Multifunction Printers: How MFPs stand up to the changing apps?
The printer market is in the downtrend for two consecutive years now as reported by research firm Gartner. The future reckons to be bleak for standalone office printers but not for the MFP or multifunction printer line. This printer type continues to evolve and remains relevant amidst changing applications. While other types of printers were rendered obsolete, MFPs continue to play tango with new trends and have sustained bullish demand.
In fact, Siddhartha Bhattacharya global marketing manager for Xerox sees a lot of opportunities for solution providers hatched around multifunction printers particularly the digital realm and BYOD portfolios. These are trends that clearly show that digital printers are not yet at the end of the road and its presence will continue to be felt in the workplace. Some observations are worth a second look as MFPs try to adapt to the changing needs.
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- A spiking market. Contrary to what others believe, MFP are here indefinitely. It sits secure in a continuously spiking market. We may see a 2.6% annual growth rate up to 2018 as predicted by InfoTrends.
- Declining demand for single function printer. The demise of the standalone office printers has been expected all along. Users are no longer keen on devices that can only serve print jobs. Many prefer printer devices that can multi-task and perform copying, scanning and fa transmission functions. This is understandable as the market shifts towards document digitizing.
- Demand for black and white printers continues. Even when the demand for color printers is rising, monochrome printers are not outdated just as yet. In fact it will continue to be felt as 75% of printer demand is still focused on black and white printers.
- MFP as document storage devices. As users continue to digitize documents, the MFP scanning function becomes even more relevant. This is particularly evident with MFP that feature really fast scanning speeds, a very important factor in the digitizing process.
- Increasing demand for cloud connectivity. It is growing relatively well and MFP are slowly evolving to meet the demand. Cloud connection solution is becoming second nature and repositories like Dropbox are changing the scene.
- Mobile printing adds to the MFP intricacy. It is actually a normal reaction of the printer market towards the prevalence of BYOD in the workplace. And MFPs are treating the transition soundly to allow the mobile worker to print from multiple apps across multiple devices easily.
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Through it all, the printer market has religiously introduced innovation so multifunction printers can continue to coexist in a rapidly changing workplace. Amidst the furor over the changing preference of consumers, MFP evolve to meet the challenges of changing applications.