Prokom pushes global reach

By Max Goldbart, Monday 24 October 2016

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Konica Minolta community user group Prokom is targeting global growth after a successful US launch and increased interest from within Europe.


Barber: "It seemed perfectly obvious that the principles of Prokom could work anywhere"

Prokom chair Andy Barber said that Konica Minolta Japan plans on putting together a team that supports Prokom across the world.

Prokom US was launched at Graph Expo, Florida, earlier this month. It now has a leadership team and an advisory board of two, based in the US.

Barber, who is managing director of UK Mail subsidiary Imail, also said that Prokom Europe had seen a great deal of interest in recent months, with a number of elite membership sign-ups this month. It has also increased headcount on its board from two to five, with the first meeting taking place last week.

Prokom was launched in 2014 as a Europe-wide Konica Minolta user group. At that time, it had three key objectives: sharing business ideas with other users; developing communications with Konica Minolta senior management to help shape decisions on future services and design and functionality of equipment; and networking through workshops, conferences, webinars and publications.

Barber said: “There have been a lot of meetings to see how it could work and it seemed perfectly obvious that the principles of Prokom could work anywhere.

“When we launched in 2014, it was a fairly small team, and to be fair I don’t think we quite envisaged how long it would take to get such a compelling and market-leading proposition to market.

“If it hadn’t been so successful in Europe, the rest of the world wouldn’t have been so active. That is a good measure of how the platform, the website, the content, and our whole approach has been much more 360.”

Prokom has an online platform to connect up members. It divides issues into four categories: operations, sales and marketing, new services and business and strategy.

It also recently announced that it will be hosting its first annual conference in May 2017 in Vienna.

Prokom’s other board members are UK-based Nova Direct managing director Andy Fry, Germany-based OvernightPrints Europe managing director Arndt Eschenlohr, Belgium-based Identic managing director Thierry Paquit and Germany-based founder Christian Kopocz.

“It’s a challenge and we are all stretched in whatever we do these days but the reality with Prokom is that I’ve got a brilliant management team that is effective at working towards objectives and delivering really great content,” added Barber. 

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