The Biltmore Hotel Steps up Efficiency with Sharp OSA™ Technology

MAHWAH, NJ, February 25, 2008 -- The Biltmore Hotel, a luxury spa and golf hotel resort located in Coral Gables/Miami, has implemented a groundbreaking, customized technology system to reduce costs and streamline workflow on the company's copiers. Developed using Sharp OSATMtechnology, the new system helps control employee usage and enhances the capabilities of the hotel's multifunctional color copiers, saving equipment costs and providing real time usage reporting to management.The Biltmore Hotel was facing the challenges of a typical major enterprise, including high print and manpower costs due to everyday office transactions taking place across different sectors, with numerous departments and employees utilizing stand-alone office equipment lacking back-office access and control. The hotel saw an opportunity to control color copy costs and reduce the number of copiers and printers throughout the facility, while improving workflow as well. Sharp Business Systems provided a networked, personalized solution, using Sharp OSA technology, that allows for control over color copy costs and usage, but also fits the Biltmore's existing data infrastructure. Sharp provided a networked solution that enabled access to the company's Active Directory servers, a Microsoft® standard that provides centralized user authentication services for Windows® based computers.



"We didn't want to reinvent the wheel so we worked with Sharp to develop a system that could grow with the business," said Marc Stidham, CIO, Biltmore Hotel. "By enabling hotel employees to scan information directly from the copier's LCD panel via Active Directory, the information goes straight into our own database software, reducing headaches and downtime."



With the purchase of 14 color Sharp multifunctional copiers - models MX-3501N and MX-4501N - the ability to copy in both black-and-white and color across the network became a reality. However, in order to control employee usage, the machines were programmed to allow authentication to designated employees approved to make color copies or prints. This eliminated the costs of thousands of pages that could potentially have been copied throughout the company. Additionally, with Sharp OSA technology, the IT department can create individual user authentication codes as well as monitor usage remotely over the network. The IT department can run individual department reports (accounting, human resources, hospitality, etc.) outlining the amount of color prints/copies, black-and-white copies, faxes and scans that are made. This capability provides a real-time snapshot for evaluating equipment usage by different departments, and making necessary changes or adjustments.



In addition to saving on cost-per-copy, the Biltmore Hotel is using Sharp OSA technology to enhance the company's scanning capabilities and integrate the ability for network scanning to email, eliminating the need for separate office scanners. This allows an employee to scan a document on the copier and send it directly to a recipient's email address or to their own email address.



By utilizing the Sharp OSA-enabled devices, the hotel has greatly reduced the number of printers throughout their facilities, going from 46 printers down to 13. The Biltmore employees and management are using Sharp copiers for all document printing. Now, departments only need a quarter of the total budget previously spent on laser printer toner.



"Our customers want tailored solutions that help them do business more efficiently," said Luis Gonzalez, President, Sharp Business Systems of South Florida, the Miami-based office equipment dealer. "Using Sharp OSA technology, we were able to offer the Biltmore Hotel a solution that would adapt to their business and solve their immediate needs to manage copier costs and speed workflow."



Sharp OSA Technology


Sharp OSA technology is a development platform designed for seamless integration with network applications. Designed to deliver the power of customization to the customer, Sharp OSA technology allows enterprises to leverage their back-end systems right from the MFP control panel. The technology manages the inherent interoperability of Web services design to enable Sharp, its dealer network and ISV partners to better meet customer needs. Sharp OSA technology is available now for Sharp's MX series models MX-M350, MX-M450, MX-M550, MX-M620, MX-M700, MX-2300, MX-2700, MX-3500, MX-3501, MX-4501, MX-5500, MX-6200, MX-6201N, MX-7000 and MX-7001N.



For more information about the complete line of Sharp document solution products, contact Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America, Sharp Plaza, Mahwah, N.J. 07430, or call 800-BE-SHARP.



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