Konica Minolta announces successful pilot of its new AIRe Link tool for remote visual support

| 29 July 2020

Konica Minolta Business Solutions UK Ltd (Konica Minolta) is pleased to announce the successful pilot of its new remote visual support tool, AIRe Link. AIRe Link enables companies to identify or solve problems on their print devices themselves, whilst being supported directly by Konica Minolta remotely, and has saved more than 1,000 on-site customer visits across Europe during the first four months of internal pilot usage.

As with many other manufacturing organisations, Konica Minolta’s service and support was heavily affected by travel restrictions over the past four months due to COVID-19. The situation accelerated the development and pilot testing of AIRe Link, a tool for remote visual support being developed by the Konica Minolta Business Innovation Centre as part of intelligent connected workplace solutions. Konica Minolta is now offering the beta version of the tool free of charge to external companies, so they can also solve issues remotely when supporting their clients.

As a cloud solution, AIRe Link enables a technical specialist to see what the customer sees, using the camera from the customer’s smartphone or tablet. Rather than installing an application or creating an account, the customer need only click on an invitation link received via SMS and a session opens in their browser. The technical specialist can also use a live pointer or drawing in the snapshot of the customer scene, providing visual navigation during issue analysis and when guiding the customer through the correction procedure.

Using AIRe Link results in the faster identification of issues and very often the remote resolution of problems, helping technicians with less travel, faster troubleshooting, cost reduction and saving in CO2 emissions. It also significantly improves customer satisfaction and safeguards the well-being of service employees.

Nick Ranson, UK Director of Value Added Services, Konica Minolta Business Solutions UK, comments, “We continually focus on improving the service we provide and this is no different during the current restrictions. AIRe LINK enables us to not only improve uptime for our customers, but also to continue engaging with them directly and safely, in the new normal where physical interaction isn’t possible.”

Helping customers with AIRe Link

Gurney Ghathory from Konica Minolta’s customer Rayprograghics Ltd, United Kingdom, describes his positive experience with AIRe Link: “After reporting an issue on the Konica Minolta Production Print device, I was asked to use AIRe Link to show sample prints to the Konica Minolta technician. He guided me through some troubleshooting procedures and was able to diagnose a part which needed replacement. As the fault diagnosis was already carried out remotely and the technician already knew exactly which spare part was required, my machine could be fixed directly on the first visit. AIRe Link was incredibly quick and easy to use.”

After proving its benefits and stability within a closed beta version, Konica Minolta decided to accelerate the development of AIRe Link, and is currently deploying the solution with service teams across Europe. The aim is to increase the efficiency of the Konica Minolta Service and Support Department, whilst ensuring business continuity for the company and its customers, in case of restrictions that do not allow onsite customer visits.

Nick Ranson adds, “AIRe Link is the perfect supplement to our service management toolbox. It enables us to increase the uptime of customers' infrastructure while optimising our processes. We are also using this tool to increase the knowledge transfer between our service task forces.”

Broader applications for AIRe Link

In addition to detecting malfunctions on MFP or Production Print devices, Konica Minolta is also offering the AIRe Link tool as an open beta solution free of charge to its customers, partners and external companies.

It can also be used for devices or machines in other industries, as the following example of its customer Bruker highlights. Bruker is a global company with 6,000 employees, supplying high-performance scientific instruments and high-value analytical and diagnostic solutions, which enable scientists to explore life and materials at molecular, cellular and microscopic levels.

One of Bruker’s customers in Croatia had issues with its instruments. “With AIRe Link, we were able to resolve the problem remotely and we thus saved travelling to Croatia.” says David Burian from Bruker s.r.o, Czech Republic.

“AIRe Link is helping us to save costs while increasing customer satisfaction, as they do not have to wait for a service technician. In addition, AIRe Link is actually the only way to get the instruments back into operation for our customers in restricted countries. The AIRe Link solution is easy to use and provides excellent quality of video and audio.”

All it takes for companies to start using the solution is to create a user account in the tool, which takes only a couple of minutes.

The AIRe Link initiative mirrors Konica Minolta’s evolution by offering customers intelligent connected workplace solutions, while increasing sustainability measures and promoting the well-being of employees.

The current open beta will switch to a production version in 2021.

For more information about AIRe please visit: https://www.aire.link/