For the last 2 Years, we have heard an evolving buzz about Web Based Printers and Printing. Hewlett Packard, Xerox and other Printer & MFP manufacturers have built this functionality into their newest printers and have also included cloud-based infrastructure to accommodate this.
Despite being a document professional, I didn’t get it at first. With all of the talk of Paperless Office and the Paper-Less Office, Tablet Based Apps and all of the technology change that is occurring, I thought “How could this be useful?”. Certainly with a largely mobilizing workforce, new processes and Apps would become available to continue to take paper and printing out of the process.
I am now starting to “get it”, after having used it myself, and assisting clients and their workforce evolve with this technology.
Let’s take a look at the concept of Web Based Printing using Hewlett Packard’s ePrint Technology and Platform as a template.
HP’s Promise: “Print from Virtually anywhere”, Now you can use your PC or Mobile Device to print from anywhere, anytime.
Working remotely? You can email a document directly to your HP ePrint-enabled printer from virtually* any mobile device (smartphone, tablet, laptop) and have it ready for you when you get in. It’s easy to set up and even easier to use.
Here is how it works: First, you have to have an ePrint enabled HP LaserJet Printer or MFP. This can also be done using ePrint enabled Large Format HP DesignJet Printers (plotter). Then you must register your ePrint enabled HP Printer and create a user account(s).
Here is what HP ePrint has to offer:
- ePrint – Use this HP feature to print from anywhere with a Web connection by sending an email to your printer's email address.
- Print apps – Enjoy instant access to printable Web content from your printer's control panel, for select Internet-capable printers.
- ePrintCenter – See your printer status, add and remove print apps, and manage ePrint settings and job history from any Web browser, at home or on the go.
HP’s ePrint Platform is offered to businesses and organizations based on size. They have HP ePrint for Home, ePrint for Business and ePrint for Enterprises. Each category has features that are specific to the size and type of organization you work in.
HP Mobile Printing Apps - HP ePrint Home & Biz makes ePrinting even easier by offering more controls to help you print digital content (Microsoft® Office documents, web pages, PDFs, photos and email attachments) to over 200 HP printer models directly from your mobile device.You can download HP ePrint Home & Biz from Android Market, the iTunes App Store and Ovi Market directly to your computer, then manually sync to your device.
HP ePrint Printer Apps - With HP printer apps, you can print perfectly formatted Web content directly from your HP ePrint-enabled printer without being connected to a PC.* You get direct access to great content from HP and other leading brands that help make printing faster, simpler and more useful than ever.
HP ePrint & Share - Now design professionals can easily and intuitively access large-format files from the cloud and print them on the go directly to HP DesignjetePrinters and MFPs.
HP AirPrint - iOS users, print directly and wirelessly to your HP Printer over a Wi-Fi network with your iPhone®, iPad® or iPod Touch®.† No downloads required.
What is important to understand is that Hewlett Packard did not just create printers that can receive Print Jobs from the internet. They created an infrastructure to allow for dynamic processes to be performed making ePrinting more valuable.
Here is what I really like: Most of my clients are not just CIOs and CFOs, they are also IT Managers and IT Technicians. These guys are often burdend with the task of keeping their companies user groups up to date with new PCs, Servers, etc as well as managing their interface with Printers, called Print Drivers. This is becoming more of a challenge for these guys and gals as the workforce mobilizes and the need to print stays constant. Much of the driver configuration, management and troubleshooting is completely eliminated using ePrint, saving organizations thousands of hours a year in IT Staff Time.
Is your Company or Organization using Web Enabled Printers? What are your thoughts?