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Canon Printers and their flexibility

Canon printers are now able to be networked and have many more standard features than a standard laser printer. They are now frequently being referred to as multifunctional devices or multifunctional printers.(MFD or MFP). Most printers which are classed as MFD/MFP are capable of performing multiple functions including the following:

  • Photocopying
  • Network Printing
  • Scanning
  • Faxing
  • Colour Copying and Printing

What are the main benefits of choosing a multifunctional printer?

More cost effective printing

If you are printing to an inkjet or desktop/ workgroup laser printer the costs are considerable when compared to printing to a Canon multifunctional printer. Although the initial purchase price of a typical workgroup laser printer may seem an attractive option, the cost of printing to workgroup printers can make it an unattractive longer term decision especially when you are printing in colour to local/workgroup printers. The cost per print will normally be around 25% of the cost to print to a workgroup / local printer so savings on your consumables could be significant. Also there is no cost implication of printing pages with high colour toner coverage as with a fixed cost per print this does not impact on the overall cost. Many organisations make huge annual savings by printing to multifunctional printers instead of local/workgroup printers.

Scanning from a multifunctional printer

Scanning from an multifunctional printer can provide meaningful benefits for most organisations. Canon multifunctional printers offer a convenient way to move documents digitally, most multifunctional printers incorporate a touch screen display with the ability to set up 'one-touch' buttons to perform specific functions, for example, a button may be displayed on the screen that points to a particular user or network location. This would enable users to walk up to the device with their documents, place them in the document feeder and press the 'one-touch' button on the touch screen display. The multifunctional printer would then scan the document to the specific user or network location immediately.

Scanning from a multifunctional printer using ecopy

Scanning from a multifunctional printer using ecopy provides a number of benefits over and above the document scanning features incorporated in the multifunctional printer itself. Ecopy is a document distribution tool that enables a user to scan documents as though they are sending from Microsoft Outlook directly. The Ecopy scan station uses LDAP to seamlessly integrate with the Microsoft Office Exchange server, this means that when a user walks up to a multifunctional printer to scan a document to email, rather than the sender of the email being anonymous or being the name of a printer, it actually logs you onto to the exchange server, this means better security and in addition the document that you scan to email resides in your sent items folder.

Scanning from a multifunctional printer to a Document Management System

With many companies looking to move towards a paperless office, a document management system or electronic filing system is often implemented to reduce paper files and improve efficiency. Previously the main mechanism for getting paper into an electronic archiving system would be a dedicated high speed document scanner, well now there is yet another use for the multifunctional printer. Most good electronic document management systems will incorporate a feature that will periodically poll a network location to look for new files to archive electronically into the document management system. The 'one-touch' button on the multifunctional printer can be used effectively here too, by setting up the printer to send the scanned documents to a specific network location this enables the electronic document management software to pick up any new files that have come from the multifunctional printer and import them straight into the document management software. Another useful tool for linking printers to document management software is a 'quick connect' button, this feature would enable the user to index a document at the point it is scanned at the multifunctional printer. Take this as an example: A company wants to scan supplier invoices into document management software so that it can free up space and yet be legally admissible and approved by HM Customs and revenue, a user may place the supplier invoices in the document feeder of the mfd and select a 'one-touch' button that may be labelled 'supplier invoices'. The printer then offers an index field so that the user may directly input the invoice number of the document, this means that as soon as the document management software has picked up the scanned document from the network location it has a searchable index reference (the invoice number) and the invoice may be retrieved by anyone with the correct permissions from any location. In addition to the ability to index the document at the multifunctional device, it is now possible for certain document management systems to look for a match of the index field (in this example an invoice number) in another application in order to further automatically populate additional index fields in the document archiving software. So to further clarify, the document management system now ahs a number of images stored in it´s database that have a single (invoice number) index field, by looking at the field within an accounts application it may see the identical reference and then import the other indices that will be useful to search upon from within the document management system i.e. supplier name, tax date etc.

Faxing from multifunctional printers

Many multifunctional printers now incorporate a fax machine as well. As the printer is built for handling a high throughput of scanned documents the fax machine functionality is that of a high performance fax machine and therefore packs a big punch and can scan and fax large documents quickly and efficiently. Certain multifunctional printers also enable incoming faxes to be sent electronically to the recipients email inbox directly without the need to print from the multifunctional printer itself.