It is always a source of great interest in the channel when an OEM decides to sell its direct branches. We saw what happened a few years ago when Ricoh did it and we’ve seen the same after the recent news that Konica Minolta was transferring some of its direct branches to a select group of dealers.
As of April 13, POA and All Copy Products have significantly expanded their footprints through the addition of Konica Minolta branches.
In the original press release Konica Minolta noted that it was making this move so that its direct branches could focus on four key growth areas within larger metropolitan markets. Those growth areas include: Enterprise and Global Enablement, Vertical Market Insights, Managed IT Services and Enterprise Content Management, and Commercial and Industrial Print.
As we pointed out in last week’s post, traditional office print was not specifically mentioned as a growth area for its direct branches. What wasn’t clear in our post, and which was mentioned in the original press release that we posted on April 2, is that Konica Minolta was not abandoning its “core business,” which can be interpreted as the MFP business.
As Konica Minolta COO Sam Errigo was quoted in that press release, “This change will allow us to focus our efforts in major markets and invest in key resources to accelerate our business transformation. Our value creation includes the expansion of our core technology coupled with value added IT services, enterprise content management and emerging services.”
He added, “We believe that there is still much potential for the core business, despite claims that other manufacturers have made. Our industry, in particular, is perfectly positioned to help companies of all sizes with their digital transformation.”
The MFP is undergoing a digital transformation of sorts itself. While printing is still a key function of an MFP, the multifunction aspect of it is taking on greater importance as the device has become an on-ramp to the cloud and other applications that may or may not involve printing.
Circling back to the direct branches picked up by POA and All Copy Products, we expect that an emphasis on traditional office printing and Konica Minolta MFPs will be a strong focus for both as they look to serve their new customers and markets.
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