Office printing gets smarter

Office printing gets smarter

With 1150 staff across 25 locations, WA's Churches of Christ Homes and Community Service (COCHACS) needed help communicating the latest developments and changes to its quality assurance manuals to employees.

With two-thirds of staff without PC access, distribution of the constantly evolving information was quite an issue. Wastage due to document redundancy and version control were other big challenges faced by the aged care facility.

The adoption of an on-demand printing application, using Ricoh Embedded Software Architecture (ESA), came to the rescue. It allows a user to browse the display panel on the MFD, select from thousands of quality assurance documents stored on a central Web server, and then print the document from any one of the organisation's 25 locations.

The ESA push allows for more than traditional copy and scan functionality. It also makes the devices more intelligent, offering tailor-made solutions to meet the specific business requirements, according to Ricoh business solutions marketing manager, Greg White.

"It's the next big feature," he said. "The aged care facility had big challenges with sharing their quality assurance documents across 25 sites - it was a logistic and administrative nightmare.

"The flexibility of the embedded architecture means the printer or copier will do whatever to meet the staff requirements. It's a flexible platform that expands the functionality."

Ricoh hopes to get the ES message out locally. "We've only just started with ESA here, and we have three local partners." In the US, which rolled out the concept 18 months ago, the vendor has 25 partners. "Our target market is across the board. Every business has document problems- whether it's document distribution or collection," White said.

Document management companies are particularly interested in the platform. Hot development areas include scanning solutions, electronic document management, specific printing applications like forms-based prints, or bar-code printing.

Integrators can embed their software and offer tailor made solutions including document management and workflow processes, White said.

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