Inkjet & Digital Printing
Peak performance and design – Konica Minoltas bizhub i-Series very successful one year after its launch
Wednesday 01. April 2020 - Konica Minolta made a successful start with the introduction of the bizhub i-Series a year ago (April 2019). According to Infosource, the bizhub C250i of the bizhub i-Series was the best-selling device on the market for A3 multi-functional peripherals (MFPs), with more than 28,000 units purchased1. In addition, the bizhub C250i and other systems from this series have won the worlds most coveted design award, the Red Dot Award, in the category Product Design 2020.
This success underlines Konica Minoltas strength in shaping and leading this market with its next-generation bizhub i-Series. It also shows that its Intelligent Connected Workplace approach perfectly addresses market needs: digitalisation has not diminished the role of office printing devices or multifunctional peripherals (MFPs). In fact, MFPs are evolving to take centre stage in this transformation, paving the way for growth in this market.
“The world of work is evolving. Businesses seek to become digital connected workplaces that bring together people, spaces and devices with data. Our bizhub i-Series MFPs are smart IoT-enabled devices which are designed to pave the way to the Intelligent Connected Workplace. The success of the i-Series shows how the MFPs role in the office is changing,” says Olaf Lorenz, General Manager, International Marketing Division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH: “These devices are increasingly becoming the centrepiece of the Intelligent Connected Workplace, and we have designed the i-Series specifically for this role.” The bizhub i-Series combines printing with process efficiency to empower customers to organise, streamline and customise their printing landscape, while providing the tools to digitalise workflows. With an innovative and intuitive user experience and powerful built-in processing capabilities, i-Series MFPs are able to provide secure access to a suite of cloud-based services and applications via Konica Minoltas MarketPlace. This gives businesses the freedom to quickly tailor and easily harness each devices capabilities. To ensure the highest security standards, Konica Minolta decided to partner with Bitdefender – a leader in IT security. The outcome is a unique and comprehensive security system with a built-in anti-virus solution on the device. With bizhub Secure, different security levels and access licences can be set to protect device memory and network settings.
At the same time, these devices retain their traditional role for printing, copying, scanning and fax – in a modern, user-friendly interface. Lorenz explains: “We can see that in everyday work lives digitalisation is not rendering these functions obsolete, nor is the role of print vanishing.” Rather, these media are complementing each other. “We see a case-by-case, purpose-based evaluation amongst users. In some cases, they prefer print – particularly when it comes to the perception of complex content.” A recent compendium of scientific research suggests that there is merit to this approach: particularly complex, explanatory content is better understood on paper than on screen. “In other cases, digital visualisation has a clear advantage when it comes to dynamic or animated explanations, for example,” Lorenz adds. “Users today want to have the choice, and switching between these modes – print or digital – needs to be as seamless as possible.”
Not-only best-selling but with an award-winning design
According to sales data from Infosource, the bizhub C250i from the bizhub i-Series is the leader in the European market for A3 MFPs. The number of units sold has increased steadily from quarter to quarter and it has been the top-selling model since its launch in April 2019. In addition to rapid market success, the new bizhub i-Series has attracted attention for its exceptional, user-friendly design – securing two major design awards. At the international Red Dot Awards 2020, the bizhub C250i, including the bizhub C300i/C360i as well as the bizhub C3350i with the bizhub C4050i, received the prestigious Red Dot in the category “Product Design 2020” for their high quality and outstanding design. A few months ago, Konica Minolta also received the Good Design Award 2019 from the Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP) for the bizhub C360i/C300i/C250i. In the award citation, the jury praised the A3 colour MFPs for their “sophisticated design”, highly intuitive interfaces and user experience.
Konica Minolta printers can also be operated without using the touch screens
Especially in light of the current developments with COVID-19, it is important to keep personal contacts to a minimum and to reduce risks of infection. Konica Minolta therefore emphasises that the majority of its MFPs – including all devices from the bizhub i-Series – can be operated remotely. It is hence possible to operate these devices, which have been designed to be used by multiple employees, without the user ever having to even touch the control panel. This can be done, for example, by using computers, mobile telephones or tablets. This works on the principle of the multifunctional control panel being displayed on a mobile telephone or on a classic computer monitor via a web interface. Users can then work with the panel as if they were standing right next to it. If users have not yet been utilising this function, they can easily activate it directly in the settings of their device. Alternatively, Konica Minolta can offer assistance via phone. A further way of operating the equipment is with touch styluses, which can easily be disinfected. When cleaning the control panels and the entire devices, it is possible to use any available alcohol-based preparation designated for the given surface. It should always only be applied using a cloth and then wiped dry, however.