OKI extends smart MFP range with compact A4 workgroup devices
OKI has introduced a raft of new colour printers/MFPs for the office print market. The new devices represent a significant refresh and modernisation of OKI’s range, which now includes no printer more than three years old.
The most important new announcement is the extension of OKI’s sXP (smart Extendable Platform) to small workgroup A4 colour printers for the first time. OKI smart MFPs combine a large LCD touchscreen display, open sXP solutions platform and smart send functionality including a built-in OCR engine.
With print speeds of 33 pages per minute, the ‘smart’ C542dn printer and MC573dn multifunction printer sit squarely in OKI’s core market – the C500 series has been the company’s biggest seller for years.
As well as enabling small businesses/workgroups to enjoy the sophisticated printing/scanning and document workflow capabilities previously only available to larger enterprises, the new models strengthen OKI’s solutions offering for vertical industries with a large number of small branch offices.
Smart MFPs enable customers to implement new print/copy/scan workflows to increase efficiency and productivity through easy integration with embedded and/or supported applications like PaperCut, Drivve Image, Ringdale FollowMe and YSOFT SafeQ. Other solutions can be integrated through a software developer kit (SDK).
In addition to integration with enterprise applications, the printers boast a number of embedded features that can help a customer streamline workflows and keep digital documents organised and secure, such as Private Print, optional Card Release and free integrated SENDYS Explorer LITE document management software.
This versatile software lets users scan, distribute, organise and store paper-based material electronically. A built-in OCR engine lets you convert scans into searchable formats for easy document management on-site or in the cloud, using services such as Dropbox, Sharepoint, Google Drive and One Drive. An optional Output Manager connector offers full pull printing and job accounting, enabling administrators to maintain document confidentiality and manage all users’ print, copy and scan jobs.
With smart devices’ easy-to-use touchscreens, this can all be done at the point of creation, for example at an MFP in a branch office or GP reception area, helping companies to work more efficiently, save time and cut costs.
The smart screens also simplify installation and operation of devices by providing video-based tutorials and problem-solving.
Having a ‘smart’ capability on small workgroup devices strengthens OKI’s ability to develop fully integrated solutions for retail and healthcare.
OKI has always been strong in these areas due to its heritage in distributed printing, as opposed to the centralised, high volume printing of vendors with a copier heritage. With the launch of the C542dn/MC573dn, OKI will now be able to offer solutions originally developed for larger smart devices on compact devices better suited to small branch offices.
For example, the printers could be used in retail stores to find, retrieve and print centrally produced posters, shelf edges and marketing material on demand, saving the delays, expense and waste of a print and distribute model. Using sophisticated retail solutions from OKI, managers could even amend content with local pricing, offers and descriptions, for example.
Other notable features of the new devices include 1200 x 1200 dpi print quality, flexible media handling, Wireless Direct and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and compatibility with Apple Airprint and Google Cloud Print 2.0.
Printing on demand
The ‘smart’ C542dn and MC573dn may have been the most noteworthy new products launched by OKI, but the company is also introducing a number of other devices designed to put professional in-house colour printing within reach of every business. These include the C612dn, C712dn, C332dn, MC363dn and C823/833/843 A3 devices. On demand, in-house colour printing has long been a selling point of OKI devices due to the specific qualities of LED printing technology, notably its small size and flat paper path, which enables the printers to support a wide range of paper sizes and media, from banners to plastic plant tags.
In his opening address, Tetsuya Kuri, Vice President of Marketing for EMEA, OKI Europe Ltd, said he expected more businesses to adopt in-house colour printing as an effective alternative to digital messaging, which had reached saturation point.
He said: “With our range of new products, OKI will get even closer to customers’ printing needs by enabling on-demand, in-house, high quality colour printing, producing effective documents for small businesses in a compact and affordable form; by increasing business efficiency and security through tailored and secure document work?ow integration for large corporates; or even by enabling special applications on unique print media in the retail and healthcare environments.”