Mobile printing: Workers are no longer deskbound, why should printing be?

The concept of workforce mobility and flexibility is becoming a greater reality in the South African corporate environment

July 5, 2012

The concept of workforce mobility and flexibility is becoming a greater reality in the South African corporate environment and, according to Mohammed Vachiat, product manager at Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa, secure “follow-me printing” technology is important in assisting employees to successfully work independently away from their desks and workstations.

Not only is a mobile printing solution ideal for people and businesses “on the go”, but it also has the ability to increase employee productivity as well as business efficiency, explains Vachiat. “This type of solution provides the ability for users to connect and use printing services from their own laptops, PCs, tablets or smartphones, without the need to install drivers and software or to authenticate to an organisation’s network.

“This removes the costs and overhead support associated with configuration of users’ own laptops or mobile devices for printing, providing easy access to printers,” he says.

Printing straight from a mobile device without a separate app is the allure of Konica Minolta’s Everyone Print, a wireless printing solution that too does away with software and drivers and assists companies to establish a private hosted cloud printing environment. Simply hit “print” and continue surfing the web without a single interruption.

Vachiat lists the three key ways to print within a mobile printing solution as: Web-, e-mail- and driver print.

“In terms of Web printing, users upload documents via a web browser, in popular formats such as Microsoft Office, OpenOffice or PDFs, from anywhere with an Internet connection. E-mail print sees users sending documents to print as attachments via e-mail, while driver printing allows them to print normally from all applications using a print driver. It is a quick and easy self-service setup procedure and users can print directly, in the usual way, from any application on their own computers.”

Fundamentally, a mobile printing solution should support any client platform, such as Windows, MAC, Linux, mobile/ PDA and more. It should also support all printers, offer secure and “pull” printing – a printing feature where a user pulls (or releases from the “cloud”) the print job to an afterward chosen printer – and can be integrated with document accounting software, such as Konica Minolta South Africa’s Pcounter, for accurate billing of all users, including guests.

“To ensure correct cost recovery, users can pay for their prints from their existing Pcounter account, payment card or with their credit/ debit card. E-payment capability is perfect for hotels, airports, campuses, libraries, WI-FI hotspots, cafés and other similar public places,” Vachiat concludes.