Konica Minolta Touts Benefits of Workplace Hub as ‘All-in-One’ IT Center, Printer, MFP

First previewed in May 2017, and now available in the United States and Canada, Konica Minolta Business Solutions has been touting the success of its Workplace Hub, which combines a printer/MFP with data storage, an HP Enterprise server, and WiFi access points into a single device. It’s ultimately designed to eliminate the pain points – including expense, management, and security – typically associated with IT, and is designed particularly for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs). It enables SMBs to access all of their IT applications from a single touchscreen, while also providing the “traditional” print, copy, scan, and fax functions of an MFP, and can be customized according to specific needs.

Sam Errigo, EVP of Sales and Channel Programs at Konica Minolta, recently told CRN. “Imagine a multifunction product, and then embedded inside that multifunction product is a platform that can run all the services for that SMB. All their IT service. Whether it’s email, all their applications, everything resides within that architecture.”

The backbone for selling the system are about 300 independent printer/MFP dealers, with about 50 more signing up at Konica Minolta’s recent dealer conference. For dealers, one benefit of selling the system is said to be not only recurring revenue provided by traditional MFP supplies and service, but also recurring revenue derived from IT software and services subscriptions.

The service backbone for the Workplace Hub is Konica Minolta’s All Covered IT-services provider subsidiary, which provides service along with the local Konica Minolta dealer.

For customers, benefits are said to include much simpler IT deployment and management, as well as a single contract and a single point of contact for all of their IT needs.

How it Works

With the Admin Dashboard, administrators get a complete overview of all their company’s IT, from users, assets, applications, server, WiFi, printer/MFP, and more.

Admins get a unified overview of who’s using what in the company, can assign hardware and software rights to users, and can purchase additional licenses through the Konica Minolta Markplace.

With WiFi Management, admins – remotely or on site – can set different WiFi access rights, including limited access for guests.

With Workplace Hub’s Data Storage, companies can save their data locally or in the cloud. All data is backed up at Konica Minolta data centers. Admins can review their storage with just a click.

With User Management, admins can set different levels of authentication for users to use hardware and software; Hub is compatible with Microsoft Active Directory and Azure Active Directory.

Konica Minolta’s Edge, for workplace’s with an installed bizhub MFP fleet, provides Workplace Hub IT capabilities without WiFi access points or an MFP.

Security

Security includes a Sophos XG firewall, and more security is provided by All Covered services, which offer its own 24/7 SOC, as well as Konica Minolta’s private cloud storage, backup data, and recovery. There’s also offers public cloud integrations with AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google.

“Are we looking to replace other MSPs? The answer is 100 percent,” Konica Minolta’s Errigo told CRN.

Workplace Hub’s product roadmap includes future integration of IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent Edge and Decision Support capabilities.

For more information on Workplace Hub, visit Konica Minolta here, and here for Edge.

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