By Jennifer LeClaire / Data Storage Today. Updated February 18, 2014.
The new lineup of printers from Hewlett-Packard feature a host of mobile print capabilities for small and medium-size business (SMBs) users operating in a BYOD (bring your own device) environment. With so many workers using their own smartphones, tablets, and laptops at work, there's likely to be increasing demand for printing documents straight from these devices.
In fact, research analysts at IDC predict that by 2015, 41 percent of business smartphone users and 43 percent of business tablet users will print from their mobile devices. With that in mind, HP’s lineup of devices for SMBs and enterprises is working to simplify the way customers can print through near-field communications (NFC) touch-to-print capabilities, wireless direct printing, HP ePrint and HP AirPrint.
“The expectation of today’s business customer is to print securely from any location or device,” said George Brasher, HP's vice president and general manager for its Worldwide Laser Printer Business. “HP remains committed to delivering simple, secured mobile print solutions aimed to help customers solve the mobility challenge of working while in the office or on the go. With the addition of these new enterprise-grade mobility offerings, HP is helping SMBs increase productivity and workflow solutions, allowing them to be more productive in their businesses.”
Meet the New Mobile Printer
First up is the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476. It comes equipped with secured mobile print solutions that promise SMB users an easier way to print or access content just about anytime, anywhere and from almost any device.
The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476 meets Mopria global certification standards for delivering wireless printing from smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. The MFP also offers productivity and workflow solutions, such as access to cloud business applications such as HP Flow CM Professional, Box and Google Drive. These embedded applications, along with single-pass, two-sided scanning, work to help users accelerate efficiency in a hybrid paper-and-digital world.
Meanwhile, as IT administrators look to increase office productivity while keeping costs at reasonable levels, HP’s Lightweight Directory Access Protocol feature acts as an access control for guests, so that IT can set up user restrictions for scan, fax or copy functions.
Content Creation vs. Consumption
We caught up with Roger Entner, a principal analyst at Recon Analytics, to get his take on HP’s new printers -- and more specifically the demand for mobile-enabled printers.
He suggests that as tablet users focus more on content creation (creating documents, presentations, etc.), mobile printing will become more and more important. As long as mobile devices are still primarily consumption devices (for reading or surfing the web, for example), mobile printing is less important.
Salespeople, for example, might travel just with their tablets to give a presentation, and then someone might ask them to print a copy. "So there’s a need, but it is not that critical right now,” Entner said.
“The trend towards this will become stronger as mobile devices are offering the ability to, for example, put things up on a projector. Then you are more and more likely to cut out the laptop as your presentation device -- and then mobile printing becomes more [essential]." Generally, Entner pointed out, printing capabilities are more useful for content creation devices rather than for consumption devices.