Delivering value to office customers and transforming workplaces.
Building value for office customers
Our business has traditionally centered on regular offices. Advances in information and communication technology and work practice reforms have transformed the office to encompass anywhere in society, including factories, shops, and hospitals. The communications linking these offices have also diversified. We accordingly formulated the EMPOWERING DIGITAL WORKPLACES value proposition to describe what the Ricoh Group offers to its customers.
We are accordingly cultivating office printing and office services businesses to expanding customer value in the office arena.
One of our great strengths is our ability to serve office customers worldwide. We have around 1.3 million customers, with about 4 million machines in field. We aim to augment our printing business prowess by providing support for the work practice reforms of customers by providing services that leverage the Internet of Things and other advances. In recent years, we have accordingly endeavored to strengthen sales and marketing structures by industry category. We are reviewing customer’s core business processes for specific industries such as healthcare, education, finance, manufacturing, etc. and expanding our service business to support sales expansion and customer satisfaction improvement.
We seek to cater to various needs by identifying specific regional requirements and regulations so we can provide comprehensive solutions through collaboration with design units in keeping with our long-term vision. We are also endeavoring to deliver value. For example, we offer managed document services (MDS) and IT services that encompass everything from planning through building and managing office information and communications infrastructures and offer visual communications that make interactions in offices and at educational institutions.
Expansion of the cloud service market in recent years has ushered in the development of work environments that are free of time and place constraints, streamlining operational efficiency in various ways. Even in the MFP arena, we are collaborating with development partners to accelerate the development of cloud solutions that address the growing need for solutions from issues arising from changing work patterns.
That approach led to the May 2016 launches of mid-range and high-end color MFPs that all incorporated large full-color touch panels. These systems function input and output devices for cloud services, providing access from the operating panel to application sites on the cloud. This standard feature enables users to install the apps that they need for their businesses. By offering various applications from a simple, user-friendly screen, we can support the workflows of small and medium-sized enterprises and other customers to help them improve their operational productivity.
We are improving convenience for MFP customers by deploying the @Remote office equipment management service around the globe. This service remotely assesses the usage and operational states of equipment online. This setup automatically orders supplies and prevents failures without customers needing to contact Ricoh, shortening downtimes. We cut customer labor costs and enhance productivity through MDS, which handles overall operational tasks relating to documents, not just output.
In addition, we are reducing the work cost of our customers and improving productivity through MDS, which undertakes general operation management tasks related to documents as well as output.
We continue to present improvement proposals to customers that range from building information infrastructures to optimizing the designs, deployment, and running of workflows for creating, outputting, and managing documents.
The Ricoh Group provides new customer value by complementing its MFP cloud solutions by proposing ways for medium-sized and large companies to automate business processes.
Customer worksites increasingly need to consolidate and automate data inputting and business processes, and are cutting back on the use of paper-based tasks. Ricoh has accordingly drawn on the document processing that it has amassed over many years to initiate proposals to scan paper documents to create data files, improve customer workflows, and undertake multiple tasks simultaneously. We already support accounting workflows and other processes in Europe and the United States, and plan to develop businesses in other areas in the years ahead.
In 2016, we launched an indoor location information service to cover facilities and underground areas that GPS tracking cannot reach. The service acquires and visualizes positional information on people and objects. We have begun supplying a solution that analyzes that data with supplemental information. One user is Sapporo Dohto Hospital Medical Corporation in Sapporo, Japan. That institution has launched hospital services that locate medical professionals, patients, and medical equipment in real time, optimizing the use of precious time and enhancing operational efficiency.
Ricoh will continue to develop business- and industry-specific solutions that leverage the power of digital technology to reform businesses and workplaces.
Positional information (top right) displayed at nurse station
The rapid development of information and communication technology in recent years has made it easy for people to access information at any time or place. This development has come amid a rising focus on work practice reforms to address shrinking workforces, enhancing work productivity while eliminating long working hours. More companies have diversified work practices, notably by offering telework and holding remote conferences.
As office communication and work practices change, Ricoh provides visual communication systems that foster collaboration across time and space and drive reforms in how people work. Our teleconferencing and Web conferencing systems, for example, enable people to be in touch anywhere. Our interactive whiteboards help bring creative ideas together. Combining these systems with projectors produces virtual spaces in which people can quickly meet, share information, and make decisions when they need to. We also provide our work efficiency knowhow and solutions that draw on such products. We seek to materialize total support for work environments, thereby providing value that enhances customer productivity.
We will provide business support using visual communication products and cloud services to cater to changes in how and where offices function, examples being telework and satellite offices. Such support ensures accurate communication even between people at remote sites, so they can share materials and serve customers more effectively.
Ricoh will continue to support the creation of environments that allow people to communicate anytime and anywhere with anyone through visual communication devices.
Visual communication products that transform work practices
RICOH Unified Communication System P3500
A portable platform that does not require dedicated lines and makes it easy to communicate with multiple sites face-to-face anytime and anywhere.
RICOH Interactive Whiteboard D6510
Can display personal computer and tablet information and allow handwriting on the board, saving the digital information. Multiple units can be used for remote sharing.
RICOH PJ WX4152N
We offer a diverse lineup of projectors, from ultrashort throw to high-end models to match installation, functional, projection distance, and other requirements.
We are contributing to workplace reform by offering the latest technology solutions to revitalize the customer’s workplace.
International Business Machines Corp.
Enhancing meeting productivity with our interactive whiteboards and IBM Watson platform
Ricoh’s interactive whiteboards (IWB) can record ideas directly by incorporating data from personal computers and tablets. They can also share information in real time by connecting to remote sites. Ricoh started collaborating with IBM to transform work with IWB. IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence platform* leverages its speech recognition function to analyze and understand natural language, reading files and manipulating pages and making it possible to automatically collate meeting minutes. One aim is to create practical applications. They include using machine translation to support multi-language meetings and automatically creating minutes. We will continue development with IBM so the combination of IWB and Watson can revitalize entire meetings and pave the way to more efficient decision-making.
*IBM Watson is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
Kinki Nippon Tourist Individual Tour Co., Ltd.
Experienced travel concierges harness videoconferencing system in proposing tour plans
Kinki Nippon Tourist Individual Tour Co., Ltd., maintains a service in which experienced personnel use teleconferencing systems and Ricoh’s Unified Communication System (UCS) to function as travel concierges, proposing tour plans to customers. Customers visiting shops can consult about travel concierge plans by using displays connected to the UCS. We constructed the system as a video communication partner for connecting shops with travel concierges. Our setup ensures stable and secure video communications through the Internet and provides robust IT support.
Some customers were initially reluctant to seek advice through video screens, but when they used the travel concierge system nearly 90% of them were very satisfied with the results. At some shops, the travel concierge service has accounted for 25% of sales. The service is growing by satisfying customers, enabling Kinki Nippon Tourist Individual Tour to build its personalized travel business. We will provide more satisfying services, notably by making it easier to analyze the performance of travel concierges and enabling the system to present itinerary recommendations.