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Konica Minolta SA goes beyond hardware with bEST

As part of a holistic approach to its service methodology, Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa has introduced its innovative software, bizhub Extended Solution Technology (bEST).


The open interface technology is incorporated into the majority of bizhub multifunctional products (MFPs) from black and white to colour, and serves as a shared platform to enhance and optimise the work environment.


“bEST can provide customised solutions to meet customers’ specific business needs by integrating existing industry standard or market proven external applications into bizhub devices,” explains Andrew Griffith, product manager for office products at Konica Minolta South Africa. “It enables a seamless interface between bizhub MFPs and software applications residing on a PC or server.”


Owing to the software’s sophisticated customisation and integration capabilities, Griffith believes that bEST offers organisations a gateway to business opportunities. “The solution has the capacity to become firmly entrenched in a business’ enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, thereby adding value to a company’s electronic document management (EDM) system, resulting in greater workflow productivity and convenience.”


The benefit of bEST solves many of the challenges taking place in today’s business environment and forces a paradigm shift where the focus now lies beyond hardware.


“Hardware has become incidental and the real value, we’ve realised, lies in the software. bEST offers a new way to gain business efficiency, optimise a company’s performance, reduce cost and become more eco-conscious, all while improving security – and all in a bespoke and seamless way.”


Optimised business performance can, for example, be gained by utilising bEST to provide a smooth and efficient document/print workflow along with flexible network scanning to suit a wide range of applications. “Above all, these documents can immediately become saved and indexed to any ERP or EDM system,” adds Griffith.


He says that by digitising everyday documents circulating throughout the office, bEST also helps save paper resources. “Integrating user authentication into document accounting management systems, clarifies device usage by department and by individual, raising cost awareness and leading to overall cost reductions. Device management costs can also be reduced by consolidating the management of multiple-devices into a single location, raising cost-efficiency.”


The software also allows for the centralised management of user information and so effectively prevents unauthorised access while allowing authorised users to utilise and share information in a flexible manner.


For customers to achieve optimal usage of bEST, Konica Minolta South Africa has recruited and invested in highly-skilled development experts. These experts were trained in Japan and have the right proficiency to customise Konica Minolta’s bEST proprietary technology in order to meet businesses varying software requirements.


“bEST is an integral part of Konica Minolta South Africa’s bizhub open platform, a system which makes bizhub MFPs more accessible for customers and developers. We are most conscious of the fact that not one solution suits everyone. This concept therefore marries our products to external software applications for a seamlessly connected and customised customer solution that can be delivered in a timely manner,” concludes Griffith.


The following bizhub models are currently equipped with bEST: bizhub C220, C280, C360, C452, C552, C652 and even on previous models such as the C203, C253, C353, C451, C550 and C650.

In August 2010, these bizhub models will also available with bEST: bizhub 223, 283, 363 and 423.


During November 2010, the first colour A4 MFP, the bizhub C35 will be launched. Combined with bEST, the MFP will be a unique device in the segment of the market it serves.

Older models such as the bizhub 501 are also available with bEST and the bizhub 421, 601 and 701, as well as production models, such as the bizhub PRESS 950, 1051, 1200 and C6501, will contain the software later in the year.

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