Canon launches outsourcing arm in Asia

Imaging giant's communications and document outsourcing arm, Canon Business Services rolls out in Singapore, eyeing opportunities from country's labor and productivity challenges.

Canon Business Services, the communications and document outsourcing arm of Canon, paves way into Asia as it launches in Singapore.

SINGAPORE--Canon has launched Canon Business Services (CBS), its communications and document outsourcing arm in the island-state, as the business makes its way into Asia to help the island-state's companies focus on their core operations.

This is the imaging giant's outsourcing arm's first launch in Asia, as it is already operational in Europe, North America and Australia, Kensaku Konishi, president and CEO of Canon Singapore, said at a press briefing here Thursday.

Canon Business Services enables companies to outsource five broad areas: business critical communication services, business process, digital process and workplace services and integrated document services, and was formed globally when Canon acquired Dutch printer maker Océ back in 2009

Konishi explained organizations in Singapore are plagued with issues of labor shortages and productivity, and the pressure to increase productivity and drive innovation. By outsourcing their day-to-day operations such as mailroom operations and document management to CBS, companies can focus on their core businesses for growth and innovation , he explained.

According to Konishi, Singapore was chosen as the first country for its Asian launch, as it had the strongest customer base and network of C-level executives, while the country's national themes are innovation and efficiency, so it would be easier to engage them with CBS.

Various Singapore firms had also showed an "unbelievable amount of interest" in CBS, Lim Kok Hin, head of Canon Singapore's domestic operations, who will spearhead Canon Business Services in the country, observed. However, he declined to named specific firms as there could be "negative effects" on their staff.

Other than Singapore, Canon has already started "consolidating its business" in India and preparing for its launch, Konishi said. Within 2013, the company will also expand to Hong Kong and Malaysia, he added.

Customization, upgrading and security benefits
Lim noted even though Canon would be starting its outsourcing arm from scratch, CBS would already have experience from working in other continents, and would make their outsourcing solutions more relevant in a local context.

Not all services of CBS will be launched at the same time however, Lim pointed out. "[Canon] needs to understand local corporations here and what they need. We want to focus on areas with the biggest market potential and where we can deliver," he said.

Employees in Singapore can also benefit in terms of gaining skills and knowledge of managing these day-to-day functions, Lim added. For example, if a company outsources eight to ten mailroom accounts to CBS, those who are recruited and deployed to manage these services can gain better knowledge or skills in managing digital or analog mailrooms, he noted.

Mark Euwe, executive vice president of Canon Business Services, also acknowledged since the company will be managing mail services and digital invoices, it will ensure proper security measures are in place to safeguard its customers.

He explained CBS will work on obtaining quality certificates needed for outsourcing, but was unable to name specific certificates however, as different verticals have different certified requirements. The healthcare industry for instance, has different security certificate requirements compared to the financial industry, he pointed out.

Canon Business Services' offerings (Source: Canon)



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