Businesses sloth has been obvious in the Covid-19 environ. However, imaging company, Canon has been innovating and registering a fair growth with its offerings of diverse range of hardware and software solutions. K Bhaskhar, Senior Vice President, Business Imaging Solutions (BIS), Canon India, talks about how Canon has answered the call of digitisation across industry verticals and profitably tapped the Indian market. Excerpts.
What are the growth trends in the imaging solutions area and how enterprises are looking to leverage it?
With an increased concentration towards resource optimisation and automation, organisations are making an effort to look at operational proficiency, cost reduction, improved turnaround time and serviceability. Over the years, we have been witnessing an upswing in demand in the space of imaging solutions, but considering the current scenario, we anticipate a nominal shift in the graph. We are anticipating a 20 percent drop in hardware requirement with a corresponding 15 percent drop in printing volumes. But the overall printing business sector would continue as before as home printing has seen a remarkable surge. Moreover, with the shift of office printing to printing at home, multi-function devices that can print and scan while having in-built cloud connectivity for document storage will become must-haves for completely prepared home-workplaces.
Furthermore, with WFH or remote work culture turning into a standard practice, this has given us some compelling insights on the imperativeness of digitisation, streamlined work processes and the need for documents to be accessible anytime and from anywhere. Henceforth we anticipate an expanding interest for products and solutions that help a versatile workforce with data accessibility being the primary prerequisite while guaranteeing secure access to information.
What kind of demand do you see from the enterprises?
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, demand has been rapidly fluctuating. But as the market moves towards resumption of businesses, the demand across the spectrum will be witnessing a significant leap. This is because, regardless of any industry, MFDs are now a business imperative. As MFDs are a confluence of so many features, they have drastically increased efficiency and improved the output at a reduced price. Over the years there has been an upsurge in demand for MFD’s, as their reliability, versatility, ease of use and their compact size – make them an ideal pick for enterprises.
With businesses shifting their focus to digitisation of documents now, we also have a state-of-the-art cloud based solution hosted on a leading cloud provider platform – Therefore Online, which ensures secure and seamless management of information. Companies are using Therefore across their different departments like human resources, manufacturing, customer services, logistics, finance etc. Furthermore, it also automates core business processes with its powerful workflow engine and ensures that multiple people can work simultaneously on a process (depending on the type of license).
How has been the performance of Canon BIS in India over the past one year?
As one of the key players in the office automation segment in India, we have been able to carve a niche for ourselves which is synonymous with trust and innovation. Our products not only add value to the business of customers but are also environment friendly as they have a low carbon footprint.
Our motto of ‘Business Can Be Simple’ combined with our diverse range of hardware and software solutions (digital copiers, scanners, copier paper and print and document solutions) has helped cement our position in the office automation industry.
Additionally, building a stronger connect with our customers we strengthened our retail footprint with the launch of BIS Lounges in the country. These have helped to expand our footprint in the SME and Jobber segment as they allow customers to experience and get a demonstration of the product before making a purchase decision. Presently, we have 15 BIS Lounges across the country.
One of the most interesting initiatives undertaken by us has been Green Environment Together, a unique project wherein we plant a sapling for every copier sold to our direct customers.
All these factors backed by technological advancements and our superior customer services, have enabled us to repeat 80-85 percent of our customer association.
Which are your target industry verticals and from which vertical do you see most of the demand pouring in?
Office automation already has its foot through the door, meeting the demands of the work ecosystem of companies across sectors. The present situation has definitely impacted the way office automation is going to evolve in the coming years. For instance, in the medical sector – hospitals and clinics are facing a severe workforce crunch. In such testing times, automation eases the work with complete accuracy while diminishing the wastage produced related to worksheets. Apart from the medical sector, the banking sector has been heavily investing in technology for the back-office work methods and that finally led to a notable change in the entire sector. Thus, with the quick method of documenting data, managing back-office has become less tedious and more efficient for the banks. During these unprecedented times, we foresee maximum demand coming from the medical and banking sector.
What is the role of multifunctional devices for businesses in a post Covid world?
Though multifunctional devices (MFDs) have now been part and parcel of any organisational set-up, it will have a pivotal role to play as we are looking at the way forward in a post Covid world. While people are slowly but surely adjusting to the new normal and printing at home is witnessing a higher demand, multi-function devices will also become an imperative in the office IT infrastructure. In offices with multi-function devices/copiers being connected to the network – printing from ones seat is the norm. Printing is also possible from mobile devices or via a USB drive. To collect the document, users simply have to scan their id card against the card reader and therein you have contactless printing.
Currently, it is helping businesses to optimise processes and streamline document workflow, which will undoubtedly enhance the overall customer experience. Our latest range of multi-function devices come with protection against malware, offers users the advantage of printing and scanning directly from the cloud and are AI-powered to help with predictive maintenance of the machine. In future, it will be interesting to note how MFDs will revolutionise and streamline the document management system across the segments.
What is the role of MFDs to improve business functionality amidst the emerging economic crisis?
The prevalent sluggish economic situation and the lack of workforce are now emerging concerns for many businesses. In such a situation, office automation, especially MFDs will help in increasing the return on investments and achieving benefits such as better compliance, cost reductions and scalability.
Moreover, MFDs have the potential and are well equipped to print, copy, scan and save directly to the cloud, making the entire process as intuitive as ever. Besides, four functions in one device have reduced the need for office space that further helps to reduce cost. In a nutshell, it is an ideal choice for any business or organisation to have a single device that can make business simpler and easier.