Düsseldorf (Germany), 2. December 2014. Success from square one: Information at Work, the pan-European “Canon for Business” specialist conference, brought together more than 500 professionals from 13 different countries.
“I am delighted with the highly competent, intelligent and perspicacious manner in which Canon has managed to bring together leading managers from various sectors and countries to discuss ideas affecting current and future developments in the field of digital information management. Well done!” was how the CEO of one data-analytics company rated the “InfoAtWork” conference held on 26th November 2014 in the German city of Düsseldorf.
Graham Page, Head of Information Management Business Development, welcomed – on behalf of Canon Europe – the more than 500 participants from 13 different countries to the InterContinental Hotel on Düsseldorf’s central boulevard, the Königsallee. He underlined the importance of tackling – in times of radical change – the most important subjects in hand, namely: to evaluate correctly data, information and knowledge; and apply them efficiently to all the needs of the business concerned. This is crucial for sustainable success, profitability and customer and employee satisfaction.
“Information is beautiful”
London-based designer, IT journalist and bestselling author David McCandless guided the audience through the paradigm shift in the field of data analysis which has already taken place, in the sense of “data science” having taken over from “business intelligence”. Mr. McCandless brought the presentation to life with a series of interactive and informative graphics. The resulting “digital data storytelling” proved to be fascinating for all those present.
As Marc Bory, European Director Solutions & Managed Services at Canon Europe put it:
“The global volume of data handled by business organisations is growing at an annual rate of 56%.” This means that the volume of data doubles every 18 months. Canon has positioned itself as a provider of “one-stop shop” solutions for the management of data input, data processing and the distribution of data-driven documents to their corresponding addressees. Hans Kaashoek from Strategy Partners stressed the significance of data sharing, given that mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers are creating a gateway to the sharing economy. “Mobile is the new desktop” was this analyst’s way of putting it, referring to the stunning changes affecting both work and day-to-day life in general. Organisations of all types have had to adapt to this new culture of social media and sharing if they wish to survive.
Part of conference conducted by personal tablet
Canon provided all participants with the use of a tablet pc, with a view to focusing on social media communications as a complement to the conference’s main events. Participants were able to use the Canon App interactively for voting on the afternoon presentations above all, while using it to contact other colleagues present at the event.
The seminars were used to host high-level expert discussions on the hands-on application of practical ideas. The common thread running through these sessions was the automation of processes at all levels, i.e. including the automation of key information-handling procedures. Various Canon customers reported on the fast and completely trouble-free implementation of new P2P (purchase to pay) solutions, preceded by an analysis by Canon experts designed to make available – virtually overnight – an individual, 100%-correct solution.
Michael Bjerre Drohst, CFO of the Creativ Company, a Danish organisation, highlighted the optimised purchasing process made possible in this respect, and its effects, saying: “It was fantastic. It took just a few days for the smoothly implemented Canon solution to improve how we cope with the accounts of our approximately ten thousand suppliers. This took the pressure off us, allowing us to focus once more on our actual core task of putting new, strategically based ideas into practice.” Similar success was reported by Erna van Laar, who turned to Canon to help implement a digital mailroom facility for all human resource-related tasks performed at Connexxion, a Netherlands-based transport company. All the processes concerned were optimised in just three months, with strict data-security maintained and to the satisfaction of the employees involved, while delivering considerable savings in terms of the corresponding return-on-investment period.
Innovation and expert knowledge are key factors
Process automation also requires a change of attitude to outsourcing. While the main issue in this respect was previously cost savings, the task has now moved on to how to take advantage of technological expertise and innovation. RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is not concerned with which service provider delivers the goods, but rather with how delivery by drone will become possible.
Rudolf Wolf from WWK Lebensversicherung showed how the automation of process-oriented document management is no longer a thing of science fiction. AS an insurance WWK generates 80 million pages of documents every year. These are supplied to customers as both physical printouts and digital files, all of which need to be correctly addressed and reliably delivered, even with wide seasonal fluctuations and high verification standards. These aspects were also stressed by Peter Paul Bos from PostNL, the Dutch post office service. Transaction-related documents such as payment reminders and invoices must be physically printed out and addressed, and also delivered as “smart” text messages or even, nowadays, sent as direct messages via Twitter. This was how Mr. Bos confirmed Canon’s approach: “Automated document management means bringing the entire information process of a business organisation under control – including all documents, all sources of information, all addressees and all relevant means of transport (in a similar way to their digital counterparts).”
Manuel Sánchez, European Solutions Marketing Professional, Canon Europe, concluded the event with a presentation on Canon solutions for Customer Communications Management. The focus in this respect is no longer on individual solutions in transactional and/or promotional terms, but rather on providing a consistent customer experience across all media channels. No type of data analysis should ever be an end in itself, but must rather always focus on the customer’s well-being and satisfaction. If this is not taken into account, the customer will soon go elsewhere.
Further information can be obtained via the Twitter hashtag #InfoAtWork or the Canon Business Hub at http://www.canon.de/business-bytes