With hardware no longer a major point of differentiation in the business technology arena, Bidvest Group company, Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA) has established a successful model to exploit new areas of growth in South Africa’s business technology market. Konica Minolta Professional Services product manager, Mohammed Vachiat, says KMSA is no longer in the business of dropping boxes. “Today it is all about adding value in the area of intangibles,” he says. This is where KMSA’s Professional Services division enters the picture.
Ten years ago KMSA established a software support department, which quickly evolved into it’s the Minolta Integrated Systems Information Exchange (MiSix) division. MiSix has now been renamed Konica Minolta Professional Services division and is the hub that drives KMSA’s success in the “process” environment. The division is made up of specialist engineers – network specialists, application software specialists, colour specialists – who form teams to assess and address the wide range of client requirements relating to document solutions. Vachiat says the KMPS team offers services and technology to help client’s bridge the assimilation gap, which is the disparity between rapid technological introduction and the market’s inability to absorb those changes at the same rate. “With technology changing so rapidly, it’s often difficult for the layman to keep apace.
Our model puts intellectual capital, incorporating solution design and implementation, at the core of what we offer our clients,” says Vachiat. This move elevates KMSA from merely competing in the low margin product and printing business to competing in the high margin “process” business, which includes everything that contributes to the lifecycle of a business document, from warehousing to archiving, administration, inventory obsolescence, distribution, amongst others. Over and above its solution offering, Konica Minolta Professional Services offers training and educational services. “In addition to formal training courses, our engineers conduct on site training for end-users to get optimal use out of their devices,” he says.
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