New Oki Data printers target SMB market

Oki Data Americas has brought a number of new monochrome printers and monochrome and colour multifunction printers to the Canadian market as it seeks to open up new ground in the small and medium workgroup and target Canada’s burgeoning SMB opportunity.

The new Oki offerings include the new B700 Series of monochrome printers, which features six models targeted and small to mid-size work groups. That’s also the target market for two new A4 colour multifunction printers, the MC361 and MC561. As well, monochrome A4 multifunction MB700 series will open up a new product category for the vendor.

“With these new printers we’re focusing on the SMB market,” said Michael Garofola, senior marketing manager, colour products for Oki Data Americas. “The reason why this market is so important to us is it’s the largest segment of the Canadian market, and it has shown the most growth in recent years.”

Oki’s new colour multifunction devices, the MC 361 and MC561, use the same printer engine as the vendor’s new line of single-function workgroup printers, which means they also use the same consumables. Garofola noted this means IT departments don’t need to manage multiple consumable inventories if they have a mix of devices.

Users can scan documents from multiple locations including a PC, network, FTP and e-mail, and can also scan-to and print-from a USB stick through the build-in USB port. A reversing automatic document feeder assists in the speedy scanning of documents. The devices are Energy Star compliant, with green features that include power-save, deep sleep and automatic eco modes, as all as duplexing standard out of the box and a one-piece image drum with toner trapping shutters.

Retailing for $549, the MC361 is suited for small workgroups and can handle thicker media, such as card stock, and print banners and displays. It copies and prints at up to 23 ppm colour and 25 ppm mono, has a standard paper capacity of 350 sheets, print resolution of 1200 x 600 dpi, and a profile of 16/8” x 20” x 17/5” with a weight of 63lbs..

Its counterpart the MC561 is designed for medium-sized workgroups and retails for $749. In addition to the features of the Mc361, it’s a little faster at 27 pp, colour and 31 ppm mono and includes 256MB of standard memory, expandable to 768MB, plus a 4GB SD card storage standard increasable to 16GB, and a 533 MHz processor. It’s network ready and features a full QWERTY keyboard.

A new product line for Oki is the MB700 series of mono multifunction printers for the mid-size workgroup space. The line includes three configurations – the MB780, MB790f and MB790m – offering additional features such as a 50-sheet stapler finisher and 4-bin/100-sheet mailbox. All models include a 19” colour touch screen LCD, 36,000 page toner capacity, standard duplexing and energy-saving features.

“This series fills a hole for Oki and allows us to go after new market share and compete in more bids,” said Garofola.

Finally, Oki has also launched the B700 series of monochrome printers for small to mid-sized workgroups, replacing the vendor’s B6000 series. Six different configurations are available, ranging from the B710n offering 42 ppm for $625, to the B730dn offering duplexing standard and 52 ppm for $1,249.

Mario Pallotta, Canadian general manager for Oki, said with the new multifunction printers in particular the vendor is key to target the SMB opportunity in Canada.

“What we’re looking to do is bring together the printer and the copier,” said Pallotta. “We’re almost doing away with the copier room. Companies will have an MFP on the floor and point everyone to it, and use it as a printer, copier, scanner and faxer.”

To support the new products in the channel, Pallotta said Oki will be offering special rebates and demo programs to help partners make the case for Oki in a challenging market where Oki doesn’t have the name recognition of some of the other vendors. That’s where the demo program can play a key role in exposing potential customers to the technology.

“The first thing we try to do is explain who we are,” said Pallotta. “A lot of older folks on the IT side remember us from the dot-matrix era, but most times we need to give a little bit of the story of where we’ve come from, and after that it’s all about the product.”

Pallotta said Oki’s revenue mix is currently 85 per cent indirect, 15 per cent direct with the direct mainly coming on the copier heritage side. Oki is continuing to grow-out its reseller base across Canada, working with Synnex as well as Ingram Micro and Tech Data.

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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