Ricoh and IBM Create a Global Alliance
More good things are coming from old partnerships, the latest being a global strategic alliance between Ricoh Americas Corporation and the ever-popular IBM, spearheaded by Ricoh's new offering - Document Security and Management Services.

Teamwork Makes a Fine Looking 2009

Basically, by working together, the vendors will leverage each other's sales networks. Jointly delivered, the DSMS solution which covers assessment and deployment, end-user services, managed services, security, green office and enterprise content management services, will initially be offered to assist customers in the U.S. only. 

This solution is said to build upon Ricoh’s extensive experience in helping customers improve their document workflow, security and compliance, while (of course) reducing costs. 

Also in the news, Ricoh has agreed to become a reseller of IBM's managed server services. Good samaritans that they are, they plan to help IBM sell and deliver IBM software, hardware and services that include end-user, Internet security systems, business continuity and resiliency, and storage and data.

Understanding the importance of providing technologies based on open standards nowadays, Ricoh and IBM will demonstrate Multi-Function Product (MFP) -based solutions that fully integrate with a corporation’s IT applications and infrastructure and are based on the principles of service oriented architecture (SOA).

Because of its support for SOA, customers will be able to integrate a Ricoh MFP into their existing IT infrastructure to drive complex business processes.

"Ricoh and IBM have been working together for a long time, so I see this as kind of a deepening of that relationship," said Mark Minshull, Ricoh vice president and chief technologist. "We're teaming up at a sales level to go after major global accounts and do what we each do best. 

Great Expectations? Probably

Although they've each undergone a considerable amount of development in the last year in their own right, the strategic alliance is the latest in the history of collaboration between the two vendors. Their last move as a team was in 2007 when Ricoh purchased IBM's digital commercial printer business for a whopping US$ 725 million.

According to Reuters, a Japanese newspaper reported that Ricoh expects new Ricoh/IBM business ventures to boost sales by about US$ 1.1 billion within three years, although Minshull declined to comment on an exact number. 

"IBM and Ricoh are both trying to solve the same problems," Minshull added. "Take the IBM Tivoli story and meld it with the Ricoh one. There's a lot of strategic symmetry in where they're going and where we're going. Looking at [Hewlett-Packard] and what they're doing with EDS, this is a natural fit for us to offer a high-end services capability."

The outlook is certainly a positive looking one on our end.