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Toshiba-Elevates & Personalizes Customer Experience

By Bill Melo, Chief Marketing Executive, Toshiba America Business Solutions

Bill Melo, Chief Marketing Executive, Toshiba America Business Solutions

Today, everyone expects the interaction with a smart device to be an intuitive, engaging, and personal experience. We have all grown accustomed to intuitive, game-like apps that are simple to use and quick to master.

This expectation was top of mind when my marketing team and I were brainstorming ways to transform the user experience of our e-STUDIO multifunction printer (MFP) customers. The goal was to create a more intuitive, yet powerful MFP that conformed to the user's work life, language and daily tasks. Think of a smartphone loaded with really useful apps. Perhaps most importantly, we wanted to create a simple to use and fun e-STUDIO user experience.

Early on, the team decided to focus on redefining the MFP walk up experience. This meant designing a user interface (UI) intuitive enough for customers to operate our e-STUDIO products without the need for any instructions.

The result is Toshiba's Elevate. Elevate is the technology that enables us to deliver a hyper-personalized user interface on our e-STUDIO products for customers. Elevate simplifies sophisticated, multi-step tasks with the touch of a button. Automating common functions streamlines our clients' document workflow and significantly improves efficiency.

Elevate's capability to scan and send a secure PDF of a patient ID card to a hospital medical records system with the touch of a button frees up valuable staff time and ultimately improves the patient experience. Elevate also saves teachers significant time by scanning and delivering student homework, tests, and even lesson plans to school portals.

"With Elevate, processes that previously required several steps or even digging through more advanced menus can be boiled down to a few minor steps or even one touch"

Fortunately we had a head start as Elevate's underlying technology had already been developed by Toshiba engineers in Japan last spring to coincide with the release of our new-generation e-STUDIO products. Our next step was creating a rapid and easily customization system to discover, develop, and deploy the unique user interface on a mass scale. This element of the project required the help of our engineering team here in Irvine, California.

We understood that users in different industries and even those working in different departments within the same industry or company for that matter use our MFPs in very different ways. Some businesses require very high levels of security, others use the MFP to scan documents into a business application or document management system. Our goal was to make all of these advanced functions one-button operations.

We identified eight different industries, including healthcare, education, government, manufacturing and logistics, retail, houses of worship and finance and banking that had very different workflows involving the MFP. This insight resulted in the creation of eight industry-specific off the shelf UIs meant to address many of the needs in each of these business categories.

Though these industry templates were suitable for the majority of applications within the eight industries, we knew we needed to create a system that could be fully customized for every customer. Using our cloud-based service application called e-BRIDGE CloudConnect; we created a system that allows our professional services team to rapidly customize a user interface to the exact requirements of each client.

Toshiba's Elevate now offers a unique opportunity to take the common tasks, language, and brand of every customer and create a customized experience that transforms previously complicated tasks into one touch operations. Additionally, Elevate can integrate client branding and messaging elements within their individual Elevate user interface to provide extra value.

Elevate clearly resonated with stakeholders upon its launch. Both customers and resellers immediately understood the value of receiving and offering unique and customizable products.

Elevate was also well received by industry leaders. When asked about Toshiba's Elevate, George Mikolay, an associate director at market research company, Keypoint Intelligence, said, “Toshiba’s new Elevate platform sets the foundation for what promises to be a highly intuitive user interface that will simplify the user experience and streamline common and even more advanced scan and copy workflows. With Elevate, processes that previously required several steps or even digging through more advanced menus can be boiled down to a few minor steps or even one touch.”

Our level of excitement continues today as customers and resellers are providing us with positive reviews since we've started shipping our Elevate-equipped MFPs in late July. What began as a concept to improve our customer experience a little more than a calendar year ago has developed into a technology, which is transforming and personalizing the manner in which people interact with our products. The creation of Elevate was the result of a selfless team of individuals who were committed to a singular vision and purpose.