Category: Managed IT Services

Why Objective Data’s Importance Is on the Rise

Colin McMahon
Apr 23, 2020

Data is everywhere in the 21st century. Some have even compared it to oil, given that an organization can use it to obtain great wealth. That said, oil is a rare substance. It must be discovered, mined, and refined before it is usable. And while data is similar, the sheer amount of it leaves the oil analogy far behind. Moreover, both refined and unrefined data can look virtually identical to the untrained eye.

With that in mind, the more apt comparison is “data is like water.” It’s everywhere, and essential to life. Still, companies can easily drown in it if they are not careful, otherwise they get sick drinking contaminated quantities.

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Who is Investing in Smart Workplace?

Deborah Hawkins and Anne Valaitis
Feb 5, 2020

“Smartness” is all the rage, but how far are Smart devices and solutions making it into the workplace? Keypoint Intelligence asked 260 IT decision-makers across the UK & Germany and discovered some interesting things including who is likely to invest and in what.

By way of definition, let’s start with what is Smart workplace?

Figure 1: Smart Workplace Segments by KPI

In the first instance, it’s a reaction to leading trends and soft influencers that mould our working day: The consumerisation of IT has led us to expect more from office technology; changing workstyles are upon us whether from a location perspective or generational influence; the acceleration of technology means we are in a constant mode of change. In addition, digital transformation is all around us and shaping our lives. Smart technology is not new: but it has fundamentally changed the way we do so many things. From phones, to digital assistants, thermostats, lights and blinds that make life so much easier. A smart workplace is one in which employees can perform their tasks or work more efficiently by using smart devices.  The trend is in high demand to improve the customer experience, methods of predictive maintenance and the general efficiency of processes. The increasing adoption of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, IoT and automation are expected to support the growth of the smart workplace market worldwide.

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What makes a channel SuperStar?

Deborah Hawkins
Sep 24, 2019

The channel is vital to the document technology industry as it serves the main backbone of small and medium sized customer businesses. As the office equipment market adapts to new market trends such as changing work styles which are more IT-centric, the channel’s portfolio needs to adapt to support “smarter” workplace trends as well as compete with the IT channel. At the same time, we have observed a consolidation of the office equipment channel as customer needs shift to more IT facing technology. All resellers must invest in digital capabilities to offset the perceived threat of declining print volumes and digital conversion.

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WHEN DID SNEAKERS BECOME ACCEPTABLE BUSINESS ATTIRE?

Deborah Hawkins
Feb 11, 2019

I haven’t done the rounds of many exhibitions the last few years. My focus area of office print is generally served by Vendor specific events and the one global event the industry had, CeBIT has now finally been put to bed. So I was quite surprised at my first visit to ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) 2019 in Amsterdam. It was full, thriving and so many people were wearing sneakers.

Does this have something to do with the meeting of two worlds that ISE has emerged from?  The vibrant Audio Visual (AV) high tech hardware focussed industry and the IT world that can integrate practically anything without having to heed to standards or obligations?

Founded in 2004 and boosting 3500 visitors that year, the exhibition has grown to some 1400 exhibitors and an expected 90,000 visitors in 2019. For me, it felt far more than that. The growth has undoubtedly been supported by the portfolio breadth of AV boasting 8k, curved as well as inflatable screens and flashy displays and its acceptance across many horizontal and vertical sectors. What attracted me most to the show however, was the connection to IT and looking at how the AV industry hooks up with business IT, the hub of our digital world today. I see a lot of parallels to the office printing industry and I knew this industry was in a similar stage of disruption when I saw the likes of Google & Uber speaking about workplace trends at ISE 2019. Read more »

The Smart Workplace, According to Konica Minolta

Deborah Hawkins
May 24, 2018

The traditional work environment is fundamentally transforming, and visions of the future Smart Workplace are emerging. Through the combination of the Internet, mobility, cloud, sensors, and the Internet of things, work can get done virtually anywhere people can communicate, collaborate, and transact.

To better segment and organize the “Smart Workplace,” Keypoint Intelligence has created a taxonomy of services related to our industry. This taxonomy helps define and categorize disparate technologies and services into a more concrete and comprehensive view of the Smart Workplace solutions and services. Read more »

ECi Software Acquired by Apax Partners

Jeff Hayes
Aug 15, 2017

Apax Partners LLP announced it has agreed to acquire ECi Software Solutions (Fort Worth, TX) a provider of enterprise resource planning software solutions for small and medium-sized companies in the distribution, field services, building and construction, and manufacturing industries. The sellers are The Carlyle Group, a global asset management and private-equity firm which acquired ECi in March of 2014, and Level Equity. No financial terms were disclosed, but clearly the timing and price were right for the sellers.ECi Logo

Apax is a leading private equity firm headquartered in London and New York that primarily invests in companies across four global sectors of Tech and Telco, Services, Healthcare, and Consumer. The company has investments in 23 companies in the Tech and Telco sector including Exact Software (Delft, The Netherlands), a provider of subscription-based shop management, ERP, accounting, and CRM software for small to mid-size manufacturing companies. Read more »

Kyocera Hits the Accelerate Button with DataBank Acquisition

Jeff Hayes
Aug 4, 2017

Kyocera Hits the Accelerate Button with DataBank Acquisition

Synergies that go “Beyond the Document” 

 kyo logo
databank logo

KYOCERA announced they have acquired DataBank IMX, a nation-wide provider of distributed capture and business process automation services and enterprise content management (ECM) solutions.  Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed, but although KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc. acquired DataBank, operationally DataBank will report to KYOCERA Document Solutions America, Inc.  This deal is an important move by Kyocera, which typically has focused on organic growth initiatives, and has the potential to create significant new revenue streams and further strengthen their close relationships with independent office equipment dealers.  After meeting with Norihiko Ina, President of KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc., and Chuck Bauer, CEO of DataBank, I had the opportunity of learning first-hand of this latest industry acquisition.

Some Background:  Kyocera’s Total Document Solutions (TDS) Strategy

During their April 18, 2017 Business Technology Conference, the President and CEO of KYOCERA Document Solutions America, Yukio Ikeda, explained that Kyocera’s alliance with DataBank, announced on 9/13/16, was critical to the next phase in their Total Document Solutions (TDS) strategy. Mr. Ikeda described this next phase as TDS 2.0, offering Business Process Improvement, Business Process Outsourcing and IT Services as expanded Kyocera offerings. In his presentation, he went on to explain that all business processes, not just document-related ones could benefit from these additional services.  He announced that within FY18, their North American dealers would be able to “offer business process improvement services through Kyocera and DataBank’s team of BPI specialists.” This acquisition confirms that Kyocera has executed on this approach by fully incorporating the services provided by DataBank – now a wholly owned entity.

Why DataBank?

DataBank claims to be the single largest North American reseller of Hyland OnBase with over 800 ECM installations across the country. The company offers solutions built on a variety of leading document capture, enterprise content management, and business process automation tools.

Kyocera has been focusing on distributed capture and document management solutions for Hyland OnBase and Microsoft Sharepoint customers in document/workflow intensive industries including healthcare, education, and legal. DataBank enables Kyocera to accelerate and deepen its offerings in these areas, as well as provide additional direct sales and professional services capabilities. A quick thumbnail on DataBank:

  • Founded in 1991 with headquarters in King of Prussia, PA
  • Variety of solutions based on Hyland OnBase and Microsoft Sharepoint
  • Extensive professional services for re-designing complex document and data-intensive business processes and implementing and managing automated and outsourced solutions
  • Over 620 employees across 7 Imaging Centers and 6 sales offices in the U.S.
  • Approximately 65% of revenue from healthcare and public services accounts

Other DataBank technology partners include:

  • Hyland OnBase (DataBank is a platinum reseller in North America)
  • Microsoft Sharepoint
  • Anydoc, AvePoint, DocuSign, Hyperfish, K2 Nintex
  • Leading scanner & mailing system vendors

DataBank solutions also connect with a variety of MFPs from other vendors, and Kyocera has indicated that they will not disrupt the support offered to those customers, but will look to shift customers to Kyocera-based devices and solutions wherever possible.  Kyocera also believes they can more tightly integrate their devices with DataBank solutions as part of future product development.

Why Now?

Kyocera clearly sees solutions as integral to their business strategy and has been impressed with the DataBank management team and offerings. The company is focused on offering customers a new level of consultative expertise in simplifying complex workflows, managing mission-critical information, and optimizing business performance.  Kyocera has also been steadily building out their Total Document Solutions portfolio through internal development and industry partners, with nearly 50 software offerings focusing on distributed capture, data extraction, document management, device management, output management, and security.

Kyocera also has the financial resources to make a mid-sized acquisition, and has not been burdened with integrating previous acquisitions like some competing OEMs. The company has outperformed the industry recently with revenue up 104% over the previous year and has reported 8 consecutive years of growth.  With the steady economy, strong balance sheet, and a good partner in a strategic part of the market, Kyocera believes now is the time to make a move. 

Industry Impact

This acquisition doesn’t change the structure of the industry, but clearly indicates that Kyocera is committed for the long term. Keypoint Intelligence believe this move is important because it:

  • Signals Kyocera’s strategic direction further into the solutions business and enterprise accounts
  • Strengthens Kyocera’s position in important vertical markets (healthcare, government, legal)
  • Significantly expands Kyocera’s professional services capabilities
  • Creates a new services revenue stream around business process automation
  • Provides new opportunities (solutions) and capabilities (integration) for Kyocera dealers
  • Has long-term potential for Kyocera to expand within the U.S. and other regions

InfoTrends’ Opinion

Expansion and contraction has become common place in our industry, with Xerox and Lexmark recently divesting its solutions and service entities, and now with this acquisition by Kyocera – clearly vendors are trying to find ways to better serve the expanding needs of their customers for services that go beyond the document.  Acquisition is one way to accomplish this, and this recent course taken by Kyocera and DataBank, which began as a partnership a year ago, may have been a prudent one that could work to their mutual benefit.  During this past year, both companies have had a chance to familiarize themselves with their respective product and solution portfolios, as well as their corporate cultures. It is also likely that their sales channels have had a chance to work closely together, aligning resources and finding ways to combine forces to better serve their customers.  With this acquisition, it is anticipated that Kyocera will be able to continue on the path in offering expanded technologies and services to their customers, and realize phase 2.0 of their Total Document Solutions strategy.

Dealers Seeking Growth Opportunities at ITEX

Steve Pearl
Apr 20, 2017

A number of Keypoint Intelligence analysts are covering ITEX 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada this week. Here’s a mid-event account from Steve Pearl, Associate Director, Solutions & Services:

The pioneers traveled westward to find their future; the same is true for many dealers attending ITEX 2017 in Las Vegas. Dealers here can connect with leaders in the industry on the topic of managed IT services, cloud solutions, managed print, supplies management, service automation, financing, data analytics, search engine optimization (SEO), and much more.

Nearly 300 people attended the keynote session, and dealers visiting the exhibits are eager to learn how to expand their businesses. Unlike the original pioneers, though, dealers don’t have to take arrows in the process of securing their future. They can simply take advantage of all the expertise around them. More to come…

The interest is palpable. Attendees were eager to learn during Jeff Hayes' keynote

The interest is palpable. Attendees were eager to learn during Jeff Hayes’ keynote.

Reasons for growing revenue was on everyone's minds. That's why they are here.

Revenue growth is on everyone’s mind.

Jeff covering top dealer challenges

Jeff covering top dealer challenges

HP is very prominent at this show.

HP is very prominent at this show.

Takeaways From the SPS Analyst Summit in Vietnam

David Stabel
Dec 15, 2016

Swiss Post Solutions (SPS) recently invited the analyst community to its Industry Analyst Symposium held in Vietnam on November 23-26. During this multi-day symposium, SPS’ senior management briefed analysts on the SPS business, its latest technology innovations, as well as on its Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) strategy. Analysts were also invited for site visits to both of its Vietnam offshore facilities in Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho City. This blog post covers our takeaways from the event.

SPS

SPS Industry Analyst Symposium in Vietnam, Nov 23-26, 2016

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Focus on Change and Opportunities at ITEX 2016

Barbara Richards
Mar 13, 2016

Waves of Change, Oceans of Opportunity
On March 7th through the 9th industry leaders, exhibitors and dealers gathered in sunny Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at the Broward County Convention Center for the ITEX 2016 National Conference and Expo. The show’s theme “Waves of Change, Oceans of Opportunity” was indicative of the expanded role of portfolio diversification and business operations transformation is playing within our industry. ITEX 2016 Pic

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2016 InfoTrends, Inc.

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