I visited Munich at the beginning of February to attend Canon’s European Partner Conference. I was excited at the prospect of visiting Germany for the first time as well as having the opportunity to mix with other Canon Partners from across Europe – I wasn’t disappointed. And it wasn’t the location that made the trip, to be honest it could have been held anywhere… it was a quick “fly in, attend conference, socialise over dinner, and then fly out again next morning” type trip. I’m new to this work-travel thing so every trip holds quite a bit of excitement for me – the gloss hasn’t rubbed off yet!
Luckily, I did get the time to take a quick walk downtown in the crisp morning air before we were transported to Poing, just West of Munich, where Canon have an innovation & technology centre. It’s an enormous former Siemens Nixdorf factory with almost 1,000 employees. Océ (a Canon Company) say that Poing is the leading global technology hub for continuous feed production printing systems, and who am I to dispute this? But its scale allows Canon to house an impressive Customer Experience centre where we were treated to demonstrations of the machines and the technologies, a walk-through of the factory itself, and some presentations from Canon heavyweights including Rokus Van Iperen (President and CEO of Canon EMEA) and Taz Nakamasu (Executive Vice President, Document Solutions) among others.
There was a welcome mix in the various presentations of congratulations and appreciation for a successful 2017, information about Canon Inc and how it allocates funding to R&D, as well as a glimpse of Canon’s strategy to stay relevant in an ever-changing world.
New Developments in Print Solution
Canon also had all the new models of what they call “3rd Generation imageRUNNER ADVANCE 2nd Edition” multifunctional printers for us to view and test – excitingly these printers now offer integrated solutions including a powerful scan to cloud and output management solution, uniFLOW Online Express, alongside device-based authentication solution, Universal Login Manager. So I enjoyed the “work” part of the trip, I love getting new information first hand, I really believe the old saying that knowledge is power – well, to a point anyway!
Of course any work trip would not be complete without a bit of socialising to finish the day! Canon treated us to an event in Palais Lenbach in central Munich – a wonderful period building now used for performances and functions. We had dinner and drinks, accompanied by a very elegant string quartet, who then gave a gala performance to finish the evening – and they played some of my favourite tunes! If you haven’t heard Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King”, check it out via your favourite search engine. It made for a very dramatic finale indeed!
Each delegate was presented with our Canon Partner Accreditation for 2018 – confirmation that we have the knowledge and experience to supply and support Canon products. So thank you to Canon for the hospitality, and thank you to my fellow Canon Partners for making me feel welcome. Particular thanks to those from the UK (we were the English speakers in the room so we were seated together) as well as the Polish contingent who made sure I didn’t overstay my welcome in the Hotel bar at the end of the night!
Eadaoin Carrick 🙂