How Can The Printing Trends Of 2019 Help You
Can your business be more productive and efficient?
Find out with the new predicted printing trends for 2019.
Every 2-3 years OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer) bring out a new MFP range in a bid to outperform the rest of the competition.
Xerox did in Summer 2017 with the brand new Versalink and Altalink colour and mono office range.
Canon have upgraded there devices 3 times in 2 years with new improvements.
This can only lead to the greater good, as every OEM keeps up with not only the competition but industry trends the only winner will be you the customer.
What were the Trends predicted in 2018?
So last year has gone, but these were the trends predicted for 2018
1) SMB’s (small to medium businesses) will get more productive and efficient
Through the use of more efficient and smart MFP’s and the use of workflow apps.
This means a more productive business with less downtime and allows for the move away from paper to a digital based system.
2) OEM’s, vendors and resellers have been forced to deepen software competencies
This means as the business move away from paper, software and the cloud are becoming more prevalent.
Vendors and manufacturers are moving away from the old feeds and speeds to concentrate on workflow and digital documents.
At the same time, they have to look at all the challenges that this presents, like cybersecurity and data privacy.
These new values mean that the speed of innovation and its arrival in the market place has increased.
3) To meet these demands new technology partnerships have emerged
Where an OEM, vendors or distribution partner lacks the skill set to immediately enter this marketplace then strategic alliances will and have to been formed.
This leads to a greater hardware and solutions product offering, leading again to greater innovation.
4) New ways of predicting analytically for business
Using data ie customer satisfaction surveys is a time old tradition to improve machine design, improve service and drive efficiency for customers.
Just as websites add cookies to track movement and data capture, machines are becoming more artificially intelligent.
Vendors will add other ways of capturing analytical data to their products and services.
5) Cybersecurity will emerge as a new differentiator
As devices become more connected to the outside world they are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
So better authentication and intrusion detection are required and to be developed.
6) Voice recognition
Will start to grow, with advances using Amazon’s Alexa for business and nuances voice biometrics.
Voice recognition is an area that will grow within businesses.
Did any of the predicted trends happen? How many of the above have been adopted and carried over into 2019?
1) Expertise in IT will be key in 2019
With the onset of GDPR data has never been such a hot topic.
This has meant that a lot of print manufacturers and channel partners could be set to lose their influences on customers in favour of companies that can demonstrate IT expertise.
They will need to be a strategic partner to your IT needs and other lines of business.
Printing will not disappear any time soon.
According to Quocirca, 64% of business will still rely on printing by 2025.
To stay ahead of the game channel partners will need to:
a) Change the conversation, customers are moving away from just print-centric conversations.
It will need to be around driving productivity and efficiency not just technology and products through a company.
The conversation should and will be of a consultative approach.
b) Partner other IT vendors this allows for an accredited and experienced skill set.
Giving the customer a broader product portfolio and a way into the IT market.
c) Focus on business outcomes as some customers purchasing can be influenced by non-IT decision makers.
Its essential channel partners look and converses with all departments.
By having the skill set to converse with the 2 types of decision makers and create solid relationships with both.
The customer and partner can then ensure all aspects of their company structure is covered.
2) Print security fuelled by IoT (Internet of Things) and IoT services
Are becoming more commonplace.
With incidents costing UK companies £2.6 million, 53% on the year before, and the emergence of cybercrime insurance companies.
Businesses are more aware than ever of the potential pitfalls.
Protecting the existing MFP’s and mixed fleets are proving to be challenging when they can comprise of outdated and older devices.
Attackers are seeing these devices as a way of getting sensitive data or even using them as a back door to get on to the network and systems.
As more devices are internet and cloud-connected security is continuing to be paramount.
Print and IT vendors will have to expand their security and monitoring services to be relevant.
Print security will, and needs to be treated at the same level as the rest of the IT infrastructure.
For example, Xerox uses MacAfee to protect against unwanted viruses and Canon have startup procedures that check the device on warm-up for any tampering or intrusion.
3) Cloud and MPS solutions
As security on devices and connectivity increase so does the confidence in Cloud solutions.
MPS providers are providing more cost-effective solutions in the cloud to attract SMB customers.
Large cloud-based industries like Google spend thousands keeping data safe and have white papers to prove it.
Customers can now have a more automated ‘paperless’ system integrating secure content management, collaboration, storage, retrieval, and distribution.
Having a cloud solution rather than an on-premise means no maintenance of servers, a monthly negligible fee and usually less set up and installation.
So for small to medium-sized companies, it becomes a cost-effective solution for automation.
4) Digital and Print Convergence
Paper will still be around for the foreseeable future.
While there is a need for wet signatures and its customer preference.
However digital media will only gain momentum.
For example, Newspapers are now online and allow for video clips to be added leading to some editors stopping paper versions altogether.
In the office, businesses have invested in having secure digital signatures and now email papers directly to their customer so they have no need to print in house and then post.
This cuts internal printing costs.
Letters are replaced by emails, invoices by being viewed online, etc.
Paper workflow is being upgraded to digital and the hard copy being relegated to basements or off-site.
Companies want to head towards a paperless office and to a level that they feel comfortable.
Vendors need to have a clear proposition around being able to integrate paper and digital workflow services.
5) A.I (Artificial Intelligence)
Although true AI as portrayed in sci-fi films is some way off.
For business, it is already being utilised in some Companies.
84% of business believe AI going forward will help give them a competitive edge and 74% state that it will allow them to move into new business ventures.
It is used to some degree in marketing with chatbots on company websites which are able to handle text-based conversations or send emails.
Systems used at home like Siri by Apple are moving into the business arena for organizing calendars, appointments, making lists and texting clients.
AI going forward has the potential to be able to stream workloads by being able to sift through mountains of digital information for your customers or look at the competition.
AI-based apps can now use business intelligence to suggest actions to take and help owners respond more quickly to the data they collect.
Still important but will not grow as quickly in the print industry
6) Voice recognition
Similar to Siri and Alexa, voice recognition has begun to filter down into office.
The copier industry is looking at voice recognition for various reason including helping the partially sighted.
7) Augmented reality
Is already popular in the toy market from books and stickers but it’s now finding its way into businesses.
Ikea uses it so you can see furniture in-situ in your own home.
Some OEM’s are using it so customers can see copiers and printers in the office environment.
8) Analytics for business
Probably the least adopted trend on MFP’s at the moment however it’s strong in other areas like marketing.
For example, cookies looking at customer’s preferences on websites tell that company the web pages you have visited giving the business clearer customer preferences and direction.
Vendors and partners need to look at companies to help them measure and monitor data, understand and mine the information.
Allowing for growth and a business plan to be formed, which in turn helps the customer streamline and move towards a digital platform.
Euro Digital Systems have been adopting these trends for some time.
Partnering with vendors and OEM’s that can deliver all of the above.
We have the in house experience to advise and guide customer who are looking to dip there toe into future-proofing their business.
Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below.