreciate hearing from other dealers, particularly when Konica Minolta invites the caliber of the three I just mentioned. Each are working with All Covered. If there was any one message that dealers should have took home from Carlsbad, it was that dealers should be using the IT arm of Konica Minolta.
This dealer conference was a distinct departure from previous dealer-oriented events with its lack of hardware (We only observed two devices in the product area), and the heightened emphasis on Konica Minolta’s approach to penetrating the IT space via All Covered.
[caption id="attachment_45804" align="alignleft" width="300"] Workplace Hub is a strong indicator of how Konica Minolta is FUTUREADY.[/caption]
Backed by 14 breakout sessions and a product showcase, the education was intense and thorough, addressing some of the most important issues of the day. We particularly enjoyed the seminar on the Workplace Hub by Dino Pagliarello, VP product management & planning along with Nick Pegley, VP solutions and services business development. We saw the introduction in Berlin about six months ago, and in our opinion, Workplace Hub represents a unique opportunity for dealers in the SMB space.
Workplace Hub is an application services platform that is fully capable of running multiple applications. It also encompasses a cloud server that completes the offering. Konica Minolta has partnered with HP Enterprise, Microsoft, and Cisco in developing this product.
“It is a bridge between IT and Managed Services,” said Kevin Kern, senior vice president business intelligence services and product planning.
The product will be available to dealers in January with Pegley noting that the company wants to make sure that it is performing as it should before it is released to dealers.
[caption id="attachment_45805" align="alignleft" width="300"] Konica Minolta is helping dealers think differently about their businesses and how to meet the needs of their customers not just today, but tomorrow as well.[/caption]
In addition, there were seminars on cybercrime, industrial print, and sales strategies for the Accuriojet KM-1. Another session addressed Forza SAP & Konica Minolta and featured RJ Tarantino, director business intelligence services and Russell Fisher, CEO, Boss Business Systems, Inc.
More than Ready for the Future
According to Rick, Konica Minolta has grown its revenue by $1 billion over the last seven years. Currently, the company has experienced a unit growth of 10% with revenue up 4%. He also noted that September was the largest dealer month in Konica Minolta history.
By any standard we know that Konica Minolta is doing extremely well. Our most recent survey graphically demonstrates that Konica Minolta dealers value this company highly. Rick has assembled a capable senior staff that has already shown they can take this company to an even higher place. We look forward to continuing to follow them and report on their journey and how it will impact their dealers.
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