Keypoint Intelligence - Buyers Lab Announces PaceSetter Awards to Honor OEMs that Lead the Market in MFP Platforms and Apps

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Keypoint Intelligence - Buyers Lab (BLI), the world’s leading independent evaluator of document imaging software, hardware, and services, today announced the winners of its BLI PaceSetter awards in the MFP Platforms & App Ecosystems arena.

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Keypoint Intelligence - Buyers Lab (BLI), the world’s leading independent evaluator of document imaging software, hardware, and services, today announced the winners of it BLI PaceSetter awards in the MFP Platforms & App Ecosystems arena. This award recognizes the document imaging OEMs that offer the most robust device-centric software platforms, along with the most impressive portfolios of associated apps, to help customers get the most from their equipment investment.

The winners for 2017–2018, based on research conducted for the North American market in mid-2017, are:

KONICA MINOLTA BUSINESS SOLUTIONS U.S.A., INC.
BLI PaceSetter in MFP Platforms & App Ecosystems 2017–2018

RICOH USA, INC.
BLI PaceSetter in MFP Platforms & App Ecosystems 2017–2018

SHARP IMAGING AND INFORMATION COMPANY OF AMERICA
BLI PaceSetter in MFP Platforms & App Ecosystems 2017–2018

XEROX CORPORATION
BLI PaceSetter in MFP Platforms & App Ecosystems 2017–2018

“Multifunction printers are often the hub of an organization’s document-centric operations. Far beyond just simple print or copy functions, today’s smart devices can help streamline document capture and routing tasks, initiate custom document workflows, control device usage, and much more,” explained Jamie Bsales, Director of Software Analysis for Keypoint Intelligence - Buyers Lab. “These abilities are driven by underlying software platform technologies and the apps layered on top that let developers leverage the MFP functions, so robust offerings in these two areas are essential.”

To determine which OEMs lead the market in these areas, analysts at Keypoint Intelligence conducted an in-depth evaluation of 13 document imaging OEMs. The study focused on dozens of points of differentiation divided into key strategic areas: Platform Technology, Developer Support, Market Approach, and App Portfolio. After gathering all the data, the Keypoint Intelligence team used a proprietary rating scale to calculate point totals in the areas studied.

Konica Minolta Is an App Powerhouse
According to the Keypoint Intelligence data, Konica Minolta is one of the leading vendors for platform and app ecosystems due to its wide portfolio, developer support, and market approach which are centered on the exceptional experience they can provide customers. Capitalizing on the expectation of many individuals to quickly and easily browse, purchase, and implement applications at the MFP, Konica Minolta developed the award-winning bizhub MarketPlace and consistently adds to the impressive portfolio of apps that reside there.

Ricoh Covers All the Bases
With its Embedded Software Architecture (ESA), Ricoh was one of the pioneers in developing embedded software platforms able to extend the functionality of the MFP, and ESA remains one of the most-supported platforms among third-party developers. Adding to this strength is Ricoh’s newer Integrated Cloud Environment (ICE), which supports dozens of web-based apps that enhance end-user productivity. Notably, the most recent iteration of ICE offers five tailored packages, including vertically focused packages for Education and Legal industries. While ICE apps work on any Ricoh device equipped with a browser kit, they are especially well-suited to devices equipped with the company’s Smart Operation Panel.

Sharp Pioneers the Web Services Approach
Sharp was the first leading MFP maker to base its platform, Sharp Open Software Architecture (OSA), on web-services technology. And according to the study, Sharp is still one of the leading vendors for platform and app ecosystems due to OSA’s ability to extend and leverage the base functions of the machines. There is also the added value of a tremendous collection of well-vetted developer partners. Sharp eliminates potentially difficult support questions with a dealer-facing intranet for application download and license management. If a user’s needs aren’t captured in the expansive portfolio, Sharp welcomes customer and dealer requests for apps and features.

Xerox Opens App Development to Dealer Partners
In this analysis, Xerox was the only vendor to score in the top tier in each of the four categories. Contributing to Xerox’s high score was a standout dedication to developer support, a considerable portfolio of apps that span the various solutions segment, and the intelligent platform design to support them. Perhaps most notable is Xerox’s unique go-to-market strategic approach, productizing the platform for dealers, customers, and ISVs as a truly customizable, beneficial tool for all. It also offers the MFP-accessible App Gallery for ready-made apps that can be downloaded directly by customers.

About Keypoint Intelligence - Buyers Lab
Keypoint Intelligence is a one-stop shop for the digital imaging industry. With our unparalleled tools and unmatched depth of knowledge, we cut through the noise of data to offer clients the unbiased insights and responsive tools they need in those mission-critical moments that define their products and empower their sales.

For over 50 years, Buyers Lab has been the global document imaging industry’s resource for unbiased and reliable information, test data, and competitive selling tools. What started out as a consumer-based publication about office equipment has become an all-encompassing industry resource. In a landscape that’s ever evolving, we change with it.

About Buyers Lab PaceSetter Awards
Based on exhaustive questionnaires, in-depth interviews, and a proprietary rating scale, Buyers Lab PaceSetter awards recognize those document imaging OEMs that have shown market leadership in a variety of categories, including Document Imaging Security, MFP Platforms & App Ecosystems, Mobile Print, and key vertical markets.

Contact
Deanna Flanick
+1 973-797-2145
deanna.flanick(at)keypointintelligence(dot)com

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