Cutting the cables

Cutting the cables

As wireless connectivity gains a foothold in the enterprise, wireless printing is becoming a must-have in a growing number of scenarios.

When you are on the go and desperate for a printout., wireless printing does the trick. It's becoming a must-have in temporary or reconfigurable workplaces, and is also gaining popularity with mobile workers and telecommuters.

With wireless printing, users can place printers anywhere in the home or office and share access to them via a wireless network. Essentially, implementing a wireless printing solution allows workers to easily print out documents on a shared printer.

Wireless printing made perfect sense in the home and in conference areas, IDC wireless and mobility research manager, Warren Chaisatien, said. As such, there was a host of wireless printing user scenarios a reseller could pitch to customers.

"From servicing wireless users at conference centres to mobile printing for sales representatives at customer locations, the technology is the next logical step in extending wireless networks," he said.

Let's talk about some of the cable-free options. A mobile worker armed with a wireless printer, for example, can print without the hassles of cabling the printer to their laptop.

With the availability of infrared and Bluetooth on PDAs and mobile phones, employees can quickly print contact information or meeting notes without using a cable.

Meanwhile, telecommuters that have a printer with a wireless interface can print from their wireless enabled laptops without a physical connection to the local LAN or the printer itself.

Chaisatien said printer vendors were building the functionality into the machines.

"If you look at the majority of printer models, the wireless option is not prominent - yet," Chaisatien said. "But as wireless connectivity becomes more widespread, the functionality will increase."

For example, HP offers internal print servers designed specifically to work with its line of printers. And there are a host of wireless printing options out there including external print servers and special printer management software to help users go wireless.

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