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Why Smart Businesses need Smart MFPs

As businesses exit the downturn and plan for future growth, senior management teams are increasingly looking at ways in which they can enhance business process efficiency and divert more resources to revenue-

 As businesses exit the downturn and plan for future growth, senior management teams are increasingly looking at ways in which they can enhance business process effiiency and divert more resources to revenue-generating activities.

As businesses exit the downturn and plan for future growth, senior management teams are increasingly looking at ways in which they can enhance business process efficiency and divert more resources to revenue-generating activities.

generating activities. As a result of the exponential growth in information volumes, the digitisation of business and the growth of the mobile workforce, the spotlight has turned on print and document-related operating activities as a key focus for improvement.

There is still work to do. It is increasingly acknowledged that printing costs are one of the biggest remaining areas of uncontrolled spending in many businesses today.

That’s why we are seeing growing interest in business approaches like managed print services and managed document solutions that drive printing efficiencies, increase productivity and generally help organisations to budget more effectively.

Multifunction printers (MFPs) can and should be a core part of this carefully managed and controlled approach. The latest advances, with smart MFPs in particular, have successfully transformed devices that were primarily printers and copiers of paper pages into ones capable of complete electronic document management processes.

As a result, these devices are becoming more central to the workflow of an entire organisation. When this happens they can help a company on its journey to a digital world.

But how specifically can smart MFPs do this and drive improvements in productivity and savings in costs? Smart MFPs are network and/or internet-ready with a customisable graphical user interface (GUI). They have open embedded platforms and can be programmed to perform functions that are modified to specific requirements (such as addressing specific workflows). These functions can also be driven by server-based software applications.

Online optical character recognition software enables users to electronically convert scanned documents into computer-readable text for editing, indexing, searching, processing and displaying in a more valuable way. For example, some smart MFPs allow users to convert tables into Excel format for further use.

It is often overlooked as a key benefit, but these devices come with a compact footprint, integrating multiple different document management functions into a single device and thereby conserving critically important office space.

Delivering Efficiencies

OKI is in the forefront of delivering these kinds of business efficiencies through its own fleet of high-quality, powerful MFPs.

Its new MC853 smart MFP, for example, incorporates both A3 and A4 capability and combines the reliability of OKI’s pioneering digital LED print technology with the added functionality and performance of more costly and complex copier-based devices, ensuring outstanding print and copy quality as well as comprehensive scan and document management and secure printing.

In terms of supporting quality output, LED functionality is key, helping to deliver sharp, fast and accurate scanning. This capability enables users to digitise documents clearly and easily – and users can scan directly to email, USB, network folder and other destinations.

The device’s scanner delivers fast, high quality output with automatic document collation. And with lightweight delivery access protocol (LDAP), it supports direct access to contact and email data from an existing directory server.

Of course, LED technology has the added benefit of being robust and durable. It has fewer moving parts, which means less wear and tear, for exceptional reliability. This, plus durable components and a robust, built-to-last design, allows OKI to provide users with the peace of mind of a 3-year warranty as standard. Moreover, OKI’s smart Extendable Platform (sXP) ensures the MC853 can sit at the heart of any business’s document workflow, with a simple to use, customisable 7” colour LCD touch screen that operates the device and all document functions.

Critically, media flexibility and document handling are made easier, too. The MC853 can accommodate a wide range of paper weights and sizes with a maximum paper capacity up to 2,005 sheets for added flexibility.

The MC853 has a low cost of ownership and helps support considerable cost savings throughout its life span, thanks to a combination of exceptional energy efficiency, high capacity toner cartridges and many paper-saving functions. Additionally, this smart MFP combines four devices in one, offering the capability of a printer, fax, copier and scanner at no extra cost.

Ergonomic design

The MC853 is a key part of OKI’s new MC800 Series of devices, which also incorporates the MC873. This series features an ergonomic design and includes a customisable touch screen panel with a lift-up mechanism which moves with the device, making it easy for users to follow the menu screen. Businesses can programme their own popular print and copy jobs as individual function commands. The user-friendly smart MFPs also feature a comprehensive guided help function, two output bins and convenience stapling as standard.

With high printing and scanning speeds, the smart MFP delivers fast, efficient performance. All models are Google Cloud Print ready and AirPrint2 ready. Additionally, document-intensive office tasks are made more agile with ABBYY FineReader Sprint OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software, a downloadable PC/Mac desktop application that is available free of charge to OKI smart MFP customers.

A recent IDC white paper, sponsored by OKI Europe, highlights that 66% of European SMBs value the ability to automate business processes and access documents from a single location. The MC853 and MC873 address this specific requirement. These smart MFPs have sXP, OKI’s open API, enabling them to connect with powerful software for seamless document workflow integration, making them well-suited to a range of industries, including schools and financial institutes.

The MC853 and MC873 can be used to manage documents with SENDYS Explorer LITE server-based software, available to OKI smart MFP customers at no additional cost. The software gives users the ability to capture documents from various sources and convert, distribute or upload them to a chosen location, providing greater flexibility to edit, access, print, retrieve and share files.

The MC800 Series is integrated circuit (IC) smart card reader-ready for flexible user management, secure printing and managing print jobs. Fax is included as standard and OKI’s three-year warranty is offered at no extra cost when the product is registered within 30 days of purchase.

The MC800 Series also supports built-in data and document security with features including IPsec, authentications and Encrypted Secure Print, which delivers protected printing to ensure document confidentiality.

Part of a Managed Package While all the above benefits potentially bring streamlined workflows and business efficiencies, the opportunities for cost saving can be consolidated and significantly boosted by working with a provider such as OKI as part of a managed document solutions service.

The investment in these services can be easily justified, as they help both the organisation and the MFP provider to better manage workflow, the hardware itself and the contracts involved based on actual business needs. It is a highly valuable means of understanding user behaviour and accurately quantifying usage, enabling automated billing and providing accountability.

Service providers can deliver proactive consumables replenishment and be alerted to service and maintenance requirements, reducing downtime. Companies can also compare usage against service level agreements and modify contracts due to changes, for example, in user behaviour and overall business requirements. And , by using versatile devices like smart MFPs as part of a managed document solutions approach, they can maximise the business efficiencies they achieve. For more information see: Twitter: @OKIUK LinkedIn: Oki UK LinkedIn: Andrew Hall, marketing manager

by Andrew Hall, marketing manager Oki Systems UK

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