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Konica Minolta puts innovation for small businesses first

Workplace Hub, a new disruptive IT category, redefines work for small businesses. It’s an intelligent all-in-one IT platform that combines infrastructure, services and software into a single fully managed IT service – one contract, one user and management experience, from one trusted vendor

Workplace Hub, invented by Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Dennis Curry, builds on Konica Minolta’s long history of innovating to meet the evolving needs of small and medium-sized (SMB) customers.

In August last year, the company commissioned research to further reinforce its understanding of small and medium-sized businesses. The multinational survey, linked to the latest release of the Workplace Hub technology platform, revealed that SMBs are settling for IT that under delivers.

IT decision-makers said that hardware not working, outdated software, security risks and admin IT problems were among the top common IT issues.

A complete IT solution
A complete IT solution

An overwhelming majority (91%) said an all-in-one IT system that seamlessly integrates hardware, software and services would be relevant to their organisations.

Designed to improve efficiency by controlling and reducing the overall costs of IT management and services, while also providing realtime, data-driven insights that help to improve business processes, Konica Minolta’s Workplace Hub platform is bespoke, configured to deliver exactly what each business needs.

Single centralised platform

Workplace Hub is the first solution to unify the IT-related needs of small businesses into a single centralised platform by seamlessly integrating hardware, software and services into a one-stop solution. From an infrastructure perspective, it includes everything a small organisation or location needs – a multifunctional printer, powerful HPE Gen10 server for running applications or storing information, cloud space for applications or back-up services, Wi-Fi access and the latest next-generation security from Sophos.

Powerful virtualisation capabilities enable users to host all key server applications on a single managed on-premise platform – from mail servers to file servers through to solutions to manage documents and information.

The Workplace Hub is more than a physical device – it is an ecosystem. It includes all the necessary managed IT services to lessen the load on in-house IT resources – from proactive management services, such as patching and monitoring the total infrastructure; system security and data protection, such as threat detection and anti-virus managment; as well as storage and back-up management services; onsite installation and associated professional services; all the way to an ITIL accredited helpdesk.

Simple IT management

Instead of disparate IT infrastructure elements that are managed separately, Konica Minolta has worked with technology leaders HP Enterprise, Sophos and Microsoft to integrate various IT components into a unified IT ecosystem with a common user and management experience.

The Admin Dashboard provides a complete overview of a company’s IT, including users, assets, applications, server, storage, Wi-Fi and multifunctional printer. With Workplace Hub, it’s easy to conduct everyday tasks, such as reviewing resource usage, managing user rights or infrastructure status, changing site support or adding and removing applications.

Empowering collaboration and productivity

Enabling small business to innovate
Enabling small business to innovate

Over one-third of SMBs polled in the survey cited increased costs, lower employee productivity and diminished quality of work as a direct result of downtime. Almost half (48%) said they would prefer to spend the time they waste on IT issues growing their business.

The User Dashboard addresses this challenge. It brings together all the key productivity and collaboration tools needed to keep the workforce productive – from simple file sharing, printing and scanning to everyday work solutions – in a secure, fully managed virtualised environment.

It also includes a new collaboration suite to empower individuals, teams and the business to work together. Workplace GO is a ready-made digital workplace that works on top of Microsoft Office 365 and brings together information, such as emails, meetings and tasks, alongside team projects and company-wide projects and information.

Best-in-class security

With cyber security a top priority for small and medium-sized businesses, this all-in-one scalable system provides a level of IT security and sophistication traditionally associated with large enterprises. Leveraging Sophos, a world leading security provider, customers benefit from the latest software, ensuring systems are constantly monitored, protected and managed against malicious attacks and other security threats.

Enabling small businesses to innovate

More than four out of five businesses surveyed (84%) feel positive about the impact of future technology on their business’s productivity. However, many are struggling to implement new IT solutions. Over half (56%) welcome the integration and adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning and believe these technologies presage an exciting future.

Konica Minolta has been named a global top 100 IT vendor in Gartner’s recently published report, Market Insight: Gartner Global Top 100 IT Vendors in 2018. By taking care of complex, critical and time-consuming IT tasks, Konica Minolta is already empowering SMB customers to focus on business growth, but helping them to innovate is where the company wants to make its mark.

The Workplace Hub platform will see future integration of IoT, AI, Intelligent Edge and Decision Support capabilities as they become more central to the business environment of tomorrow. Adding this cognitive layer of organisational insight unleashes an intuitive understanding of the world that empowers people to collaborate better and to make smarter, data-driven decisions more effectively and in less time.

Workplace Hub – Business benefits

Whole IT ecosystem – a fully integrated and managed IT infrastructure and software within one offering

Manageable monthly payment packages – removes the burden of an upfront investment

Predictable spend – one vendor solution for the entire IT system, qith services and support included

Space saving – all the IT hardware needed in a one square metre space

IT services included – data back-up and proactive monitoring of the core IT environment – for peace of mind

Secure – all data is protected and securely stored

Workplace Hub in action

Workplace Hub is gaining traction within a number of different industry sectors and markets.

Education: Workplace Hub joins together technology (e.g. printing), EDU Apps and IT services, such as Wi-Fi access, back-up and patch management, in one place. This enables schools and other institutions to easily manage technology and create a better learning experience, whilst lowering the education cost per student.

Legal sector: One of the biggest challenges within law firms is how to manage documentation effectively, keep it secure and charge printing costs accurately. Workplace Hub provides an integrated solution across print and document management applications, faxing servers and digital assistants, making it easier for legal professionals to increase efficiency.

Healthcare: Healthcare facilities are looking to Workplace Hub as an effective solution to unify and automate workflow information. Dispatcher Phoenix technology, one of Konica Minolta’s software solutions, makes it easier to customise how and where sensitive patient data is gathered, distributed and printed, saving time and freeing up staff to focus less on admin and more on patient care.

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