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Ricoh cuts dealers to focus on IT

Friday, 11 May 2018
By Print 21 Online Article
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Ricoh has ended agreements with 16 of its Australian dealers as it shifts focus to the IT services market, but the company denied suggestions it was moving away from print.

‘A major opportunity for developing new ways to make printing more innovative and productive’: George Fryer, GM Sales, Ricoh Australia.

“We have ended agreements with 16 dealers but some of these dealers were inactive or had historically focused primarily on only service,” said George Fryer, GM Sales, Ricoh Australia. “A number of these dealers will, however, retain a service provider only relationship with Ricoh. Customers in regional areas will continue to benefit from support through a combination of authorised service providers or from Ricoh directly. “

Fryer says the company’s increased focus on IT services does not mean the Japanese electronics giant and printing press manufacturer is moving away from printing.

“We see services as critical and, indeed, a market differentiator for Ricoh and we place great emphasis on understanding our individual customer’s business and their unique requirements and ensuring that our technology is widely adopted. We help companies on their digital journeys providing solutions focused on collaboration, information sharing and management, supporting a customer’s move from a paper-based world to the digital environment.” 

New opportunities are also opening up in print, Fryer says. The company has “a major opportunity for developing new ways to make printing more innovative and productive. Automation, process design, integration and IT services need to treat the printer device as a ramp for digital productivity and to support the collaboration requirements for the entire workplace.

“In addition, print platform as a service also presents an opportunity for growth as businesses move to an overall subscription service for all their technology requirements right across their operations. These are the areas where the growth for us, accelerates in terms of enabling process automation, process design and overall workplace automation.”

Fryer believes automation is one of the biggest challenges facing the printing industry.

Process automation has become more important as has the critical nature of information exchange at the right time in the right place with less human interaction and frustration. Our customers and prospects have also increasingly focused on their sustainability programs and set a goal of making their operations carbon neutral.  Indeed, Ricoh Australia was the first technology services organisation in the country to achieve a carbonNZero certification.  There is also a need in some industries to use visually attractive content to get their message across.  In this area, we are seeing innovation in the output of creative applications delivered by our commercial and industrial print technologies.” 

In February 2017, Ricoh hired Fuji Xerox veteran Andy Berry to lead Ricoh Australia. In November, Simon Lane was appointed as country manager for the production printing systems business.

Earlier this week, Ricoh Australia appointed Paul Thompson as business development manager for its new visual display and direct-to-garment solutions.

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