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    OKI strengthens ties at Annual Distributor Conference

    Event highlights strong business opportunities and honours leading distributors

    View of Prague from Castle

    This year OKI Middle East, India and Africa held their Annual Distributor’s Conference in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. The conference was attended by delegates from over 15 countries across the region and supported by Dave Collinson, Lee Webster and Javier Lopez from OKI Europe.OKI men in Prague

    The conference focused on developing relationships with partners, raising awareness of business opportunities, and discussions of the company’s product road map. A lot of effort was made to ensure that all parties fully understood where each product could be placed in the business market and the corresponding verticals and how competitive they are in the differing segments.

    John Ross, General Manager of OKI Middle East, India and Africa, said, “We have ambitious growth plans for the coming years and wanted to ensure that our distributors were clear about OKI’s strategy and brand values. It was an ideal opportunity to consolidate our message and to show our commitment and support for the valuable work that they do.”

    OKI aims to continue eTaking a breath at Prague Catlempowering its partners with the required tools, training and support to help them improve the company’s reach within the region. These ties between partners and OKI were further strengthened with much “informal” conversation taking place whilst touring the beautiful Prague Castle and enjoying the delicious Czech cuisine.

    The conference concluded with the annual awards being given to the distributors below. Congratulations everyone and here’s to a successful FY13!

    Dot Matrix Distributor of the Year – Jawad Sultan of Oman

    Mono NIP Distributor of the Year – MABCO of Jordan

    Colour NIP Distributor of the Year – Al Eqtessad of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    Outstanding Achievement Award – Avantech of Libya

    Distributor of the Year – Qatar Computer Services of Qatar

    OKI ADC Prague Traffic lights

    Thoughts on your office environment for Earth Day 2013

    earth day.jp

    Today is Earth Day, and all over the world more than 1 billion people are celebrating by driving green initiatives like cleaning, planting and recycling. On this special day activists, governments, and NGOs try to drive more awareness about the current environmental issues and what we can do to help protect our Earth and preserve our natural resources.

    Though green issues such as climate change have become a major part of our daily life, many people still find it difficult to sustain it in their working environments. Business Printing is one of the areas where you too can make a difference. We can’t give up printing and in fact it is our duty not to, but how we print is what makes all the difference when it comes to our impact on the environment. So today we are going to show you in three simple steps how your business can score double by cutting down its printing cost and carbon foot print at the same time.

    Smarter printing

    At first glance it may be hard to see how moving print from a specialist supplier to in-house could have such a dramatic impact both on costs and on carbon emissions. The explanation, though, is simple: if you print in-house then you print precisely what you want, when you want it and where you want it. You might call this smarter printing.

    Every business requires stationery: letterheads, invoice blanks and so on. Traditionally this stationery is pre-printed in advance, and because of the economies of scale when using an external supplier, items are usually ordered in large quantities. You pay for a large amount of paper, tying up cash. You spend energy moving it from the print shop to your premises and, if you have multiple locations, to probably pay again to move it from the headquarters to these other branches. You have to provide storage for it and if any detail changes – a new address, membership of a new trade body, an update in the corporate identity, maybe the addition of your environmental certification details – then the paper is just scrap to be delivered (more carbon) to a recycling plant.

    So, why outsource when you can do it in house?

    Online information

    The last few years have seen a marked change in the way that brochures and data sheets are used. Gone now are the days when if someone was interested in a product they called the company who put a glossy brochure into an envelope and mailed it. Today the expectation is that all this information will be available on the web, and while brochures still exist they are formatted to be downloaded and printed out remotely.

    Again there is no need to print large quantities of brochures in advance. If you need ten copies to display in a reception area, print out ten copies. If you need 100 copies for an exhibition then print out 100 copies. And if the exhibition is in Las Vegas or Beijing then print them there, rather than shipping them around the world. This provides more benefits than you can shake a stick at. It saves money and it reduces the carbon footprint, but it also means that you can make changes to your document as they happen.

    Managed printing

    These real savings are realised readily, by taking a managed approach to printing. Identify what your requirements are and install the hardware you need to support it accurately. The network design will ensure that staff has access to the right printer at the right time. Multi-page documents should be routed to duplex devices for double-sided printing to halve the paper cost.

    These are simple steps but can deliver cost savings to a business of as much as 30%. By printing what you need exactly when you need it you eliminate waste, and by printing what you need at the exact location you need it you save the cost, and environmental impact, of shipping it.

    While achieving best environmental practices can be challenging for a business, particularly in the current climate, there are areas where going green does not inevitably cost money. Taking a fresh look at printing can be good for your business while fulfilling your Corporate Social Responsibility at the same time.

    Join the dots of history…

    Developed as OKI’s first Serial Impact Dot Matrix printer (SIDM) in 1968, the Wiredot Printer is the root of digital printer technology. The technology to express characters as an assembly of dots was a groundbreaking technology at a time when there was no way of storing the pattern of characters by electrical means. The product was widely used by schools, laboratories, and financial institutions for a long time.Wiredot printer

    Over the years, a good deal of research and manpower were put into making this system smaller, lighter and easier to operate. OKI’s commitment to technical expertise and monozukuri, a word that describes Japanese-style manufacturing processes or the “art, science and craft of making things”, has been recognized by the Information Processing Society of Japan (IPSJ) who have awarded us the “Information Processing Technology Heritage” (IPTH) certification for our original Wiredot Printer.

    The IPTH program is hosted by IPSJ to certify historical products and achievements that have formed the foundation of Japan’s information processing technology and this contributing significantly to Japan’s economy and society. Through the certification program, IPSJ aims to make the heritage of ground breaking technology widely known, for use as research and education material.

    This is OKI’s 5th IPTH certification from the IPSJ, with previous certs being given for its OKITYPER-2000 and OKITEC-300C System in 2008, 2400B-type Line Printer in 2009 and for the Autoteller Terminal AT-20P in 2011.

    “We are honored that OKI’s Wiredot Printer has been recognized for its historical value for understanding the information processing technology of that era,” says Hiroshi Endo, Corporate Officer and Divisional General Manager of Products Business Division at OKI Data. “Moving forward, we will continue to provide and maintain products that contribute to the development of an information society.”

    Come back next week to find out how the Wiredot has evolved over 40 years into the extremely reliable and highly versatile Dot Matrix printers we use today.

    Colour me cost-effective..

    With people around the world celebrating Holi, the Festival of Colours this month, see below for some tips on how to make the most informed decision in your choice of colour printer; for whatever size of business you are in.

    OKI Holi festival

    In the print industry, cyan, magenta, yellow and black are used as the primary colours. Most printers use the CMYK colour model.

    CMYK refers to the four inks used in most colour printers: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). The “K” in CMYK stands for key since in four-colour printing cyan, magenta, and yellow printing plates are carefully keyed or aligned with the key of the black key plate. Some sources suggest that the “K” in CMYK comes from the last letter in “black” and was chosen because B already means blue. However, this explanation is incorrect. Of course, as most of you know, OKI was the first to bring out CMYW for white toner based printing.

    We once lived in a blacGraffitik and white world. TV was black, printed publications were predominantly black. All of that changed in the 60’s and has created a chain reaction that holds true today. Less than ten years ago, in-house colour printing was still an expensive hobby. Today, businesses in the Middle East are using printers that produce their colour documents quickly, consistently and cost-effectively and are hence able to communicate more effectively with their own customers.

     Studies in a major publication revealed that the use of colour increased readership by 40% or more. A university study showed a 65% increase in the retention of material when full colour was used instead of black and white.

    Some businesses are perhaps put off by using colour in their printed documents as it creates a dent in their budgets. This is a misconception. Using colour is not as expensive as you may think. If you need the highest-quality colour pages-say you print out presentations and brochures or you’re an organization who needs top-notch flyers-spending the extra cash for a colour toner based printer makes sense. These printers give you the cleanest and sharpest results. Also, toner based printers print out long documents quickly, at roughly twice the text speed of typical ink jets.

    Whether your printer costs $40 or $400, the purchase price is only the first item on your new list of ongoing printing expenses. Over time, buying the consumables or toner and acquiring media (paper, envelopes, card or transparencies) will very likely make a far bigger impact on your wallet. These costs will vary depending on what you print, how much you print, and what kind of media you use.Bastakia nights

    Shaving cents off  colour printing involves just a little thought, effort, and advance planning. It is a bigger issue than many companies think. With a set of replacement ink cartridges for inkjet printers costing anything up to $55 a time, an office of 20 ‘heavy’ users could be spending over $1,000 a month on ink!

    • Know Before You Buy – Saving money on printing starts (ideally) before you buy the printer. Before you begin researching new models, make sure that you’ll be getting the best printer for the types of documents you plan to produce. Once you start looking at specific models, make a point of checking the recommended print volume; if you typically print 100 pages a day, for example, don’t buy a printer that’s rated for 500 pages a month.
    • If you do a lot of document printing, don’t use an inkjet printer. Use a toner based printer. Toner based printers cost more to buy but much less to use. With all costs figured in, each document page printed on a typical toner based printer costs from 2 cents to 5 cents; on an inkjet, the cost per page can run from 10 cents to 15 cents, depending on the model. This does not even count the cost of photo printing, which can cost up to a dollar per page on an inkjet when you include the high cost of photo paper and the additional ink that’s used in that mode.
    • Know your hidden costs – Choose a printer not only on the basis of its performance and speed but on the cost of the consumables and not on the cost of the printer. Ink costs swallow up all other expenses over a couple of years of use. Even machines using similar technologies can have very different operating and consumables costs. Evaluating the ongoing costs of a printer can produce some surprising results.
    • Don’t judge a cartridge by price alone; its efficiency, or page yield—the number of pages it can print–matters just as much. Of course, that figure will vary depending on how much ink you use on a page, but the industry standard assumption is 5 percent coverage per page for each colour. Some companies make yield information available on the Web along with other printer specifications; others will provide it if you ask, either by email or phone. You can use yield information to calculate per-page costs, which can be useful in determining what your printing costs for different printers would look like over time. Toner based printer toner cartridges may cost a lot more than ink jet cartridges, but their higher yields make per-page costs lower.
    • The incredible shrunken ‘starter’ cartridge – Many lower-cost toner based printers come with starter cartridges that last anywhere from 60 percent to as little as 33 percent as long as a regular cartridge. Granted, if you don’t print much, that first cartridge could last you a while; but if you know you’ll be printing at least 100 pages per month, either find a printer that comes with a full-size cartridge or factor in the cost of an early replacement. Of course, if you get a great deal on the printer, your overall cost may still be quite affordable.
    • Using standard paper for the job – The heavier, brighter (whiter), or more specialized the paper is, the more it will cost. You’ll generally pay as little as a half-cent per page for typical, 80gsm office paper, or as much as a dollar for an A4 sheet of glossy photo paper. Save the pricey stuff for final prints; for everything else, use decent quality standard copier paper. It will affect the print quality from your toner based printer minimally, if at all.
    • Print using “Draft” mode whenever possible – This won’t help when printing photos, but can save a lot of money over two or three years when you print everyday documents.

    Do you have any tips on choosing a printer for your office? Let us know!

    Show off your true colours with OKI

    OKI goes on the road..

    Examples

    In the last few months, OKI has organised roadshows across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to educate more people about the benefits of our amazing printers while keeping existing customers up to date with our latest innovations.

    KSA is oMahmood with exhibitne of the major countries in the region with a huge potential for expansion, the size of the country, the industrial cities and the massive government spend on IT are all factors that contributed to us wanting to do these events, meet the people and hear what it is they really need in terms of printers in their workplace. It was really exciting to see how many people are looking to increase efficiency and productivity while keeping costs down!

    The industries represented included Governments, Hospitals, GA and Education. They were extremely interested in our latest advancements in printing solutions; especially the ground-breaking White Toner. Chairing the talks was Abdallah Obeidat, Sales Manager for KSA, who spoke of how our new generation printers and MPS efficiently manage work flow while remaining being fast, robust, reliable and environmentally friendly.Boudi Sleeman and winner

    The events ended with a raffle draw for 50 printers of various models. The winners were presented with a model printer to hold onto until the real printers were delivered to their companies the next day. Boudi, here on the left, from our distributor Al Eqtessad, making it look very easy!

    Would you like an OKI event in your country? Let us know by leaving a comment.

    Look out for our roadshows happening soon near you!

    From Innovation to Recognition

    CIO 50 Awards on table

    What do you get when you have become a leader in your field, an innovator in ways to deliver business advantages either through optimising business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customer?

    A CIO50 award, an acknowledged mark of enterprise excellence.

    OKI Stand at CIO50OKI was very proud to be a category partner for the CIO50 Awards event held at The Address Dubai Marina. The top CIO innovators in the region listened to keynote speeches from:  Joe Tesfai, Senior VP-Information Technology; Atlantis the Palm Hotel, Ali Almazrooei, CIO; Emirates Aluminum (EMAL), Arun Tewary, VP-IT and CIO; Emirates Flight Catering, Muhammad Ali Albakri, CIO and CFO; Saudi Arabian Airlines and Ali Sajwani, CIO; Emirates NBD, on topics as diverse as the Consumerisation of IT to the major IT challenges during acquisitions and mergers.

    In response to the strongly recovering Middle East economy, many of the CIOs present at the awards have been responsible for massive implementations in the last 12 months and many of them travelled from all over the region to network with their industry peers and be honoured by CNME.

    If you have used IT to get more from existing customers, pursue new markets, save money, or make more, your company too could be in line for a CIO 50 award…

     Congratulations to all 2013 award winning companies!All 50 award winners

    White Toner..whatever next!

    It was over 35 years ago when IBM introduced the first toner-based printer and nearly that long since people started using toner copiers and printers as a way of digitally transferring images or photographs onto material. The simple method of using laser printed heat transfers has allowed businesses to personalise any kind of promotional item they can think of, from mugs to umbrellas to shopping bags.

    However this has always been limited to white/ light coloured backgrounds, that is until OKI decided to remove this barrier to creativity and design!OKI White Toner Products

    As shown by our partners The Magic Touch and Forever at Sign Graphics and Imaging Middle East (SGI Dubai 2013), the new white toner-based products are versatile, easy to use and, as there is no drying time required, enable much faster and more cost-effective printing than the traditional inkjet or dye-sublimation technologies. At the same time, the robust solid print output is just as good as foil blocking, making it a credible in-house solution for a wide range of white print applications.

    Magic Touch MerchandiseFrom small business printing single t-shirts on demand to large screen printers looking for a fast and effective alternative, using the white toner printer allows almost anything to print on dark coloured garments or other dark coloured substrates without any cutting required. This versatile system can also be used in industrial production for items such as printing on wood, leather, ceramics, metal, glass, carton or other coloured substrates. Printed output offers consistent high quality and robust performance, as it is scratch resistant compared to inkjet-based competitors.Leather bag sample from Forever

    How many Ps in Marketing?

    By John Ross

    Middle East MarketingFor those who did Marketing 101 the answer to the above question is a simple 4: Product, Price, Place and Promotion.  For those who have read more widely it might be 6, the 4 above plus People and Process, some might even include a 7th P which is Physical evidence, however I contest that there is only 3 Ps in Marketing: Perception, Possible and Pleasure.

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Perception is “the process of becoming aware or conscious of a thing or things in general; the state of being aware; consciousness; understanding.”  However to perceive something is not necessarily to understand something, but rather to hold that perception as a truth.  If we put that into marketing terms it is that which makes customers buy a brand or product.

    The second P is Possible defined by the same noble tome as “capable of existing, happening, being done”, and the Chartered Institute of Marketing defines Marketing as “The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements, profitably”  is this not the art of the Possible?

    It is on this premise that I postulate that these are the first 2Ps in Marketing.  If it is Possible that an organisation can develop a product or service, communicate with it’s target audience in such a way that they believe that there is a need for this product or service then they Perceive it to be of benefit and will buy it.  The more difficult part is now maintaining or exceeding that perception in order that the experience is an enjoyable one and repeat purchase or recommendation occurs; I call this Pleasure.

    Again referring to the Oxford English Dictionary Pleasure is “feeling of satisfaction or joy, source of gratification” or if you like Customer Satisfaction, and, as Peter Drucker once said, “The measurement of a successful organisation is an external one; it is called satisfied customers”

    Therefore Marketing is delivering Perceived Pleasure whenever Possible to those who could Possibly Perceive the Pleasure of an organisations product or service.

    New Oki “Print Smart” Range Launch event

    Image

    Yesterday we held a big launch event at the prestigious Armani Hotel in Dubai to unveil Oki’s expanded printer range to our channel partners in the United Arab Emirates, led by our very own John Ross, general manager for the Middle East, India and Africa. The new products launch comes as part of OKI’s Print Smart strategy to offer competitive, cost-effective solutions to businesses of all sizes across a range of industries in the Middle East.

    We’ve completely revamped the range and are proud to offer cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions that will help businesses Print Smart. Over half of the revised product range consists of new or upgraded products, creating the opportunity to significantly increase our footprint in critical markets.

    With the launch of the new range we aim to improve green practices in businesses across the region as carbon emissions become a growing concern for leaders and decision makers and we hope businesses will realise that the use of green technology will ultimately cut costs and carbon emissions simultaneously. With our new products businesses of all sizes are set to benefit from the energy saving benefits and our green technology products, which are now in compliance with the latest European regulations and are based on the company’s unique proprietary LED technology.

    The extended OKI range boasts improved product performance and upgraded features that will help micro-businesses, SMB’s, and larger businesses Print Smart. We’ve had some great feedback from the market so far and look forward to your comments on the ASkOki blog!

    The new products range includes the following:

    Colour/Mono Multi-function products (MFPs)

    MB491, MB441, MB451, MB461, MB471,  MC352dn, MC362dn, MC562dn

    Colour/ Mono Single Function Products (SFPs)

    C301dn, C321dn, C331dn, C511dn, C531dn, C822, C831, C841, B401

    You can watch John’s recap of the launch event here

    Print Smart, Print OKI!

    John Ross, General Manager at OKI Middle East recaps his experience at the Oki Smart Business Conference 2012 in Barcelona Image

    Last week, OKI brought together Channel Partners, Press, Industry Analysts as well as senior members of the parent company in Japan, for the first time in a number of years. A total of over 430 people gathered in Bercelona for a key event: Oki Smart Business Seminar. A critical objective of the conference was to address the issues of the recent supply shortages due to the floods in Thailand and to reassure all parties that, to quote Morioka San Deputy President of ODC, “Oki is back in the game.”

    The event started with Morioka San advising the audience that in the space of 4 months since the flooding in Thailand, which were the worst for over a century and resulted in about 30% of Thailand being underwater, the Thai factory was back in production catching up on back log and with the increased capacity the expectations are that within the next few weeks all backlog will be effectively reduced to zero and the new products announced today would be in free supply.

    Throughout the rest of the conference, attendees were engaged with a number of interesting and insightful presentations covering  topics ranging from the issues facing the SMB sector today to smart printing and the latest statistics on the print industry (Most interesting was the confirmation that the single function inkjet market is declining at around 19% per annum whilst at the same time the toner based multi function segment was growing at over 20% per year). It was also revealed that according to a survey done in December 2011 and January 2012 regarding what is important to the SMBs, environmental considerations such as low power consumption are at the top of their consideration list, making Oki an ever more obvious choice.

    The multi-media presentation was slick and contained multiple positive messages regarding Oki’s commitment to both the Channel and Customers, principally SMBs.  With a refresh or completely new set up, products unveiled that results in Oki having updated 50% of its product range, it became obvious why this event was held.

    In the words of Takao Hiromoto, President of Oki Data Corporation, “After today you will be in no doubt that Oki is your smart choice as a printer supplier.”

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