Human-Centric Digital Transformation: the Gradual and Inclusive Journey of Konica Minolta

Digital Workplace-Digital transformation-Vasco-Falcao-interview

Human-Centric Digital Transformation: the Gradual and Inclusive Journey of Konica Minolta

Vasco-Falcao-KonicaMinolta-DW-DXIn a world where ‘Digital Transformation’ has become a buzzword, every company claims to be an expert and is ready to lead the revolution. Yet, true Digital Transformation, or DX, is not about a single, seismic shift in operations or a complete overhaul of systems. Instead, it is a series of deliberate, strategic steps that an organization takes, integrating technology into all areas of business, fundamentally changing how it operates and delivering value to customers.
Moreover, digital transformation is about choosing the right experts to guide each step of the journey. In this interview, we delve into the essence of DX with Vasco Falcao, CEO of Konica Minolta Portugal and Spain, and Head of the Digital Workplace DX Business Unit in Europe, who brings clarity and a pragmatic approach to the vision of making our workspaces digital ready.

What do Digital Workplace (DW) and Digital Transformation (DX) mean for Konica Minolta?

Over the past five decades, the traditional office environment has undergone a significant evolution, a process that has notably gained momentum in recent years. This continuous metamorphosis reflects the dynamic nature of workspaces, adapting to new technologies, cultural shifts, and the changing needs of the workforce. Konica Minolta has always been there, with our multifunctional printers being a footprint in our clients’ offices, gaining an in-depth understanding of our customers’ processes and becoming proficient analysts of their operations. Our printers serve as a bridge between the analog and digital realms, seamlessly connecting these two worlds.

Our approach involves assisting clients in two key areas:

  • firstly, in capturing value from their customer base,
  • and secondly, in transforming operational processes to increase efficiency.

By doing so, we ensure that teams are not only more engaged but also more productive, thanks to the integration of advanced technologies. We facilitate digital transformation by focusing on how businesses engage with their customers and by streamlining internal operations.

Could you make any examples? 

There are many. When selling an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, we facilitate communication and information sharing between departments, making data available where it can be used productively. It’s about offering superior logistics and deeper insights to the end customer. Essentially, we are equipping them with technological support that improves their interactions with their own clients.

For instance, when offering an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution, it’s about enabling quicker access to documents, increasing productivity, and summarizing key events within a document. This is further integrated with platforms that facilitate the final delivery of services, whether it’s boosting employee productivity or aiding in data retrieval for proposal preparation.

We offer Business Process Services (BPS) like Captio in certain markets, which is an expense reporting tool. This allows customers to digitize the entire expense reporting process for their employees, linking it to an existing ERP system or one we implement. Nowadays, many of our clients begin their digital transformation journey by complying with electronic invoicing regulations, and we support them in setting up these systems not only for the specific and immediate need, but with a long-term perspective.

What is the key approach to DX in Konica Minolta?

The unique aspect of Konica Minolta is our approach to problem-solving. We view each challenge as an integral part of a broader transformation process, rather than as an isolated project. Take electronic invoicing, for instance; it is not just about how you initially handle the invoices but also how you plan to manage, secure, and distribute your documents in the long run. Beyond merely addressing a customer’s immediate issue, we add multiple layers of value—layers that customers may not always have the expertise to recognize, which is where we can offer significant assistance and insight.

Why choosing Konica Minolta as a partner for DX?

For over a century and a half, our company has embarked on a journey that has established us as a trusted choice for customers. Having begun 150 years ago, we have weathered two world wars, different political and social revolutions, and significant transformations, always standing by our customers as a reliable partner.

In an era marked by rapid change, we believe it is crucial not to merely chase fleeting trends. Instead, Konica Minolta offers the assurance of a stable partner committed to long-term transformation. In a fast-paced world, we provide the foresight to see beyond the immediate horizon, focusing on mid to long-term strategies. Our longevity and adaptability in various technologies have been key to helping our customers navigate change, making our ability to look further than the short term one of our defining strengths.

In 1964 it was Minolta Hi-Matic camera which was used in the space by the astronaut John Glenn, and later it was another Minolta camera the first featuring a smile detection system.

What do you perceive as the primary challenges for DX in the foreseeable future?

The primary challenge in digital transformation is its perceived enormity. It’s crucial to convey to clients that starting small is key. Konica Minolta adopts a consultative approach, initiating projects that build trust and can expand over time. Overall, there are four challenges to Digital Transformation:

  • Partner selection in DX is crucial for ensuring stability, security, and alignment with long-term company goals.
  • It’s essential to integrate the digital portfolio into the customer value chain to improve customer experience and operational efficiency.
  • Understanding the human impact of technology is vital, as it’s about more than just tools—it’s about people and processes.
  • Adopted technology must align with the user base’s diversity and digital literacy to ensure an inclusive digital transformation. For instance, when governments mandate digital prescriptions without considering the digital literacy of their population, it can lead to exclusion.

The journey is complex, but with careful planning and execution, the hurdles can be transformed into stepping stones for innovation and growth. This is exactly how Konica Minolta has embarked on the use of Artificial Intelligence: our approach to these technologies is methodical and deliberate, with a dedicated task force and a technical committee that has been actively engaged in this domain even prior to the introduction of the European AI Act. This proactive involvement underscores our commitment to responsible AI development and governance.

Would you like to learn more about DX in Konica Minolta?

Reach out now to discover how we can help you streamline your operations, enhance your customer experience, and drive growth. Contact us today to start your transformation journey with Konica Minolta.