Kyocera Mita Readies New Printer Customization Technology To Rival Canon

The new Java-based platform, to be called WiseCore, will allow developers to create embedded applications to customize Kyocera Mita MFPs, said Michael Pietrunti, who took over Nov. 1 as president of the Fairfield, N.J.-based North American unit of Kyocera Mita. An SDK is expected to be delivered to developers by midyear 2006, he said.

Customization is “right in the center of the crosshairs for us,” Pietrunti said. Like Canon&'s MEAP platform, WiseCore will be an application framework that would sit on top of the document hardware. Using that framework, application developers could provide workflow management, document management, security and other features customized for a particular enterprise. Peitrunti said Kyocera Mita will enroll developers in a program, and then provide them with the tools required to develop the additional, customized applications.

Like the MEAP platform, Pietrunti said, WiseCore will be an open technology. Reed Melnick, CEO of Nevill Solutions, a Carollton, Texas-based solution provider and Kyocera Mita dealer, said he thinks that while some of his customers may not be ready to be early adopters of WiseCore-based solutions, he sees it as an important strategy that will pay off.

“I believe that toward the end of 2006, that will become a better marketing tool, a more useful marketing tool,” Melnick said. “The sooner we can get that, we can all start changing the way we play the game.”

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Pietrunti was tapped by Kyocera Mita America CEO Tony Pater for the post of president and COO after serving as senior vice president of marketing and technical operations. Before joining Kyocera Mita America in 2002, Pietrunti worked as vice president of Sharp Electronics&' business products division. As part of his channel strategy going forward, Pietrunti said Kyocera Mita will keep its channel program open for solution providers eager to add the vendor to its offerings.

However, he said the company would be judicious in accepting partners and consider their vertical market or geographic market expertise. Melnick said he appreciated that approach, adding that he believes it demonstrates Kyocera Mita&'s loyalty to its existing channel rather than an approach that would create dealer-dealer conflicts.