Japan's most resilient tech company

By David Binning on May 31, 2012 10:53 AM
Filed under Hardware

CRN sits down with Oki president Takao Hiramato.

View larger image Oki Data today officially cut the ribbon on its product demonstration centre at its new Sydney ... View larger image Oki currently counts 120 resellers as partners in Australia. View larger image The centre is designed to enable partners and customers to find the right print solutions for ...

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Takao Hiramato, president of Oki Corporation, is philosophical about the toll nature has taken on the technology industry since early last year.

For his company at least, the Japanese earthquake and Thai floods served to galvanise the entire organisation in seeking ways to increase innovation and business opportunities while reducing costs to insulate it from the impact. 

“I think these disasters helped to bring us all closer together,” Hiramato told CRN at this week’s launch of Oki’s product demonstration centre at its new Sydney headquarters at Macquarie Park.

The proof is in the pudding. While many of its Japanese technology peers have continued to struggle since last year’s natural disasters, Oki managed to post a 35 billion yen (A$458 million) increase in full year net income to 8 billion yen for the 12 months to March 31, 2012. The company has projected a more than 30 percent increase in net income for 2013. 

Helping to drive this growth Hiramato said was Oki’s focus on delivering cost-effective printing solutions coupled with robust customer support. 

Recently appointed managing director of Oki Data Australia, Dennie Kazuo Kawahara, said the new Sydney solutions centre would better enable partners and customers to find the right print solutions for their businesses and evaluate savings with on-site experts and live demonstrations.

“To make solid decisions about printers and multi-function devices, you need to look at both technical and economic factors,” Kawahara said. 

“The demonstration centre offers an efficient decision-making environment allowing customers to review all aspects of products they’re considering.”

“[It] will be a powerful decision-making tool.”

LED trumps 3D

The facility will house a broad range of Oki printer products and solutions. Key among these are Oki's multifunction, colour, mono, and dot matrix printers, with Oki's patented LED printing technology under the hoods of many. 

Hiramato stressed that Oki-developed LED technology was probably the most important trend in printing at the moment. Using far less moving parts than conventional dot-matrix and laser printers, LED machines tend to live longer, offer better image quality and have less running issues. 

Asked whether he thought 3D printing was likely to be an important trend this year, Hiramato said the potential disruption attributed to the technology - especially in industries such as manufacturing - was exaggerated and Oki had no plans in this space.

Currently Oki Data Australia has 120 approved resellers with the number expected to grow in line with the company’s expanding local operations.

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