Konica Minolta Doubles Down on IT

Some 1,100 dealers and employees attended the recent 2012 Konica Minolta Business Conference & Product Expo in Las Vegas.

It was fitting that it was in Las Vegas that Konica Minolta announced to its dealers that the next move in the company’s evolution is offering managed IT services. This takes the company a giant leap beyond the more commonplace offering of managed print services and positions Konica Minolta and its dealers to play at a different level than most of its competitors. It also offers about $100 million a year in recurrent revenue, which makes for a pretty appealing win.

But this is not some crazy bet at the high-stakes table. Konica Minolta has acquired All Covered, a leading provider of managed IT services to the small- and medium-size business (SMB) markets. All Covered has been in the IT-support game for 14 years. It has some 250 engineers certified in all the major IT technologies and operations in 22 cities.

Like the acquisition of ACS by Xerox in 2010, this move puts Konica Minolta squarely in the business of managed print and IT services and, with All Covered’s track record, gives it instant credibility. All Covered will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. as a Konica Minolta brand. It will continue to support its existing customers while expanding services to Konica Minolta customers through that company’s dealers.

With All Covered at their backs, dealers will be able to offer customers desktop management, e-mail security, server and network monitoring, and 24/7 client help desk support, in addition to complete managed print services. Augmenting this, Konica Minolta also rolled out a new technology platform for its Enterprise Optimized Print Services (OPS) program through a collaborative development agreement with Pharos Systems International, a leading provider of enterprise print management solutions. Together, these high-value services stand to make savvy dealers far more profitable.

Dealers at the table
This IT play, to be sure, is something of a gamble for Konica Minolta and, were it a home-grown move, it would seem pretty sketchy. But All Covered’s IT services legacy in many vertical markets in the SMB sector should provide the backbone for this venture to be successful.

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