Canon drives product innovation within the B2B market, IT Information, ET CIO


Mr. Kazutada Kobayashi, President and CEO of Canon India, with Mr. K. Bhaskhar, Senior Vice President, Business Imaging Solutions (BIS), Canon India (Disclaimer: Image was clicked before the COVID-19 pandemic)Let’s admit it. It’s a bleak new world that we live in. With a tank economy, a volatile market, poor results and a slow inflow of revenue; The signs are pretty ominous.

The prevailing pandemic scenario has no precedent in our lives. And organizations around the world teeter under their impact. IT budgets have been cut, investments have been cut and spending priorities have been reshuffled. Your only option: Do more with less.

Intersection ahead

Mr. Kazutada Kobayashi, President and CEO of Canon India, is very aware that these are difficult times. But he doesn’t ruin about the adverse market conditions. Instead, he looks for the seeds of opportunities in need. “Uncertainty is a new certainty. And in these uncertain times, companies turn to their CIOs for instructions, ”he says thoughtfully.

An active work-from-home culture (WFH), digital communication channels with customers, suppliers and partners, a cloud-centric infrastructure, innovations on a large scale, IT resilience and the need for faster time to market have proven to be top business imperatives . CIOs need to achieve these goals while optimizing costs.

Optimizing costs and increasing productivity are the two battle cries of the CIOs. And Canon sees this developing scenario long and hard. It repositions itself as a brand focused on customers’ changing needs.

Canon has simplified the business of 3 Cs: better cost optimization, better control and more convenience for users.

In the COVID era, the demand for multifunctional devices (MFDs) increased as companies strive to support a safe, distributed work environment. “Our new range of cloud-enabled and AI-powered MFDs offer efficient document management, printing anywhere and cost optimization. A staff that stayed home quickly saw the benefits. In addition, the edtech revolution caused by online courses has increased the demand for small printers and copiers, ”says K Bhaskhar, SVP – Business Imaging Solutions, Canon India.

Canon has a large market share in the private, banking, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.

Times change

Canon, who couldn’t rest on its laurels, was in constant touch with its customers in the early days of the pandemic. “We wanted to address your concerns. That’s why we started reaching out to CIOs through forums like webinars and video calls, ”reveals Bhaskhar.

“We have to consider the next action plan in the B2B area. Canon is reviewing its product strategy against these action items, ”he adds.

Canon used these market insights and customer feedback to build product development skills during this period. It helped them unlock the next phase of value creation for their customers.

The digitization of documents is the order of the day. In response to these market demands, Canon introduced ‘Hence Online’, a cloud-based, powerful and secure information management solution that does not require a local server. It helps companies work smarter by improving information processes at many levels to make collaboration between employees easier, and compliance becomes an integral part of the workflow.

“Companies can use ‘Hence’ in their various departments such as manufacturing, customer service, human resources, finance and logistics. Its powerful workflow engine also automates core business processes and ensures that several people can work on a process at the same time, ”says Bhaskhar.

This workflow software solution has steadily established itself on the market. “We sold more than 300 to 400 units in that period,” he adds.

A tack change

Canon identifies and capitalizes on new opportunities to maintain steady growth. One such example is ‘IRISXtract’, an intelligent document capture and form processing solution that automatically classifies documents received from a variety of different input sources such as email, fax, watched folders, and paper documents. IRIS then extracts the data from the documents and places them in your business application. It is a flexible and scalable client-server application platform for automating document classification and data extraction from forms and unstructured documents.

Canon is also relying on the BIS segment to drive its growth. In the COVID era, BIS will bring optimization in terms of employees and fleet, as it is coupled with many software solutions. Canon has achieved strong brand equity with BIS in the network video surveillance market.

However, Canon is realistic in its growth estimates. “With declining print volumes and a plateau in demand for office units, sales will stagnate. In the future, the machine fleet will be heavily consolidated and reduced across the board. We want to counteract this by supplying printing paper, ”says Bhaskhar.

“We work with the paper mills to produce paper that has high machine availability,” he adds.

A brave new world

Canon is committed to delivering new value propositions to its corporate customers. WFH and the optimization of office space will be a major trend. Canon will bring new solutions to market to meet this demand. This year, new models such as the A4 copier base will be introduced, where the printing costs will be much lower.

It will be a rocky road to recovery, but Mr. Kobayashi hopes that green shoots of revival will emerge in the B2B segment. “2020 was a moratorium year. And 2021 won’t be a full comeback. It’s going to be a slow start. New trends will appear, ”he proclaims.

This optimism is backed up by the belief that India has tremendous growth potential. And with Canon’s newfound ability to adapt to the changing business landscape, the growth prospects look bright.

Also read – Canon offers a robust service infrastructure for customer support