The Rise of the Machines
Make sure your managed print provider keeps you up to date with technology.
Can you imagine using the same mobile phone for 10 years? Any device from the pre-smartphone era would be painfully slow to use and entirely ill equipped to access apps and services that are now part of everyday life.
Yet something similar is happening up and down the country as businesses hang on to ageing printers, copiers and scanners so far past their sell-by-dates that you’d half expect them to be using parchment rather than paper!
I’m not pretending that printers have the same high-tech appeal as smartphones, or that the technology is as intrinsically lifestyle-changing, but make no mistake, print and imaging hardware benefits from continuous innovation and new technologies that can affect the way you run your business. You don’t want to miss out on it.
Rise of the machines
One of the most dramatic developments has been the rise of the MFD (Multi-Function Device), not just the integration of printing, copying, and scanning into a single unit – that was well underway a decade ago – but how the performance of each component has improved while the footprint of the all-in-one device takes up less space.
Advances in print quality and speed have also been spectacular, across inkjets as well as lasers. Features like scan to email are making MFDs as much a part of a networked company as servers and storage devices, particularly when businesses look to explore new workflow, digitising documents and automating processes.
The hardware has kept up with wider market trends, improving security with features like pull printing – where the user is the only person who can print and collect a document at a machine – or encryption for protecting content. Manufacturers have also recognised the need to connect with a growing number of mobile devices with wireless technologies like Bluetooth and NFC becoming increasingly standard. And everything’s been going greener, with hardware that uses less power and facilitates double-sided printing.
Why it matters
If you are paying a fixed cost per page for Managed Print Service (MPS), and if your provider is just about keeping things up and running, you might wonder why all this matters. For Ergo it’s fundamental because we believe an MPS should be about continuous improvement, presenting customers with new options that can drive greater productivity and further savings.
We use our regular client reviews to inspect the current standing of the service and look at ways of making it better. Technology sometimes has a part to play in this. From the initial audit at the start of an engagement, we plan where to place different devices for maximum efficiency – the ones capable of the highest resolution near marketing, for example, and faster printers where quality is less important, next to accounts.
This may change as the contract evolves. When older kit starts to struggle, we might move it to a part of the business where print is less important, putting a newer, faster machine in its place. It makes sense to refresh kit on a fairly regular basis. New machines mean less maintenance, more uptime, and higher performance. It all adds up to cost savings that Ergo passes on to its clients.
We always look to marry technology to a business and capitalise on the latest developments. Straight out of the box, a modern MFD can integrate with SharePoint, communicate wirelessly with tablets, and encrypt content that’s heading for the printer – features and functionality that were unavailable just a few years ago.
So you have a choice. Talk to Ergo about an MPS that has the capability to constantly evolve and leverage the latest technology for business advantage, or go with print providers that are prepared to let your fleet of devices fall into a state of neglect.