Mobile Print Comes of Age
HP Announces Software That Makes Mobile Device Printing More Productive
HP, Inc. has made it easier to print using mobile devices and at the same time making it easier for IT to manage printing from mobile devices. With the increasing use of screen-based mobile devices, some users would think the need for hardcopy is shrinking. According to a recent study, demand for print has not changed, 67 percent of those surveyed reported they are interested in mobile printing while only 23 percent currently use mobile printing solutions.
What has changed are the devices from which users print – smartphones, tablets and phablets. Users want to print whenever and wherever they are. The old model of printing has been replaced by a new model of printing that recognizes that mobile device printing must be included in any strategy moving forward (see Figure 1).
To this extent, HP announced new software solutions today for mobile device users and for IT for HP Managed Print Services clients.
- HP JetAdvantage Connect – makes it easier to print to printers on the corporate network without the extra steps like opening up a print app. The print job is rendered on the mobile device and not a server and it supports Android and iOS now with other mobile operating systems (OS) planned for the future
- HP Device Control Center – provides fleet management with real time device status and location information
- HP Instant Fleet Insights – provides reporting and analytics capabilities and utilizes device data such as firmware versions and device usage
- HP JetAdvantage Insights – a cloud-based management tool that tracks and monitors printing behaviors to possibly influence the best use of devices
Additionally, HP updated two other software tools for IT mobile print support:
- HP Access Control 15.2 – updated with support for latest security and ability to use pull printing across IT environments with multi-domain support
- HP Access Control Secure Pull Print – the print authentication component of HP Access Control will be available with a per device charge
- HP Print for Chrome App – updated to allow IT to manage the app across fleets of Chromebooks through the Google admin console
HP has identified various “generations” in which mobile print solutions have evolved. Generation 1 was email-based where a user had to know the email address in order to print to a device; Generation 2 required mobile apps that were deployed; and Generation 3 is represented by HP JetAdvantage Connect. It removes the mobile print barriers and users are able to print natively with the print path embedded within the OS. In HP’s case, the print job is rendered within the device and does not require a separate dedicated server. This makes it easier for IT to deploy and manage. Plus, if it is installed with HP Access Control pull print, it provides a secure print solution.
Based on this announcement, HP is becoming more aggressive in applying its software development skills and overall print architecture to differentiate itself from its competition. The company is taking a holistic look at the current print environment and adjusting its aim to a future state by incorporating Big Data Business Intelligence into its Managed Print Services offering (see Figure 2).
HP recognizes the power of providing mobile print solutions and has three solutions to cover the gamut of users:
- Basic print solutions – this solution is easy to set up, has high reliability, and is used with a Wi-Fi network or peer-to-peer connection (no network connection is needed). This provides native print in a mobile OS.
- Business in-network solutions – this is represented by ePrint Enterprise and JetAdvantage Connect. These have advanced security protection, allows tracking and management of print, and gives IT full administrative control. Historically, this was app-based or email-based.
- On-the-go solutions – this solution is for mobile workers and guest printing and is represented by HP’s ePrint (public print network), which is made of 30,000+ global public print locations. It is app-based.
Last but not least is the HP JetAdvantage Insights tool. Insights is a secure, cloud-based (no servers to buy or manage) print management solution that helps HP’s customers optimize their fleet with real-time analytics. Most companies don’t know the effect on printing from USB-connected devices nor how much color is being used by individuals printing their vacation pictures. This software tool helps in analyzing situations like these.
Insights provides real-time analysis of HP and non-HP printers. The tool provides analysis of printing behaviors like single-sided vs. two-sided printing, color volume, user device ratios and more (such as, top print users, departments, or applications). The beauty of this software is that it does all the heavy lifting and gives the user a user-friendly dashboard and, since it is cloud-based, it scales when your fleet increases.
Mobile devices have become very critical business tools. HP is mirroring how easy it is to use a mobile device by providing a new user experience that is simple to deploy and use. If all goes well with HP’s JetAdvantage Connect, HP will be able to see higher adoption rates within the 67 percent of mobile users surveyed that want to be able to print. As Edmund Wingate, head of HP’s JetAdvantage Solutions, said, ”Businesses need IT to deliver a print experience that helps keep employees productive.”