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Date [ 2013-03-17, 17:55 ]

The company makes a headstart with its early launch of new products and services.



(Singapore=Koreanpress)  By John Kim = For this year, Canon has made an early start to reach out to its loyal customers and also to those who have just begun using Canon products. It is aware at this point in time, business leaders in seeking ways to increase their business competitiveness will be keen to know the latest  trends and technology on the market. High on their priority list too would be cost  effectiveness.

To meet these requirements, Canon held a one day event on March 7, 2013 in Singapore. The highlights were the launch of the Canon Business Services and business updates. Equal importance was given to customer needs in Singapore and how Canon is helping Singaporean companies meet their targets for productivity, efficiency and quality. All of which can be translated as Canon solutions that help companies turn capital ICT expenditure into operational savings.

Those attending the event were given firsthand look at Canon’s Business Services. The take-off was the launch of its new generation of image RUNNER ADVANCE (iR-ADV) multifunction devices that comes with Productivity, Mobility and Security platforms to drive business harder.

Suitable for all business sizes, from SMEs to large multinational corporations, it incorporates enhanced security features, innovative cloud and mobile solutions as well as advanced service features for the modern office and the savvy mobile workforce.  

Apart from the launch, there were also forums conducted with key speakers who discussed such issues as entrepreneurship, innovation and change, right down to human resource challenges that businesses are facing today. 

The crucial point made to the participants was that  to stay ahead in today’s competitive business environment, businesses need to constantly think of smarter ways to work.
 Korean Press was fortunate to pin down President and CEO of Canon, Singapore, Kensaku Konishi for further insights into the company, its inner workings and the direction it plans to go.

 
President and CEO, Canon Singapore, Kensaku Konishi answers:
You focus on ‘… helping companies meet their targets for productivity, efficiency and quality.’ What is your modus operandi in these regards?

 In today’s challenging business environment, more companies are increasingly leveraging innovative solutions to increase productivity, efficiency and quality. At Canon, we are also focused on innovation and productivity internally, and that’s also what’s driving us to provide the same expertise to our customers.
We’ve recently launched the Canon Business Services which addresses the current needs of organisations by enabling them to outsource information intensive processes, communications and administrative functions. With this in place, companies can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their business infrastructure will run like clockwork while they focus on their core businesses.
In terms of product offerings, our commitment to creating flexible and efficient solutions can be found in our range of consumer and corporate products. For example, our latest second generation of image RUNNER Advance series, aims to help businesses be more productive with seamless document handling, image capture, user interface personalization, usage tracking, and access control as well as features such as mobile and cloud connectivity and a server-less log-in solution.

 You would have a number of priorities in Singapore for 2013. What would you say are your top three priorities and why?

Our top three priorities for 2013 are:
1. Business Expansion: We are focusing on expanding our core offerings.  One of which is the newly launched Canon Business Services which addresses the needs of organisations by enabling them to outsource information-intensive processes, communications and administrative functions.  This allows them to focus on their core businesses and what matters most to them – their bottom-line.
2. Focus on Emerging Markets: We are putting our resources on up-and-coming markets such as Indonesia, India and Vietnam.  We recognise the market potential in these countries and see potential areas of growth for our business.
3. Operational Excellence: We strive to be constantly innovative and productive through the streamlining of our processes and focusing on efficiency.  For example, we are setting up a regional call centre to manage customer calls in the region.  This will be rolled out in phases, starting with Singapore. 

 When would you say a company is ready for change and innovations and how will Canon meet this need?

 Change and innovation are central to any company looking to grow its business and expand beyond their borders to become truly global brands. As companies push to create innovation, we believe that there is a need to enable to them to focus on what  really matters.
One of the ways we help meet this need is through our Canon Business Services which addresses the current needs of Singapore-based organisations by enabling organisations to outsource information intensive processes, communications and administrative functions. With Canon Business Services in place, companies can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their business infrastructure will run like clockwork while they focus on growth and innovation.

 What are the Canon products you would suggest to set up a seamless office, say for a law firm, that is cost effective and able to operate from anywhere in the world?

 Millions of paper documents are produced every year by business organizations, as printing plays a key role in the current competitive business landscape.  Legal firms in particular require document management solutions more so than other types of companies because of the information and document intensive nature of the business. Properly managing documents and the information they contain is crucial to the business success of legal firms.To set up a seamless office, I would suggest the use of our second generation image RUNNER ADVANCE series of printers together with our Equitrac Professional 5 solution that provides a complete workflow solution for large multinational corporations and the legal industry. With enhanced mobile and cloud connectivity on these printers, employees are able to scan and digitalise their documents for sharing with their colleagues overseas as well as print via their mobile devices when they are overseas. The Equitrac Professional 5 software will enable companies’ seamless print management and cost-recovery across the globe. This complete print management solution portfolio will help businesses be more agile, productive and competitive in the demanding legal environment and fast-changing business landscape.

Commercial crimes are on the increase. How well do you address the security aspects of your systems?

 Stringent compliance measures and tighter regulatory environments are driving business organizations to take a more strategic approach to content and document management.
As organizations struggle to ensure the safety and integrity of their information, Canon has constantly made every effort to ensure our solutions come equipped with security features to meet the needs of our customers.
We also recognize that human error plays a major role in data security. In most office environments with network printers, it is also common to pick up printed materials that belong to a co-worker. There are also cases where printed documents are left or forgotten at the printer, leaving information open and available to anyone with access to the machine. To mitigate these occurrences, we’ve included the following features in our products:
Mailbox Printing allows the users to print to a user specific stored location (“mailbox”) on the MFP itself. This ensures that only the authorized user is able to print from their specified mailbox with a password.  It not only results in reduced cost savings on paper but also prevents private & confidential printouts from being left in the open for others to pick up.
Secure Printing provides users with another effective security mechanism to control the output of sensitive documents. Print jobs are held on the server and can only be retrieved at the MFP after an appropriate identification method (via password, contactless card, biometric , etc) is applied.
The Encrypted Secured Print and uniFLOW function that is found in Canon MFPs could be activated. Documents are encrypted before they are sent over the network and will only be decrypted and printed after the correct password is entered at the MFP
Ultimately, our focus has always been on helping our customers achieve their overall business objectives and we are constantly receiving feedback from them to help us better tailor our solutions to address their unique needs.

Staffing is always a problem. Will Canon come up with an almost non-human office system to overcome it? Is any research being done on this currently? 

At the crux of the debate between staffing and automation tools is business productivity. Interestingly, business productivity was also a major theme in the 2013 Singapore debate with the government calling for an increase in productivity through innovation tools rather than headcounts. 
However, as beneficial as productivity enhancing tools are, the key thing to remember is that they are just that: tools. Beyond the technology, Canon believes that businesses need to empower and engage employees to help them “do more work less”. For example, upgrading the skills of employees to expand their versatility will help create a conducive environment to encourage higher performance that will make a difference in productivity improvement and success – both for the company and their personal lives.

What is your stand on home office systems or SOHO?

 Faced with increasing costs and retaining talent, increasingly more SOHOs are focused on bottom-line management to implement tools that can help them be more productive, while lowering operational costs.
We recognize SOHOs as an important segment to our business and our commitment to them is demonstrated through our range of solutions to suit their various business needs. For example, the Canon PIXMA All-in-Ones provide print, scan and copy capabilities in a compact and cost efficient package. Our hope is for SOHOs to have a shift of mindset from cost savings to prudent investments in IT infrastructure projects and tools that will help improve their business efficiencies.

With so many new countries now emerging, where will Canon Singapore next turn its attention to and why?

We see tremendous opportunities in the region as our business becomes increasingly dynamic especially in markets such as India, Indonesia and Vietnam, as the middle class becomes more affluent. While we are unable to reveal the details of our business expansion plans, we believe we are well-positioned with the right strategy and solutions in key markets across the region. Ultimately, our commitment to our customers is that we will continue to do what we do best – provide best-in-class solutions to help meet the unique business needs of our customers regardless of which market we’re in.

 If it is feasible, may we know what are the innovations on the Canon horizon?

We will continue to expand the number of our Canon Image Square showrooms in the region so as to create as many touch points as possible between our customers and us.
 While we are unable to comment on our upcoming product line, I believe innovation has always been a part of our company’s DNA. Throughout our company’s history, our focus on helping our customers achieve success in the marketplace has been constantly validated through creating innovative solutions that simplify business processes and we will continue to do so in this increasingly challenging business environment. 
 Getting personal, when did you first join Canon? What was your designation at that time and the reason(s) you opted to join Canon?

 I joined Canon right after graduation from college in 1978, as a part of the management team for production control and budget for copiers. I wanted to join Canon as it is an international company and provided me with opportunities to work overseas.

As a CEO, what is your management philosophy?

 I want to create excitement in the company and amongst my staff. To achieve this, I want to provide challenging targets and clear directions on how to achieve them. As a result of this challenge, the staff’s potential is optimized and this is both good for their personal development and for the company.  
  
In the line of your work or otherwise, you would have visited many countries. Of these, which is the country that impressed you the most and why?

 My first overseas posting was to Australia. The country impressed me greatly with its great weather, food and people. I remembered that the Australians often asked me why I worked so hard.  I replied that I worked harder in order to enjoy a better quality of life. They in turn replied that they already enjoy a better quality of life without being workaholics. This was a cultural shock which also impressed me greatly.    

May we know how many children you have? What role do you assume once you are at home with them?

 I have one son and he is 24 years old. I play the role of a mentor by supporting him in all ways so that he can develop and grow as a person. 

Still touching on Korea, may we know your favourite Korean food?

I like live octopus that is cooked in front of the customer and I enjoy it with Korean wine.
Korean Press ends with the hope that President Kensaku Konishi, while taking Canon Singapore to greater heights, remembers the Australians, and also takes time to smell the cherry blossoms!

john@koreanpress.net
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