The Samsung European Partner Summit 2016 in Budapest at the beginning of June gave Samsung partners an opportunity to learn
about the company’s new print solutions
Here’s an interesting statistic: 2016 is the fist year that global IT spend on the ‘third platform’ will exceed investment in the ‘second platform’.
In his keynote address at the Samsung European Partner Summit 2016, Mick Heys, VP of Imaging, Printing and Document Solutions at IDC, said that the ‘third platform’, built on the four pillars of cloud, mobility, social business and big data/ analytics, was taking over from the ‘second platform’ characterised by client-server computing and the LAN/internet.
This is transforming how, where and when we work – even when we are in the offie. Smartphones and the cloud especially have freed people to work anywhere, using the device they have at hand. They enable dispersed work teams, remote decision-making and collaboration across boundaries.
Samsung calls this the Connected Workplace, and, according to Robert Davey, Business Development Manager for Samsung Europe, it is transforming what is required of printers and MFPs. He argues that the old values of quality, performance, reliability and ease of use are now seen as a basic requirement and that, today, what differentiates suppliers and their products are the cloud, digitisation, security and customisation.
At its partner event, Samsung highlighted four ways in which it is leveraging its heritage in smartphones and smart TVs to create print products optimised for the Connected Workplace.
1 Smart UX Centre
Samsung has taken the open, customisable user interface of a smartphone and transformed the user interface of its MFPs. It has already introduced the Android tablet-based SmartUX Centre on its new generation MFPs and now plans to extend it to printer models.
2 Samsung Print Apps
Samsung is leveraging the Smart UX platform to offer new solutions and services in the form of apps. It offers more than 30 printer/MFP-related apps in a dedicated app centre – the Samsung Print App Centre – and it recently released an SDK so that developers can create appbased solutions of their own. So far, more than 330 app developers have downloaded the SDK.
Samsung has created a cloud infrastructure so that, in combination with or through its app, Samsung is able to provide cloud-based printing services, notably its new MPS product (see last issue) and its PrinterOn mobile and cloud printing solutions. With PrinterOn fimware embedded in all Samsung devices, it is easy for customers to implement hosted or on-site secure mobile printing.
Samsung is also creating strong partnerships with leaders in their filds, a good example being its strategic alliance with Nuance Communications, which will see the latter provide Samsung resellers with an enhanced level of pre-sales support when selling to large accounts.
In the future, Samsung could leverage Nuance’s expertise in voice recognition to create voice-controlled MFPs, bringing new levels of usability and ease of use to its devices.
SmartUX and apps
Through these initiatives Samsung claims to be transforming the usability and serviceability of its devices, bringing benefis both to resellers and their customers.
In his address, Paul Birkett, sales and marketing director for Samsung Electronics Europe, outlined a couple of scenarios in which printer-based apps could be used to good effect. These include the example of a charity using apps on its MFPs to create a workflw for centrally recording and pricing charity shop donations, including scanning the barcodes on books. In another, he explained how a student who had left his work at home could retrieve his documents from the cloud and edit them on an MFP screen using the free Hancom Office app.
It’s not immediately obvious how using a printer for these tasks is any better than using a smartphone. However, businesses will no doubt be able to identify instances of how their own processes could be improved – and with Samsung’s new Dynamic Workflw app they can now quickly and easily create new streamlined document workflws.
One of the highlights of the Samsung European Partner Summit, the Dynamic Workflw app enables users to design complete one-touch workflws involving multiple functions and a combination of apps. For example, you could integrate multiple tasks, such as scanning, optical character recognition and document distribution, into a single workflw activated by a one-touch shortcut. Samsung announced that it will soon be introducing Dynamic Workflw Mobile, which will enable users to build workflws on a mobile using a simple three-step process – input, process and output.
Businesses that make use of Dynamic Workflw will also be interested in Samsung’s new SmartScan plug-in which delivers image enhancement functions, such as de-skew, auto rotation, colourdrop, skip-blank-page. This reduces the need for manual processing of scanned documents and makes sure scanned documents are delivered to other processes, such as OCR, as ‘clean’ as possible to reduce error rates and the need for manual intervention.
Another interesting new app, RemoteFax is a completely server-less network fax solution that has the potential to save customers money by reducing the need for multiple dedicated fax lines or servers. Effectively, it adds a fax capability to a network MFP that would normally only be able to print, scan or copy. The fax is routed across the network and sent out via a dedicated fax or MFP with fax function.
Service and Support
These apps have big benefis for business customers. Samsung also unveiled ones that have real benefis for the channel. We wrote about the big news – the Samsung Print MPS – in the last issue, but at its partner summit Samsung also demonstrated how it is using apps and the cloud to transform service and support by:
i) Helping customers to self-diagnose and resolve problems so that resellers don’t have to spend money sending out engineers;
ii) Remotely identifying and fixing a problem when a customer can’t or won’t self-diagnose; and
iii) If an engineer does have to make a site visit, ensuring that they have the right parts and know exactly what they must do to fix a problem.
New apps in this area include:
Remote Call, a paid for remote service app for the Smart UX Center that connects engineers directly with customers who request service. Users simply enter a sixdigit code to connect to an engineer and, once the connection is established, the service technician can view and control the MFP and fi any errors remotely. Every single feature of the device can be accessed and controlled remotely as if the service technician was in front of the device. A text chat function enables realtime communication between the customer and engineer and, in addition, the engineer can use the on-screen drawing feature to mark areas on the Smart UX Center screen to give detailed guides to the user.
SPDS (Smart Printer Diagnostic System). Samsung has already launched the SPDS smartphone app that lets engineers tap their smartphone on a device to download service data, which can then be shared with Samsung’s service platform to get a list of parts needed to fi the device and view ‘how to’ videos. With the launch of Fleet Admin Cloud, Samsung has now extended SPDS to service desks so that they can monitor devices remotely, collect service data, fi problems remotely and if a service visit is required ensure engineers have all the necessary parts and step-by-step instructions so that when engineers arrive on-site they are fully prepared and can fi the problem fist time.
In addition to these service apps, Samsung has introduced the Smart Security Manager, which simplifis the monitoring and application of security settings on Samsung devices.
The world of work and the world of print are changing. With its Android-based app platform and cloud infrastructure, Samsung’s printers are well placed to meet customers’ evolving needs.