The Workplace of the Future with Fast Company at SXSW

March 16, 2018

Change is in the Air: Transformation Underway

Konica Minolta has always been a brand with transformation and change as part of its DNA, ingrained in the company culture. From having a Minolta camera on the first American manned shuttle that went into space in 1962, to releasing the world’s first 35 mm camera with auto focus in 1977, we have had many world firsts. As our CEO Shoei Yamana mentioned in a recent interview with the Financial Times, innovation at Konica Minolta has historically been focused on ‘over engineering’ our products. In times of stability, such product innovations absolutely have their place. However, today our traditional market place has shrunk dramatically. For Konica Minolta to retain market relevancy, we have to shift our focus to customer value. It is definitely a very different focus to “how can we make our products better.” And so, over the last four years, Konica Minolta’s innovative journey has been accelerating like never before. With the establishment of our Business Innovation Centers, expansion of our R&D facilities globally, and our acquisitions, Konica Minolta is closer than ever to our clients. All this is supporting Konica Minolta’s transformation into a leading edge IT Services business.

Inspirational Panel Discussion

It has been important to tell the market what we’re doing, positioning ourselves in the hearts and minds of our customers, bringing them on a journey with us. So with that in mind, we joined the 8th Annual Fast Company Grill (#FCGrill)’s panel discussion. Notably, this panel ran in conjunction with the South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference & Festivals held on March 9-18, 2018 in Austin, TX. SXSW and the partnership with Fast Company is a tremendous opportunity for Konica Minolta. Specifically, this activity not only provides a clear differentiator to our traditional competitors, but also heralds the commitment to our revolutionary transformation underway within our business. It illustrates that we really are a 144 year old start-up company!

Our panel discussion was focused on The Workplace of The Future: Reinvention Is Required. It provided a forum for us to share our vision of what the Workplace of the Future looks like. The speaker line-up included top Konica Minolta and All Covered executives on the speaker’s panel:

  • Nick Pegley, Vice President of Solutions and Services Business Development,

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.,

  • Glenn Mathis, Vice President of Global Client Services and Solutions, All Covered,
  • Matt Walton, Chief Design Officer, Oracle
  • And myself, Director of Marketing Communications, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.

The panel discussion provided the audience with our insights for the workplace.
Konica Minolta panel at SXSW
We began by discussing how the role of the printer is changing, with the need for greater security, as it retains its integral position with managing workflow. The role of the printer is set to change even further, with disruptive technologies like Workplace Hub, “an all-in-one IT System that maximizes the real estate that printers have in the workplace” (Stacey Sujeebun). Konica Minolta is helping organizations simplify their IT, enabling them to focus on their core business, rather than mundane administrative tasks. Nick Pegley recognizes “communication is so easy now, [but] it’s not always easy for companies to deploy technology for collaboration. It is complicated to find the right balance in a company.” Nick went on to provide advice about how large and small organizations can go about adapting their work environment and onboarding new technologies with high internal engagement to ensure its successful adoption. Glenn Mathis added to this by describing a number of use cases to help organizations understand the value that implementing Konica Minolta technology will have. The panel also shared examples of how artificial intelligence and machine learning is being used in the workplace today.
Ultimately, we know that in tomorrow’s workplace, how we view technology will change. Technology will no longer be simply a back office function that allows us to get our jobs done. It will become center stage in shaping our workplaces to become more intelligent, adapting to how and where we want to work. The fact that Konica Minolta is making enormous strides in this direction signals the tremendous accomplishments around our innovation strategy and transformation.

Being part of the Fast Company’s panel, three or even two years ago would have been something we would have been anxious about participating in. However, today we can proudly say this is definitely in keeping with our brand profile. It has allowed us a forum to show our technology thought leadership, showcasing that we are indeed on our way to being a leading IT company.

Our transformation journey will only get more exciting from here on end!

Stacey Sujeebun
Marketing Communications Director - North America and Global Research and Development

Stacey Sujeebun is the Marketing Communications Director at Konica Minolta for North America and Global Research and Development. On joining the business almost 10 years ago, she was faced with the challenge of repositioning the organisation’s reputation to rival that of well-established IT companies, through brand extension. Following a lengthy transformative brand development programme, the Workplace Hub category was unveiled to the world’s press at the ‘Spotlight’ event in Berlin in March 2017. The brand and activation went on to win 13 awards globally. Stacey is responsible for consolidating Konica Minolta’s IT Services reputation by harnessing the organisation’s IT division, All Covered, with the goal of paving the way for Konica Minolta’s future IoT / AI business – currently under exploration by Research and Development. She has been named as a “2019 Young Influencer” within the Imaging Industry by The Cannata Report, NJBIZ’s ‘2020 40 Under 40,’ and as a ‘2021 Woman Influencer’ by The Cannata Report. Before joining Konica Minolta, Stacey worked as a consultant within brand communication and media agencies in London, providing advice on rebranding, repositioning and stakeholder engagement initiatives. She is also a CIM qualified marketing professional, with an MSc in Social Anthropology from University College London (UCL).