Google and KM Work the Cloud Together

During the Konica Minolta Dealer Summit in March 2019, the company’s CEO, Rick Taylor stressed the importance of strategic technology partnerships to support the connected workplace. Earlier this week, Konica Minolta announced that they have become Google’s Cloud Premier Partner for the office technology industry.

KM and Google haven’t released many details yet about the newly announced partnership. What we know is that KM and their dealer partners can now sell Google Cloud solutions, and both companies will work together on technical development of advanced productivity tools on the Google Cloud. In a statement, KM said that the partnership “builds upon Konica Minolta’s strategy to provide the most comprehensive portfolio of intelligent connected workplace solutions.”

Now is a good time to get into bed with one of the biggest cloud providers on the globe. According to Gartner, global IT spending is expected to grow by 3.7% in 2020. They claim that most of this growth will be driven by enterprise software in the cloud. The company also reported that 14 percent of all IT spending in the U.S. by 2022 will be on cloud services.

The surge in cloud usage and spending makes sense. When we first started talking about digital transformation, we were talking about applications that were hosted on-premise. That meant businesses had to make additional investments in deploying and maintaining additional IT infrastructure just to run the solution. Indeed, these solutions helped (and still help) businesses save a lot of time and money. But these gains come with a caveat. If anyone wanted to use an on-premise solution, then they’d have to be in the office. In the cloud, businesses don’t have to worry about standing up or maintaining servers, since the solution is hosted by the provider. And with on-demand connectivity to their cloud-based solutions, workers can be productive anywhere on the globe with an internet connection.

The cloud also gave way to the popular XaaS model, whereby customers pay a subscription for access to infrastructure, platforms or software. The pricing model has been attractive to both consumers and businesses, allowing consumers to pay as they go for only what they use, while providing sellers with strong cash flow through recurring revenue models.

Our take

This is an exciting development for Konica Minolta and its dealers with the addition of Google’s entire suite of cloud solutions to their portfolio. It provides cloud-based versions of the solutions they already sell, like document management solutions and collaboration tools. In addition to the classics that consumers and business users prefer, like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Hangouts, KM dealers can deliver infrastructure modernization, data management, application modernization, analytics, AI, security, productivity and collaboration, and industry-specific solutions from Google in the cloud.

Ultimately, the move helps KM and their dealer partners to position themselves as true arbiters of the Workplace of the Future. It aligns the company with a premier cloud provider and equips there dealers with new solutions that can make the difference between winning or losing a bid.

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is president and senior analyst for BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines. As a market analyst and industry consultant, Ames has worked for prominent consulting firms including KPMG and has more than 15 years experience in the imaging industry covering technology and business sectors. Ames has lived and worked in the United States, Southeast Asia and Europe and enjoys being a part of a global industry and community.