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Ten features your printer needs to have

Chances are you’ve thought about this especially if you want the right printer for your business.

Ever wondered what features make a printer different and better than others? Chances are you’ve thought about this especially if you want the right printer for your business.

We know modern business will throw all sorts of challenges at you, so we want to help your next printer choice be one that is designed for today’s world. One that is secure, kind to our environment and helps you to stay productive.

Lucky for you, we’ve curated a list of the top 10 features that separate great printers - like our latest generation of DX series printers, from the mediocre lot.

1. Ensure your printer has Forced Hold or Authenticated Secure Print Ability

All businesses deal with sensitive documents that may contain confidential or privileged information. Forced Hold or Secure Print allows documents to be sent from the PC and held until authorised for printing by the person who sent the print job. This minimises the risk of sensitive documents potentially falling into the wrong hands.

2. Data encryption that conforms to minimum security standards

Office multifunction printers (MFPs) may have sensitive data passing through them when print and/or scan jobs are sent to them. Without sufficient levels of encryption, the storage could be removed, and residual data could be read from the device. Device storage that is both password protected and that leverages a cryptographic module that complies with the FIPS-140-2 security standards, gives you peace of mind that your data is secure.

3. Your printer verifies firmware and system software on start-up

Hackers are constantly looking for ways to bypass and get around existing security features, such as manipulating the system software of the MFP to redirect data to them. A device that is not secure can be used as the entry point to your network to gain access to data and devices. MFPs that have the capability to verify the system has not been tampered with or corrupted help minimise the risk that malicious code could bypass the intended security checks and balances.

4. Appropriate software to help combat potential cyber threats

Even when the devices’ system software is verified at start-up, malicious code can still get into a device. This can be through a malicious print job, an infected USB drive, or your network. There are two ways a system can monitor what codes and/or applications are operating on the device; Blacklisting or Whitelisting. Whitelisting is the best and most secure approach, as there is no need to check if the unexpected code is malicious or not. If it is not on the Whitelist of approved application code by the manufacturer, it’s not allowed to run, and the code is either removed or the system is halted to avoid any compromise to the device and/or data.

5. Ensure the accuracy of its Optical Character Recognition

Scanning and digitising documents are prevalent in the modern business world. When documents are digitised, you can enable workflows, and it also makes it easier to search for data within the documents by using a software process called Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This is where the text in physical paper documents or an image is read and converted into an electronic format that is now either text searchable and/or editable. This functionality is not always standard on all MFPs. Not only may you have to pay additional for it, but you also need to consider the accuracy of the OCR process; anything over the 90% range is a good benchmark.

6. Be conscious of how much energy it consumes

We all want to do our part to protect the environment and minimise our carbon footprint. When comparing different cars for purchase, we look at the litres per 100km rating. This is like TEC, or typical energy consumption for printers. The lower the TEC rating, means lower overall energy consumed. And being an industry standard, it allows an apples-to-apples comparison between brands and models for average power consumption.

7. Swift Recovery from sleep and short first printout time

We want our printer to be asleep when not in use, but at the same time we also don’t want to be standing around waiting for our print jobs either. Purchasing an MFP that quickly wakes up when needed, coupled with a short first print out time, means your people aren’t wasting time waiting for prints or scans to be completed.

8. A device that is constructed with consideration for its environmental impact

In many industries, increased focus is being placed on the total CO₂ emissions, not just from device operation, but also those related to materials sourcing, transportation, and disposal and recycling at device end of life. Look for a supplier that is committed to sustainable sourcing of materials and products, a device that has minimal environmental impact and can easily be recycled.

9. Look for proactive and efficient service

A well-maintained printer is a reliable and trusted workhorse. One that minimises downtime for your business is even better. Look for features that monitor device usage of parts and securely report on performance to the service provider. Where onsite technician service is needed, the service provider can refer to the data logs and send the technician with the right parts to fix it immediately, or sometimes even before the failure occurs or is noticed by the end user. Having a printer that’s also connected to an online support hub like MyCanon Business makes it easy for you to manage your account from the order and installation process, right through to business as usual. All this means more device uptime and less wasted time for your business.

10. Ensure your printer links to cloud services

Many businesses have hybrid working environments with smaller offices and work from home options. Having not just one model that is cloud-connected, but a series of devices that meet various needs provides increased efficiencies and flexibility whether your staff works from home or remotely. This can mean reduced costs to your business with less in-house infrastructure and increased efficiencies by allowing staff to print and/or scan directly from cloud-based storage repositories.

Choosing the right printer is essential to creating a technology ecosystem that supports your business. While it can be tempting to make investments based on previous buying decisions, or purely on cost saving, today’s world is fundamentally different than it was even 12 months ago.

Look to invest in next-generation MFPs that offer not just everyday print capabilities, but cloud connectivity, strength in security features, and one that has duly considered its impact on the environment.

Learn more about our latest generation of business printers.

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