BTA Hosts Patent Issues Industry Summit Tuesday, March 19, 2013 (continued)
... entities that seek to enforce a patent, but neither make a product or perform a service. Their sole purpose is to enforce a patent that, very often, they did not file originally. The "Patent Issues Industry Summit" was moderated by BTA General Counsel Bob Goldberg.
"Our images are being tarnished by this whole process," Goldberg said in his introductory remarks. "When end users receive these letters, we don't look as professional and as reputable as we are; that is a problem for the dealer community and for the manufacturer community."
The letters referenced by Goldberg have become commonplace in the industry in recent weeks. Specifically, many BTA member dealers have reported to BTA inquiries they have received from their customers. The customers have shared letters received from law firms and others alleging they are violating various patents by scanning documents on an MFP and having them sent automatically to an email account. The letters, sent by or on behalf of various licensing agents, seek license fees based upon employee count. Fees demanded vary, but the average is $1,000.
A sample letter from an attorney sent to an end user, shared with a dealer and ultimately with BTA, illustrates the nature of the situation. The letter cites U.S. patents related to "systems that, among other things, permit scanning a document and have it automatically sent over a local area network to an email account." The letter, which lists four specific U.S. patents by number, indicates it is a follow-up to an earlier letter for which a reply was never received. The follow-up letter states, in part: "Having not heard from you, our client reasonably assumes you do have an infringing system and need a license."
During the industry summit, Goldberg noted that two patents are most often cited in the letters received by end users: 7,986,426 (2011) and 7,477,410 (2009). He questioned the veracity of any claim made that end users are infringing on patents simply by using an MFP to scan documents. He said he has read the patents and found them to be "tremendously difficult to understand." Likewise, a patent attorney and engineer asked by Goldberg to read the patents shared his assessment. Although yet to be legally established, the intent of the summit, in part, was to question whether the patents were valid and enforceable, given that several companies have protected similar technology and patented it in the 1980s and 1990s
Meanwhile, Goldberg said, with letters "going out in the thousands," some end users "terrorized" by claims of patent infringement are opting to capitulate. He cited the scenario of a local attorney who provides an estimate on the cost to defend the alleged patent infringement and the end user who finds its more appealing to simply settle, paying licensing fees. That allows the patent trolls to tell additional "potential victims, 'Others have settled, recognizing our claims,'" he explained. "The more money that is given to these trolls, the better financed they are to do this. It is up to the industry to educate end users and stop this."
Konica Minolta Receives 2013 “A3 MFP Line of the Year" Award from BLI
Senior Vice President, Marketing
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.
Date: January 31, 2013
To: Konica Minolta Valued Dealer Partners
Buyers Laboratory LLC has for
the third consecutive year named Konica Minolta 2013 "Line of the Year"
award winner in the A3/Ledger MFP segment. Konica Minolta also earned
three additional “Pick” awards for the bizhub C364, C454 and C554 A3
I am pleased to announce that Buyers Laboratory LLC. (BLI) has for the third consecutive year named Konica Minolta 2013 "Line of the Year" award winner in the A3/Ledger MFP segment. Konica Minolta also earned three additional “Pick” awards for the bizhub C364, C454 and C554 A3 Color MFPs. Awarded annually to the OEM whose product line is determined to be the best overall in its category, the “Line of the Year” Award is based on the cumulative test results of all models tested in BLI's rigorous two-month laboratory evaluation. By assessing reliability, image quality, ease of use, productivity and a range of other criteria, the tests reveal the products that deliver customers the best value and most trouble-free performance.
Here is what George Mikolay, senior product editor, A3/Copier MFPs for BLI had to say about this recognition:
“The Konica Minolta bizhub family proves exemplary year after year. Earning more ‘Pick’ awards than any other vendor for individual A3 MFPs, Konica Minolta’s reliability throughout its line is a true differentiator.”
As with all Konica Minolta awards, I urge you to share this recognition with your customers and prospects as appropriate, and as always, thank you for your continued support.
Systel Business Equipment Wins The Week In Imaging's Elite Dealer Award
If one were to judge Systel on what they’ve done with their printing
operation they’d be easily considered Elite. However, that’s just one of
the qualities that place them in the upper pantheon of independent
dealers. Now they’re using that as a foundation to expand their
traditional office technology business into production print.
Download/Read the Full Article
Systel's Outstanding Service
Systel came in to our facility with an open mind and thought process to
clearly evaluate our needs. I explained at the beginning that our
company had experienced several recent management changes and that I
credit rating was not stellar, however, we were moving forward in a
positive direction. Jeff assured me that he had already checked our
condition and he understood our condition but Systel would be willing to
working with us as a partner as we rebounded going forward. That was
very reassuring for me since I had only been with the company for a
short period of time.
A survey of all current equipment being used
including actual usage was conducted. I was then provided a detailed
report with cost analysis to clearly showing our current cost and what
equipment that could be provided to improvement our cost and greatly
improve our efficiency. The report made it very easy to ROI by changing
Installation and training – Once we agreed
upon our actual needs Systel provided extremely quick response of
equipment ordering and installation. Your staff was very professional
and helpful in set-up, installation, and training with equipment that
was light years beyond what our staff had been using.
Service after the sale – Systel has
been proactive in responding to the minimal issues we have experienced
since installation of the equipment. I could not ask for any better
support over the phone or in person.
Executive VP of Operations
Cape Fear Profile: Keith Allison remains dedicated to adopted home
Published Sun May 27, 2012
By Michael Futch
Keith Allison was 26 years old when he started a copier machines company with $10,000 on his credit cards and a little money from his mother.
It was the early 1980s, when the U.S. was mired in recession. But within a few years, Allison's Systel Business Equipment was ranked one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S., earning millions in revenue.
"We got started pretty quick out of the gates with seven employees," Allison said. "We were doing $40,000 and $50,000 a month in revenue. That pales in comparison to what we do now.
Three decades later, Systel takes in more than $50 million in annual
sales and employs 255 people at 11 locations across the Southeast. The
company continues to grow with the recent purchase of a Cumberland
County shell building that will serve as a new distribution center. And
Allison has earned a reputation nationally as a leader in his industry.
Those who know Allison describe him as an exceptionally organized and
driven businessman who's often still working in his Fort Bragg Road
office long after 5 p.m.
But while his success has brought him wealth and the opportunity to
move to larger markets, he remains dedicated to the city he adopted
"I would say he's one of our city's leading citizens," said Bill
Hurley, a former mayor and longtime friend. "I would put him in the top
five. It's because of who he is and what he has contributed to the
general well-being of our community. His success reflects someone who
takes an opportunity and moves ahead with it. He's highly respected by
The company is the Southeast's largest independent dealer of office automation equipment.
Systel sells, services and leases copiers, printers and other office
equipment, as well as provides document management services. Large
corporate, government and military clients make up the bulk of the
"One (copier) is going in the White House," Allison said, "and it belongs to us."
Dennis Keith Allison was born 58 years ago in the North Carolina
mountain town of Hendersonville, the son of a Southern Baptist minister.
"I sat in many a tent revival and many a service," he remembers.
Besides preaching, William Allison worked for General Electric. The
family moved to Oregon when relatives got jobs in logging, but the
Allisons returned to Hendersonville as Keith was starting his last year
of high school.
As a student, he didn't take schoolwork seriously. Allison was more
interested in working and earning money. He liked rebuilding cars, and
he worked at a car wash.
"I can't remember whether I opened a book in high school or not," he
said, "which made it hard for me to get into college. I think I had a
strong D average."
In 1977, after graduating from Appalachian State University with a
degree in accounting and finance, he moved to Fayetteville to work for
Dan Barker, who ran a certified public accountant firm in the city.
Allison's roommate in Fayetteville was Cary Butler, who sold copiers for his brother-in-law.
"He made about twice what I did in copiers," Allison said. "It seemed
like he didn't work half the hours I did and got paid twice the money."
At 26, Allison started Systel.
Sales climbed from $485,000 in 1982 to more than $5 million in 1986,
enough to land the business on Inc. magazine's 1987 list of
fastest-growing private companies. That industry recognition set the
stage for Systel, Allison said.
"My goals were to be the top in the industry in our country," he
said. "I've been fortunate. Manufacturers have kept me on their advisory
boards. I got to know the best of the best, and I guess that's why they
recognized me as one of the top 40 in the industry in influence. I've
been around. When you start out 23 years old in business - I've already
lived a lifetime, and I have a lifetime to go."
Allison met Hurley when he got involved in Hurley's campaign for
mayor in the early '80s, and he has remained involved in political
fundraising ever since.
Hurley said it's Allison's attention to detail and background in accounting that have contributed to Systel's success.
"He has the vision to see opportunities that will develop in the
future to his advantage," he said. "He has a good sense for people and
Jerry Dean, who was Allison's banker for years at Wachovia, continues
to do business with him as market president for VantageSouth Bank.
"He's a man of his word," Dean said. "I've never done a transaction
with Keith where I felt like I needed to have him sign something in
advance on a loan closing. When you leave a meeting with Keith, it's
apparent he has thought it through. He keeps it really organized in all
his financial business dealings. There's nothing left. That's different
from a lot of people. He's a large company - he has to have it. He's on
top of everything."
And he loves a challenge, said Billy West, the Cumberland County
district attorney, who has known Allison for more than two decades.
"He's kind of a self-made man," West said. "He's a very hard worker. I
think that's what people don't see a lot. If I need to get up with him,
I'll call him at 7 at night because I know he's going to be sitting
there in his office on Fort Bragg Road."
At the same time, West said, his friend understands the importance of community involvement.
Allison is former president of the Fayetteville Police Foundation, a
nonprofit organization he helped spearhead three years ago to support
the city police.
The foundation helps provide funding for awards, banquets, retirement
parties, the annual Christmas party and other needs, West said, that
aren't funded in the Police Department budget.
"Keith had seen this in other towns and decided we needed one in
Fayetteville," West said. "To my knowledge, he has not sought any public
acknowledgement for that."
Allison said he could have relocated his company headquarters to Charlotte or Raleigh, but he has kept Fayetteville his home.
It's a city where the tallest building bears the Systel name - the
former Wachovia building on Green Street, which Allison purchased in
"Keith has a history of being able to recognize property like that,
and turn them into an asset," Hurley said. "This was very good for the
city, in general, because it was in disrepair. As a community guy, he's
just involved in everything. He's very generous with nonprofits and with
On May 11, Allison's company completed the $1.5 million purchase of
the vacant 125,000-square-foot shell building off Tom Starling Road.
The company plans to open a new distribution center at the 34-acre
site, which was purchased from the Fayetteville-Cumberland County
Chamber of Commerce.
Systel will use the property to meet all its warehouse needs. At the
same time, the facility will allow room for anticipated growth and the
creation of jobs, according to the company.
Systel operates three distribution centers for machines, equipment
and supplies in Fayetteville. Those are on Fort Bragg Road, Ramsey
Street and Sycamore Dairy Road.
"We need to consolidate that," Allison said. "Also, we have
partnerships with Hewlett-Packard, the military, the state of North
Much of Systel's growth, he said, has come from the military over the
past three years. Systel has won large government contracts with
military commands on Fort Bragg, Pope Airfield, Camp Lejeune and Cherry
Point Marine Corps Air Station. The company has partnered with
Hewlett-Packard to win the convenience contract for managed print
services for the state of North Carolina.
During the most recent recession, as many companies suffered, Systel
has experienced more than 35 percent growth, Allison said. He is working
on four new acquisitions, too.
He lists several reasons why Systel has expanded during a sluggish economy.
Many of its target market customers are mid- to large-size companies,
which have concentrated on cost-cutting, efficiencies and savings.
Systel worked with those businesses on efficiencies and making their
staffs and operations more productive.
"In our business," Allison said, "if you don't grow, you shrink. You
seem to have more opportunities in recessionary times if you're able to
take advantage of them."
Work: President and CEO of Systel Business Equipment Co. Inc.
Born: March 5, 1954, in Hendersonville
Family: Wife, Kimberly; daughters Janene Aul, Jacqueline Smith and Cara Spencer
Organizations: Former president of Fayetteville Police Foundation;
executive board member and trustee, Methodist University; former member
of Fayetteville State University Business Advisory Board and FSU
Foundation board, 2000-2005; Hewlett-Packard and Konica Minolta national
advisory boards; former vice chairman and finance chairman of
Cumberland County Civic Center Commission; adviser to former N.C. Gov.
Jim Martin, 1989-1992; Ricoh's National Executive Steering Committee,
Southern Region, 1998-2009
Education: Bachelor's in accounting and finance, Blue Ridge Technical
Institute and Appalachian State University, 1973-1977; East Henderson
High School, 1972
Staff writer Michael Futch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 486-3529.
Systel secures 125,000 SF for a Distribution Center in Fayetteville, NC
Fayetteville, NC, April 13, 2012 – Systel Business Equipment has plans to open a new Distribution Center in Fayetteville’s well-known Shell Building located off Tom Starling Road. The location will serve as a central distribution point to serve the company’s eleven locations across the Southeast. Allison Holdings, LLC a property division of Systel, has the 125,000 SF and 34 acre property under contract with plans to close on or before May 14, 2012.
Systel’s headquarters is located in Fayetteville, NC. This building is expected to meet all of Systel’s current warehouse constraints as well as allow room for anticipated growth while creating opportunities for new jobs within the Fayetteville community. Systel currently owns or leases over 100,000 SF of warehouse space but it is spread out over multiple locations across the Southeast. Investing in this property will allow Systel to consolidate all of its warehouse facilities for more efficient order processing. Centralizing its distribution operations will also reduce equipment delivery times and improve service by eliminating or greatly reducing the number of backordered parts and supplies.
Systel has achieved over 35% growth the last three years and has plans for multiple acquisitions within their industry. This distribution center is one of many ways Systel is working diligently to put the proper infrastructure in place to accommodate its growth. Systel has achieved its growth in part by winning large government contracts with military commands on Ft. Bragg, Pope Army Airfield, NC National Guard, Camp Lejeune, and Cherry Point. Systel also recently partnered with Hewlett-Packard to win the convenience contract for Managed Print Services for the State of North Carolina. This contract alone is expected to increase Systel’s average install base by 1,000 devices per year over the next three years.
“We’ve had to acquire additional warehouse space every year to accommodate our growth. We store over $10 million worth of inventory which is currently spread out over four different locations across Fayetteville,” says Systel President & CEO, Keith Allison. “This growth has been made possible by the hard work of our Systel employees and partnering with the top manufacturers in the industry HP, Ricoh, and Konica Minolta, so we are excited about this venture and to be able to support the community that our headquarters has called home for over 30 years. Keeping our distribution site local, creating additional jobs and hopefully encouraging other major investors to look at Fayetteville are all ways we are continuing to give back to the community that has given so much to us over the last three decades.”
The Shell Building was built in 2002 as an economic development initiative to entice large corporations to bring their headquarters to the Fayetteville community. Unfortunately, the building has remained vacant and needs extensive improvements including a new roof, concrete flooring, and electrical work. Systel will be making the substantial investment in the property required to make the building a Class A Distribution Center which they expect to grow into over the next two years.
About Systel Business Equipment: Systel Business Equipment Co., Inc is a North Carolina based company with annual sales of fifty million dollars and over 250 employees. Systel is the Southeast's Largest Independent Dealer of Ricoh, Panasonic, HP, and Konica Minolta Business Products & Solutions with nine regional offices servicing the Carolinas and Georgia. In 2011, Systel was awarded for their growth and economic success with the Elite Dealer Award by The Week in Imaging and being named among NC’s Top 100 Private Companies by Grant Thornton. Systel is recognized by Ricoh Corporation as their largest dealer in the Southern United States and as only one of a few in the US to earn the designation of Managed Print Advanced Specialist by Hewlett Packard, the highest designation for sales and service on the widest selection of printing and imaging products.
Read the original article
Four Systel Branches Honored with Konica Minolta
Pro Tech Service Award
Fayetteville, NC, April 12, 2012
Systel Business Equipment’s regional offices in Hickory, Fayetteville, Greensboro, and Raleigh have all been honored with the Konica Minolta Pro-Tech Service Award since the award was announced back in 2011. Systel Hickory set the precedent for the other branches by being the first to be honored with the award in June 2011. Not to be out performed, Systel Fayetteville, Raleigh, and Greensboro have all since proven their dedication to service excellence by meeting all of the strict requirements to achieve this well-regarded award. The award recognizes Konica Minolta dealerships who demonstrate the highest commitment to customer support and satisfaction
“Providing excellent service has become increasingly important in our industry, and Konica Minolta is committed to assuring the highest performance standards across our organization,” said Vice President James Ingrassia, Solutions Support Division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. “The Pro-Tech Service Award represents Konica Minolta’s gold standard for service competence and proficiency. There is no higher honor for an authorized Konica Minolta dealer partner and Systel should be very proud of its achievement.”
The evaluation procedure is exhaustive, and achieving the Pro-Tech service standard is an immense task. In order for Systel to obtain the Pro-Tech Service award, every element of the service operation was evaluated and measured from management skills and inventory control to technical expertise and customer satisfaction. Systel’s consistent standard of excellence allowed them to excel under the evaluation.
Customers can always count on Systel Business Equipment, a recognized Pro-Tech dealer, to give their best effort, every day of the year. Every customer is offered benefits such as professional customer-oriented service department management and administration, significantly better-than-industry-average service response times, and preventative maintenance programs that are on time, every time. They are also promised inventory control systems that assure immediate access to replacement parts and components, comprehensive training programs and performance reviews to maintain the highest level of expertise, and highly skilled technical specialists and service personnel trained on their products.
When Lavon Ennis, regional service manager for the Raleigh Division, was asked about being honored as a Pro-Tech dealer he said, “The Pro-Tech Service Award is a mark of distinction which we are proud to showcase as it symbolizes our commitment to offering the best business practices in our marketplace. This award certifies to our customer base that we have the skills, people and systems to keep their Konica Minolta equipment operating at the highest level of productivity. It provides our customers another great reason to count on Konica Minolta and Systel for all of their printing needs.”
About Systel Business Equipment
Systel Business Equipment Co, Inc. is a North Carolina based company with annual sales of fifty million dollars and over 250 employees. Systel is the Southeast's Largest Independent Dealer of Ricoh, Panasonic, HP, and Konica Minolta Products & Solutions with nine locations servicing the Carolinas and Georgia. In 2011, Systel was awarded for their growth and economic success with the Elite Dealer Award by The Week in Imaging and being named among NC’s Top 100 Private Companies by Grant Thornton.
Systel Now Offers Commercial Imaging Services
Systel expands its Document Management services to now offer project-based document scanning and indexing services. These document conversion services enable you to maximize the use of your corporate information in virtually any electronic document management system.Systel, partnering with its leading manufacturer Ricoh is able to offer its document conversion services either on-site at your location or at one of their secure document processing centers. We perform one-time document conversions as well as ongoing day-forward conversions. This service has consistently delivered remarkable results by understanding the customers’ unique business requirements and applying best practices to consistently meet those needs. Systel and Ricoh have experience digitizing a variety of files for its clients in all different industries, including: Healthcare, Finance/Banking, Insurance, Energy, Education, State, Local and Federal Government.
Commercial Imaging Services Include:
Paper Backfile and Day-Forward Scanning
· Microfilm, Microfiche and Aperture Card Scanning
· Legacy System Scanning and Conversions
· Media-to-Media Conversions
· Indexing and Post-Scan Processing
Systel wins Managed Print Services Bid for the Great State of North Carolina
Fayetteville, NC, February 28, 2012 – Systel Business Equipment has been awarded Bid/File Number:
ITS-006054 for the North Carolina Statewide Term Contract (STC) for
Managed Print Services (MPS). The contract is a Convenience Statewide
Contract for the use of Executive State Agencies. It may also be used
as a Convenience Contract, available, but not mandatory, for the use of
non-State Agencies permitted by law including North Carolina
University System and its member campuses, instructional components of
the North Carolina Community College System, as well as local (municipal
and county) governments including Local Education Agencies
In an effort to reduce printing costs as a result of ongoing budget cuts, the North Carolina Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) released the statewide contract for MPS in an attempt to not only lower costs but to free up their IT staff and eliminate multiple vendors, while at the same time updating outdated technology, increasing data security, and improving overall employee productivity.
Systel teamed with Hewlett-Packard for the award. Out of the eight companies that submitted a proposal for this bid to include independent dealers as well as manufacturers such as Toshiba, Lexmark, Xerox and Ricoh, Systel was one of only two vendors selected to provide Managed Print Services. Out of the two vendors selected, Systel is the only provider with numerous offices across the State to service all 100 North Carolina Counties.
“We have seen MPS programs save our government customers as much as 50% of their annual printing/imaging budget." states Ryan C. Aul, Major Account and Government Bid Counsel for Systel. “Each customer’s need is unique and this program allows for a customized printing strategy by evaluating their printing needs to create the most cost efficient combination of the latest in printing technology while utilizing, when cost efficient, their currently owned equipment. There is no upfront investment in equipment for customers under this state contract, they simply pay per page, and that’s only one of the many benefits of this program. The most valuable aspect of partnering with Systel for Managed Print Services is working with only one vendor that can provide a wide variety of products from the Industry’s leading manufacturers that also has the capability to service the equipment with our 9-1-1 emergency responsiveness”.
Managed Print Services is being increasingly introduced to the Office Equipment and Printing Industry as a method for a small to large businesses to manage their documents, both paper and electronic, by tracking and managing on an ongoing basis printing costs which, in over 70% of companies, currently remains unaudited.
Managed Print Services has reformed the way Systel does business. Instead of only providing the customer with the very best in office equipment and service, Systel can take it a step farther by implementing a Managed Print plan that will directly affect the customer’s bottom line by decreasing overhead and increasing profits. It’s not just a service, it’s a foundation for business growth and development and it is anticipated that businesses with an effective MPS Strategy and Partner will excel over those businesses that choose not to manage their document and communication production.
It is very encouraging that the State of North Carolina recognizes the need for print management and control in the workplace and by implementing a statewide MPS Contract, there are high expectations for the benefits and long term effects the program will have on reducing statewide printing costs.
Systel will provide cost free print assessments to governmental entities to include the county, city, community college, and public university levels which will entail a statement of work, completing a full print study assessment and writing a proposal based on the offerings under the new MPS state contract terms. Handling the MPS Program for the State of North Carolina is Bill Stone, Systel Project Manager out of Raleigh, NC and Ryan Aul, Major Accounts Manager based out of the Corporate Headquarters in Fayetteville, NC.
Click here for more information on MPS
Konica Minolta Receives 2012 "A3 MFP Line of the Year" Award and Inaugural "Document Imaging Solutions Line of the Year" Award from BLI
Outstanding Performance of bizhub MFPs and Depth of Solutions Portfolio Earns Annual Awards from Leading Industry Analysts
Ramsey, NJ - January 26, 2012 - Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. Konica Minolta today announced that Buyers Laboratory LLC. (BLI) has named Konica Minolta (MFPs - print, copy, fax, and scan all in one system). Additionally, Konica Minolta has been recognized with BLI's first ever "Document Imaging Solutions Line of the Year" Award.
This is Konica Minolta's second consecutive year winning BLI's most coveted award—A3 MFP Line of the Year. This award is given once a year to the OEM whose product line is determined to be the best overall in its category based on the cumulative test results of all models tested in BLI's rigorous two-month laboratory evaluation. By assessing reliability, image quality, ease of use, productivity and a range of other criteria, the tests reveal the products that deliver customers the best value and most trouble-free performance. Also considered is the breadth of the vendor's line and the vendor's ability to provide quality products suitable to a broad spectrum of customer needs, from low-volume to high-volume.
"The Konica Minolta line continues to impress, currently including 14 A3 'Pick' winners—more than any other MFP vendor," said George Mikolay, senior product editor, A3/Copier MFPs. "Moreover, reliability—buyers' number one concern—is a differentiator for Konica Minolta's A3 product line across the board, both color and black and white. "
"It's a remarkable achievement that among all 14 'Pick' winners, not a single malfunction occurred," said BLI Managing Editor Daria Hoffman, pointing out that the only service required was for routine scheduled preventive maintenance. "When all currently tested A3 models are considered, Konica Minolta has the best reliability record of all eligible vendors, proving that it offers the quality buyers consider more important than any other."
BLI editors also selected Konica Minolta for the first-ever Solutions Line of the Year award based on the company's exceptional solutions portfolio across a broad range of document imaging software categories.
To determine the winner, BLI considered the imaging software each leading printer and MFP OEM officially sells and supports via its direct and independent sales channels. Both first-party products and those from third-party ISVs (independent software vendors) were taken into account in categories including Document Management/ECM, Document Capture & Workflow, Accounting/Cost Control & Recovery, Print Management, Device Management, Security Software and others. Moreover, only those solutions submitted to BLI's lab for evaluation figured into the OEMs' overall ranking—ensuring that the award is based on actual hands-on evaluation of the offerings in the portfolio.
"Earning BLI's 'Solutions Line of the Year' award is no easy feat, and it was a hard-fought competition with several leading OEMs in close contention," explained Jamie Bsales, senior product editor, solutions, at BLI. "Ultimately, it was Konica Minolta's standout portfolio and reseller relationships with class-leading ISVs in key product categories that put it over the top."
"Expanding the bizhub product line and further building on our complementary solution technology is one of the most important initiatives at Konica Minolta as we continue to address the growing needs of our customer base. The "Line of the Year" awards from BLI are further proof our ongoing success in these key areas, particularly the first-ever solutions "Line of the Year" award," said Kevin Kern, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. "Customers of all sizes can count on Konica Minolta for the award-winning technology and document management solutions they expect. Moving into 2012, we look forward to introducing more exceptional products, solutions and services to the industry that address the evolving needs of our customers."
About Konica Minolta
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. delivers an award-winning portfolio of document management technologies and Business Intelligence Services for print environments of any size and scope including enterprise customers, small- to medium-sized businesses, and key vertical markets. For the fourth consecutive year, Konica Minolta was recognized as the #1 Brand for Customer Loyalty in the MFP Office Copier Market by Brand Keys. Buyers Laboratory Inc. (BLI) has named Konica Minolta 2011 "Line of the Year" award winner for the company's award-winning line of bizhub Color and Monochrome Multifunctional Products.
Konica Minolta is a registered trademark of Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc. bizhub is a registered trademark of Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.
Konica Minolta Celebrates Fifth Consecutive Year as Brand Keys' #1 Brand
Konica Minolta Maintains Leadership in MFP Office Copier Category for Customer Loyalty
Ramsey, NJ - February 6, 2012 - Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. today announced that it was awarded first place in the 2012 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index in the "MFP Office Copier" category for the fifth consecutive year. Each year, New York-based marketing consultancy Brand Keys publishes its Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, which surveys more than 49,000 Americans to determine how brands rank in customer loyalty. The 2012 Index examined customers' relationships with 600 brands in 83 categories. Other winning brands for 2012 include Apple, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Google, IBM, McDonald’s , UPS, and Walmart.
The 2012 Brand Keys research paints a detailed picture of the category drivers that engage customers, engender loyalty, and drive real profits. The Brand Keys methodology, which considered several competitors, asked customers to characterize their perfect product in the MFP Office Copier category, setting the standard for excellence. The 2012 Brand Keys research once again identified Konica Minolta as a leading brand for customer loyalty in the "MFP Office Copier" category when measured against the "Ideal" office copier.
"Being recognized by Brandy Keys for the fifth straight year is a great accomplishment and one that we value highly given the results are based on customer feedback," said Kevin Kern, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. "We strive to ensure that customers can always count on Konica Minolta for the innovative, advanced document management solutions they need, and earning this top ranking again confirms our commitment to this goal. Our award-winning product, solution and service lines consistently prove to be among the most distinguished in our industry and we look forward to continuing this success in 2012.”
“Customer expectations continue to grow, particularly when it comes to technology. To compound the difficulty tech brands face, brand reputation has become a more vital differentiator when it comes to perceived brand value, reliability, and quality. Konica Minolta has managed to keep up with both the technology and consumers for the 5th straight year, which is how they continue to have the most loyal customers in the MFP Office Copier category.” Robert Passikoff, Founder and President, Brand Keys.
January 9, 2011
Ricoh Devices Earn 2012 “Outstanding Achievement” Awards for Energy Efficiency
Buyers Laboratory LLC, the world’s leading independent tester of document imaging products, today awarded “Outstanding Achievement” accolades to the most energy-efficient printer and MFPs tested in the past six months. Ricoh, winning nearly 50% of the awards, exhibited significantly lower than average energy consumption for their respective groups and offer a variety of environmentally friendly features to help users reduce their overall environmental impact.
2012 “Outstanding Achievement” awards go to the following products:
Ricoh Aficio MP C2051
Ricoh Aficio MP C3501
Ricoh Aficio MP C4501 Series
Ricoh Aficio MP C300SR
Congratulations HP on being selected for “2012 Color Printer Line of the Year”
PRESS RELEASE, Fayetteville NC
Systel, one of only a few Dealers in the US to earn HP’s designation: Managed Print Advanced Specialist!
Partners that have earned the HP Managed Print Advanced Specialist designation possess expertise in providing simple to complex managed print services solutions, as well as print-related software solutions, for your unique imaging and printing needs. HP Managed Print Advanced Specialist partners have extensive industry experience and qualifications that have been validated by HP. HP Managed Print Advanced Specialist partners have an established and HP-qualified managed print services practice. HP Managed Print Advanced Specialist partners become your single source of expertise for your imaging and printing fleet, including the execution of an organization wide print strategy so your employees can focus on what is important to your business. Managed print services provided by the HP Managed Print Advanced Specialist partner include cost and productivity assessments of your existing imaging and printing environment, multi-vendor fleet management and optimization, convenient and cost-effective cost-per-page contracts tailored to fit your organizational needs, and software solutions that improve your workflows and streamline document-intensive business processes. Specialist partners are recommended by HP.
November 8, 2011
Systel earns two top awards both locally for their financial growth and strength being named among North Carolina’s Top 100 Private Companies as well as nationally among their Industry peers being recognized as a 2011 Elite Dealer.
Fayetteville, NC, Nov. 8, 2011 – Systel Business Equipment has been selected as a 2011 Elite Dealer by The Week in Imaging, a news publication for resellers of imaging technology, supplies, and services.
The Elite Dealer awards started in 1989 and this year marks the 21st year they’ve been presented. The Elite Dealer Awards honor the best and the brightest in the imaging technology dealer community. This year’s Elite Dealer honorees encompass entrepreneurs, innovators, survivors, top sellers, and celebrated members of the communities they serve. These are the dealerships that provide office technology, software, and services to businesses and organizations of all sizes.
“Winners are not based on sales figures alone although many of this year’s Elite dealers are some of their manufacturer’s best sellers,” states Scott Cullen, publisher and editor of The Week in Imaging. “The focus is on growth, innovative marketing and sales programs, community leadership, and leadership within the industry.”
Another key consideration is the work environment they provide employees and the job satisfaction that culture inspires. Involvement with the community is also important and many Elite dealers and their employees generously donate time and money to the communities in which they work.
“We firmly believe all of those are important qualities of an Elite Dealer,” adds Cullen. “It’s not any one trait, but a combination of traits that make an Elite dealer and a dealership such as Systel Business Equipment truly Elite.
Systel Business Equipment Co., Inc was also recently named among North Carolina’s Top 100 Private Companies in Business North Carolina Magazine by Grant Thornton LLP.
The global accounting firm, Grant Thornton LLP, used their national research team to evaluate the companies based on numerous categories such revenue, ownership, and market share throughout the state of North Carolina. Systel was chosen among the group out of over 3,000 companies evaluated.
Systel was the only Office Equipment Provider selected as well as the only Company based in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Others named on the list are well-regarded North Carolina based companies such as Belk, Barnhill Contracting, Clancy & Theys, DuBose Steel, Golden Corral, and CPI Security Systems.
“It’s an honor to not only be named among this group of reputable companies, but to be the only company headquartered in Fayetteville and the only Company in our Industry,” says Systel President & CEO, Keith Allison. “Systel’s double digit growth and our strength and sustainability within our Industry put us on the list for the first time at number 97. When our competitors are selling or down-sizing in this tough economy, Systel continues to grow and look for more opportunities or expansion and acquisition. We measure our size not based on our annual revenue but rather on the number of satisfied customers we have as we would not have achieved what we have today without them.”
About Systel Business Equipment
Systel Business Equipment Co., Inc is a North Carolina based company with annual sales of fifty million dollars and over 250 employees. Systel is the Southeast's Largest Independent Dealer of Ricoh, Panasonic, HP, and Konica Minolta Products & Solutions with nine locations servicing the Carolinas and Georgia. Systel has been honored by Office Dealer Magazine with the Elite Dealer Award in 1999, 2002, 2003. In 1988, Systel was recognized as an Inc 500 company by Inc magazines, which recognizes the top 500 fastest growing private companies in the United States. Most recently Systel was recognized by Ricoh Corporation at its annual meeting in June as Ricoh’s largest dealer in the Southern United States. Also at this meeting, Systel received Ricoh’s “Strategic Major Account Award”, which recognizes the top Ricoh Dealer in the United States in developing strategic major account relationships. This year Systel also received the designation of Advanced Managed Print Service Partner by Hewlett Packard, only one of a few in the United States.
Systel Business Equipment Co., Inc
Public Relations: Jacqueline Smith
Elite Partner Award (Continued)
October 7, 2011
Systel Business Equipment
Year Founded: 1981
No. of Employees: 250
Approximate Yearly Revenues: $44 million
Recent Performance: Grew 28 percent over the past three years
This Year’s Big Accomplishment: Making the list of North Carolina’s Top 100 Largest Private Companies in Business North Carolina Magazine.
Primary Vendors/Product Lines: Ricoh, Konica Minolta, HP, Panasonic
With nine office locations across the Carolinas and Georgia and 2:1
service to sales personnel ratio, no wonder Systel continues to provide
unbeatable customer service and satisfaction. What impresses us is how
Systel’s knowledge and expertise in the industry, along with its
relationships and reputation in the communities it serves has allowed
them to retain customers for more than 30 years while winning major
account deals over national direct competition.
Above all, the thing that sets Systel apart from its competitors and
other dealers across the country is Systel Printing, which opened in
2004. Located adjacent to Systel’s Greensboro, N.C. office, this is a
full-service digital and offset print shop for customers. It also allows
Systel to offer customers zero down time at no additional costs should
their equipment crash in the middle of a large print job since they can
upload their file through Systel’s Website and the job can be delivered
locally or ship to them the next day. Now that’s customer service!
Not content to remain complacent and rest on their laurels we admire
Systel’s courage to change. That is exemplified in their new look. All
of the dealership’s new publications and marketing pieces have sleek new
designs with colorful Print, Scan, Copy, Send tag lines and images. We
hear it’s been a big hit with customers and prospects. Check it out on
their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/systelnow.
Speaking of Facebook, we also like the way Systel is leveraging
social media and the Internet in their business. Through social media,
Systel highlights its latest products and promotions while also offering
live requests for service trouble-shooting videos or special
installation and training videos for customers to reduce service calls
and customer downtime. After the first month of going social, they had
more than 75 followers on Twitter and an average of 115 Facebook
visitors per week. Those may not be Ashton Kutcher-type numbers but they
aren’t bad numbers for an office technology dealership. The goal is to
raise that to 300-400 regular followers before the end of the year.
Maintaining a high profile in the community and now on TV is another
way Systel remains in the forefront of customer’s minds and reaches new
customers. The TV show, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, recently
added Systel as an official vendor for their ninth season. In addition
Systel contributes to more than 50 charitable, non-profit organizations
and events across the state, including March of Dimes, American Heart
Association , and the Child Advocacy Center. And Systel’s corporate
office donated $10,000 to support the local arts as “Co-Producer” of
Fayetteville’s Cape Fear Regional Theater to support their 50th Golden
A strong believer in supporting education, Systel has endowed
scholarships and supported student aid and learning programs for local
colleges and universities such as Methodist University, Fayetteville
Technical Community College, North Carolina State University, and
Campbell University and Law School.
This has been a solid year for Systel. Not only are they celebrating their 30th year in business, they’ve earned top awards and recognition such as the
Ricoh Strategic Major Accounts Award, the Pro-Tech Service Award from
Konica Minolta, and OPS Elite Partner Status from HP. However, the
biggest accomplishment thus far in 2011 was making the list of North
Carolina’s Top 100 Largest Private Companies by Business North Carolina Magazine.
In an economy of wage freezes, lay-offs, and smaller dealers being
bought out by manufacturers, Systel has proven an independent dealership
can survive and thrive in this industry. Case in point they’ve grown
sales 20 percent over last year when the industry as a whole was down
almost 30 percent. Not bad for a family owned and managed business.
Systel Named North Carolina’s Top 100 Private Companies
The global accounting firm, Grant Thornton LLP, used their national research team to evaluate the companies based on numerous categories such revenue, ownership, and market share throughout the state of North Carolina. Systel was chosen among the group out of over 3,000 applicants.
Systel was the only office Equipment Provider selected as well as the only Company based in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Other to be named among the list are well-regarded North Carolina based companies such as Belk, Barnhill Contracting, Clancy & Theys, DuBose Steel, Golden Corral, and CPI Security Systems.
“It’s an honor to not only be named among this group of reputable companies, but to be the only company selected from our area and our Industry ”, says Systel President & CEO, Keith Allison. “Yes, we’re number 97, but to think that only 3 years ago, we would not have even qualified for the list, shows Systel’s dedication to our goal of annual double digit growth and our strength and sustainability within our Industry. When our competitors are selling or down-sizing in this tough economy, Systel continues to grow and look for more opportunities or expansion and acquisition. We measure our size not based on our annual revenue but rather on the number of satisfied customers we have as we would not have achieved what we have today without them.”
About Systel Business Equipment
Systel Business Equipment Co., Inc is a North Carolina based company with annual sales of fifty million dollars and over 250 employees. Systel is the Southeast's Largest Independent Dealer of Ricoh, Panasonic, HP, and Konica Minolta Products & Solutions with nine locations servicing the Carolinas and Georgia. Systel has been honored by Office Dealer Magazine with the Elite Dealer Award in 1999, 2002, 2003. In 1988, Systel was recognized 5 years after it was established as an Inc 500 company by Inc magazines, which recognizes the top 500 fastest growing private companies in the United States. Most recently Systel was recognized by Ricoh Corporation at its annual meeting in June as Ricoh’s largest dealer in the Southern United States. Also at this meeting, Systel received Ricoh’s “Strategic Major Account Award”, which recognizes the top Ricoh Dealer in the United States in developing strategic major account relationships. Moreover this year, Systel received the designation of Advanced Managed Print Service Specialist, only one of a few in the State by Hewlett Packard.
NC Top 100 List
July 12, 2011
Systel’s President and CEO, Keith Allison, Named among 40 Most Influential People
Systel Business Equipment Co., Inc. (Systel) headquartered in Fayetteville, NC announced today that Systel's President and CEO along with other top industry executives have been named among the 40 Most Influential People in the Imaging Industry as selected by The Week in Imaging.
Others named among the Top 40 was Xerox Chairman and CEO, Ursula Burns, Sharp President, Ed McLaughlin, and a Systel Partner Company, Konica Minolta's President and COO, Rick Taylor. “This is truly an honor and a surprise,” says Keith. “To be considered one of the Top 40 with these individuals in an industry with well over 10,000 top executives, Dealers, consultants, and analysts really means something.”
"While our Top 40 included some surprises, the inclusion of Rick Taylor and Keith Allison were not a surprise at all," said Scott Cullen, publisher and editor of The Week in Imaging. "Those names came up again and again while we were soliciting nominations because they have each made a difference and continue to make a difference within their organization and the imaging industry as a whole."
"Keith Allison has been described to us as an innovator from an independent dealer perspective particularly when you look at what he's done in the production print area. Since 2004 Systel has been providing commercial offset production digital color printing through its Printing Services Division”. –The Week in Imaging. According to Allison, the inclusion of production printing services from a customer’s desktop is extremely rare among traditional companies that provide copiers, printers, related software, and other document management solutions, that include onsite service. “A customer who leases a standard copier from Systel can have access to Systel’s five million dollar print facility and its production offset presses and digital color production equipment to produce thousands of multi-page color brochures, posters, or even finished books. These can be delivered to Systel customers the next day packaged and shrink wrapped right to their office”. The Systel Printing Services Division also includes a pre-press and design services department.
“Allison has been running the business since 1981 and has grown it into one of the largest independent office technology dealerships in the Southeast,” says Frank Cannata, editor and publisher of the leading publication for the office equipment industry, The Cannata Report. “One has to applaud a dealer who decided to focus on service rather than sales from the get go. I don't know anyone who can even come close to competing with Keith.”
Allison has received numerous past recognitions, with some of the most notable being the Business Excellence Award from Methodist University, Business Person of the Year, the Distinguished Service Award from the Fayetteville Jaycees, the Al Prewitt Economic Visionary Award, “for his role in the creation of new jobs, Corporate investment and improved quality of life in the community”- The Fayetteville Observer-May 7, 2008, and The Campbell University Lundy–Fetterman School of Business Adam Smith Free Enterprise Award for his dedication to and efforts on behalf of freedom, free enterprise, and entrepreneurship. Mr. Allison previously served as Chairman of Panasonic’s National Advisory Board for the United States for over twelve years and served on Ricoh Corporation’s National Executive Board from 1997-2010. Mr. Allison currently serves on the Executive Advisory Board of both Konica Minolta and Hewlett Packard.
Systel is a fifty million dollar company with over 250 employees and is the Southeast's Largest Independent Dealer of Ricoh, Panasonic, HP, and Konica Minolta Products & Solutions. Systel has nine locations servicing the Carolinas and Georgia and is recognized nationally as one of the leading companies in providing the latest in office technology. Systel has been honored by Office Dealer Magazine with the Elite Dealer Award in 1999, 2002, 2003. In 1988, Systel was recognized in 1988 as an Inc 500 company by Inc magazaine, which recognizes the top 500 fastest growing private companies in the United States. Most recently Systel was recognized by Ricoh Corporation at its annual meeting in June as Ricoh’s largest dealer in the Southern United States. Also at this meeting, Systel received Ricoh’s “Strategic Major Account Award”, which recognizes the top Ricoh Dealer in the United States in developing strategic major account relationships. Moreover this year, Systel received the designation of Elite Partner Status with Hewlett Packard.
Mr. Allison currently serves as a Trustee for Methodist University and is also President of the Fayetteville Police Foundation.
Additional information and reference material is attached along with contact information for individuals associated with the information contained in this press release. You may also contact Mr. Allison at Systel’s Fayetteville Operations Center 2604 Fort Bragg Road, Fayetteville, NC 28303 910-321-7700, his assistant, Susan Willams, or Jacqueline Smith in Public Relations.
Konica Minolta Wins Multiple 2011 BERTL's Best Awards
Konica Minolta has received multiple 2011 BERTL's Best Awards from BERTL
Best Color Production System: bizhub PRESS C8000
Best Color Light Production System: bizhub PRESS C7000
Best Monochrome Production System: bizhub PRO 1200
Best Departmental Monochrome A3 MFP Range:bizhub 423
Since 1995, the "BERTL's Best" Award recognizes the best device, software and product lines in the digital imaging marketplace that were launched during the year. The categories are based on desktop, workgroup, departmental and production work environments. BERTL's analysts review them to identify the select group of devices and software that stand apart from the others.
Here is what Art Wynne, President of BERTL, had to say about our awards:
“BERTL’s analysts were extremely impressed with the bizhub PRESS series as it is evident that Konica Minolta has placed a clear focus on delivering image quality, durability, flexibility and high volume capability with the introduction of the bizhub PRESS C8000 and C7000. The series is modular and can be customized in a variety of ways making it adaptable to the needs of a variety of businesses in matching their space and volume requirements. Our thorough testing demonstrated that both the bizhub PRESS C8000 and C7000 have the ability to handle a large variety of stocks and the capacity to deliver remarkable, exuberant colors.”
The BERTL’s Best awards further showcase the depth of Konica Minolta's award-winning technology across our entire product line from production print to office systems. These awards are another indication of how our customers and prospects can count on Konica Minolta to continue delivering innovative solutions that meet all of their demanding printing requirements.
Systel Wins the KM Pro-Tech Service Award!
The Pro-Tech Service Award recognizes those Konica Minolta dealers able to demonstrate an exceptional commitment to customer support and satisfaction. It is a symbol of quality. An assurance of professional, reliable service and maximum performance for your Konica Minolta office products.
The Pro-Tech Service standard is difficult to achieve and the evaluation procedure is exhaustive. Every element of the service operation - management skills, inventory control, technical expertise, dispatch systems, customer satisfaction, and more - is scrutinized and measured.
This rigid standard is the very reason this award has become such a powerful symbol of competence and proficiency. To be chosen to become a member of this select group is indeed an honor.
You can count on your Pro-Tech dealer to give you their best effort, every day of the year. And to offer every customer the benefits of ...
- Professional, customer-oriented service department management and administration
- Service response times significantly better than the industry average
- Preventive maintenance programs that are on time, every time
- Inventory control systems that assure immediate access to replacement parts and components
- Comprehensive training programs and performance reviews to maintain the highest level of expertise
- Highly skilled technical specialists and service personnel trained on your products
Finally, the Pro-Tech Award gives you, the customer, a distinctive advantage. You're assured, before the sale, that your Konica Minolta dealer has the skills, the people and the systems to keep your equipment operating at the highest levels of productivity. We think that's an advantage worth considering.
Systel gives $83,000 to aid Campbell's law school
Article from reprinted Fayetteville Observer 1/27/2010.
LILLINGTON - Systel Business Equipment has given
$83,000 to Campbell University's Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law in
support of its new Raleigh location, the university said Tuesday.
The contribution means the Fayetteville company will be the naming
sponsor of the Dean's Conference Room at the Law School. Systel also
partnered with Campbell to provide all faculty, staff and students
printers and copiers throughout the 110,000-square-foot building,
according to the private university based in Harnett County.
"We are grateful to Systel and company President and CEO Keith
Allison for this meaningful contribution to Campbell Law School," said
Dean Melissa Essary in a statement. "This investment in Campbell Law's
new Raleigh home is extraordinary, and we are proud to dedicate the
Dean's Conference Room in recognition of Systel's support."
Systel previously created an endowment to fund special Campbell Law
speakers and events that focus on personal ethics and professionalism.
Since 2005, Systel has sponsored an annual Campbell Law School
"It is an honor to be involved with this project," said Allison of
the Raleigh building, "and we look forward to partnering with Campbell
Law students and faculty for years to come."
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