Inkjet & Digital Printing
Konica Minolta announces the successful use of its new AIRe Link tool for remote visual support
Wednesday 29. July 2020 - Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe (Konica Minolta) is pleased to announce the successful use of a prototype of its new remote visual support tool, AIRe Link. As with many other manufacturing organisations, Konica Minoltas service and support was heavily affected by travel restrictions over the past four months due to COVID-19. The situation accelerated the development and pilot testing of a tool for remote visual support being developed by the Konica Minolta Business Innovation Centre as part of intelligent connected workplace solutions.
AIRe Link enables companies to identify or solve problems on their print devices themselves while being supported by Konica Minolta remotely. More than 1,000 on-site customer visits were saved across Europe during the first four months of internal pilot usage. Furthermore, Konica Minolta is now also offering the beta version of the tool free of charge to external companies so they can also solve issues remotely when supporting their clients.
As a cloud solution, AIRe Link enables a technical specialist to see what the customer sees, using the camera from the customer’s smartphone or tablet. Rather than installing an application or creating an account, the customer only needs to click on an invitation link received via SMS and a session opens in the browser of their smartphone or tablet. The technical specialist can also use a live pointer or drawing in the snapshot of the customer scene to provide visual navigation during issue analysis and when guiding the customer through the correction procedure.
Using AIRe Link results in the faster identification of issues and very often the remote resolution of problems, helping technicians with less travel, faster troubleshooting, cost reduction and saving in CO2 emissions. It also significantly improves customer satisfaction and safeguards the well-being of service employees.
Using of AIRe Link inside Konica Minolta
Gurney Ghathory from Konica Minolta’s customer Rayprograghics Ltd, United Kingdom, describes his positive experience with AIRe Link: “After reporting an issue on the Konica Minolta Production Print device, I was asked to use AIRe Link to show sample prints to the Konica Minolta technician. He guided me through some troubleshooting procedures and was able to diagnose a part which needed replacement. As the fault diagnosis was already carried out remotely and the technician already knew exactly which spare part was required, my machine could be fixed directly on the first visit. AIRe Link was incredibly quick and easy to use.”
After proving its benefits and stability within a closed beta version, Konica Minolta decided to accelerate the development of AIRe Link, and is currently deploying the solution in service teams across Europe. The aim is to increase the efficiency of the Konica Minolta Service and Support Department whilst ensuring business continuity for Konica Minolta and its customers in case of restrictions that do not allow onsite customer visits.
“AIRe Link is the perfect supplement to our service management toolbox. It enables us to increase the uptime of customers’ infrastructure while optimising our processes. We are also using this tool to increase the knowledge transfer between our service task forces,” Gerald Pomper, Head of Service and Support, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Germany, emphasises.
AIRe Link for other industries
In addition to detecting malfunctions on MFP or Production Print devices, Konica Minolta is also offering the AIRe Link tool as an open beta solution free of charge to its customers, dealers and external companies. It can also be used for devices or machines in other industries, as the following example of its customer Bruker highlights. Bruker is a global company with 6,000 employees supplying high-performance scientific instruments and high-value analytical and diagnostic solutions that enable scientists to explore life and materials at molecular, cellular and microscopic levels. One of Bruker’s customers in Croatia had issues with its instruments. “With AIRe Link, we were able to resolve the problem remotely and we thus saved travelling to Croatia. AIRe Link is helping us to save costs for us while increasing customer satisfaction as they do not have to wait for a service technician. In addition, AIRe Link is actually the only way to get the instruments back into operation for our customers in restricted countries. The AIRe Link solution is easy to use and provides excellent quality of video and audio”, says David Burian from Bruker s.r.o, Czech Republic. All it takes companies to start using the solution is to create a user account in the tool, which takes only a couple of minutes.
The current open beta will switch to a production version in 2021.
The AIRe Link initiative mirrors Konica Minolta’s evolution by offering customers intelligent connected workplace solutions, while increasing sustainability measures and promoting the well-being of employees.