This Week in Imaging: Thoughts on the Smart MFP; HP Adds to Security Suite, Selling Snapfish; More

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Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

Is your MFP smart enough?

While print speeds and document-feed speeds still have their place, we’re fast reaching the point were these hardware attributes are being eclipsed by the smart MFP. With the smart MFP, we mean a device that not only prints, copies, scans, and faxes, but one that eases administrative management and security burdens, and provides user quotas, job-tracking, accounting, and charge-back, and, second, makes everyday document tasks for end-users faster and easier.

For administrators, that means an MFP that prevents end-users from doing things not in the enterprise’s best interest – at one extreme, that may be sending client lists or trade secrets to rivals, or on a more mundane level, preventing people from printing when they have no business doing so. It can also mean tracking user behavior so that under- or over-utilized MFPs or printer can be placed more efficiently. And of course, the smart MFP offers multiple security provisions for securing data moving-in-and-out of the MFP: from securing users able to use the MFP by requiring them to swipe ID cards, or entering network passwords, to advanced data encryption, to encrypting data stored in hard drives.

For end-users, the smart MFP makes routine and repetitive tasks easier, from scanning both sides of a patient’s health-insurance ID card and sending it to the appropriate network folder, or sending documents to destinations such as Microsoft SharePoint and enterprise content management systems, and/or routing the document to multiple locations, for instance, for a loan approval. It also means being able to directly scan and convert documents into the most convenient file format without having to do so at the PC desktop, whether it’s PDF/A format for keeping document formatting intact, using OCR to convert documents into text-editable format, or specifying key words so that documents can later be more easily searched and found.  The smart MFP is also mobile-device friendly, so that end-users can easily use the MFP for print and scan, but administrators can block, control, and track their mobile use.

Last, and critical is that with the smart MFP, these capabilities can be tailored to the company’s vertical segment, such as banking, legal, retail, or healthcare, for client chargeback for printing in legal, for instance, and regulatory compliance in healthcare.

While all of this isn’t as easy to compare and sell as speeds and feeds are, once dealers, customers and end-users understand the time-saving benefits of the smart MFP, speeds and feeds will become far less important. It’s not longer just about how fast you can print those documents, but how fast you can get them to where you want them to be, and how fast you can get them back when and where you need them.

HP is selling its Snapfish online photo storage and printing service – but not to worry, it’ll still be supplying the printers to print those photos and photo albums.

Office-Product News

  • Print Audit Introduces Embedded Application for Kyocera Small-Panel HyPAS MFPs – Read more here.
  • New HP Suite of Security Solutions Includes Threat Detection, User Profiling, Cloud Protection  – Read more here.
  • MSE Technologies Launches MPS Program with Print-Environment Monitoring, Automatic Toner Supply  – Read more here.

Other News

  • HP Selling its Snapfish Consumer Photo-Storage and Printing Business  – Read more here.
  • Xerox Wins $564.9 Million Medicaid Contract with State of New York  – Read more here.
  • ABBYY Expands Presence in Middle East with New Dubai Office  – Read more here.

Legal Briefs

  • Printronic Agrees to Not Sell Alleged Canon Patent-Infringing Toner Cartridges, Drums, in U.S.  – Read more here.

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