1 White Paper Future Cloud Services: Ricoh s Perspective Under current unstable business conditions, where to provide management resources is important to a company s future. In such an environment, cloud services and the cloud infrastructure attract a lot of interest. The true concerns for top executives today and for the future is whether services that affect the business processes of their company and activities of their employees can be provided at a reasonable cost. And are they ready to be used? Thus, Ricoh will provide the services that go hand in hand with customers situations in an attempt to become our customers best partner. March 14, 2012 Version 1.0.0
2 Table of contents 1.The Value of Cloud Services Corporate Officer s Concern under Today s Business Conditions Mobile Work Triggers the Introduction of Cloud Services.. 1 [Example: Location-free printing service] Ricoh s Policy: Customer Oriented Services 5 3. Framework of Ricoh s Cloud Services Cloud Services and Ricoh Integration and Alignment of Services Technical Framework of Ricoh s Cloud Service Architecture Ricoh Company, Ltd.
3 1. The Value of Cloud Services 1.1. Corporate Officers Concern under Today s Business Conditions Under current unstable business conditions, where to provide management resources is important to a company s future. Executives want to cut fixed costs and expenses wherever possible and to promote efficient business processes that avoid surpluses. In such an environment, cloud services and the cloud infrastructure attract a lot of interest. The focus of top executives has passed through various stages, from what is a cloud service and whether it is really effective to whether it is safe if used and if security is up to the task. That focus is now moving to the stage of inviting concrete proposals to clarify which services will deliver quantitatively for the company. The time to argue about cloud services in general terms has passed. The true concerns for top executives today and for the future is whether services that affect the business processes of their company and activities of their employees can be provided at a reasonable cost. And are they ready to be used? 1.2. Mobile Work Triggers the Introduction of Cloud Services You may wonder in which area of your business cloud services may be required and prove effective. You will soon find that the way employees work has changed from the past. The internet and commoditized notebook PCs and portable cellular phones have, from the end of the 20th century, made it possible, technically, to access company information without being physically present in the office. We can call this the mobile work style 1. The appearance of still newer devices, such as smartphones and tablet PCs in recent years, is accelerating diffusion of the mobile work style. The trend toward using private smartphones and tablet PCs for business has begun 2. Once people and enterprises have adopted the mobile work style using these new 1 The way of work to accomplish a task without being bound to an office, even at the travel destination, also in the same level as in an office. 2 The trend is called BYOD (Bring Your Own Device: i.e., you may bring in your own devices for use in the office). It has become difficult for IT divisions to ignore this trend Ricoh Company, Ltd.
4 devices, they will want increased efficiency and will expect to be able to produce work on the road that equals what they produce in the office. The age has arrived in which the home office saves time wasted in commuting or being transferred to other venues. The latest research 3 reveals that mobility becomes management s number one concern beyond security. In the enterprise of the future, it will become important to design and operate a business process to respond to different ways of working, such as the mobile work style introduced here. Services that are available anywhere and at any time, with a few restrictions on the place and time they can be accessed, will become increasingly important as workers become more mobile. Services that are available only on in-house closed networks or LANs will not suffice. Customer satisfaction will fall if the worker has to return to the office to resolve an issue or access information. And in an enterprise where the flexibility of information access is high, to improve operating efficiency, on-the-spot access to information is needed to respond to a customer s immediate request. The great advantage of cloud services, beyond reduced cost as there are no fixed assets, is that business can be advanced without worrying about place or time. Services are available anywhere and at any time. Enterprises that use the cloud and respond quickly to the mobile work style stream may increase competitive power. Enterprises who miss the stream may be weakened as they fail to adapt to the new age. With this in mind, we d like to introduce some examples of the "available anywhere at any time" cloud services that will be actively provided by Ricoh. [Example: Location-free printing service] In enterprises with many branch offices and business locations throughout the country, frequent business trips for meetings or negotiations are common. Ricoh s portable video conference system, which integrates video, voice, and documents, make it possible to organize remote conferences at a low cost and without travel. There are times, however, when face to face meetings and negotiations are a must. 3 Based on a survey by InfoTrends Ricoh Company, Ltd.
5 At such times, the need to print documents at the trip destination often arises. There are cases, however, in which connecting an alien PC with the network at the trip destination is forbidden or encounters difficult security issues. There is also the problem of printer drivers. Even if connection is allowed, immediate printing is blocked in many cases. You may also feel a little shy about asking to use the printer of a stranger. We anticipate that enterprises will install a multifunction copier for visitors at the reception desk of each business location, branch office, or at a corner in the office. The purpose is to enable business visitors to print and scan, as necessary, through a network connected with the multifunction copier. This is done without installing drivers and is independent from the backbone network. Such a setup ensures security and leads to a simple way of charging and deciding who bears the cost. Business visitors will no longer need to prepare and bring many copies. It will lower the risk of losing important information while eliminating extra bags on the road. The bottom line is that the time and effort for printing at the destination will be minimized. With Ricoh s "location free printing," business visitors merely need to send the file for printing from their own terminals (notebook PC, smartphone, tablet PC, etc.) to the printer server as an attachment to an . The visitor can easily and safely print or output from the operation panel of the multifunction copier prepared for visitors (akin to removing something from a drawer Figure 1). Beyond that, the visitor can upload files to the Ricoh web site, eliminating the need to bring data saved on a personal terminal during the trip, thereby securing printing and output Ricoh Company, Ltd.
6 <Figure 1: Basic concept of location-free printing> Printing is not the only application. Others include scanning, projecting, and digitizing hand-drawn images, all provided by Ricoh and available in the cloud These services are what Ricoh provides as new customer values. Ricoh knows the ins and outs of customer businesses and environments, having developed and maintained many devices over the years. The Ricoh mission is to yield new values in human affiliations and to sustain those values Ricoh Company, Ltd.
7 2. Ricoh s Policy: Customer Oriented Services So far, we have introduced "location-free" services, which support the mobile work style; these employ capabilities only cloud services can offer. At this point, we would like to sum up the points Ricoh considers important in successfully providing Cloud services. First is our posture: The fundamental view of Ricoh is that we shall provide services to support our customers core business processes so they can be conducted without stress. This view is in the Ricoh DNA. With over a half century of developing and supporting copiers and facsimiles, we treat the documents that support business processes behind the scenes. In evolving future service businesses, we will keep the same view in nurturing and supporting customers. Our posture to support customers core business processes is the Ricoh fortune. Second is the shape: What shape should the services to support customers business processes take? If the service can t be provided anywhere other than the cloud, we will, of course, provide it as a cloud service. Many of the services to support the mobile work style have a high affinity with the cloud. However, there are, and will continue to be, many solutions and services that offer business advantages without depending on the cloud. They existed before and will continue to exist. In these cases, we will provide them as on-premise 4 services. The right of choice, whether to use a service on the cloud or on premises, lies with the customer. We will provide services in the optimum shape the customer desires, without being bound to the cloud. This is the second point of view of Ricoh s service business. This is a natural viewpoint of the customer. Cloud is only a means, not a purpose, so the customer should use optimal services. Taking our first case example of "location free printing," if the server to do the process is installed and managed in-house, the use is on premises. For example, if a server is installed in every business location, printing and scanning can be done in a specific business location, but not in other business locations or branch offices. On 4 The form where the customer uses a server installed in their network environment Ricoh Company, Ltd.
8 the other hand, if the server is on the cloud managed by the Ricoh data center, it will provide cloud services. The difference is shown in Figure 2. There are advantages and disadvantages. It is important to propose and provide services according to customer requirements. <Figure 2: Using on-premises server in a business location (left) and using Cloud service (right) > Third is one-stop service: the advantage of the service business in Ricoh s mind is that we can provide services not only on the cloud or on premises, but also the total system that includes the office equipment and human support in one stop. Some customers want to manage everything in their own IT division, including server management and usage summaries. Other customers want to outsource services to Ricoh, and others want to entrust us with even their operational management. Cloud services are an important new option. Ricoh s special features are especially appreciated. Taking the previous example, building and providing location-free cloud services are new activities for Ricoh as well. Nevertheless, because we can provide complete services in one stop, covering the coalition of Ricoh hardware devices with the cloud, manual maintenance services of the devices and various peripheral services that require time and effort, we are the only game in town. Our background of maintaining conventional copiers uniquely qualifies us. That completes our explanation of the three points Ricoh emphasizes for its services. The following explains the overall framework of services Ricoh Company, Ltd.
9 3. Framework of Ricoh s Cloud Services 3.1 Cloud Services and Ricoh We should first answer a question that must be in everyone s mind at this point: why should Ricoh provide cloud services? Aren t cloud services the province of computer companies, or companies who provide solutions and software? Ricoh has, in fact, provided cloud services for many years. Ricoh provided DocumentMal 5, a storage and management-service of scanned documents, before other companies in the same trade in the U.S. from about ten years ago. Beyond that, we have achieved and presently use supervising structure to manage multifunction copiers and printers installed at customers sites as a cloud service to increase the efficiency of Ricoh s business, and to improve our value to the customer. A Ricoh target is to enhance and provide services ever higher in customer value, based on what we have achieved in cloud services over ten years. It is not possible, of course, for Ricoh to provide all the services the customer wants, and our services may not be the best, even if possible. We are considering providing optimum services that include a coalition between services, which is a further feature of the Cloud. Ricoh has promoted activities to build worthy services, together with customers, listening to the customer s voice. The "location-free printing" service is also an outgrowth of our customer-voice development. This is the first example of a coalition service with image equipment, the first of many to come in the cloud era Ricoh Company, Ltd.
10 <Figure 3: Scope-of-business of the products and services targeted by Ricoh> However, it is impossible for Ricoh alone to fulfill all desires of diversified customers for other than image equipment-related services. On the other hand, the advantage of Ricoh s service, as already stated, is that we can provide one-stop services, impossible for other companies. We are able to do this by using the advantages cultivated by Ricoh s staff actually visiting customers offices. Capitalizing on this advantage, Ricoh will introduce various services found useful for customers businesses, and services of selected partner companies, as a one-stop reception service. The company will provide various services developed by Ricoh in coordination with those services. This will enable the customer to select useful services from among them for their business processes or employees activities, and to access and use them. The following briefly introduces the concept of coalition with services. 3.2 Integration and Alignment of Services In accessing cloud services, "authentication" presents a big problem. It is very important from the standpoint of security, and also of general management, whether the person attempting access is qualified and if that person is the one who is authorized access Ricoh Company, Ltd.
11 Major companies or advanced enterprises have an established business process that includes authentication for in-house systems. That being the case, many customers want to use their own authentication procedures for external cloud services. In response, we will provide a system to enable Ricoh s cloud service operations to work in coordination with the authentication system of the customer. Conversely, for customers without their own system, we plan to enable the use of Ricoh s ID/password for authentication with cloud services. This will also apply for services of Ricoh s partner companies for one-stop portal services. It is Ricoh s stance not to stick to in-house development and to readily select and adopt more excellent "authentication" services if they exist, based on past records and reliability. Ricoh s passion is to provide the best services for the customer, working together with partners. The following briefly explains new advantages offered by the coalition of services. SOA 6 is an industry-standards structure for the service coalition that includes cloud services. The structure is proposed and used to make it easy to collaborate with other services if the interface of the service is in conformance. Using this, the complex services to combine multiple services can be easily achieved. In developing service modules, Ricoh fundamentally works to provide services that comply with SOA. Exploiting cloud services through a coalition is easy, so services effective for the customer can be used at comparatively low cost and can be continually improved. That is because individual modules are structured to be easy to use, combined in outstanding cloud services. Let s look at a concrete example to show the effect. Imagine the case where you digitize a written application form received from the customer at the dealer s shop front, using the scanning function of a multifunction copier, and send the file to the storage service (data storage services) on the cloud to be saved there. At this time, when you process the document with OCR (character recognition) provided as another service, the characters part of the application form will be recognized and converted to data. If you link this data to the above electronic file of 6 Service Oriented Architecture: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
12 the scan saved to a directory on the cloud, the person in charge of the next step in the process can browse the data. Retrieval becomes simple and the time and effort for data re-entry is reduced. Increased efficiency of the document workflow is achieved by combining the service to scan a document or digitize it, and to store it with OCR processing. In this way, using a coalition of services delivers the same effect as developing a new tool that combines the services. In this example, if another OCR processing service is found to be clearly excellent, it is easy to change to that module. And if the same service is enhanced, for example, for Chinese in addition to Japanese and English in the original version, you will be able to add Chinese. Services of the latest level can now be used quickly. As we see from this example, cloud services, beyond the advantage of reducing cost, allow "use without possession." Cloud services have the excellent feature that "flexibility and scalability" are readily incorporated for users to enjoy new advantages, seen from the user s side, by combining effective services to suit the purpose. Using this feature well yields big advantages. 3.3 Technical Framework of Ricoh s Cloud Service Architecture As we saw earlier, Ricoh knows that it cannot provide all such effects alone. Ricoh seeks to provide clearly effective service modules as cloud services multiply. We will then link them with other valuable services provided by partners to propose and deliver double value. Many times the customer is using a cloud application of an IT system vendor and they want to use Ricoh s multifunction copier or printer for input/output to and from its services. Ricoh would rather leave the application with the IT system vendor, which is its area of strength. Ricoh will then provide services related to the image equipment, Ricoh s area of strength. Beyond that, Ricoh will, of course, provide services related to new office devices, such as our portable video conference system and a projector developed by Ricoh. We also will provide the managed document service (MDS) deployed by Ricoh. Customers who purchased or introduced office equipment, personal computers and Ricoh Company, Ltd.
13 software from Ricoh are eligible for operation monitoring and management services covering the whole IT environment, by combining services on the cloud with human services. <Figure 4: Technical framework of providing Ricoh s cloud service> We also intend to support the development and provision of distinguished services of partner enterprises by providing them API 7 of the utility group. These are indispensable in business processes, such as customer management, usage situation management, and billing and collection, using a part of Ricoh s planned cloud infrastructure. In the future, Ricoh will provide a portal for cloud services to support the whole IT environment in one stop. This will include the supervision and monitoring of Ricoh device usage. Customers will be able to select, purchase and use various services effective for their business with one stop. Usable services will include some provided by Ricoh and others by Ricoh partners. Thus, Ricoh will provide the services that go hand in hand with customers situations in an attempt to become our customers best partner. 7 Application Program Interface * Android is a trademark of Google Inc Ricoh Company, Ltd.