Canon: why we pounced on Harbour IT

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09-September-2014

Canon: why we pounced on Harbour IT

Article by William Maher in CRN: http://www.crn.com.au/News/396227,canon-why-we-pounced-on-harbour-it.aspx

Senior Canon exec Craig Manson lays out cloud vision.

Canon hopes to use its majority stake in major Australian services provider Harbour IT to create a cloud-based workflow automation platform, director of Canon business services Craig Manson has told CRN.

The plan would see the service resold by Harbour IT to the integrator’s extensive customer base and potentially by Canon’s reseller community in Australia.

The deal, which will see the 180-person Sydney integrator become part of Canon on 1 October, follows significant growth for Canon in the workflow automation space.

While Manson said while print revenues were not in decline, they weren’t currently growing either. One area of future growth is in workflow automation and cloud services.

“[Workflow automation] now represents over 20 percent of our turnover. We’re keen to explore that further,” Manson said.

“We believe storing things in the cloud is one thing. But managing it, making it accessible…we’ve got the ability to do that with our solutions package.”

For example, Canon’s current platform allows invoices to be scanned and stored using the products Iris and Therefore, then made available throughout a company for approval by staff. This process could be connected to the cloud by Harbour IT.

“We can have that all cloud based. Even if you’re on the road you can tap into that and approve that online. Most applications now, you need to be connected to the network, which with our solution you won’t need to be,” Manson said.

“We use it for accounts payable, legal and HR using Therefore, which Harbour IT can and will store in the cloud and will be a service available to their customers.” The system can also be used for onboarding staff and Canon is also looking at tax.

There could be an upside for Canon’s partners.

“Most of our channel is regionally based. We believe there is a big opportunity. There’s no reason why they can’t resell what Harbour IT can provide…Workflow in the cloud – there’s no reason why our channel couldn’t repackage that up and resell that,” Manson said.

As for Harbour IT’s extensive roster of partner, including Cisco, IBM, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft, Manson said he doesn’t “really see us getting engaged and taking that to our partners.”

Despite the many vendors in Harbour IT’s portfolio, he said there wasn’t any competition. “There’s nothing really competing. Everything is actually complimentary in our view.

No staff are being cut at Harbour IT, nor will there be any change to management. “Our view is not to get in there and disrupt their business in any way shape and form,” Manson said.

Read more: http://www.crn.com.au/News/396227,canon-why-we-pounced-on-harbour-it.aspx#ixzz3Egue4nTY

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Author: William Maher: CRN

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