It’s all about the smarts in MFDs, says Deignan of OKI
15 June 2015 | 0
It is a bit of a cliché in many ways, but today’s smart printers, almost universally now called Multi-Function Devices (MFD), have more processing power than most PCs of a decade ago. The multi-core chips are now on a par with desktop PCs and the latest machines in our range have 250gb hard drives plus 1.25gb RAM. These were purely aspirational specs in the not-very-distant past.
The point is that MFDs have evolved to incorporate dedicated computers because the range of tasks which they can now perform for business is so wide. They developed from straightforward computer mono page printers into versatile 4-in-1 devices that added colour, networking and scanning — which enabled fax, copying and transmission to workflow or data storage as digital documents.
In fact the MFD is now the intelligent device partner of all document management across the organisation. The central software gives overall control and implementation of policies. The MFD is the smart edge device that gives practical control of output and certain input as well as other functions. With a small touch screen, standard today in high end MFDs, it can act as a specialised ICT kiosk. Users can choose a huge (and easily extended) range of options from mono/colour, copy or print and page quantities to choosing stationery templates, held on the device in soft form.
Our new OKI MC800 range of A3 colour printers, led by the MC853 and MC873), combine all of the functionality available in today’s MFD market with OKI smart Extendable Platform or sXP1 software. This embedded open platform offers enhanced workflow integration and document management across the business. These devices are fully network ready for Ethernet and all standard protocols, including Wi-Fi, and work with all Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
“The MFD is now the intelligent device partner of all document management across the organisation”
The colour LCD touchscreen is highly user-friendly and can be readily customised for the organisation and its users. Simple icons can enable one-touch scanning into specific workflows, for example. The OKI MC800 series also features an integrated smart card reader to support secure and pull printing and use logging by user or department.
The sXP1 software works with most third party software in today’s market using industry standard APIs and is regularly upgraded by OKI. That means these new printers work seamlessly with in-house document management systems and services such as Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint2 and also conform to the standards of the Mopria Alliance for wireless printing from mobile devices. A free downloadable addition is ABBYY FineReader Sprint for optical character recognition of scanned documents and PDF files. Another powerful tool is SENDYS Explorer Lite, a server-based suite to enable document capture from multiple sources in order to convert, distribute or upload to a chosen data file-share location.
In addition to strengthening the OKI MFD range at the high end of the business market, the new MC800 series enriches the depth of services from OKI Ireland’s Managed Print Services. It enables us to extend the range of workflow and document automation services for our clients, including new areas such as cloud (SaaS and data storage especially) and mobile print-from-anywhere solutions.
Martin Deignan is country manager of OKI Ireland