Thursday, February 18, 2010

Konica Minolta; caught between a hurricane or typhoon?

The terms "hurricane" and "typhoon" are regionally specific names for a strong "tropical cyclone". A tropical cyclone is the generic term for a non-frontal synoptic scale low-pressure system over tropical or sub-tropical waters with organized convection (i.e. thunderstorm activity) and definite cyclonic surface wind circulation (Holland 1993).

Termination of the Strategic Business Alliance Agreement with Oce
Tokyo (February 10, 2010) --Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc. (Konica Minolta) today announced that the company and Oce N.V. (Oce), headquartered in Venlo, the Netherlands (President and CEO: Rokus van Iperen), reached, through mutual consultation, an agreement to terminate the strategic business alliance agreement, entered into by and between both companies to cooperate in development and marketing for office and production printing systems.

Konica Minolta Enters into Basic Partnership Agreement with Oce
Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc (President and CEO: Yoshikatsu Ota) entered into a basic partnership agreement with Oce, a company headquartered in Venlo, The Netherlands (President and CEO: Rokus van Iperen) on January 14, 2008 to cooperate in development and marketing for office and production printing systems.

Short lived agreements and rapid changes in the industry have left Konica Minolta with probably the same taste in their mouths that Canon felt during the hurricane that hit them over the IKON acquisition. Except that Konica Minolta has lost several strategic agreements/alliances that will reposition them.

Both the loss of IKON and Oce as distributors surely will make Konica Minolta rethink their ideas on distribution. They will have to strengthen their market position via "Direct Operations" and a building up of their "Independent Dealership" Channels.

A small but fierce competitor in the marketplace, Konica Minolta will be quick to release new products that again revolutionize the way companies acquire business technologies. Watch for a bolstering of their production products and a strengthened commitment to commercial print and in plant operations by a building up of their sales and support staff in these areas. Taking their already well accepted Bizhub offering to the next level there can be only good things in their future. Now that the Danka acquisition is over and most of the fat has been trimmed they can get back to the business at hand. Konica Minolta has made much larger competitors rethink their R&D allocations as showed by Canon's launching of the imageRunner Advance to combat the hugely successful Bizhub Pro 6501 and 65hc products.

Only time will tell how successful Canon's attempt will be to regain the large amount of territory they lost over these products. Now in a race Xerox, Konica Minolta and Canon come to the marketplace with viable mid level production color devices that are suitable in commercial print and in plant operations. Ricoh has yet to bring to the market a system that is reliable enough and with the appropriate color fidelity to get a serious look. The C900 and C720 is a nice attempt but without sufficient bit depth and fusing strength to print on offset sheets, these are hardly products that can last in real commercial print operations. Maybe high speed office applications at best, but with many other offerings that come from other manufactures at a better price per pound so to speak. Konica Minolta has been pushing up against long standing production manufacturers like HP and Kodak and are only going to continue to take ground as their product offering strengthens.

The storms continue; but we know that with all hurricanes and typhoons there is always calm winds after they pass.

Fair Sale'ing,,,
Pirate Mike


  1. As they say, "What can you do? It's Mother Nature and Father Glass-Maker." No matter what we do we will never be able to overcome Mother Nature. Unfortunately for Konica Minolta, they have been caught in one of those situations. From personal experience in New Orleans, I can say there is nothing that can be done to prevent this. I also think that the "Weather Control" technologies like HAARP and shooting rockets into clouds to move them will only make the situations worse.

  2. I fear that you are correct the more that man tries to interfere with nature the more we tend to mess things up. The good news is that Konica Minolta really didnt need those distribution channels or technology. As for the Oce they will come out with their own; as for IKON they have shown that they can survive without them. In the long run they will be stronger for it. In the short run there is a lot of low hanging fruit for hard working Konica Minolta reps for the next couple of years!