OKI has been delivering advanced printing solutions for over 60 years and intends to continue to introduce new technologies to support the needs of both large and small businesses. For those who are less aware of OKI, they are a company that develops printers, faxes and other devices that cope to boost business productivity by supplying fast and high quality products in the workplace.

The company’s approach can be described in three words: ‘secure, easy, smart’.

Terry Kawashima, OKI Europe’s Managing Director has been working at OKI for over 30 years and was the individual to introduce the Smart Colour Solutions event that was held in Milan at the start of October. He stated that OKI’s broad selection of printers means that they are now affordable for SMEs and not just large enterprises.

OKI prides themselves on their unique, award-winning LED technology that took a revolutionary step in the world of printing. The LED technology that they have been using for 20 years is said to limit wear and tear due to its fewer moving parts within the mechanism. Along with this and in compliment with the robust engine structure, this technology is reliable with a built-to-last design which enables OKI to provide users with a three year warranty as standard on most models.  

OKI operates in a way to support different types of business sector and has now found ways to particularly support industries such as retail, healthcare and graphic-arts.

For signage and promotions in retail, the options available are ideal. Head offices of retail companies can send over price or promotion labels to branches without the need for a laptop to connect to the printer – a massive time saver. Additionally, some of the printers on offer are able to print onto a magnetised material, where signage for events, promotions and stands can be carried out quicker than ever before. This reduces the amount of time a branch has to spend on the displays enabling more spent on the selling/distribution of the company’s products.

In healthcare, the technology works brilliantly too. A patient’s information is accessible to individuals that need its view and they are also able to update patient details quickly and efficiently through the built-in document management software.

Most printers have the option to heighten the security on some documents by only giving the appropriate and concerning people the accessibility of the selected files. The printers can also store some documents or users can print a document and then have it deleted from the database once printing is complete.

In today’s digital age, mobile phones with features such as the Cloud, mean that computers are gradually descending in regards to level of importance and necessity. A lot of what we could only previously do on our computers, we can now do from the handheld devices in our pockets.

OKI have developed smart printing devices and solutions to coincide with this ongoing trend. For example, a lot of the range enables users to send the printer documents through the OKI app which is easy to use and extremely quick.

Lee Webster, General Manager Product Marketing at OKI has been working at the company for around 18 years and commented on digitalisation and the effect on the print industry: “People will still need to print. The challenge is to make sure that they always have the capability to print. This is why today we’re seeing, Google Cloud Print, Apple Air Print, etc and the mobile printing app – these are the kind of things we need to do to make sure that, yes – people are changing the way they approach documents with digitalisation, but actually when they need to print we need to make it easy for them to print and that should be what our focus is.”

Lee went on to explain the impact OKI has had in the world of printing in regards to A3 colour printing: “We launched the original C8000 back in 2008 and basically we began to look at how the A3 market had been declining for many years. When we brought out this product, it was quite revolutionary in terms of being so company and it still is the most compact device, and actually turned the market and made it grow again for several years.

“Now the market’s probably the same size or maybe slightly bigger than it was all those years ago and we are the main player there – we lead that change. We created a new A3 colour segment that revived the A3 colour printer market and we are still a key player there, which is why we are upgrading the products today, to keep one step ahead of the game.

“More than 1 in 4 of every A3 colour printer sold in the EMEA for the last 4/5 years has been an OKI.”

The new range and the attitude that OKI have towards the future is promising, with determination to remain in the top half of the printing industry. Tetsuya Kuri, Vice President of OKI Marketing UK, shared the findings that OKI research retrieved, that physical documents receive more attention than digital – printed adverts/flyers/promotions have a  48 per cent chance that will be more likely to attract people, as opposed to digital’s 26 per cent rate.

It is clear that OKI are not threatened by digitalisation and that in fact they are using it to help their products advance, grow and cope for the current digital age that we are in.