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ISM Article

Security IS Always an Issue

2 Oct, 2006 By: Tetsuo Kubo imageSource

Security IS Always an Issue

New Security Strategies for MFP Sales

Copier manufacturers using dealer sales routes have been giving high priority
to training to increase dealers’ systems and communication capabilities. Copier
based MFPs (digital copiers) already require knowledge on connections to
communication lines such as connecting to the company LAN or PC to use printer
functionalities, or connecting to an IP network or web to effectively use fax
functionalities. With scanner functionalities, solutions for converting paper
into electronic forms like PDFs have pretty much spread. Most importantly,
proposals on solutions that include good security measures are thought to be the
key determining factor for future business success.

Governmental offices and corporations are inclined to differentiate
themselves from others by obtaining qualifications such as ISO quality
certifications and global environmental standards. Presently, corporations
trying to obtain Information Security Management System (ISMI) and P Mark
certification that qualifies personal information protection domestically, are
now increasing. These security related standards are characterized by the large
requests for security measures in order to avoid information leakage, not only
to qualified companies but also to the smaller companies which that particular
company deals with. In order for large companies to merit with their assured
security system, there might be a chance that they cancel relationships with
companies that cannot handle their requested security measures. So, many of
those mid or small sized companies sought by large companies are thought to rush
into incorporating security measures.   

OEM direct sales or large dealers who deal with large companies in
metropolitan areas have specialists for network and computer systems who support
MFP proposal sales.  At Otsuka Shokai, they often form a three to four men sales
team consisting of MFP sales and technical specialists. The company is now
working on reducing the team head count to two by training those MFP experts in
each area to learn another special knowledge. This strategy appears to be a
preparation to capture as many customers as they can as they see an increasing
number of companies demanding MFPs or a corporate system incorporated with
security measures.

In order to quickly respond to such market changes, each of the manufacturers
using this type of dealer sales is now setting up a back-up system; organizing
network and system specialist teams as well as giving high priority to dealer
training.  Those dealers with good customer relationships have obtained the
basic knowledge about their customers, learning a lot about their business, size
and the companies they deal with, and overall, those customers will trust them
as they have developed credibility, becoming more eager to consider a solutions
proposal that includes security.

In solution proposal, especially security proposal, this often relates to
office entry management that brings a variety of uses: an IC card system (like
employee ID cards) is usually combined with the management of PC, MFP, printer
and so forth, requiring an individual password system. Using an IC card seems to
be ideal to reduce the number of passwords to remember while enhancing security

Security measures can involve a variety of elements and methods.  However, a
wide variety of options has caused longer sales cycles, making it difficult for
customers to make decisions. It is up to the dealer to have the best knowledge
about security proposals in order to enhance their offering to their customers.
The key for MFP sales from now on is for dealers to consider how efficiently and
quickly they can capture and respond to their customers needs by providing the
best suited system, and safest.

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