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KONICA MINOLTA Launches bizhub vCare

Press release from the issuing company

RAMSEY, NJ - January 18, 2007 - KONICA MINOLTA BUSINESS SOLUTIONS U.S.A., INC. (KONICA MINOLTA) announces the release of the bizhub vCare Device Relationship Management (DRM) system. bizhub vCare is a new software system developed by KONICA MINOLTA BUSINESS TECHNOLOGIES, Tokyo, Japan, and is designed to enhance customer care through efficient management of KONICA MINOLTA multifunctional devices (MFP - print, copy, scan, fax all in one system). Consisting of a bizhub vCare Server and bizhub vCare-enabled MFPs, the system allows for the quick and efficient interchange of data between the bizhub vCare enabled MFPs and the bizhub vCare Server via the Internet. Features of bizhub vCare include: -- Automated meter readings -- Service alerts -- Supply warnings -- Parts life alerts -- MFP firmware reporting Because bizhub vCare collects all MFP counter and status information, the system improves first-service-call effectiveness; delivers proactive service; and facilitates intelligent supply management. "bizhub vCare is important in two significant ways," said Kevin P. Kern, Vice President, Product Planning and Development, KONICA MINOLTA BUSINESS SOLUTIONS U.S.A., INC. "First, we want to do all we can to optimize customer satisfaction. bizhub vCare will help ensure that KONICA MINOLTA MFPs are kept in peak operating condition and ready to perform mission-critical applications when required. And second, our highly competitive market environment combined with wider adoption of color MFP's, makes it critical that we manage consumables effectively, get timely and accurate meter readings and achieve a high level of service efficiency. The capabilities of bizhub vCare directly address these issues." Virtually any KONICA MINOLTA device user can benefit from bizhub vCare, but it can provide greater returns for organizations that demand the maximum machine uptime for their KONICA MINOLTA workgroup and/or production print MFPs. bizhub vCare Benefits Meter Reading: bizhub vCare will free customers from the meter reading process, eliminating monthly calls or faxes to send or obtain meter readings. bizhub vCare generates automated meter readings on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, providing prompt and exact meter reads that ensure billing accuracy. Supplies: bizhub vCare can monitor toner and other supply levels in bizhub vCare enabled devices and signal the need for a supply order. This allows KONICA MINOLTA and its partners to send supplies to customers on a "just in time" basis, reducing or even eliminating the need to stockpile supplies. Service: bizhub vCare will inform participating service departments if an MFP is having trouble. Further, it will let the service department know if a device needs a preventive maintenance call to replace a part even before it wears out. Thanks to the wealth of technical information provided by bizhub vCare, the system makes proactive service possible and leads to better management of service calls, reduction in service costs and increased customer satisfaction. Availability Availability of bizhub vCare will begin April 2, 2007 through participating authorized KONICA MINOLTA dealers and KONICA MINOLTA direct branches.