Sharp OSA Platform Reaches New Frontiers with Enhanced Support and Capabilities

ORLANDO, FL, May 7, 2008 -- Kicking off its annual National Dealer Meeting in Orlando, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (SIICA), a division of Sharp Electronics Corporation, today announced the expansion of its Sharp OSA™ development platform, introducing new opportunities to drive growth by bringing the point of customization closer to customers through next-generation technology. Building on the success of the Sharp OSA platform, now with more than 100 developer members to date, Sharp is introducing new programs and products that will streamline development of Sharp OSA-enabled solutions, enabling dealers to more easily and effectively bring solutions to more customers.

“Since it was introduced, Sharp OSA technology has led the market in offering dealers the opportunity to move beyond pushing hardware and get closer to the customer by offering tailored business solutions,” said Ed McLaughlin, President, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America. “With the enhancements we are making to Sharp OSA technology and the support we’re building around it, Sharp is taking the Sharp OSA platform into new frontiers.”

Sharp has developed new opportunities to realize the full potential of Sharp OSA technology by building an ecosystem around the Sharp OSA platform that establishes a new support structure for dealers and developers. As part of this, Sharp will establish the Sharp OSA Authorized Dealer Program (ADP), whereby dealers who meet certain standards of dedicated internal resources assigned to sustain the sales/support of the Sharp OSA business model, and commit to bringing a select number of Sharp OSA developer software applications in house gain access to best of breed software and enhanced support.

Sharp OSA Authorized Dealer Program members will have exclusive access to a Software Library of Sharp OSA applets - or single-function applications targeted towards the legal, medical, finance, and education markets. These applets will be developed by Sharp Business Systems integration (SBSi) Group, a unit of Sharp Business Systems dedicated to developing custom Sharp OSA-enabled solutions. Sharp will create products from the applets found to be successful in the market by Sharp Business Systems. These “best of breed” applets will then be made available to Sharp OSA ADP members. Using these applets will enable ADP members to provide proven Sharp OSA-enabled solutions to a broader set of customers.

“Sharp OSA Authorized Dealer Program members will have a head start in delivering customized solutions to their customers, and thereby, they will be in a better position to win or keep customers,” noted McLaughlin.

Sharp OSA developers will benefit by having access to Sharp OSA ADP member dealers. This gives developers access to a group of dealers who are focused on Sharp OSA-enabled solutions and who are structured and trained to take full advantage of their offering. In addition, as the program matures, the Sharp OSA developer community will be able to contribute Applets for distribution through the ADP program.

In addition to program enhancements, Sharp has improved Sharp OSA technology, introducing Sharp OSA version 3.0. The newest version of Sharp OSA technology leverages the widescreen display, USB port and integrated keyboard available on the new generation of Sharp MFPs. Developers will appreciate the flexibility, allowing them to further enhance the user experience at the MFP. They will be able to create user interfaces that provide easier viewing and navigation through enhanced controls, as well as playback flash clips. Users will find that this, especially when coupled with an optional integrated keyboard, will make accessing integrated applications from the MFP a similar experience to accessing them from a workstation, minimizing steps and time to complete tasks as well as training needs.

Sharp OSA version 3.0 also features Open USB capability, allowing developers to provide a broader range of access control. For example, the ability to log in via a card swipe and the ability to authenticate via Chip/Smart Card (CCID), all without having to embed specific device drivers on the MFP. In addition, existing Sharp OSA enabled customers will find that all current Sharp OSA 2.0 applications will retain the same look and operation on Sharp OSA 3.0 enabled MFPs.

About Sharp OSA Technology:
Sharp OSA technology creates a truly customizable MFP designed to meet virtually any business need. This development platform turns an MFP into a gateway for document-based business communications by integrating the device with network-based applications. It allows businesses to connect their MFPs with a wide range of enterprise applications, including document management applications, reporting functions and programs developed internally. For example, businesses can use Sharp OSA to create an application that allows users to scan an invoice on an MFP and transfer that invoice into an accounting software package instantly without user intervention at the desktop. For faster deployments and easier development, Sharp OSA technology uses industry-standard protocols such as XML and SOAP.

Sharp OSA 3.0 capabilities will be available on all new Sharp MFPs. For more information about the complete line of Sharp document products and integrated applications, contact Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America, Sharp Plaza, Mahwah, N.J. 07495-1163, or call 800-BE-SHARP.

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Sharp OSA and related trademarks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sharp Corporation and/or its affiliated companies. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.