A journey from a hardware supplier to an agent of digital transformation
When evolution happens in nature, the law is survival of the fittest. In business, however, it is survival of the smartest. This instinct for business intelligence is what led Konica Minolta to recognise the opportunity to create a new line of business by shifting from a manufacturing perspective to a service-oriented approach.
The company crafted an innovative, ambitious initiative to leverage that existing presence to embed managed IT services for small and medium-sized businesses. From Wi-Fi and user management to storage and backup, they would supply virtual management of everything that a customer who didn’t have a sophisticated IT staff would need.
Having a viable idea and technology is one thing but shifting from a product to a service company is another. That is where CI&T — already familiar to Konica Minolta as a trusted partner on previous R&D initiatives related to IoT — was asked to help. As seasoned agents of digital transformation, they were tasked with collaborating on a roadmap to guide Konica Minolta through its own transformation, so that the organisation could then help their customers succeed on their own journeys. Working together as one team, CI&T and Konica Minolta determined that there were three areas that were key to making a successful transition: process, people, and technology.
The Konica Minolta team members were accustomed to the traditional approach to developing hardware in the waterfall model. But that process is not as effective when developing software, so CI&T introduced concepts from Lean, Agile and Design Thinking methods to be incorporated in the process. Using this new hybrid approach, the full team was able to break down existing silos and integrate various specialties — producing a radical shift in how to define and build a new product.
With teams spread across three continents, culture and style also came into play. CI&T has developed deep expertise in introducing new ideas, building consensus, and creating momentum while respecting the organisation’s existing ecosystem, working with remote teams scattered across the globe. With a clarity of purpose, goals, and leadership buy-in, there were constant opportunities to move forward. With both CI&T and Konica Minolta working as one, they committed to use the technology in place that worked well — and collaborate with other team members to improve tech stacks where it was warranted or choose new tools together. When project complications arose, CI&T was able to leverage their experiences on other projects to provide guidance on developing an environment that ensures Konica Minolta's vision came to fruition.
Process, people, and technology are just the components, however — what matters most is the outcome of putting it all together. The finished system, dubbed Workplace Hub, was completed, and successfully launched in 2018. The Workplace Hub is the first solution to unify small businesses’ IT. It is a virtual one-stop IT department that supports your business, whilst helping you manage your day-to-day costs. The stage is also set for an additional revenue stream; by incorporating some new features, Workplace Hub could become a valued tool for the enterprise market. Having created a viable process for development with the first version of Workplace Hub, the Konica Minolta team now has in place the process and technology needed to accelerate the delivery of this expanded offering. That same streamlined process will help Konica Minolta develop new lines of business in vertical markets such as healthcare, law, and education — by layering specialised applications on top of the Workplace Hub platform.
• Provides customers with monitored IT infrastructure and security monitoring 24 hours/day
• 20+ integrated applications in the Workplace Hub virtual machine
• Successfully turned physical hardware into an IT solution positioning Konica Minolta as a service provider
• Workplace Hub offers a scalable platform and additional managed services for future needs