By Mohamed Alaa
Daily News Egypt spoke to Sabine Holocher, PR and Social Media Manager EMEA at PFU (EMEA) Limited (a Fujitsu subsidiary), on Fujitsu’s strategies, especially in the MENA region.
Holocher said the company is actively strengthening its position in the Middle East market by implementing strategic initiatives to enhance its sales growth. The initiative in the region is supported by a new partner manager to expand the reseller network, develop ISV engagements and improve relations with key end-users
Can you give us an overview on Fujitsu, its products, market position, business as a whole and its current investments?
Fujitsu is a leading document imaging brand offering a wide range of state-of-the-art scanners, designed, manufactured and distributed by PFU Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (Japan). PFU is a global brand that has carved a distinguished reputation for itself over the past 25 years, offering pioneering scanning solutions for personal, professional and industrial use. PFU (EMEA) Limited is a subsidiary of PFU Limited, tasked with the marketing and sales of Fujitsu document scanners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. PFU established its European presence in the United Kingdom in 1981, before branching out to Germany, Italy, Spain and France.
Since its inception, Fujitsu scanners have been synonymous with technology and innovation in the field of scanning, consistently delivering high-speed, top-notch image quality, superb paper handling as well as a strong user-friendly interface with sophisticated imaging applications.
A globally recognised brand, Fujitsu has strengthened its position in the market with a wide ranging portfolio featuring advanced and innovative products. It features a broad offering of document scanners that suit any need, ranging from personal use to office and manufacturing purposes, processing of a wide range of documents from business cards to A3, and scan speeds from 7.5 to 130 pages per minute. The products are a starting point for an electronic document workflow; they include optical character recognition (OCR) and connectivity to collaboration platforms such as Microsoft SharePoint as well as standardised operations across all units, making each product scalable.
What are the categories of Fujitsu scanners? Who is the target audience for each category?
Fujitsu offers a wide range of products designed to suit the individual needs of our diverse clientele. We have always created our products with all potential users in mind. We target everyone from freelancers to Fortune 500 companies in various fields, including automotive, education, financial, government, human resources, insurance, libraries, logistics, manufacturing, healthcare, public utility companies, among others.
Our product lines fall under several categories. We have workgroup scanners that provide an affordable document management solution for medium-sized organisations or single departments. Our workgroup scanners include flexible models that can be customised to scan to e-mail, PDF files, printers, or ftp sites. To accommodate the needs of larger organisations at a reasonable price, we have departmental scanners which are more heavy duty with higher output, featuring additional features such as document imprinting.
We also carry production scanners which offer extremely high output, as much as 100,000 pages per day while maintaining flexibility and reliability. The range of products under this category is able to scan up to 130 pages per minute. Lastly, we have network scanners which offer network scanning across different locations. This suits multinational companies that are in need of flexible hardware to consolidate their business operations. Through our network scanners, they can simply load the documents, log into the network, select the destination, and press the scan button.
As mentioned we have developed specific brands and lines under these categories. First off, we have the ScanSnap series. Launched in 2001, it has since sold 3m units worldwide and is designed for personal use. It is a sought-after product especially designed for home, office and mobile use. We also have the fi Series for professional use and higher volumes. It features Fujitsu’s latest PaperStream software. Worldwide fi Series scanner sales have now exceeded the 4m unit mark, making it the bestselling professional document scanner range of all time. We also have the SP Series, which are economical scanners for first-time enterprise users. We equip all our scanners with state-of-the-art software designed to enhance business operations and individual needs.
How can Fujitsu address the government’s current demand for scanning devices and what is your experience in dealing with government projects?
Business and government agencies are riding the digital wave and integrating technologically advanced tools and applications into their daily operations. It has become evident that traditional paper models of doing business are no longer feasible and sustainable. Digital data is more efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly. This is the case not only in corporate entities but in governments around the world as well.
In the Middle East, government agencies maximise digital data to enhance their services, ensure the well-being of their citizens and cultivate trust in national operations. There is currently a wide range of technology solutions that will readily complement the digitisation effort. However, there must be more focus on educating agencies and organisations to the full potential of its uses. We at Fujitsu offer a diverse spectrum of scanning solutions that can easily complement the many initiatives across the region. Although certain features may vary such as scanner format, software integration and capture quality, all of our products ensure that all documents that are scanned will be seamlessly integrated to any organisation’s electronic workflow.
What is the future of the scanners industry and how will it evolve in the future?
According to market studies, only 10% of companies are using up-to-date document scanners in their business operations. Such an amount leaves room for growth. As verticals are shifting towards digitisation, scanners will take on more complex and sophisticated functions to accommodate the dynamic needs of consumers, as well as emerging technologies. Organisations are now looking to integrate their internal and external operations into a smooth digital workflow to enhance productivity and mitigate costs.
Mobility is a rapidly emerging trend which is slowly penetrating the industry, as evidenced by the growing demand for Scan-to-Cloud capabilities to support organisations that want the option to easily share and access documents anytime and anywhere. As scanners are the gateway between analogue and digital worlds, they will become an essential component of modern business process management. All in all, the focus will shift from the usual functions, performance and price to their ability to seamlessly integrate into the existing systems and applications of the customer to maximise functionality.
How can small and medium sized companies take advantage of Fujitsu solutions for scanning?
Small and mid-sized enterprises are often faced with the dilemma of wanting to deliver top quality services but not having the budget to purchase high-quality, industry-grade equipment for their document management systems. Midrange businesses can take advantage of Fujitsu solutions as our product line features smaller-scale, highly-integrated scanners that suit their needs without straining their financial resources. These products have the added value of being one-stop tools that can accommodate multiple functions in consolidating paper and digital information.
What are Fujitsu’s plans for marketing in the Middle East? How does the region’s market for scanners currently stand?
Fujitsu is actively strengthening its position in the Middle East market by implementing strategic initiatives to enhance its sales growth. This initiative in the region is supported by a new partner manager for the Middle East who will be instrumental in expanding the reseller network, developing ISV engagements and improving relations with key end-users.