Hey IT, You Better Get Used to “BYOD”
With the widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets, today’s workforce is relying more and more on consumer mobile devices to help them in their professional lives. It is not enough to have a company supplied desktop PC, or even a laptop, anymore. End users are now demanding access to business applications and functions from their personal devices, such as an iPhone or an iPad. This “bring your own device” to the office mindset is pushing corporate IT personnel to implement support for mobile platforms such as iOS, Android and yes, even BlackBerry, while trying to maintain the company’s security policies for risk mitigation. Part of that security now needs to include mobile printing, as it is an inevitable byproduct of using mobile devices in the workplace. IT departments can no longer overlook the needed complexity, and associated costs and risks of their organization’s print environment. Today, it is necessary to define a balanced print strategy, which includes mobile printing, with security, costs, business process requirements, and end user needs in mind. Here at Advance, that’s what we do.
Advance helps its clients better understand their print infrastructure through a fleet assessment process. We then recommend a strategy for document workflow improvement, device consolidation, cost reduction, and even print output reduction, supported by continuous ongoing management. Part of that process now includes helping our clients implement a mobile printing strategy, which mitigates the escalating costs and security risks which would have otherwise been uncontrolled, while giving workers the productivity and convenience of utilizing multi-platform mobile devices.
A newly updated product that we are particularly excited about is PrintMe Mobile. It is the latest evolution of the PrintMe series of mobile printing solutions from EFI. Advance began implementing PrintMe as a software based Apple AirPrint solution for Fiery enabled multifunctional printers (MFPs). It then grew into a native AirPrint solution for many Fierys, through a downloadable patch. Next, PrintMe became an integrated MFP, cloud based, “email to print” solution, which supported all mobile platforms. Now, the newest release of PrintMe Mobile, version 2.1, combines all of its previous abilities into one comprehensive software based product. It offers “direct to print” native Apple AirPrint printing, as well as direct Android printing from a free downloadable app. It also includes “email to print” and secure “release to print” capabilities. What’s particularly impressive is its ability to work with any brand of MFP or printer, while preserving document fonts and layouts of many common document types including PDF, JPEG, TIFF, HTML, email and even Microsoft Office files. Administrators will find it easy to manage and will appreciate its built in reporting options.
PrintMe Mobile is a terrific solution in general businesses, as part of a bigger picture print strategy. It can make any company with mobile workers, such as an attorney’s office or construction firm, more productive. It can even provide a convenient print solution with minimal management for the hospitality industry. However, for organizations like educational institutions, where tablets are replacing textbooks, and like healthcare companies, where tablets are replacing laptops, it is a must have solution.