At its European Partner Summit 2016, held in Budapest at the beginning of June, Samsung explained how it is supporting changing working practices and the Connected Workplace
Here’s an interesting statistic: 2016 is the first year that global IT spend on the ‘third platform’ will exceed investment in the ‘second platform’.
In his keynote address at the Samsung European Partner Summit 2016, Mick Heys, VP of Imaging, Printing and Document
Solutions at IDC, said that the ‘third platform’, built on the four pillars of cloud, mobility, social business and big data/analytics, was taking over from the ‘second platform’ characterised by client-server computing and the LAN/internet.
This is transforming how, where and when we work – even when we are in the office. Smartphones and the cloud especially have freed people to work anywhere, using the device they have to hand. They enable dispersed work teams, remote decision-making and collaboration across boundaries.
Samsung calls this the Connected Workplace, and, according to Robert Davey, Business Development Manager for Samsung Europe, it is transforming what is required of printers and MFPs. The old values of quality, performance, reliability and ease of use are now seen as a basic requirement. Today, what differentiates suppliers and their products are the cloud, digitisation, security and customisation.
At its partner event, Samsung highlighted four ways in which it is leveraging its heritage in smartphones and smart TVs to create print products optimised for the Connected Workplace.
1 Smart UX Centre
Samsung has taken the open, customisable user interface of a smartphone and transformed the ease of use and functionality of its MFPs. It has already introduced the Android tablet-based SmartUX Centre on its new generation MFPs and now plans to extend it to select printer models.
2 Samsung Print Apps
Samsung is leveraging the Smart UX platform to deliver new solutions and services in the form of apps. There are more than 30 printer/ +MFP-related apps in a dedicated app centre – the Samsung Print App Centre – and, with the launch +of an SDK, developers can now create app-based solutions of their own. So far, more than 330 app developers have downloaded the SDK.
Samsung has created a cloud infrastructure through which it provides a range of printing services, including a new managed print service (see box), which enables more resellers to offer customers the convenience, efficiency and value for money of a fully managed printer fleet; and PrinterOn mobile and cloud printing solutions. With PrinterOn firmware embedded in all Samsung devices, it is easy for customers to implement hosted or on-site secure mobile printing.
Samsung is strengthening its own product offering by creating strong partnerships with other industry leaders, a good example being a strategic alliance with Nuance Communications, which will see the latter provide Samsung resellers with an enhanced level of pre-sales support when selling to large accounts. In the future, Samsung could leverage Nuance’s expertise in voice recognition to create voice-controlled MFPs, bringing new levels of usability and ease of use to its devices.
SmartUX and apps
Through these initiatives Samsung claims to be transforming the usability and serviceability of its devices, bringing benefits both to end users and resellers.
In his address, Paul Birkett, sales and marketing director for Samsung Electronics Europe, outlined a couple of scenarios in which printer-based apps could be used to good effect. These include the example of a charity using apps on its MFPs to create a workflow for centrally recording and pricing charity shop donations, including scanning the barcodes on books.
In another, he explained how a student who had left his work at home could retrieve his documents from the cloud and edit them on an MFP screen using the free Hancom Office app.
It’s not immediately obvious how using a printer for these tasks is any better than using a smartphone/tablet. However, businesses will no doubt be able to identify ways in which their own processes could be improved – and, with the launch of Samsung’s Dynamic Workflow app, this is something they can now do themselves.
One of the highlights of the Samsung European Partner Summit, the Dynamic Workflow app enables users to design complete one-touch workflows involving multiple functions and a combination of apps. For example, you could integrate multiple tasks, such as scanning, optical character recognition and document distribution, into a single workflow activated by a one-touch shortcut.
Samsung announced that it will soon be introducing Dynamic Workflow Mobile, which will enable users to build workflows on a mobile using a simple three-step process – input, process and output.
Businesses that make use of Dynamic Workflow will also benefit from Samsung’s new SmartScan plug-in, which delivers image enhancement functions, such as de-skew, auto rotation, colour-drop and skip-blank-page. This reduces the need for manual processing of scanned documents and makes sure scanned documents are delivered to other processes, such as OCR, as ‘clean’ as possible to reduce error rates and the need for manual intervention.
Another interesting new app is RemoteFax. This completely serverless network fax solution has the potential to save money by reducing the need for multiple dedicated fax lines or servers. Effectively, it adds a fax capability to a network MFP that would normally only be able to print, scan or copy. The fax is routed across the network and sent out via a dedicated fax or MFP with fax function.
Service and Support
In addition to document processing and workflow apps, Samsung has developed apps that in combination with Samsung’s cloud infrastructure facilitate device maintenance and fault fixing to maximise device uptime and productivity.
At its partner summit Samsung demonstrated how these could be used by customers to selfdiagnose and resolve problems; by maintenance service providers remotely to identify and fix problems that a customer can’t sort out themselves; and by service providers to ensure that when a site visit is required, engineers have the right parts and know exactly what they must do to fix the problem.
New apps in this area include: Remote Call, a paid for remote service that connects end users to service engineers. Users simply enter a six-digit code to connect to an engineer and, once the connection is established, the service technician can view and control the MFP and fix any errors remotely. Every single feature of the device can be accessed and controlled remotely as if the service technician was in front of the device. A text chat function enables real-time communication between the customer and engineer and, in addition, the engineer can use the on-screen drawing feature to mark areas on the Smart UX Center screen to give detailed guides to the user.
SPDS (Smart Printer Diagnostic System). Last year, Samsung launched its SPDS smartphone app, which lets on-site engineers tap their smartphone on a device to download service data that can then be shared with Samsung’s service platform to get a list of parts needed to fix the device and view ‘how to’ videos. With the launch of Fleet Admin Cloud, Samsung has now extended SPDS to service desks so that service agents can monitor devices remotely, collect service data, fix problems remotely and if a service visit is required ensure engineers have all the necessary parts and step-by-step instructions to achieve a first-time fix.
In addition to these service apps, Samsung has introduced the Samsung Smart Security Manager, which simplifies the monitoring and application of security settings on multiple Samsung devices, helping businesses to protect sensitive data.
The world of work and the world of print are changing. With its Android-based app platform and cloud infrastructure, Samsung’s printers are well placed to meet customers’ evolving needs.