Print in the Channel - issue #8


“Cloud-based software is hosted on the provider’s servers and accessed over the internet,” Michael adds. “It is typically more affordable than on-premises software, but it can be less secure. “Then there is hybrid software that combines the features of on-premises and cloud-based software. It is more expensive than either of those, but it can offer the best of both worlds in terms of security and affordability.” Trends Michael adds that cloud-based solutions are becoming increasingly popular due to their scalability, ease of deployment and remote management capabilities. In addition, there is increasing demand for security features. “Businesses are increasingly demanding security features in their managed print software, such as user authentication, data encryption and print job auditing,” he says. “More people are also seeking solutions that provide actionable insights through analytics. Predictive maintenance capabilities, which detect and prevent printing issues before they occur, are becoming essential for minimising downtime and optimising printer performance. “The ability to print from mobile devices and support remote workers has become increasingly important. “Businesses are increasingly focused on sustainability and this is driving demand for solutions that can help them reduce their environmental impact.” Cloud demand George Davies, product marketing manager - Software & Solutions at Sharp UK, agrees that there is increasing desire for cloud technology. “Many clients are moving away from server-based technology and looking for software solutions that can operate in the cloud,” he says. “In fact, our recent research found 21% of UK SMEs are prioritising migrating services to the cloud this year. “A lot of the migration to the cloud comes from its cost reduction and administrative benefits. With this shift comes an increased awareness of the importance around security. We are seeing clients require a high level of

this in everything they procure and implement. Our recent research campaign also found that 34% of SMEs will invest in improved IT security this year highlighting our clients are on the lookout for secure products and software solutions that provide all benefits of the cloud, but also have a multi-layered approach to security. “Cost increases are also top of mind, with clients searching for ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Clients are demanding intuitive reporting with software implementations, seeking ways to become empowered to make data driven decisions and create an informed print policy and controls.” More information Ian adds that customers are demanding better information, hands-free management and a trouble-free service. “If consumables just arrive when needed and an engineer arrives before an issue happens then the customers will be happy,” he says. “If any cross-charging is required internally then a solution to provide this (again simple and trouble-free) will be needed. The main trends currently are security and moving to the cloud. Most of the print control softwares are now cloud- based. Security is paramount and must be thought of at all points from the actual device to the cloud, how is the data transmitted, in what format, what security and encryption is available and operational. Another major trend is for customers to seek software that offer advanced analytics and reporting capabilities, Ian adds. “Customers want insights into print usage, cost allocation, device performance and environmental impact,” he says. “Analytical tools that help identify cost-saving opportunities, optimise print workflows and track sustainability metrics are becoming increasingly important.” Likewise, there is a trend for converging “Customers are looking for MPS providers that can offer integrated IT support, network management and security services alongside print management,” he says. “This integrated approach simplifies overall IT infrastructure management and ensures a cohesive experience for customers.” MPS and managed IT services, which is influencing the choice of software.

Michael Field managing director Workflo Solutions

Businesses are increasingly focused on sustainability, and this is driving demand for “

solutions that can help them reduce their environmental impact.



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