Smart workplace interview

by Mobility08 Feb 2019

Below is a summary of an interview with Tori Starkey, General Manager, Marketing, Ricoh Australia

Interview Summary

Ricoh uses different terms to describe the workplace of the future, including the new world of work, changing workstyles, and changing worklife. Essentially these terms represent the same thing: the quest to expand Ricoh’s reach beyond the traditional office.

“Our customers are working differently,” Ricoh’s Tori Starkey said. “They’re working in a new digital environment in fundamentally different ways – always on, with access to information from anywhere and anytime. They’re transforming in the way they work and ultimately looking for greater levels of collaboration, productivity, and innovation, and our job is to empower that digital workplace and help them drive effectiveness and efficiencies.”

According to Starkey, Ricoh’s value proposition is all about empowering digital workplaces that enable customers to achieve greater levels of innovative thinking as well as work smarter. This is facilitated through a wide range of technologies and services from Ricoh and its channels including offerings around document management, Connect and Collaboration services, IT services, Commercial and Industrial printing.

“Our focus is intended to drive a strong foundational approach to innovation and customer experience, and we’ll continue to be committed to the things our customers care about,” Starkey said.

“It’s connecting the physical to a digital experience where we can connect the people wherever they are, whenever they need to be connected,” Starkey said.

Game-changing technologies and approaches include mobile apps on existing products like interactive flat-panel displays, projectors and print devices; artificial intelligence (AI) that is leveraged to enhance how people work; and reworked processes that better fulfil customer requirements.

“Our job is to ensure we shift the meaning of the brand in the minds of our customer to one where in fact they see a whole series of products, technology, and services all focused on delivering in that new smart office of the future,” Starkey said.

As Ricoh moves towards the Workplace of the future, it is focused on not selling products and services for the sake of selling them but rather serving real issues and challenges customers have in their marketplace or with their customers.

“By playing a big part in those solutions then we become an important partner to our customer and our channel members,” Starkey said.

A key challenge for many customers is enabling their global workforces and networks to collaborate and communicate across great distances, different cultures, and different languages. Ricoh can help them overcome this challenge by consulting with them on ways to better use current technology. New technology from Ricoh may also be helpful, such as the upcoming ability for intelligent whiteboard collaborators to view written words in a language they understand.

“In doing that you are furthering the level of clarity and collaboration available to customers’ employees wherever they may be working,” Starkey said.

Liquid workforce

Equally, with technology removing barriers of physical locations, a new work-style has emerged with no limitations on hours, location or talent boundaries – requiring highly agile and project-based models of work and boundless workspace;

The shape of the workforce and the nature of work are changing fast and employers will have to deal with a workforce that is changing.

Already, 30% of Australian workforce is now contingent and this creates opportunities as well as also very different challenges for organisations

Multigenerational workforce is another challenge

Today’s workplace needs to cater for up to 5 generations, which impacts businesses’ technology footprint, ability to innovate and customer experience. The new workforce will be defined by its ability to upskill, rapidly align to complex ideas and innovate.

Ricoh helps customers understand what is wrong with their current customer data, and how they can fix the problem through scan technology and cloud based information access.

Ricoh is fine tuning technology for designing physical meeting spaces under a new smart office paradigm. For instance, Ricoh is increasingly able to help companies determine how to divvy up and equip space for meetings between just two, three, or four people.

“The technology enables people to work collaboratively, for example to do the scheduling, follow-ups, communication, and coordination of who would be involved in activities relative to that meeting,” she said.

Starkey mentioned other ongoing services and initiatives to push Ricoh further into smart office territory, including cloud-based print device management and the ability for new workflows to be created and placed on the devices themselves (upcoming smart integration platform) – enabling data collection, processing, analysis, and distribution based on customer requirements.

Ricoh will continue to work closely with specialist partners, collaborating to understand which office of the future technologies it should prioritise, Starkey said.

“With so much on the go, prioritisation is always a great challenge, but it’s positive in that we maintain an edge on innovation while listening to what customers need today, while telling us what they’re going to need in the future…,” she added.

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