Konica Minolta Announces Sweeping ‘Workplace Hub’ for Office Imaging, Data Storage, IT Admin, User Collaboration

Workplace Hub infrastructure, including MFP/printer, data storage, and WiFi access point.

At its Spotlight conference this week in Berlin, Germany, Konica Minolta, Inc. announced Workplace Hub, an ambitious new offering that’s said to unify all of an organization’s technology via a single, centralized platform – from WorkPlace Hub infrastructure (including MFP/printers), to an Admin Dashboard for managing and securing the enterprise’s IT resources, to a new user-collaboration platform, to IT services.

Essentially, it’s a single standardized way of managing all of an enterprise’s IT resources, irrespective of vendor, providing:

  • One way to plan, evaluate, and purchase IT.
  • One contract and one point of contact to resolve all IT issues.
  • One interface (Admin Dashboard) to access and manage all of the enterprise’s IT resources.
  • One space (Team Space) to enable workers to collaborate, sharing data and documents.
  • One overview of the enterprise’s IT resource usage.

Konica Minolta’s WorkPlace Hub ecocsystem: Administrations work through the Admin Dashboard and users can collaborate using a Team Space. Konica Minolta provides the IT infrastructure and Managed IT services.

Workplace Hub Infrastructure

Workplace Hub MFP.

Workplace Hub infrastructure includes a “smart” Konica Minolta MFP that provides print, copy, scan, and fax, and that also enables uses to add documents directly to a relevant Team Space (see below).

Workplace Hub infrastructure also includes:

  • Data storage: A blend of local server storage with Konica Minolta data centers that comply with country regulations.
  • Hybrid Cloud: A bridge between data stored in the office and in the cloud, giving enterprises a flexible and secure way of working that combines the best of local and cloud computing.
  • Hewlett-Packard Enterprise server technology.
  • WiFi Access Point: Secure Wi-Fi that’s said to be easy to configure and highly flexible.

The first WorkPlace Hub configuration will be available this fall.

Workplace Admin Dashboard

The Workplace Admin Dashboard is accessed via Web browser – it’s compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge; Microsoft Office products and other standard tools can also be integrated.

The Admin Dashboard enables administrators to review resource usage, revise service contracts, manage user rights, check security and infrastructure status, change site support, and/or add and remove applications.

It also enables administrators to:

  • Remotely control their company’s Wi-Fi and access points.
  • Set different Wi-Fi access rights, including limited access for guests.
  • Review and determine storage.
  • See what’s stored where, locally, or in the Konica Minolta cloud.
  • Configure where they’d like to store their data.
  • Decide data-encryption levels.
  • Purchase additional local or cloud storage through Konica Minolta MarketPlace.
  • See at a glance a “traffic light” overview of their system-security status.
  • See a detailed overview of all relevant security settings, such as open ports.
  • Enable quick security-level changes.
  • Manage users: add, remove or group different users; and define roles, individuals’ rights and user authentication levels (such as require passwords or ID cards. Also provides for forgotten password, password encryption ,and blocking of accounts after several failed attempts.

Administrators can also access the Konica Minolta Marketplace, where they can find on-line software, applications, and IT services at the Marketplace store.

Among software and solutions at Marketplace that will be available are business-productivity applications developed by approved third-party software developers; desktop software licenses (such as Microsoft Office), infrastructure services (such as cloud storage); and professional IT services. All purchases can be billed on a single invoice.

Workplace Hub Team Space

Team Space refers to a new platform that will enable workers to collaborate together more effectively together, through both new and future tools.

A Team Space is accessed via Web browser (compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge; Microsoft Office products and other standard tools can be integrated).

Team Space provides:

  • Audio and video meetings.
  • Chat sessions.
  • Screen shares.

All traditional communication tools, such as mail, messages, notes, tasks, calendar and address-books can be integrated into a Team Space – from which users can also access telephone numbers and make calls.

Other Team Space tools include:

  • File sharing: Users can share files with colleagues and collaborators. Data is synchronized and encrypted automatically, and there’s also version tracking. Users can assign files to a specific Team Space.
  • MFP/printers: Print, scan, copy, and/or fax any device or location Scanned documents and incoming faxes are digitally converted and can be added to a relevant Team Space.

Team Space also provides various interesting “smart features,” including:

  • Contextual replies: Automatically suggests responses to emails based on content, previous answers, and wider contextual information, such as customers asking for specific product information.
  • Executive summaries: Key words in emails and documents are automatically highlighted

Other applications will be available at the Konica Minolta MarketPlace, and applications can be installed locally or in the cloud. Applications can be fully integrated into the Team Space environment or accessed separately via a user’s Web browser.

Workplace Hub Managed IT Services

With Managed IT Services, Konica Minolta provides installation, and storage back-up and management. It also provides system security and data protection: Konica Minolta manages data and systems from malicious attacks, using Sophos’ unified threat management. Additionally:

  • All data entered or processed by Workplace Hub MFPs is protected.
  • A combination of local and cloud backup storage is provided.
  • All data is backed up to a Konica Minolta cloud located within the local region and therefore complies with local country regulations.
  • All data can be encrypted for added security.

Konica Minolta also remotely monitors and manages the entire system, finding and fixing problems , and also provides installation and support, including:

  • Network, Wi-Fi, and  MFP setup.
  • Basic migration and integration of existing data.
  • Physical security against theft.

Konica Minolta can also provide  professional IT services, including consulting and installation of additional equipment, software and services, as well as help-desk support.

Partners and Future Roadmap

Konica Minolta says it created the WorkPlace Hub platform in partnership with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Sophos, and Microsoft to provide hardware, security, and IT solutions. Other services from Canonical and BrainTribe provide open-source and advanced data management.

In the future, the platform’s product roadmap includes integration of Internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, “intelligent edge,” and decision-support capabilities.

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