An interview with Ricoh, UK IT Industry Awards finalist

The UK IT Industry Awards – the industry’s biggest, best and glitziest night of the year – will return to its traditional Battersea venue on 10th November this year, following 2020’s virtual ceremony. Multinational firm Ricoh has been shortlisted in the ‘Organizational Response to the Pandemic’ category, and Computing caught up with Mark Robinson – vice president of information technology & CISO, EMEA – to find out more about the company, and why he feels the Awards are important.

Computing: Who is Ricoh?

Ricoh is a leading provider of digital services, information management and print and imaging solutions designed to support digital transformation and optimize business performance.

With cultivated knowledge and organizational capabilities nurtured over its 85-year history, Ricoh empowers the digital workplaces of our customers using innovative technologies and services that enable individuals to work smarter from anywhere.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group has major operations throughout the world and its products and services now reach customers in approximately 200 countries and regions.

CTG: How is your company different from its peers?

Ricoh’s mission, vision and values ​​shape our unique culture, and we’re incredibly proud of our company-wide principles established by Ricoh’s founder, Kiyoshi Ichimura: “Love your neighbor, love your country, love your work,” in the 1940s – well ahead of their time.

Today, Ricoh sets itself apart not only through our culture, but through the breadth of the best in class services and solution we offer to our customers across the globe. The range of our portfolio presents Ricoh with the welcome challenge of how to best articulate what we ‘do’ as an organization. Perhaps this is best answered through the words of our Global CEO Jake Yamashita, stating our ultimate aim: “To create products and services that free up employees from spending time on dull, repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on value added activities, leading to better business outcomes and a greater enjoyment of work – what we are terming ‘fulfillment through work’. ” We believe that this ambition puts Ricoh in a class of its own.

CTG: What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?

At the start of the pandemic, Ricoh recognized that our current IT strategy, ‘work from anywhere’, was the foundation for successfully enabling Ricoh businesses to operate transparently throughout the pandemic. Our forward planning afforded us an agile response to the crisis, enabling strategic initiatives to accelerate and move the entire EMEA company from the office to remote working seamlessly. Many of our field engineers were in the front line supporting key workers in hospitals and health centers without any interruptions because of the technology we delivered and supported without a single hour of downtime. Being able to keep Ricoh ‘open for business’ was our greatest achievement, and our key focus was enabling flexible IT solutions and adapting to the ever changing conditions during the pandemic.

CTG: What are you working on this year?

Ricoh Europe has already taken to heart the Global Ricoh IT Strategy of Cloud First, as we have seen with our O365 and other strategic cloud solution deployments. As we look to the future, we want to harness technology to boost productivity and enable creativity; this highlights the requirement for a unified platform with an EMEA view to be able to run the business efficiently and for the benefit of our customers. Our Office Services business has grown significantly over the years through acquisition, and as a by-product we are left with disparate processes across multiple systems requiring a substantial amount of effort to bring together a single view of services across EMEA.

This year we are undertaking one of our most important Business Transformation Programs, OSCAR – Office Services in the Cloud At Ricoh. OSCAR will introduce, at its core, an ORACLE Cloud Services platform that will be integrated with our existing cloud solutions and extended by the introduction of SAP Concur Expense Management and ARIS Elements Process Management.

CTG: Why are events like the UK IT Industry Awards important to the IT industry?

Simply submitting good work for an award makes everyone involved feel their effort is valued. If the submission is shortlisted, it shows further approval for the work done and provides an amazing moral boost – it’s a fantastic feeling to be recognized. Awards celebrate hard work and success. Winning an industry award can open new opportunities for the company and provide endorsement of your services for existing customers.

The UK IT Industry Awards take place on the 10th of November. Book your place now – we’ll see you there.

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