Outlook 2013 – Customization, Solutions and Mobility Continue to Be the Keywords for 2013

By Tracie Hines, Senior Editor, Competitive Analysis Reports, March 18, 2013

In 2013, the landscape for MFPs will continue to evolve, with the industry focusing more on providing complete end-to-end solutions for business and less on traditional speeds and feeds. BLI’s survey of major MFP and printer manufacturers revealed a continuing trend away from page volume and toward software, services and connectivity that enables information to be manipulated more easily, whether from the MFP itself or from other input sources (such as mobile phones and tablets). Indeed, mobile printing apps were in place from virtually all manufacturers by the end of 2012, and in the next year the trend toward solutions-based marketing will result in increased offerings for numerous vertical markets as well as in managed print services.

In the spotlight this week: Xerox.


Xerox is moving high-end capabilities downstream to the SMB market

According to Sara Kleinman, Xerox’s worldwide product and solutions marketing manager, in 2013 Xerox will focus on enabling simple mobile print solutions for users ranging from home to enterprise and everything in between. “We’re seeing a trend toward SMBs looking to take advantage of technologies that were previously only available for big enterprises, such as managed print services and other types of solutions.” She noted that without the need for a dedicated print server or dedicated IT worker, the cost of solutions is now within the reach of even budget-conscious smaller businesses. “We’re moving a lot of our technology downstream, so our first cloud offering, Xerox Mobile Cloud Print, is a lot more affordable than the traditional server-based mobile print solution.”

“What’s great about Mobile Cloud Print is that you can use it on almost any printer or MFP connected to the Internet, both Xerox and non-Xerox, so companies can keep current on the latest trends without investing in new hardware,” said Kleinman. She explained that Xerox Mobile Cloud Print can be used from almost any smart phone or tablet device. “There’s a growing trend toward people bringing their own devices to work. More and more people get work email on their smart phones and tablets, and they want to be able to use all of their devices for work if they want to, and IT has to be responsive to that need.”

Kleinman noted that Xerox also offers a free application called Xerox Print Back, an app for home use mobile printing that sends a print job to a user’s home PC with a printer hooked up, which has the computer automatically send it to the printer. On the higher end, “In November we launched a new version of Xerox Mobile Print Solution, which has some great enhanced capabilities,” she told BLI. “This means Xerox now offers a really broad range of mobile solutions, all the way from personal home use Print Back, then up to Xerox Mobile Print Cloud, and then to the server-based Xerox Mobile Print Solution.”

“We expect to see businesses make the move to the cloud in 2013,” she said, “And we’re very excited about the Mobile Print Cloud solution – it’s great for our managed service accounts to be able to use it in a mixed environment, because it works with almost any networked printer.”

She said in 2013 Xerox will continue to bring technology and capabilities previously only available on high-end devices for large customers to smaller devices targeted for the SMB market. “We’re very focused on offerings for every type of customer,” she explained. “You can’t go one-size-fits-all. We want to be able to fit all our customers’ needs across the entire product line.” She said Xerox will also be developing more hosted solutions as well as software solutions and services. Keep watching the BLI Solutions Center for reviews on new solutions products as they are tested. A report on Xerox’s Print Back solution is already there.

This article was originally posted on Buyer's Laboratory.