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The Mobile Printing Opportunity

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Jeff MasonBy Jeff Mason

There’s no question that the business world has gone mobile. Enterprise employees are accessing business information via mobile devices while in the office, during business travel and even while on vacation. Accessibility is the key to sustaining work productivity, and smartphones and tablets are quickly replacing desktop computers because they help increase the availability of information. However, as mobile adoption increases, so have expectations for “PC-like" functionalities and features from the palms of people’s hands.

The most commonly requested “PC-like" feature may surprise you. According to TechNavio, the most requested feature in mobile devices, such as iPhones and iPads, is the print feature, and enterprises are quickly realizing that one of the biggest shortcomings in their mobility plans is the omission of a companywide mobile printing solution. Industry analyst firm IDC has noted that mobile printing is gaining traction on a year-over-year basis and predicts that by 2015 more than 50 percent of smartphone and tablet business users will use mobile print in the office environment.

So why the shortcoming in so many mobility strategies?  Enterprises may be embracing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trends in favor of productivity, but they simply aren’t taking the way that their employees work into consideration. Take IT managers. They may realize the benefits of sending salespeople on the road with tablets, but don’t take the need to print presentations or corporate materials remotely into consideration. Why? The use case isn’t part of their day-to-day experience. They’ve never been in a hotel without a way to access the latest version of a presentation sent by the home office. They’ve never had a visitor at the office that desperately needed to print a contract in order to provide a much-needed service. As a result, mobile employees have to work around their printing needs.

Imagine that — working around printing when you’re trying to increase employee efficiency and productivity? Physical documents are critical components of the way that every business works. While companies are aware of home solutions, most don’t realize that secure, reliable, cost effective and within-the-firewall enterprise mobile printing solutions exist.

This is where the opportunity lies for channel partners selling bundled print services. The opportunity exists to not only anticipate standard printing needs, but to evaluate the organization’s overall technology landscape within the parameters of how they work. And, the work they are doing is increasingly mobile.

In an enterprise environment, very few companies standardize on a single printer manufacturer and technology platform. Additionally, in a BYOD environment, not every employee uses the same operating system on their smartphone or tablet. Many mobile printing solutions are not printer or mobile device agnostic, which makes mobile printing a challenge for many employees. We’ve found that solutions like EFI’s PrintMe Mobile allow employees to easily and directly print, regardless of printer brand or mobile device. The solution is also easy to integrate into the current company’s infrastructure and interfaces with accounting systems like Equitrac, PaperCut and Go Print, to help IT manage all print jobs and set printing parameters for employees.

BYOD is an opportunity — an opportunity for both our customers and for us.  While employees have already realized the need for mobile printing solutions and employers are busy overlooking this, we must seize the opportunity to educate our customers on how they can easily make their workforce more efficient. With a mobile printing solution, employees and office guests will reap the benefits of being able to print from the device of their choice and maintain productivity and efficiency. Additionally, IT staff will appreciate a mobile printing solution that is flexible, easy to integrate into the corporate infrastructure, and allows them to manage print workflow. It’s time to put the power of printing into the palms of the people.

Jeff Mason is the senior vice president of sales for MRC, responsible for driving the MRC360 go-to-market strategy companywide.  He is responsible for all sales efforts in California. Mason specializes in consultative-based sales and helping customers identify and solve challenges they are facing with their businesses today. He also specializes in leadership and leadership development and runs the MRC Leadership Development Program.

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