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Sylvester de Koning, Product Marketing Expert at Kyocera Document Solutions Europe, shares with us how Kyocera’s dedication to continuous business improvement has driven the release of the new series of technologically advanced A3 MFP devices that represent the perfect choice for today’s agile work environments.
Brand-new intelligent A3 colour multifunctional printers: the TASKalfa 3554ci and TASKalfa 2554ci.
Hello and welcome to the Kyocera Document Solutions podcast.
Today we have with us Sylvester De Koning, Product Marketing Expert at Kyocera Documents Solutions Europe, who will share with us details of Kyocera's new launch of intelligent A3 multifunctional printer TASKalfa devices. With the challenges and pains facing organisations across all industries during this time of great disruption, Kyocera has risen to the occasion by unveiling two brand new A3 colour multifunctional printers, the TASKalfa3554ci and the TASKalfa2554ci. So, Sylvester, how are you doing today?
Hello, I'm doing fine. Thank you for your time!
Thanks to you too, Sylvester! So, for our listeners who are unfamiliar with the new TASKalfa3554ci Series, can you give us a brief overview of these products, including the key features?
Yes, of course. These two products are the latest addition to our already extensive A3 line-up, and they are a part of our flagship models, which will eventually replace our current best-selling models. The TASKalfa3554ci and the TASKalfa2554ci are A3 colour copier models with print speeds of 25 PPM and 35 PPM. They will meet the requirements of larger companies, and also fit perfectly into small-medium size workgroups. They have several significant improvements – not only in terms of security, productivity, user experience and environmental impact, but they are also our first models with artificial intelligence functions geared towards the office print environment.
Alongside these new features, the new series also benefits from the same long-life technology that has been one of Kyocera’s major strengths for many years. Our new user interface gives these products an improved user experience, and they have up-to-date and top-rated security among A3 multifunctional printers. We are also introducing a speed license upgrade system for easier stock management for dealers and partners.
Can you explain to us in a little more detail what improvements have been made to the existing devices?
Yes, so basically the moment you turn on these updated devices, you will immediately notice the fresh, newly-designed user interface. The new UI mimics how we nowadays use mobile apps, and has homed in on usability that is simple, intuitive, and efficient. As with our current models, security is one of the focus areas, with many substantial improvements. With the last products we introduced TPM, runtime integrity check, secure boot, and the standard encryption and data overwrite functionality. With the new products we are introducing more up-to-date security features and functions which will be standard for our products. This includes on line Certificate Status Protocol, Automatic update certification, TLS 1.3, and SIEM - Security Information and Event Management- support. These improvements strengthen our overall device security, and we will continuously update and improve our products with the latest security technologies.
On top of this, we are also introducing two highly productive dual scan document processors, with a scan speed of up to 200ipm. And it’s high-end document processor also features a double-feed sensor and a staple detection sensor, which ensures that you never miss out on a valuable scan again. Furthermore, there is an impressive 320-sheet input capacity and several scanner improvements, which will boost customers' overall productivity.
In terms of image quality, these products are equipped with new image processor technology, to give high image quality, with sharp and outstanding results, and print output has been hugely improved by adopting our new quad-core CPU of 1.6 gigahertz. This new processor also allows us to reduce energy consumption, resulting in a lower environmental impact.
As mentioned, these two products will be the first in our product range to use artificial intelligence technology. These new AI features are Super Resolution and Handwriting - functions which improve productivity and efficiency. New functions can also be added even after purchase and installation, so we can continue to develop new functions that utilise AI technology after we launch these models. This way we can keep on updating our MFPs and help customers to enjoy product improvements when available.
So just returning to the first strength and upgrade that you mentioned: usability. Can you tell us what changes have been made to ensure a smooth user experience?
This new interface has improved almost every aspect of operating our devices. Taking into consideration how our customers interact with tablets and smartphones, this interface creates a real tablet-like experience. These models introduce a simple, intuitive and efficient user interface with a 10.1-inch system display, with a full colour touch panel for quick access to a wide range of functions. The number of hard keys has also been reduced and replaced with simple icons and graphics, and gesture-based transitions between screens.
Okay, great. So that sounds really easy to use and flexible. Given that today's users want solutions that work for them, do these machines offer personalisation capabilities?
Absolutely. We have added several personalised functions, which creates a user experience that is catered to their needs and priorities. Our personalised functions include a personalised default screen, and language selection available upon user authentication, and the easy to install Scan-to-me function which allows users send documents to themselves without selecting from an address book.
Absolutely, I completely agree. So Kyocera also has strong outlook toward sustainability. Do these products hold true to this pursuit?
Yes, of course! Kyocera is continuously investing into developing eco-friendly products and this new series are no exception. We keep in mind that all the products we produce have an impact on our global environment. And Kyocera has clear environmental goals. We are continuously developing products that will reduce our contribution to global warming, save natural resources and eliminate hazardous substances. Just recently we have been recognised by the Wall Street Journal, who put Kyocera among their 100 most sustainably managed companies in the world. This shows how we value sustainability in our products, and also throughout the whole company.
Well, that's very impressive and honestly, a big credit to the company. Moving on to industries. What specific vertical pain points do you think that these TASKalfa devices can address?
That's a good question. With the launch of these products, we are introducing several interesting new functions and features. For instance, we are introducing a high-speed document processor, which is equipped with double feeding detection and staple detection. So, the sensors in the document processor (or scanning device) make sure that every single page is scanned, or that the instant there is a staple in your document, the process stops immediately, making sure that you don't jam the device. So not only will you be able to make sure that every single document is scanned, but you can rest assured that the device will detect a staple and notify you that it cannot scan every single page – saving you from having to re-scan after taking out the staple.
This is of utmost importance in the banking sector and the healthcare sector, where they need to make sure that every single valuable document is scanned. If they miss out on any of these documents, it could be a disaster. For example, in the healthcare vertical, where they might not correctly scan all the personal records of a patient, or in the banking sector, where they could miss out on a signature for a mortgage. The TASKalfa 3554ci Series aims to eliminate these issues.
The introduction of AI technology also aims to address certain pain points in certain verticals. So for instance, the Handwriting function is ideal for education. It can help teachers with proofreading documents or increasing efficiency in processing questionnaires by reducing mistakes and errors.
Of course, the TASKalfa3554ci Series is also equipped with HyPAS technology, which stands for Hybrid Platform for Advanced Solutions, which can solve customer pains in a variety of industries with specially developed and customised applications, which can be customised and created on demand.
So, what listeners can understand then is that the key features that have been integrated into these devices make them ideal for certain verticals, like you said, banking, education and healthcare.
Absolutely. Especially because the HyPAS Technology means that a whole host of workflow pains can be addressed in an instant.
Okay, great. So moving on to security, this is an issue that we have spoken about many times before. What are the key security features of these new models and how will they help protect customer data?
At Kyocera, we recognise the importance of ensuring information security in our devices, especially in our customers' environments. Therefore, we seek security as first priority to help our customers protect their information assets. The TASKalfa3554ci Series corresponds to the latest security certifications - the ISO 27001 certification, which is an international standard for computers. This ensures that our devices can be securely used by our customers. This is our current standard. But with the TASKalfa3554ci Series, we will again raise the stakes and upgrade our standard security. As mentioned, we will be introducing automatic update certification (SCEP), SIEM, Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.3, among several other security systems.
The most important thing we want to communicate to customers is that we have security as a top priority, and we continuously improve our security on our products. We aim to raise the stakes compared to our competitors and become one of the top security providers in our field.
Now moving on to artificial intelligence. As it continues to grow in importance in information management, can you tell us about the role of AI in these new devices, and the benefits for customers?
We are initially introducing two artificial intelligence functions, to be released at the time of the TASKalfa 3554ci series launch. These are Super Resolution and Handwriting. Super Resolution is an exciting feature which enhances and improves the quality of a low-resolution image. This could be in interesting for marketing departments who sometimes deal with low resolution pictures and don’t have the time or skills to improve the image. Super Resolution gives them high-impact images without the effort.
And the other AI feature is Handwriting. Now, I already mentioned that this has great applications for the education vertical. This feature is able to recognise handwriting on a piece of paper. For instance, if teachers or researchers are dealing with questionnaires filled in by hand, by scanning the document and using his handwriting technology they can remove this handwriting. They can even use this tool to emphasize the handwriting, improving readability, and preventing errors.
Now, the most important thing I would like to emphasize here is that these are just two artificial intelligence functions to be released with these products. Because artificial intelligence is integrated into our device, we can actually upgrade and add more artificial intelligence functions to the device, even after a product has been bought and installed. In the future we will be continuously introducing new artificial intelligence functions and features, giving customers value for money by offering ever-evolving MFPs.
That certainly seems an exciting upgrade and a long-term investment. In terms of our dealers, can you explain the speed license upgrade process and how it benefits them?
So, with the launch of the TASKalfa 3554ci Series, Kyocera will introduce for the first time Speed Licensing. Put simply, at purchase we provide a base model, and this base model can be upgraded using a license key upon the initial installation of the products. In the past, our dealers needed to keep stock of every single model, and when a certain model wasn’t in stock, the customer had to wait. This sometimes led to frustration and quite a lot of inconvenience for our customers. But with this new process, we enable our dealers to reduce stock on their end and to meet their customer requests quickly. They can simply upgrade this base model with the speed license. So it's really an on-demand product and a win-win situation for both our dealers and our customers.
The needs of today's offices and workspaces are changing in terms of print volumes and digital processes. How do these machine add-ons and accessories fit the modern work environment?
With the global pandemic, our way of working has changed and thus the needs of our customers have changed too.
The new devices come equipped with a solution platform that can add functions as needed, giving our customers a wide variety of options to improve their business efficiency, whatever the situation. Normally users can do basic operations like copying, faxing, scanning for mobile devices without touching the operation panel of the MFP. We are further supporting this with our application called MyPanel. This application turns their smartphone or tablet into a user panel for the MFP. This reduces the risk of viruses compared with sending directly from a tablet or smartphone, allowing them to use our products in a secure manner and without touching the device.
A great way to improve a company’s digital processes is with our document processors. The new devices will see us introduce four new document processors that convert data into electronic information. We have adopted a high-speed scanner for large-volume scanning jobs, with high scan speeds of up to 200 IPM.
On top of the already mentioned functions, there are several enhancements to improve workflow efficiency. We are adding an inner shift tray that can sort jobs in the inner tray. And we have included a 5 gigahertz wireless network board, which ensures stable communication between environments, and minimises interference from other devices.
One of Kyocera's key strengths is reliability. Can we consider these upgrades to be just as reliable?
Absolutely. This is one of Kyocera’s great strengths. MFP reliability is one of the top concerns for businesses. Since a reliable device helps minimise downtime, and improve productivity, Kyocera's A3 colour copiers have a track record of products with an excellent colour output, high speeds and low upkeep costs. And without a doubt, outstanding reliability is one of the key features built into every single Kyocera device. This was recently recognised and awarded by BLI over the last couple of years. I'm confident that we will live up to standards of being reliable as a product again.
That's very interesting. So for the CEOs and CFOs listening, why should they opt in for the TASKalfa 2554ci or the TASKalfa 3554ci instead of any rival A3?
These new models will be able to solve many customer pains. Pains like complex device operation, security risks, downtime and the need for repairs, and of course difficulties associated with digitising information. Each of these pains are addressed with the new devices. They will help customers to focus on their own business and allow them to improve their overall efficiency. Those already familiar with Kyocera devices will already know this. And if they haven’t used our devices yet, I would really like to invite them to try them out.
Well, these seem like impeccable devices, but that's all we have time for today Sylvester. Thank you very much for having this chat with me today.
Thanks to you. Thank you for your time. It was great to chat.
For more information on the latest TASKalfa 3554ci series, visit KyoceraDocumentSolutions.eu. Thanks for listening.
Discover innovation at its best with the new TASKalfa 3554ci series.
Listen to what our expert has to say on the future of the printing industry, document management, digital transformation & more.