Executive Corner With Ted Ardelean, Canon Business Process Services

Ted Ardelean is the director of Segment Marketing for Canon Business Process Services Inc. In this position, Ardelean analyzes business processes, workflow, and technology solutions and helps develop document process efficiencies for manufacturing companies. With over 25 years of corporate experience, Ardelean has worked in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, management consulting, office systems manufacturing and distribution, IT consulting and document process outsourcing.
Ardelean received his MBA from Adelphi University and a B.B.A. from Baruch College, CUNY. He is AIIM ERM Master Certified.

What is your current state of mind?

Optimistic because each year we see more customers increase spending on MPS as their business picks up. They are implementing the strategy, policy, tools and monitoring systems necessary to effectively manage office document output processes. We see second- and third-generation MPS buyers scrutinizing and validating MPS vendor capability claims before they renew contracts because in the past, they purchased MPS but did not really get MPS. They do not want to make the same mistake again. I think these trends are good for the market.

What is the greatest challenge you face today?

With so much technology available, it is a challenge to stay up-to-date on all of the new products and solutions being introduced. Our MPS specialists are constantly evaluating, testing and training on new products in domains such as workflow, security, output and device management so they can construct more useful business solutions. On the service provisioning side of the business, as soon as you’ve retooled, a new generation of platforms emerge, and additional investments need to be made.

What is your greatest concern for this industry?

Right now I don’t have a big concern. The industry is changing with technology advancements as it has since the beginning. As I mentioned, customers are buying into the MPS value proposition. If I had a concern, it would about a slowdown in the development of office products, which could lead to the commoditization of MPS.

What do you see as your biggest opportunity?

The biggest opportunity in office output and workflow solutions is more effectively integrating hardware and related peripheral software with business and IT management systems. We see the document output fleet and related workflow technologies as business tools capable of providing the same value as any business application. This includes, for example, routing documents and the data they contain, collecting records and analyzing data. Today we hear about cars that can drive themselves. Why can’t we similarly program an MFP device to process documents in different ways? I see this development as a future opportunity.

What would you consider your greatest achievement?

At Canon Business Process Services, everything is a team effort. One thing I am proud of is having the opportunity to contribute to the development of our MPS offering as well as our business process outsourcing and imaging services. We all have different roles and therefore contribute in different ways. What matters in the end is what we have produced together. My contributions have been centered on service development as well as market and customer needs.

Where are you investing the most within your company this year?

In MPS and document workflow solutions, we are investing primarily in training and solution design. In other services, such as accounts payable automation and BPO, we continue to work on process automation, creating better and more innovative ways of delivering services.

What qualities do you look for when making key hires?

Today, employees focused on service delivery, customer management and the IT systems that support our services must understand our clients’ business. This includes what bothers our clients – what “keeps them up at night.” Our employees must be able to anticipate our clients’ next move and offer new ideas, solutions and best practices that will help them succeed. We look for employees with this kind of business sense.

Who is your next hire?

Most likely our next hire will be a service evangelist – someone who is known for trying and doing things differently.

How would your employees and co-workers describe you?

I hope they would say I am analytical, helpful and dependable. I work mostly in operations, sales and technology functions. Most of my colleagues are in client service roles. When we work on a project, I am always cognizant that their main objective is to serve clients. Their secondary job is to work with me on the project.

If your customers were to describe your company in three words, what would they be?

Over the past eight years, I have heard clients describe — in interviews with analysts such as Gartner, IDC and Forrester — how our company manages many different challenges, such as helping them maintain operations during a natural disaster. Based on this input, I’d say the three words are dependable, flexible and resourceful.

Why do you hold your current business position today?

I am in my current position because I like being flexible and working across the product spectrum from solution development to marketing. While I don’t consider myself a techie, I do like applying technology solutions to business process problems. I also like working with different people. Most of all, I like to contribute to our service offerings and help our company compete. It is gratifying to see our services being selected by our clients. Having a hand in that is something I like being part of.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I often find myself using business terminology outside work. Words like “process” and “integration” often creep up in my nonwork conversations.

Managed print services or managed services?

Managed print services because it is specific. Today, with so many technology and service domains overlapping, it is often hard to understand the difference between one solution and another. I prefer clarity.

Do trends exist in this industry?

Yes. One trend is that companies and employees are becoming familiar with MFD (multifunctional device) workflow, which includes fax and scan-to-email capabilities. In our experience, clients are gaining a better understanding of digital workflow. As a result, workflow solutions are becoming easier for us to market, and clients are adopting them at an accelerated pace.

Who are your favorite writers?

William Shakespeare is one I admire because he could say so much with a few well-chosen words.

What is your favorite quote?

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln

Posted by Raegen Pietrucha on 09/06/2013