“Opportunities that can expand the market of MFP are technologies like Big...

“Opportunities that can expand the market of MFP are technologies like Big Data, Cloud and IOT”

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Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services enabling individuals to work smarter. For more than 80 years, Ricoh has been driving innovation and is a leading provider of document management solutions, IT services, commercial and industrial printing, digital cameras, and industrial systems. In an interaction with Shubhankar Lahiri, MD & CEO, Ricoh, about the MFP market and future strategies.

What are the key factors driving the global MFP market?
Growing businesses, advancements in communications technology, digital transformation trends, Internet of things are some of the key factors which have resulted in increased data. To access this burgeoning data, there is a requirement for cost-effective, business efficient, mobile and secure solutions. Though the digital workflow and increase in mobility has reduced the print volume, Multi-Function Printers or MFPs have evolved with advanced multiple features, to match with today’s workplaces.

What are the key market trends impacting the growth of the India MFP market?
Advanced and sophisticated technology applications, cloud based applications, bring your own device and usage of various storage devices to port documents, has made the use of remote printing possible. Printers have evolved as intelligent machines, with onboard processing power, embedded apps that support mobility, document management, collaboration, knowledge sharing features, and at the same time ensuring document and device security. There are workflow solutions on the MFPs that are designed to capture, store, manage, share, analyze and deliver data and documents more efficiently , thus eradicating manual input and increasing operational value.

What are the opportunities and challenges to market growth?
Opportunities that can expand the market of MFP are technologies like Big Data, Cloud, IOT. IOT generates huge amounts of data, while Big Data uses and analyzes mountains of data. Cloud has given users a platform where this data can be processed. Given the data explosion, and the requirement to share this data electronically or physically to be used purposefully, demand for cost effective, efficient, mobile, secure all in one printers has increased. The challenges are related to the presence of counterfeit items. The customer needs to be educated on the quality and the reliability of these cheaper options. Another challenge being that the pace of innovation needs to be continuous and quick to keep meeting the customer demands of cost effectiveness, security and compliance.

What are the factors which influence market share?
Factors like technology innovations, ease of use, customer service, robustness, features and the complete solutions that the products offer, its brand value and of course the reach and availability of the product determine how strong they are in the market.

What are the latest technologies adopted by MFP brands?
Wireless technologies with NFC, smart/mobile printing, new age printers are using intuitive interfaces, they are equipped with smart work flows, mobility and security. The industry is using energy efficient technologies, 2D (3D is evolving) printing technologies like LED, laser, dye chrome and thermo digital printing techniques, using artificial intelligence, IOT, Cloud, with compliance technologies to increase efficiency, reduce risk, improve performance and enhance flexibility.

What will the market size and the growth rate be in next five years?
The CAGR in the global MFPs market is predicted to be 3-5% for the next five years, while in India the situation seems to be more promising, as the adaption to MFPs from single function printers is growing in verticals like healthcare, education, banking etc. The growth rate is forecasted as 8-10%.

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