OKI touts DICOM embedded printers

Mark Thompson, sales director – Africa at OKI META, talks about how the company is growing its business with the DICOM embedded printer range.

Tags: OKI Europe (www.oki.com)OKI Europe (www.oki.com/eu/printing/)
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OKI touts DICOM embedded printers Mark Thompson, sales director – Africa at OKI META.
By  Manda Banda Published  May 13, 2018

CHANNEL: Talk us through OKI DICOM embedded printers and how these are being adopted in the Middle East market?

MARK THOMPSON: OKI's range of DICOM printers come embedded with software and can connect easily to any medical imaging equipment. Both the colour and mono DICOM embedded printers produce high-quality non-diagnostic images on a wide range of media. Although the range is widely used in the medical field, these printers are also ideal for day-to-day A4 or A3 office printing such as letters, forms and medical reports.These printers are recommended for usage in nuclear medicine, CT/MRI scans, ultrasound and X-rays. At the same time they are suitable for ordinary office use, facilitating medical and ordinary print-outs from a single device, saving space and reducing the cost of maintenance and supplies.

Which market vertical are ideal for OKI DICOM embedded printers?

MT: The digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) protocol is used globally for the management, storage, transmission and printing of medical material. OKI's new printer range fully incorporates the DICOM protocol, and requires no further installation of external drivers or print servers. The OKI DICOM embedded printers offer customers robust, flexible and ease of use and are ideal for the healthcare sector including hospitals and clinics, as well as for dental and veterinarian clinics. These printers can print medical files including X-rays, MRIs, and ultrasound scans in high definition, for uses such as patient records kept by doctors, or for the patient's own copy of their medical records, and other non-diagnostic purposes. We have seen an increase in the uptake of these printers in Algeria, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa.

What is OKI doing in terms of training and equipping partners to be able to sell and implement these printers in a customer environment?

MT: As a vendor that works entirely through channel partners across the Middle East and Africa, we are equipping and enabling our solution provider partners with training and certification programmes. The typical partners that we work with are the big medical equipment partners and not ordinary resellers. The training has some certification theatre and all the big medical equipment partners have met the certification requires with us.


Why are OKI DICOM embedded printers in demand in the Middle East and what's driving this demand?

MT: As margins on IT hardware and peripherals continue to be squeezed, OKI's array of DICOM embedded printers offer our channel partners the opportunity to earn healthy margins especially on consumables and that's very advantageous and fuelling the demand. In addition, the fact that most of our operations are in-country and within the reach of most end user customers that are channel partners serve, this ensures stock availability all the time. Lastly, the fact that these printers can print high-quality non-diagnostic images on a wide range of media, there is no need for film printing something that's very important especially in some countries across Africa.


Briefly outline any channel programmes you are rolling out to incentivise partners that resell OKI DICOM embedded printers?

MT: Because the company is in a growth phase across the region, we are conducting and providing training on an ad hoc basis and when needed by our channel partners. In Algeria for example, we have two partners each with over 50 OKI devices and providing training would normally take four days. As pointed out that our channel partners are specialist medical equipment suppliers, we work closely with them throughout the sales cycle to ensure that they explain to their customers the advantages our DICOM embedded printers can give them in terms of return on investment and total cost savings from printing.


Which countries are key for OKI's growth with DICOM embedded printer array in the Middle East?

MT: In the MEA market, we have seen demand and a major acceptance of our DICOM printer portfolio in government hospitals right through to smaller clinics. Most government hospitals are budget driven and very conscious of spending.

The secure printing software from OKI enables healthcare professionals and clinicians to store documents on the printer, access and print them securely, and automatically delete printed documents. These digitised prescription processing save time and money and drives operational efficiencies something most healthcare providers are striving to achieve.

In addition, clinical collaborative solutions enable healthcare providers to create patient-centric records without disrupting departmental workflow. OKI DICOM-embedded printers support this transition from film and paper to picture archiving and communication systems (PACS).


What competitive edge do OKI DICOM embedded printers offer channel partners and their end user customers?

MT: While there are many printers from competitor brands that are used in the medical imaging field, only OKI has the range of printers that are embedded with software and can connect easily to any medical imaging equipment without requiring further installation of external drivers or print servers. This is a huge advantage that our channel partners have in the market.


What does the year ahead hold for OKI and its channel partners, and why should resellers work with the company in 2018?

MT: Our new financial year (FY) started in April and we are looking to grow our business by 60% this FY. We will be pursuing healthy growth with our channel partners while at the same time simplifying how we help end users to reduce their printing costs with our DICOM software embedded printer portfolio. We will work closely with our channel partners especially in Africa to drive demand of our printer range. We believe we have a healthy business pipeline and that's our competitive edge.


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