OKI extends smart MFP range with compact A4 workgroup devices
In the last 24 months OKI has generated numerous headlines for its graphics arts and wide format products. In fact, it is safe to say that its fve colour, white and neon printers and its acquisition of Seiko Corporation’s wide format print business have created a lot more buzz than its offce devices.
OKI is changing this with the introduction of a raft of new colour printers/MFPs for the office print market. The new devices represent a significant refresh and modernisation of OKI’s range, which now includes no printer more than three years old.
The most important new announcement is the extension of OKI’s sXP (smart Extendable Platform) to small workgroup A4 colour printers for the first time. With the 33ppm C542dn printer and MC573dn multifunction printer, OKI’s smart series now includes A4, A3, colour and mono models.
OKI smart MFPs, which already include the MB492dn, MB562dnw a The introduction of the new products is significant for a number of reasons:
1 they sit in OKI’s core market – the C500 series has been the company’s biggest seller for years; 2 they enable small businesses/workgroup’s to enjoy powerful printing/scanning and document workflow capabilities previously only available to larger enterprises; and 3 they strengthen OKI’s solutions offering for vertical industries, especially those with a large number of small branch offices.
Smart MFPs enable customers to implement new print/copy/scan processes to increase efficiency and productivity through easy integration with embedded and/ or supported applications like PaperCut, Drivve Image, Ringdale FollowMe and YSOFT SafeQ. Other solutions can be integrated through a software developer kit (SDK).
In addition to integration with enterprise applications, the printers boast a number of embedded features that can help a customer streamline work?ows and keep digital documents organised and secure, such as Private Print, optional Card Release and free integrated SENDYS Explorer LITE document management software.
This versatile software lets users scan, distribute, organise and store paper-based material electronically. A built-in OCR engine lets you convert scans into searchable formats for easy document management on-site or in the cloud using services such as Dropbox, Sharepoint, Google Drive and One Drive. An optional Output Manager connector offers full pull printing and job accounting, enabling administrators to maintain document confidentiality and manage all users’ print, copy and scan jobs.
With easy-to-use touchscreens, this can all be done at the point of creation, for example at an MFP in a branch office or GP reception area, helping companies to work more efficiently, save time and cut costs.
The smart screens also simplify device installation and operation by providing video-based tutorials and problem-solving.
Having a ‘smart’ capability on small workgroup devices strengthens OKI’s ability to develop fully integrated solutions for specific vertical sectors, such as retail and healthcare.
OKI has always been strong in these areas due to its heritage in distributed printing, as opposed to the centralised, high volume printing of vendors with a copier heritage. With the launch of the C542dn/MC573dn, OKI will now be able to offer solutions originally developed for larger smart devices on compact devices better suited to small branch offices.
For example, a retailer could enable small branches to find, retrieve and print centrally produced posters, shelf edges and marketing material on demand, saving the delays, expense and waste of a print and distribute model. Using sophisticated retail solutions from OKI, managers could even amend content with local pricing, offers and descriptions.
Other notable features of the new devices include 1200 x 1200 dpi print quality, flexible media handling, Wireless Direct and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and compatibility with Apple Airprint and Google Cloud Print 2.0.
Printing on demand
In addition to the ‘smart’ C542dn and MC573dn, OKI is also introducing a number of other devices designed to put professional in-house colour printing within reach of every business (see box on previous page).
On demand, in-house colour printing has long been a selling point of OKI devices due to the specific qualities of LED printing technology, notably its small size and ?at paper path, which enables the printers to support a wide range of paper sizes and media, from banners to plastic plant tags.
In his opening address, Tetsuya Kuri, Vice President of Marketing for EMEA, OKI Europe Ltd, highlighted this capability as a key growth opportunity for OKI, suggesting that people were becoming disenchanted with the sheer volume of digital communications – 205 billion email messages a day in 2015, rising to an estimated 246 billion by 2019, according to a study by Radicati Group.
He said that as people tire of e-marketing they are becoming more appreciative of paperbased communications and that this will increase demand for in-house colour printing. “We expect demand for printed communications to increase as businesses move towards more effective communications that are personalised and with eye-catching colour graphics, grabbing people’s attention, resulting in a higher conversion rate and a greater ROI than email marketing,” Kuri said.
He added: “With our range of new products, OKI will get even closer to customers’ printing needs by enabling on-demand inhouse high-quality colour printing, producing effective documents for small businesses in a compact and affordable form; by increasing business efficiency and security through tailored and secure document work?ow integration for large corporates; or even by enabling special applications on unique print media in the retail and healthcare environments.
“The new portfolio is designed to change perceptions of what a printer can do for businesses and organisations. We are encouraging customers to take a fresh look at the potential of these affordable devices to help them build their brand, save time and money and enhance productivity.”
All OKI’s new devices, including its new smart devices, incorporate the latest security features as standard, including Private Print to help keep confidential documents safe, optional Card Release and Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) compliance.
New OKI models at a glance
C332dn and MC363dn. Suitable for 1-5 users, these affordable printers/MFPs combine high defnition ProQ2400 print quality with the fastest print speeds in their class – 26/30ppm (colour/mono).
C542dn and MC573. These new devices lower the price point for touch-screen technology and smart printing. The customisable 7-inch screen and OKI’s smart extendable platform (sXP) enable connection to an existing pull printing ?eet or access to document management software, at no extra cost. Both boast a powerful new engine resulting in print speeds of 30 ppm and 1200 x 1200 dpi print quality. A version with a smaller screen is available for cost-conscious users.
C612dn and C712dn. Meeting the high volume print needs of workgroups of up to 20 people, these devices combine high-level output, reliability, robust security and a low cost of ownership. They have print speeds of 34 pages per minute, Private Print, Gigabit Ethernet and Wireless Direct connectivity, as well as compatibility with Google Cloud 2.0.
C823/833/843. Rounding out OkI’s range, these compact A3 digital LED printers, the smallest A3 colour printers on the market, have print speeds from 23-35ppm and a frst page to print time of 9.5-14 seconds. The printers’ compact size makes them ideal for space-restricted retail environments, for producing lea?ets, brochures, banners and shelf edge labels in-house.