By Karl Dueland, vice president, Solutions Delivery Unit, Xerox
Any traveling business worker knows that printing on-the-go isn’t always easy. Most of the time you have to download a driver or app, wait for it to install, locate the printer in the office you’re visiting and then map to it. When time is of the essence and you need an important document for that big meeting, these extra steps can be confusing and frustrating. That angst over mobile printing may soon become a thing of the past.
Xerox has joined with other print providers to launch the Mobile Print Alliance (MPA), a non-profit membership organization focused on making it easy to print from any mobile device to any printer.
How does it work? In a move towards establishing industry-wide mobile printing compatibility on all printing devices, the MPA designed a single mobile print platform that will be adopted by its members and embedded into their products. In addition, the MPA created an easily recognizable brand and logo, Mopria (which stands for mobile printing), that will help identify which devices are part of the MPA. If a printer has a Mopria sticker on it, anyone with a smartphone and an Internet connection can walk up and print to it – without downloading an app or driver. It’s really that easy.
Take a look around your office. Can you spot a smartphone or two? Mobile phones are common tools not only for traveling workers, but for office executives as well. According to IDC, 40 percent of employees use their smartphones on the job. In the next three years, that’s expected to increase to 56 percent. With BYOD on the rise, easier mobile printing is a must and allowing users to print from any device without complicated downloads is the first step.
Of course print providers like Xerox and the other founding members of the MPA benefit too. We’ll be able to ensure ongoing compatibility with mobile devices without having to continually re-engineer our products. Most importantly, by sharing a common mobile printing platform, all of our customers will be able to print freely and get the work they need to get done faster. We realize that our customers don’t want to think about how to print when they’re in a rush to meet a deadline or head into an important meeting. Now they won’t have to.