Kyocera Pushes Solutions, Training, Without Losing Focus on Hardware at Dealer Meeting

By Jessica Schiffenhaus, Research Editor, April 19, 2013

More than 1,000 Kyocera and Copystar employees, dealers and guests attended KYOCERA Document Solutions America’s FY14 Pan-American Dealer Meeting April 8 through 10 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. Celebrating Kyocera’s 40th year in the Americas, President and CEO of KYOCERA Document Solutions America (KDA) Norihiko Ina proudly announced that for the second year in a row, the fiscal year’s consolidated sales represent the highest revenue the company has ever achieved.

This year’s theme was Resolution 360, encouraging dealers to take a 360-degree approach with customers by offering hardware, applications, and pre- and post-sales services. “We are 100 percent committed to being a dealer-centric company,” said Ina, highlighting KYOCERA’s company-wide investment in research and development, a growing portfolio of business applications and third-party solutions, and improvements to the KYOCERA Sales Excellence program.

Among KYOCERA’s growth initiatives is its new Total Document Solutions (TDS) Provider program. Building off of the current Service Solutions Provider (SSP) program, the TDS program includes a series of online and classroom courses for sales, pre-sales and post-sales training. To become a TDS provider, a dealership’s technicians need to complete two pre-sales training modules, in addition to the dealership acquiring SSP designation, which requires technicians to complete a series of post-sales training modules.

Additionally, in response to a request by KDA’s dealer council, all new devices will be fully field-evaluated and must pass dealership and customer evaluations before being released. The announcement that got the biggest applause from dealers, however, was that all Kyocera-engineered devices, ECOSYS printers and MFPs purchased from April 1, 2013 on will be covered by KYOCERA’s three-year, bumper-to-bumper warranty. “This warranty expansion shows that KYOCERA is absolutely committed to product quality,” said Terry Knopsnyder, vice president of engineering.

KYOCERA also announced that the company is rolling out a strategic brand advertising campaign to emphasize its commitment to total document solutions. The campaign will air on TV, radio and online in North America at the end of April, and in South America in mid-May.

Kyocera Expands Business Applications Portfolio

The technology fair focused on resolving critical business challenges with a variety of solutions from Kyocera and third-party partners, including three new Kyocera business applications: HomePOINT and QR Service Assistant, both of which will be available early this summer, and Enterprise Cloud Portal, which is available now.

In the “Inefficient Document Workflow” section were a mix of fully integrated third-party solutions and Kyocera applications, including two enhanced Kyocera applications: DMS Link and Teaching Assistant. DMS Link, an application that acts as a link between Kyocera MFPs and companies’ existing document management systems for hard-copy capture and indexing, now features blank-page removal and job notifications indicating when a job is complete or has failed. Teaching Assistant now integrates with Excel, and includes an Excel template with editable fields, as well as a connector that lets teachers scan completed tests through the MFP, import the data into Excel for grading and generate detailed reports. Also noteworthy in this section was NSi AutoStore 6.0, which Kyocera has chosen to replace KyoCapture, including in environments where KyoCapture was already installed. Other third-party solutions included Nuance Equitrac and SafeCom, Jamex, DocuWare, MaxxVault Enterprise and more.

Among the products designed to address “Insufficient Security and Compliance Protocols” were a handful of new or enhanced Kyocera offerings, including HomePOINT, AccuSender, Emergency Preparedness System and PinPoint Scan, which is now Mac-compatible. HomePOINT is a new embedded application that allows for secure scanning directly to and printing directly from individuals’ existing Active Directory home folders. Users must first enter their Windows log-in credentials or swipe their access card (if a card reader is installed) at a HyPAS-enabled Kyocera MFP, which gives them access to their specific Active Directory home folder. From the control panel of the MFP, users can browse their home folder and sub-folders, or create a new sub-folder to scan to. The app supports printing PDF files and scanning to PDF, TIFF or JPEG formats. AccuSender, which was released as LegalSender at last year’s meeting, is revamped and integrated with YouSendIt to allow sending of large files over email. Kyocera’s Emergency Preparedness System was developed for a hospital that wanted another level of protection for important documents in the event of a disaster that would render its computers or other back-up services unusable. The system works by downloading organizational data to watch folders on pre-defined MFP hard drives, enabling critical business operations to continue with minimal disruption.

Highlights of the “Unmanaged Mobile Workforce” included the new QR Service Assistant Application and Kyocera’s Enterprise Cloud Portal, as well as Kyocera Cloud Connect, which now supports Google Drive, Kyocera Mobile Print, EFI PrintMe, PaperCut, Objectif Lune and Drivve mobile solutions. With the QR Service Assistant application, service technicians can now access important device information from their smartphones or tablets. Inside the application, access to Command Center, counters, device information, color coverage (when applicable), paper levels, toner and optional links to websites, such as the dealership’s web portal, are displayed on the control panel screen in the form of QR codes. By scanning these QR codes with their mobile devices, technicians can quickly and easily view and share data, without having to leave the MFP. Kyocera’s Enterprise Cloud Portal is a customizable cloud application that connects organizations’ MFPs to their existing hosted cloud services. If the cloud server has an open API, Kyocera can develop an embedded application that acts as a portal to the cloud. The application is tailored specifically to the organization’s needs, so in addition to the traditional print-from and scan-to cloud capabilities, users can complete full business functions, such as adding a new customer to the company database, right from the control panel of the MFP.

Unlike the other business challenges, addressing “Untapped Color Potential” didn’t involve applications. Instead, it focused on showing dealers how to market and support 3-Tier Color Billing, which is a method of charging based on the percentage of color on a printed page, instead of the usual flat rate for color documents. Xerox offers a similar system, but unlike Xerox’s tiered pricing, which has fixed levels, Kyocera dealers can set their own levels. For instance, they can determine that color pages with less than 1.5% color are tier one, pages with 1.5% to 5% color are tier two, and pages with more than 5% color fall in tier three. They can also decide to establish only two tiers, or stick to one standard rate. The Untapped Color Potential area also highlighted other noteworthy color elements, such as the different color tables and profiles available to customize output based on user preferences, the latest EFI Fiery controller, and the new mid-range TASKAlfa A3 MFPs’ Pantone certification.

Total A3 Refresh, New A4 MFPs

While applications were a large part of the 2013 meeting, there was also a strong focus on hardware. Launching in the fall of 2013 is a complete refresh of KYOCERA’s entire A3 TASKalfa line. The monochrome models include the TASKalfa 3501i, 4501i, 5501i, 6501i and 8000i, and the color models are the TASKalfa 3051ci, 3551ci, 4551ci, 5551ci, 6551ci and 7551ci—the first two numbers in each model name indicate the models’ respective rated speeds.

One of the most significant enhancements across the entire line-up of devices is the new control panel design. The display includes a touch-swipeable home screen, which can be accessed via a home hard key, and support for pinch-and-grab preview. The home screen can be customized to display shortcuts for one-touch functions; additionally, instead of an Applications hard key, users access any business applications that are installed on the MFP through the home screen.

All of the new A3 devices have an integrated pocket with a USB port to neatly support an optional card reader, optional wireless interfaces, and support for USB and wireless keyboards. The units support tab printing from the bypass tray, and all of the cassettes support custom paper sizes up to 12" x 18", except for the TASKalfa 2551ci, 3010i and 3510i, which support up to 11" x 17". Additionally, the finishing options are the same across the line.

The high-speed monochrome and color devices (65 ppm and up) have standard scan to searchable PDF, which is optional for the mid-range models (30 to 55 pm). Additionally, the higher-speed models have 250-GB hard drives, instead of two 160-GB hard drives and support an optional sliding pull-out keyboard.

Three other models announced at the meeting include the TASKalfa 2551ci, which is a refresh of the 2550ci, and has a slightly different feature set than the rest of the color models. Most of the new features apply, except there is no OCR available and it has a 3,000-sheet finishing option instead of a 4,000-sheet option. Enhancements from its predecessor include two new document feeder options: a 175-sheet DSPF (scans at up to 70 ipm in simplex mode, 100 ipm in duplex mode) and a 50-sheet RADF; a 160-GB hard drive; 3 GB of standard RAM; and optional dual 1,500-sheet trays, which brings maximum paper capacity up to 4,100 sheets. Similar to the TASKalfa 2551ci are two monochrome MFPs: the TASKalfa 3010i, which replaces the 300i x, and the new TASKalfa 3510i. They also have 1,000-sheet and 3,000-sheet finishing options; an optional 175-sheet DSPF (scans at up to 80 ppm simplex/160 ipm duplex) or 50-sheet or 100-sheet RADF options; and 4,100-sheet maximum paper capacities. These three devices are targeted at small to medium-size businesses that require a simpler feature set.

On the A4 side, Kyocera previewed four new EcoSys MFPs, which complement the FS-4300DN series that launched in the fall of 2012 and replace the EcoSys FS-3640MFP. The EcoSys 3760i (62 ppm), 3750i (52 ppm), 3740i (42 ppm) and 3240i (42 ppm, no fax), which are slated to launch in the spring of 2014, feature a 7" touchscreen with the new user interface that’s common across the new lineup of devices. However, in order to utilize any of Kyocera’s embedded business applications, organizations must install an optional hard drive. An optional data security kit for the hard drive is available. The devices offer 75-sheet RADFs, and their scan speeds match their rated speeds.


Republished with permission from Buyers Laboratory LLC ( ©2013 Buyers Laboratory LLC