Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
The new HP LaserJet Pro MFP M476 for wireless printing from mobile devices
February 24th, 2014 by Susan Smith
Brian Sahr, Future Product Marketing Manager, HP LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions, talked last week about the new release of the HP LaserJet Pro MFP M476 color laser device, delivering simple wireless printing from smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, available this spring. The new MFP M476 addresses the following four key trends in the industry:
1) Mobility — A number of workers are going to mobility. 70% of the worldwide workforce is now mobile. That’s changing how people want to interact.
2) Cloud and big data – Most information now is in the cloud. From the printing and imaging standpoint, customers want to scan to the cloud and bring information into the cloud.
3) Security – People want to know their information is secure. If it’s information that wireless, in the hard drive of a printer, sitting in printed copies, they want to make sure it’s secure. “The news of Target, and banking is very important and we want to make sure we have the most reliable, secure product on the market,” said Sahr.
4) Change in workflows. “The majority of customers are caught between going fully to the digital world, and some companies have gone fully digital, and are right now balancing between paper and digital,” said Sahr. “We want to design products to optimize both sides. We design products to be more scan optimized, scanned to cloud, to Sharepoint, to a network file folder, and we see this hybrid world exist out there for 2-5 years.”
40% of employees use their smartphones in the workplace now and InfoTrends says this will rise to 60% next year. IT bands have been holding off on allowing this to take place because of security and broadband.
The key part of this piece is around printing. 58% of tablet users want to be able to print, said Sahr. “Today to print to these devices is difficult; you need drivers, apps, a number of steps, maybe get into a corporate network, log-in capabilities. Our goal is to make mobile printing as simple and secure as possible.”
HP has been working on mobile scanning and printing since 2009 when it launched ePrint.
What HP is launching is simple and secure mobile printing in the form of HP LaserJet Pro MFP M476 color laser device. Last fall the company launched a couple of new devices that offer wireless direct printing. For wireless printing in the older generation you had to have a corporate network and wireless network to be able to print. The 802.11 wireless direct signal was sent directly from the printer itself so this would allow you to print peer-to-peer directly to the printer, without needing to be on the corporate network. “With my tablet I can see wireless being transmitted, print it , and that’s wireless direct,” said Sahr. “There can be 10 different printers sending wireless signals (in an office) and I don’t know which one. The NFC industry standard of communication allows you to walk up to a device and touch it, like Bluetooth, and send a message to that device without getting on the corporate network.”
NFC is similar to the smartphone payment processing system. Now it’s become more prevalent in printing technology, a short range pairing technology like Bluetooth. “You’ll see more devices with NFC and wireless direct embedded in devices,” said Sahr.
Last fall HP launched two new accessories you can add to your installed base of HP printers.
IT managers are worried about wireless printing. Three levels of security are built in to the MFP M476: 1) when a print job sent wirelessly to a device, it’s an encrypted file that is sent, and it can’t be interpreted 2) at the device you can actually set a pass code login phrase, just like you do on your home wireless. No one can go in and use the device 3) the way HP designs these products, the wired access points, or where the internet cable goes into the network for wireless direct. Inside the device it’s entirely separate, so someone can’t hack into your corporate network via the wireless access point.
The HP LaserJet Pro MFP M476 color laser device scans 21 pages per minute, with added NFC wireless direct embedded into the device. This product is designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), with network shared devices, and can share between 3 and 10 users, as well as print an average of 1,000-2,500 per month, geared toward SMBs using wireless technology.
The LaserJet Pro MFP M476 is HP’s first Mopria certified device, (Mopria stands for Mobile Printing Alliance). Mopria was started last fall as an alliance to form industry standards for mobile printing, with hardware and software vendors such as HP, Xerox, Samsung, Canon, Apple and Android. This ensures more standards and consistency around mobile printing.
As part of an app that is on the control panels of the device, users can scan to the cloud based repositories. Users can scan Google Docs, and can pull documents from the cloud, so that workflows are seamless.