Monday, February 14, 2011

Office Copiers take to the Cloud!

Finally, after almost 8 years, scanning documents and printing documents to and from the Cloud is gaining acceptance.  Back in 2003 Ricoh introduced a "Cloud" Document Management System for the web, it combined Document Management software and off-site storage for those documents.  Users could share, revise and collaborate on documents that they uploaded from either the PC or the Copier/MFP.  Ricoh as far as I know had built the first Cloud MFP connector for Document Mall.

Eight years later, the "Cloud" is now embraced rather then rejected for fear of a company losing their content to hackers, or competitors.  The next version of "Smart MFP's" will allow users to connect to a Manufacturers Cloud or a third party Cloud service. 

Recently there have been many discussions on the Print4Pay Hotel forums on "Cloud Services" and how it will affect the way we do business. 

Below are clips of the discussions:

I am learning about scanning to the cloud from any MFP via email by opening a free account at......
by SSG

A real interesting concept from Lexmark by SSG

Most of my customers do not trust the cloud, those who do already have..... by AP

You can even scan directly and securely to the cloud from your Ricoh MFP(to Microsoft Online, Office 365 BPOS, SharePoint). Just take a look at Constanzek

Look forward, reason back. How many of us have big generators in the parking lot because we like to be in control of our own electrical uptime? Very few. Walk into any business and ask to CashGAP

Other topics posted include "Can you trust the Cloud?", "The Snow Cloud", and "The Great Cloud Fight". 

Whether we like it or not, the Cloud is here to stay and presents and excellent revenue stream for Manufacturers such as Xerox, Ricoh, Canon and KonicaMinolta.  I would bet dollars to doughnuts that all of the copier manufacturers will offer this service as an additional option in the future.  I also wouldn't doubt that some of these smaller Cloud companies get purchased in the near future. 

Keep in  mind that the Cloud does not have to be for document storage and collaboration, the Cloud can print, the Cloud can fax and the Cloud can also host programs than can be used on line.

Some may ask, what's the downfall?  Anyone care to comment on the downfall of the Cloud, fell free to post here. Here's a good article from the people at MS, Know Your Cloud.

-=Good Selling=-

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