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From the Frontline: An Interview with Kyocera Mita President

15 Apr, 2005 By: Tetsuo Kubo imageSource

From the Frontline: An Interview with Kyocera Mita President

In an interview with OA Life, Kyocera Mita Corporation
President and CEO Tetsuo Okada discussed his company’s revenue goals, mid-term
business plan and Kyocera’s plans to expand its color and solutions offerings.

Revenue goals and business plan: "Our revenue for fiscal year
2004 was 214.1 billion yen ($2.03 billion). We expect a 12 percent increase to
240 billion yen ($2.29 billion) in this term. As part of our mid-term business
plan, we are rolling out the "Step 3000" campaign to achieve revenue of 300
billion yen ($2.86 billion) in 2008," Okada explained.

"In order to realize this number," he continued, "what we
need to do is line up powerful color models first. Then we need to respond to a
wide range of user needs, from mid to small-sized companies to large
corporations, by expanding applications for document solutions. Also, we changed
our product brand from Kyocera Mita to Kyocera globally last year. We will make
efforts to increase our name recognition by using the catch phrase, ‘Printers
and Copiers are Kyocera.’”

Realization of the plan: "As an industry trend, the color
market will continue to grow while monochrome machines will shrink. Also, there
is a big market stream of networking and solutions around MFPs. We will develop
our products in pace with that, and will enhance our sales abilities. I believe
the target revenue of 300 billion yen is in a reachable range by doing that,
Okada said.

"In order to enhance solutions, we will aggressively promote
system proposals, especially to large-sized customer prospects in alliance with
outside SI vendors. We will expand document solution partners, not only in
Japan, but worldwide. We won a large order for color products in Japan last
year. The decisive factor was the total throughput with no print speed
reduction, which was delivered based on our high product quality and solutions
from partners that incorporated a variety of software. Understanding customer
needs accurately and having partners is getting crucial," he said. "We will also
sell aggressively in the new markets of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. While
monochrome machines are dominant in this market, we will focus on maintaining
and increasing share to contribute to revenue increase."

Commentary from Kubo-san: The company’s MFP has adopted long
life, amorphous silicon for the OPC drums for mid and high-speed machines based
on the "Ecosys Concept." This eliminates the need to change drums for MFPs for
most of the users, thus users can use the machine with no down time. This also
reduces service calls for dealers.

As to the common platform, controllers for the MFP have been
developed based on the ones incorporated in the Ecosys printers. Therefore, the
printer users do not have to install new drivers, or can keep using existing
application software. Okada said, "It is easier for us to recommend our copiers
to our customers who have been using our printers."

Product strategies are different in Japan, the U.S. and
Europe, considering market characteristics and differences in the current status
of their product sales.

Europe--In Europe, there are lots of bids by large corporations, but many of the
products delivered have been low-end Segment 1 machines. Increased demand for
copiers and printers are expected due to increased economic power in the Eastern
European market and Middle East market. However, monochrome low-end machines
will remain dominant there for the time being. The challenge is to increase the
share for mid and high-speed machines.

North America--Mid and high-speed machines in Segment
3 and 4 are selling well in the North American market. Customers are mostly mid
or small-sized companies. Developing market to reach large corporations is the
issue there.

Japan--Colorization has advanced quicker in Japan than
North America and Europe, and is expected to reach 30-50 percent of the total
market in a few years. Kyocera Mita currently has only 10 percent color ratio in
its MFP sales, but it is targeting a color ratio of 35 percent by 2008.
Documents are becoming more color oriented due to the proliferation of digital
cameras and expanded usage of the Internet.

Accordingly, more color output is expected from MFPs and
functionalities for color machines will be enhanced to catch up with it. Kyocera
machines, including monochrome, have obtained many mid to small-sized companies
and the products in Segment 2 are selling well. They are selling two color MFP
models, KM-C850 (color: 8 ppm; black and white: 31 cpm) and a tandem machine,
KM-C2630 (color/black and white: 26 ppm). Sales for those models are now almost
equal in Japan with the recent sales growth for the KM-C2630.

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