John Ross, the General Manager of OKI Middle East, India, and Africa speaks to Review Central Middle East about Managed Print Services, the growth of MFP market, and the company’s plans in general for GITEX Technology Week 2013.
What sort technology trends have you seen in the Middle East and Africa market over the past few months?
Managed Print Services (MPS) is gaining more popularity. The growing popularity of the Cloud (essentially accessible-from-anywhere storage of data and applications) in developed markets will again gain more acceptance in Middle East.
The consumer print volumes are diminishing which is putting pressure on lot of Inkjet printer manufacturers. In the B2B space more and more customers are looking for devices which can print duplex.
How has the regional ICT market grown over the past few years?
The regional IT market is showing year on year growth. However, all the product categories are not showing the same level of growth. In the Hardcopy Peripheral Industry that we operate in, certain product categories like Mono & Colour toner based MFPs are showing tremendous growth whereas the Inkjet printer market is declining.
What sort of ICT products are in demand in the MEA region? Has there been a major shift in what the consumers want in ICT products?
In an office environment customers are looking for more network centric devices and printers/MFPs that can print on both sides of the paper automatically. Colour devices are gaining more acceptability in offices too.
What do you plan to achieve through GITEX Technology Week and GITEX Shopper this year? Can you please share your plans?
As usual we will be as interactive as possible with visitors during GITEX Technology Week, letting them see both the quality of our printouts and experience the technology in action.
For example, using our AirPrint enabled MC700 series to print directly from their Apple device without the need for cloud or peer-to-peer services. We also want to educate them on the benefits of using a Smart solution from OKI. These services enable an organisation to centrally manage and optimise their print and copy workflow.
They provide the ability to enforce rules, quotas and user notifications, resulting in cost management and higher levels of security across the business. I think the OKI stand will ‘unlock’ a lot of knowledge and understanding of the OKI brand as a whole and hopefully visitors will enjoy it.
Do you plan to launch any new products or techologies at GITEX Technology Week and GITX Shopper this year?
Our new A4 colour and mono multifunction products will be a big draw, offering the tools you need to ensure the most effective use of resources within your organisation, improving communication and document workflow using the embedded open platform sXP (smart Extendable Platform).
Robust and efficient, the MB/MC 700 Series is the first full LED A4 medium to large workgroup MFP on the market with the highest level of document and data security. Combining print, copy, scan, fax and stapling functionality in one high speed, ergonomic device, the MB700 and MC700 Series offer efficient and secure document management and output that is suited to organisations of all sizes, from large corporate multinationals and financial institutions to educational establishments and SMBs.
With a range of models and accessories available you can select the MFP that meets your specific needs and budget. There also could be a surprise in store for visitors offering a printer that is a first in its price range for the technology it offers…
What’s going to be your theme at GITEX Technology Week this year?
At GITEX this year we will be focussing on the total Smart solutions that OKI can provide in terms of its suite of software, offering added functionality, control and effectiveness to your business. We will also be aiming to provide potential customers more of an insight into the history of OKI as a Japanese company and the long line of technological innovations that we have produced.