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Workplace Hub: Breaking Down IT Silos For the Workplace of the Future

April 6, 2017

Why Berlin?
When Konica Minolta invited us to the global unveiling of their new Workplace Hub platform, we wondered ‘why Berlin’. But upon arriving, we realized Berlin was exactly the right location for the unveiling. Here is why.

workplacehub your terms

Berlin November 9, 1989, is where a massive and divisive barrier, the Berlin Wall, came crashing down. Since barriers are the enemy of prosperity, removing that divisive wall accelerated Germany’s march to prosperity through unification.

In a like manner, Konica Minolta’s Workplace Hub is the IT barrier breaker. Workplace Hub is a new unifying IT platform to help companies break down the barriers that have prevented them from fully implementing technologies in their quest for prosperity.

*Note: This article discusses Konica Minolta’s Workplace Hub 1.0 application to small and medium size businesses (SMB). Future versions of the Workplace Hub platform will serve larger enterprises.

Breaking BarriersBreaking Down IT Barriers 
The setting for Konica Minolta’s Workplace Hub Version 1.0 unveiling was an underground rave-style, 2-story metal warehouse in an industrial area of Berlin that had been outfitted with upscale staging technology. The location was not very far away from where the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charley used to divide people, ideas, and progress.

The event’s theme was removing the barriers of IT progress to enable the Workplace of the Future. And, the event setting helped prepare the approximately 300 participants for a unique presentation of a future-focused, barrier-breaking technology platform - the Workplace Hub.

Barriers are the enemy of productivity

Technology barriers stymie an SMBs progress and prosperity much like the Berlin Wall did for Germany. Konica Minolta envisions the Workplace Hub as the platform to help their customers tear down those technology barriers. The fall of the Wall was a giant step to Germany’s prosperity. And in like manner, Konica Minolta’s Workplace Hub will enable SMBs to break down barriers that have kept them from fully implementing the best in technology.

Enabling the Workplace of the Future
Many companies, but especially SMBs often lack the resources required to efficiently acquire, load, maintain, protect and consistently upgrade the growing complexity of IT resources. SMBs will face even greater IT challenges as we move towards the workplace of the future with its ever more decentralized array of disparate technology tools, services, and mobile devices. The Workplace Hub is positioned to help.

workplacehub Shoei YamanaThe CEO’s View
“The workplace is evolving at an unparalleled rate, and digital transformation is becoming increasingly important to both survival and future prosperity,” said Shoei Yamana, CEO and President of Konica Minolta Inc. “Workplace Hub not only allows businesses of all sizes to achieve effective transformation but future-proof themselves against the next wave of technology innovations already infiltrating the business environment.”

Workplace Hub is a next generation IT management solution unifying existing technologies to integrate hardware, software and services into a multi-vendor, single-support platform.

An Ease of Use Platform
The Workplace Hub is a technology-unifying platform. We like to characterize it as a big Apple iPhone. Here is why.

You begin using an iPhone in a very simple basic manner for calls and maybe email. And then later, if and when you are ready, you can download a few apps with no technical support required. It’s easy, simple and convenient with no stress. It is so easy and simple that grandmothers to business people to preschoolers can all use and benefit from the same platform. You use what you have, and you add more IT technology when and where you want it. The ease of use and app expansion enables seamless information sharing (messages, calls, photos, documents) with associates.

Small and medium size businesses often struggle with acquiring, implementing and maintaining technology since they may lack access to fully qualified talent. And of course, there is always the problem of high turnover with IT staff.

The Workplace Hub’s ease of use and seamless app expansion enables an organization’s people, devices, and technology to all be connected for better communication and collaboration. By centralizing the IT infrastructure and allowing direct access to a wide array of applications with the Workplace Hub managing all licensing, installation and support issues, SMBs can access the best in technology while staying focused on their core business.

The technology barriers are an SMB’s Berlin Wall equivalent because progress and prosperity are stymied. Konica Minolta envisions the Workplace Hub as the platform to tear down those technology barriers for their customers.

Partnering for Open Source Capability
Konica Minolta has a rich history of partnering with best of breed organizations to bring the best solutions to their customers. Workplace Hub follows that tradition with strategic partners like HPE, Sophos, Microsoft, Canonical, and BrainTribe providing hardware, security and IT services.

workplacehub company list

All Covered: The Critical Support Component
A key to the iPhone’s high customer experience ratings is the Genius Bar, a tech support station located inside Apple providing easy access to trained support professionals. When you have an iPhone problem or question, the Genius Bar team takes care of it for you. For busy small business people, this ease of access to high level assistance is of infinite value.

Konica Minolta’s Workplace Hub equivalent to the Genius Bar is their award winning All Covered IT support division. All Covered will provide the IT installation and support for the Workplace Hub. With over 800 technology engineers providing support across the entire IT spectrum, when a Workplace Hub customer has a problem or question, the All Covered team will take care of it.

As Workplace Hub becomes heavily adopted in the marketplace, competitive devices will be introduced. But, without the support provided by a tightly integrated IT support group like All Covered, those vendors will find it difficult to compete.

The Genius Bar is considered the heart and soul of Apple’s success. In like manner, All Covered will be the heart and soul of the Workplace Hub’s success.

Dennis Curry, Vice President and Director of Business Innovation and R&D Europe at Konica Minolta, describes the platform’s future, “Workplace Hub will evolve to become the most comprehensive platform for the services and capabilities demanded by the workplace of the future. It means businesses can grow and manage their IT in tandem with changing business needs. It simplifies IT operations today and paves the way for exciting new integrations, such as AI and intelligent edge computing, to become a central part of the digital organisation of the future.”

Availability Dates
Workplace Hub Version 1.0 will be available in the USA Fall of 2017 as a component within an MFP. In addition to the multifunction printer, it will also incorporate data storage, HPE server, Wi-Fi access points, hybrid cloud, and an uninterruptible power supply. Version 1.0 is designed to evolve continually as system updates, and new features become available.

Later versions will be the available later in 2017 and 2018 as a stand-alone device or as a rack to be integrated with an organisations server stack.

For more information or to ask questions about Workplace Hub, CLICK HERE

workplacehub your terms

 

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