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Laura Blackmer Promoted to Konica Minolta's President of Dealer Sales

Laura Blackmer Promoted to Konica Minolta's President of Dealer Sales

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc. has announced Laura Blackmer has been promoted to president of dealer sales. Blackmer joined Konica Minolta in 2017 as senior vice president of dealer sales. She is responsible for the sales and management of Konica Minolta's dealer network that represents and sells its products and managed IT services. Blackmer's new role will be effective April 1, 2022.

An industry veteran, she has extensive experience, including 19 years with HP in sales management and vast knowledge of the imaging channel. Blackmer held the role of U.S. director of channel sales at Intermec Technologies Corp., where she redefined the company's channel strategy, programs and engagement. Additionally, she spent five years at Sharp Electronics, continuing her focus on people leadership and change management for channel-focused organizations.

"Since joining Konica Minolta, Laura has been pivotal to the success of our dealer partners, driving sales growth in all the core areas of our business while fostering the development of key digital transformation initiatives to enhance capabilities," said Sam Errigo, COO, Konica Minolta. "Laura is an exceptional leader with strategic vision and a unique passion for understanding our customers and our technology. I am confident in her ability as an executive and to advance the channel to achieve optimal success."

Blackmer has been awarded "Best Female Executive" six consecutive years by The Cannata Report. In 2021, she was named one of Tigerpaw Software's Top 100 Influencers in the managed print industry. She has also been named to CRN's Women of the Channel list four times and is a three-time Channel Chief. Blackmer is a member of CRN's Women of the Channel Senior Leadership Forum and Colorado State University's Business Leadership Council.

"I'm extremely proud of what we have accomplished together with our dealer partners, particularly during the last two challenging years," Blackmer said. "The energy of our dealers is infectious and motivates me to do better as a person, organization and company. I look forward to continuing our work to drive digital transformation and bring the very best products and solutions to our mutual customers."

In other news, Konica Minolta has announced it has been named a "Leader" in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Print for the Distributed Workforce 2022 Vendor Assessment. According to the report, "Konica Minolta's approach to providing for a more distributed workforce begins with a mindset that 'work is not where you are, but what you get done.'"

The IDC MarketScape study assessed "the strategies and capabilities of the major office printing vendors to support an increasingly distributed workforce on a worldwide basis," in order to help companies "identify vendors with strong offerings and well-integrated business strategies to provide for this growing market need."

According to the report, "The concept of a distributed workforce is not new, but its expansion caused by the ripple effect of the COVID-19 global pandemic is a significant development on how work will be conducted in the future. During the pandemic, organizations were forced to collectively operate remotely, mostly in home offices, while aiming to demonstrate no decline in productivity. This experience, over an extended period, has led to the notion that a remote workforce can function effectively. As a result, we anticipate that work from home will be more normalized in the future, even with the passage of the pandemic and its substantive business impact."

"As we guide our customers through their digital transformation journeys, we strive to be in constant lockstep with them and their changing needs, which became even more challenging during the past two years," said Chris Bilello, vice president of business solutions development, Konica Minolta. "Being named a Leader by the IDC MarketScape confirms that we have been successful understanding and anticipating their needs and transforming them into solutions that will best serve their business."

Konica Minolta's key success is its ability to help businesses succeed with digital transformation to meet the challenges of the pandemic and beyond. The company's foresight preempted the transformations in the world of work that have subsequently been accelerated by COVID-19. The IDC MarketScape notes "The company has been transforming its business for some time from a print/copy provider to a digital services supplier. Its vision of the intelligent connected workplace (ICW) was in place long before the onset of the pandemic and provides an array of document-related services (workflow and automation, information management, managed application, infrastructure management, security and cloud, with more to come) that naturally extend into supporting a more distributed workforce."

Furthermore, the IDC MarketScape observed that "Konica Minolta demonstrates holistic thinking in its go-to-market strategy that is more than just a focus on print. It includes IT services, workflow, security, voice over IP, enterprise content management (ECM), BPO and vertical-specific applications. While initially intended for the traditional office, all can be ported to new ways of work in the office and home hybrid model."

Key to this transition has been Konica Minolta's anticipation of emerging requirements. For example, the ability to secure and measure print and document activities undertaken irrespective of location — whether in the office or from home. And in the field of cloud printing, Konica Minolta provides the solutions and platforms, as well as the ability to host the services. The IDC MarketScape report noted, "The company's managed print-as-a-service offerings are intimately intertwined with the company's approach to a distributed workforce. It means having several options available for the delivery of print, a focus on the highest level of security (SHIELD GUARD and bizhub SECURE) and service (CS Remote Care/vCare) for the company's equipment and a customized user interface with the use of the company's Personalize with Follow-You Persona, which enables the workstyle of each employee to be tailored to their use requirements, regardless of device."

"One of the most significant developments anticipated out of the global COVID-19 pandemic is the development of a more hybrid business operating model that combines the traditional office setting along with home/remote locations," said Keith Kmetz, program vice president for imaging, printing and document solutions research, IDC. "Over the past several months, organizations learned how to effectively work outside of the normal office environment and we expect that this business model will be maintained in the future. As such, both print providers and end-user organizations will need to consider the adjustments needed within the print infrastructure to support an increasingly distributed workforce. If done correctly, there are numerous benefits to be gained. On the other hand, if done incorrectly, the organization could suffer with undue costs and productivity shortcomings."

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