B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro
B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro

Episode · 2 months ago

Bringing the Office Home: Making Sure Technology Works for You While You’re Working at Home

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

If there’s one thing we’ve all become exceptionally good at over the past eighteen months, it’s making our work-from-home situations as comfortable and efficient as possible. 

Whether it’s enhanced webcams, printers, copiers, or even that fancy office chair that you just couldn’t live without, companies all over the world are having to rethink the way that they provide technology to their employees, especially as more and more are hesitant to return to the office. 

On this episode of B2B Tech Talk, we sit down with Kevin Price. Kevin is a Senior Marketing Manager of Strategy at Canon USA, and on this episode we talked all about: 

- The webcam revolution, and how you can look your best

- How Canon is readjusting their product offerings to gear to a WFH situation

- The drastic changes in print-from-home habits of most Americans

- Where technology is going in the next year

To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk

Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify , Apple Podcasts , or Stitcher . Or, tune in on our website.

...you're listening to B. B. Tech talkwith ingram Micro a place to learn about how to grow your business andstay ahead of technological advances before they become mainstream intoday's episode we're introducing a new business and technology minded seriesbrought to you by ingram Micro's smb alliance community called as the gearsturn hosted by two ingram micro SnB alliance council leaders Mr Devinbiddle and Mr Patrick Cash both successful MSP s and both ready to callthe business of I. T. As they see it. So with that said let's make it happen,Welcome to ask the gears turn. Welcome to another episode of BTB Tech Talkwith ingram Micro special as the gears turn edition where your host, Stephenbiddle from computer cations out of Frederick Maryland and Patrick Cashfrom blue store networks out of Atlanta Georgia today we're gonna be talkingwith kevin Price, the senior marketing Manager for strategy at Canon Usa kevin,we are both excited to have you on this episode today. Thanks for joining us.Yeah excited to be here. Thanks guys. So I want to kick things off. I'mpretty excited to talk with you about cameras and specifically actuallywebcams. Canon has some great product line that apparently is gonna help melook better in my virtual meetings which is going to be a lot of effort.Maybe there's some good filters in there. Um and we're not gonna go intodevon but can you give us some information maybe some highlights intosome of the developments coming from Canon as relates to webcams. Yeahabsolutely and I'm not really sure you even need them to, to look as good asyou guys do. But uh, but uh, no, actually, so it's, it's interesting. Sowhen the, when Covid hit last year and you know, ultimately, you know, thingswent into kind of a chaos state and something that Cannon kind of had inits back pocket. You know, there's a...

...lot of smart people, there's a lot oftechnical people here was, you know, we've got these amazing cameras and Ithink what we're seeing a lot more is really a blend between what you seefrom a consumer side and professional or an off this side. So there was arealization that, you know what, we've got some fantastic imaging that couldhelp with people while they're on webcams. And of course the new normalnow that we're all under, where you know, we're going on and we're on zoomcalls were on teams calls all day. So what Canon developed was the softwareutility. It's called EOS webcam utility. It's been out, it actually came outjust after Covid last year and it's been, it's been seeing great adoption.Basically what you do is you take your supported camera, it's as simple as aUSB plug in and all of a sudden you've got the highest optic display you couldever ask for. So it's, you know, it's those sorts of opportunities that werereally focused on, as things have become so disrupted. That's prettyexciting, kevin. I mean, Cannon is, is very well known for cameras. So, uh, sothat's, that's some cool stuff. I definitely want to check that out. Somepeople might be surprised to hear that Cannon does more than just cameras inthe past few years. Canada has been investing heavily into research anddevelopment across the board. So what can you tell us is coming out of thatarea? Yeah, there's um, yeah, thanks for asking, devon. Um, so there's beenquite a lot, so actually, first off, a lot of people are surprised to hearCannon has a really long legacy in research and development cannons, youknow, almost perennially is the number three patent holder, believe it or notin, in the world, usually after IBM and I want to say it's Samsung, but we'reconstantly innovating, constantly developing. Of course, Japanese basedcompany, I'll give you a few examples of some of the areas and some of thisis, you know, I think is not necessarily fully hit market in allcases, but I think we'll be representative of some of theinnovation and you know, where some of our future direction, maybe going insome regards. So one example is actually Canon launched a minisatellite That is, you know, equipped...

...with a 5D Mark three camera and thetelescope in order to take photos from space. People that attended virtual CSwould have, would have seen, that would have been able to experience that andsee some of the imaging that we could um that we could help to provide a wayout there in the galaxy. Another example is um we've brought to market anew product through a partnership which is a commercial robotic vacuum. I'veluckily, although I'm actually in the office now and I mean here from time totime, certainly home a lot more than used to be. I'm luckily I haven'tnecessarily encountered it creeping around the building but but I hearthey're around here keeping but especially given the elevated focus onhealth and safety, you know, that's another area that we've kind ofinnovated towards. Another one is something called um lows. I'm sharingall this. This is public. I mean some of this was shared at our consumerelectronics show again earlier this year. It's technology known as activatemy line of sight. So it's using gesture based technology. And again, going backto as we look at communication and collaboration, how to work teams indisparate areas. Everybody's got teams now where you're not just in onespecific location but you're constantly communicating with people that are indisparate areas. So how can gestures play a role and really add value tocontext and conversation. So those are some of the cool things we're doing Iguess bring it also back into some of the areas that for the group that Isupport which is more around printers and scanners and that sort oftechnology that we work and sell through partners like ingram is, youknow, areas such as we have a mobile wifi printer that we brought to market.We've got a USB powered again, mobile scanner that we've brought to market.And then we're also getting into more color label on demand area. So there'sthere's there's quite a quite a significant array of areas that wereconstantly investing into. So can recently I think did a reorder based onlike you're talking about the needs of...

...the market and as well as in thechannel. Can you give us a little more about the changes that were made andmaybe some of the trends that Cannon saw that led to this? Yeah, absolutely.And so Canon is um, you know, I don't think I'd be remiss to say thathistorically Canon's been viewed maybe as a fairly traditional type companyand that's and that's changing. That needs to change. We've always had kindof a consumer side of the business and a B2B side of the business, both ofwhich are very healthy and strong. But the external change that I think we allare facing is, you know, the collision, the intersection between those areasand so what has spun out is really kind of a new business unit that internallywe're calling the hybrid workplace solutions group. So that group is lookis overlooking today. Truthfully some more traditional printers scanners andthose types of products. But I think it's also going to be an internalthrust for a lot of the areas that will be expanding. So traditionally there'sa lot, you know, I think we've all experienced within the channel whereyou know a lot of times you have segmentation, you have certain things,you can only sell certain places, you have certain parts of the channel thatsell really well into commercial but maybe wouldn't be able to, you know, sowell addressed. You know, typically the needs of home workers by the flip side,you look at e commerce, you'll be able to take care of transactional needs butyou don't necessarily extend that is effectively up at scale to be able toaddress larger organizations. So as we look at, I think the channel andimplications and technology where all those things blend, that's where thecreation of this group has come in. So I think you'll see a lot of innovationcoming out from Canon in the next 1 to 2 years as a result of that change. Sokevin earlier you had mentioned about printers and scanners, uh, the mobileprinter and the mobile scanner. But...

...what other printers and scanners are onthe market because there's a wide range specifically for home and home officeis how are you changing up product design to meet that work from anywhereenvironment that we're that we seem to be in. Yeah, sure devon. I mean, Ithink first off a recognition that a lot of what we've all been faced in thelast year has been inventory driven and a lot of a lot of sales, we haveexperiences, what do you have? I'll take whatever you can get, but thatbeing said, I mean, you know, I think most of us, a lot of people haven'tnecessarily gone back to an office, some people may never go back to anoffice, but I think a lot of people, there's the benefits still ofcamaraderie collaboration, all those things, so, you know, a lot of ourfocus, we sell pretty much office, home office anywhere in betweentraditionally, but traditionally those technologies have been pretty different,so as you look at somebody who's spending now more of a spread of officetime that's both in home and in the office, reducing change management andreally focusing on consistency of user experience becomes more and moreimportant because I think it goes without saying people traditionally, ifyou've gone into an office and try to use a copier traditionally for somepeople that could be complicated as it is. So now when you take people thatare in an office, maybe 30 40% of what they used to be, it really becomes allthe more important, how do we streamline and simplify engagement withproduct and technology and you know, and of course there's other things aswell, I mean there's I think an increased focus that we have now withcloud, there's definitely opportunities and around maintenance and then youknow I think one of the key areas for growth that I think is going to bereally president, our channel is opportunity to focus more on services.People are are less focused necessarily on on the hardware but it's more aboutwhat I need, what you know now and I...

...want to kind of pay and pay for it as Igo, I've got one follow up question to that. So specifically on the homeoffice type of devices that you're selling. What about security on thosedevices? Can you talk to that? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know security,it boils down to a number of different things. So you know, security if we'retalking about a printer, is that a printer that somebody that's using itat home bought themselves found themselves or is that a company asset?Is that something that it is leading the purchase decision around that? Youknow, assuming it is an I. T. And hopefully it is an I. T driven asset.Are you managing firmer updates? You know, we're constantly seeing newvulnerabilities, new threats. You've got to stay on top of technology. So ifyou've got legacy gear and you've got people that are they're using what Iwould just described as really unmanaged or even unknown devices, allof those things increased security risk, you know and then and then finally, youknow I think there's also will be more opportunity and this is true in theoffice, right? Like I think most of us, if we're being honest, have probablygone to an office printer in our past life and printed stuff for homepurposes. But you know, as people have that in that home in their home, thatconvenience becomes even simpler and there's even a potentially a greaterincentive as people are supporting not just work from home, but family needshome schooling needs things like that. So there is an increased possibility ofwaste and depending on how for example, supplies are funded, whether that'ssomething that is being funded again as a company acid or not. I think there'sgoing to be an increased need to control printing behavior and howthings are used. That opens kind of like another good follow up. What areyou seeing what maybe what's Canon seeing with the change in print habit.You know, as we talk about this more work from anywhere environment. Youknow, we used to have like the one big...

...printer in the middle of the officethat everybody used and now it's there's more smaller printers. There'sprinters from home. And so how is that kind of hitting the cannon landscape aswell. Sure. I mean, I guess the first and obvious thing is we're seeing acreative proportion of print happening at the home in the office and that'ssuper obvious. But still as we look at distribution and how we service andsupport and how we get products and supplies to our consumers and so forth,that becomes increasingly important. You know, if if people have devices athome, you know, you might see people that are doing increased need for speed,you know, you you've got the device right at your fingertips, how fast isthat flying off? You want to be able to, you know, you want to be agile, youwant to be able to go at it kind of all day. Again, I think it gets back tofocus on simplicity and convenience and then, you know, even basic things likehow are you managing supplies? Like you've got to the importance of having,you know, ideally a just in time type of delivery or making sure that atleast people that are using these devices aren't going out because youknow, if you're in a home environment as opposed to an office environment, ifyou have an office environment, you have a procurement department thatstaying on top of managing supplies now you're an employee at home. That printbehavior, maybe sometimes you're printing heavier volume. Sometimesyou're not using it nearly as much. But is that something that's being managed?How are you staying on top of those? Uh supply replenishment is really key.Okay, kevin, we have a question we ask every one of our guests on the B B techtalk has the gears turn edition. So when you think of technology as a whole,where do you see it going within the next year and this can be anythingtechnology related. Uh sure. I mean I'll stay kind of within, I'll staykind of within this sphere. Right? And uh for around let's just say home baseddevices and things like that. Right? Um I mean I think from from an officeperspective you look at changing...

...employee needs and changing employerneeds and those are sometimes the same and sometimes pretty different. Right?So um you know from an employee side it's it's work life balance issomething that you know, I think is you ask most people it's quality time, it'sconvenience, it's why should I take a commute and go away from family when Ican do everything I need to at home. Well part of that is making sure youtruly can do everything you do at home. So I think that there's still, you knowwe've seen when Covid hit, you know, we saw significant demand around printers.For example, everybody you know, we never saw probably a demand spike quitelike that and that's and that's driven along with you know, differentchallenges with chips and the channel and so forth challenges around supply.But you know, I think convenience. I mean honestly things that can help makethe home experience, you know really equip you as if you're in an office andbeing able to interact with as if you're in an office even even some ofthe technologies that I talked about before where cannons going withdifferent collaboration tools and going back to the web cams and so forth. Ithink those types of things are going to be kind of increasingly importantand you know, I think from a from an employer side it's you know, it'ssecurity and cost management, you know, now that we are in you know, kind of anextended or we will be in God willing and extended normal, how you manage tospare it assets and how you manage costs, you know, is something that thatyou know, I t people need to be strategically planning for anddesigning for, I think there'd be very few companies out there at least, youknow, if you ask your friends, there's very few companies that are going toprobably be able to get away with just going back to a normal 9 to 55 days aweek. So if virtually every company aside from those that are servicefacing and retail sectors and things like that, where you know, you're doingrestaurant or something like that, but...

...for a lot of the industries and sectorsout there today, we really need to be able to manage things wherever they areand I think that has profound implications for tech kevin. So we'vetalked about a lot in a very short period of time today as generallyhappens on these episodes. So where can folks go find a little bit moreinformation about some of the things that we talked about today? Yes, surePatrick. So ingram is a really is a key partner of ours. What I would encourageanybody who's listening here, who wants to learn a little bit more, wants toget in touch, wants to have a conversation with Cannon, you know,reach out to Cannon team, T E A M at ingram micro dot com, that will get youset up, you'll be able to consult with the team. We can uh, we can share alittle bit more maybe underneath the hood about what we have going on andyou know, and that goes both ways because we know that for partners thatwe work with, it's never one size fits all, it's really about how do we tailor,you know what we have and what you have and uh, you know, and partner togetherin terms of uh really kind of driving change that helps everybody. Awesome.Well, on behalf of Devin and myself again, just thank you so much forjoining us today. Thanks for the time and giving us a little bit insightabout Canon. Thanks guys, appreciate it. There's more information for thisepisode found on the ingram micro Smb portal. If you're already a member, youcan access this information at any time. If not. Well why not? If you have aspecific question, you can always reach out to your ingram micro rep for moreinformation on how you can get involved with. SMB. Thank you for tuning into asthe gears turn and subscribing to be to be tech Talk with ingram Micro, you'vebeen listening to B to B Tech talk with ingram Micro special as the gears turnedition, hosted by Devin Biddle and Patrick Cash. This episode wassponsored by ingram Micro's S and B. Alliance B. Two B Tech Talk is a jointproduction with Sweet Fish Media and Anger Micro. Anger Micro productionhandled by Laura Burton to not miss an episode. Subscribe to the show on yourfavorite podcast platform. If you're listening on apple podcasts, we'd lovefor you to leave a quick rating of the...

...show. Just tap the number of stars youthink the podcast deserves Until next time? Mhm. Mhm.

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