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MULTIFUNCTION PRINTERS to the Re Powered By Docstoc
					     Leaving yesterday’s
     copy machines in
     the dust, today’s
     printers offer
     schooLs numerous
     reasons to upgrade.

    Multifunction Printers
                  to the Rescue
    Say good-bye to the printer down the hall. And the same goes for the copier, fax machine and
    scanner that sit nearby. Multifunction printers (MFPs) combine the functionalities of these four
    machines into one, offering savings on space, money and maintenance while providing sophisticated
    document management and workflow features.

         According to tech research firm IDC, sales of color           While the MFPs are primarily used as printers, once
    laser MFPs will rise to 957,000 in the next three years (up   users get familiar with the device, they are using the other
    from 253,000 in 2005). This 278 percent increase in sales     functions. “But printing is still the most used function of
    means that more K-12 schools are choosing multifunction       the MFPs,” says Smith. “Of total pages that an end user
    devices for their office needs.                               would produce, printing is still in the majority over the
                                                                  other functions on the machine.”
         One of the reasons for that shift, according to Todd
    Smith, MFP marketing manager for Xerox, is that it’s
    becoming more cost beneficial to move to MFPs. “Schools       Printed vS. coPied
    are saving on consolidated assets with both reduced service        Beginning in the late 1990s, the number of pages
    contracts and supply inventories,” he says.                   printed exceeded the number of pages copied. The volume
        Another reason is the price. “MFPs are replacing          use is now printed pages, rather than copied pages.
    printers because the price differential has declined so       “Logically, it makes more sense to build these machines
    much,” says Larry Jamieson, director, Hard Copy Industry      off of printers rather than loading them up with copier
    Advisory Service for consulting firm Lyra Research.           features that are hardly used,” says Tom Codd, director of
                                                                  outbound marketing, LaserJet business, for HP.
         Jeff Sandler, director of marketing for Brother
    International, agrees with both observations. “Today,             “If you think about what features in copier-based
    more organizations are incorporating MFPs to conserve         MFPs are actually used, it’s a small percentage. Copier-
    workspace and handle multiple tasks by having printing,       based MFPs are designed for high-volume use. You end up
    copying, faxing and scanning all in one unit,” he says.       paying for a lot of features that don’t get used,” Codd adds.
    “In addition, more MFPs help reduce the number of
    consumables that have to be purchased and managed
    throughout the workplace.”

                                                                          coPy machine vS. Printer
    Greater Functionality
    For the Same Price
                                                                      coPy machine (multiFunction
          So how are K-12 schools actually deploying MFPs?            PeriPheral) — Creates copies digitally
    “The trend we’re seeing is that MFPs are serving as a             by scanning and printing. In addition to
    printer replacement as opposed to a copier replacement,”          scanning and printing, it may include faxing
    says Xerox’s Smith. “It is much easier because the pricing        capabilities, sorter and office hardware such
    isn’t that much more than the printer they’re replacing.          as a stapler.
    And they’re able to add fax and scanning functionality to
    their current workgroup setup.”                                   Printer (multiFunction PeriPheral)
                                                                      — Offers printing, scanning, copying and
                                                                      sometimes faxing functions.

6         800.483.4239 |
            mFP advantaGeS:                                 newer printers, the average cost per page is probably
                                                            around 10 cents. “If you’re saving 5 or 10 cents per
• Save SPace — Small footprint for the                      page, it adds up and pays for itself rather quickly,”
  combination of functionality                              Smith notes.
• Save money — Economize on consumables,                         Hanging onto older, obsolete machines can prove
  paper and electricity                                     quite costly. “It’s one of the last unaudited costs in
• Fewer deviceS — One machine for all                       many large organizations,” says HP’s Codd. “[Most
  document/paper-related needs                              organizations have] standardized on PCs, servers and
• Quick read — Less to learn if you need all the            storage, and printers are the last thing they’re looking
  functionality provided                                    at. Often schools have cabinets full of printer supplies
                                                            for machines they don’t have anymore.”
• verSatile — Available in mono, color, high- or
                                                            StandardizinG makeS
                                                            everythinG eaSier
                                                                 One of the main benefits of deploying MFPs is that
     Today, the big shift is away from copier-based to      users only have to deal with one machine, so training
printer-based MFPs, according to Codd. “In 2006 the         is easier. “From a purchasing perspective, it’s much
number of printer-based MFPs was at 60 percent; a year      easier to buy and maintain one machine versus multiple
before, it was 60 percent copier-based,” he says.           machines,” Xerox’s Smith says.

    “The advantage of switching to printer-based                 “Schools only have one set of supplies to purchase
MFPs is that they’re easy to add to the network. And        and only have to deal with one vendor. It’s much easier
you don’t have to have the copier part of it maintained.    to manage the MFPs versus individual fax machines,
With acquisition costs way down, users can manage           printers and copiers.”
them effectively.”                                               Brother’s Sandler agrees. “The key advantage for
                                                            schools to use MFPs is having multiple functions and
hidden coStS                                                features available in one unit with a single toner and/or
                                                            drum to replace instead of having individual standalone
     While hanging onto older printers may be               machines with different consumables taking up
comfortable for some, the long-term effects on the          more workspace.”
bottom line could be detrimental. According to the
market research and consulting firm InfoTrends/CAP               “Additionally, many MFPs are network-ready so
Ventures, older printing technologies require parts         a school can optimize the MFP’s functionality with
and supplies that may become difficult to find. And         multiple users sharing the one MFP unit instead of
they often require IT support to physically dispatch a      one printer for each staff member, which can be
technician to troubleshoot the devices.                     very costly.”
    In addition, they are generally subject to more
downtime and are often not connected to the network.        FabulouS new FeatureS
They also lack printing processing speed and memory to           In addition, newer devices are more power efficient.
support current workflow and application demands.           Newer models have incorporated features such as sleep
     There are other costs as well. “Hidden costs include   mode, “Instant-on Technology” (where the device is
cartridge and toner replacement,” says Xerox’s Smith.       not using power all the time) and ready mode (where it’s
“Newer equipment has a lower cost per page than older       ready, but not printing).
machines. So if schools are running enough volume, it            Offering more workspace with fewer machines to
makes sense to purchase a newer machine, particularly       deploy and manage, MFPs offer higher print speeds and
for color devices. What we’re seeing is the new device      more networked efficiency for various workgroups.
is paid for over time by the savings on the average cost
per page.”                                                       “Along with the 30 ppm (pages per minute),
                                                            Brother laser MFPs offer advanced features such as
                                                            scan-to-FTP, scan-to-fax server and the ability to
coSt-Per-PaGe SavinGS add uP
                                                            operate with LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access
     On many of the color printers that operate on older    Portal) technology — all of which are normally found
technology, the average cost per page is 15 to 25 cents     in more expensive higher-volume MFPs. Many school
(25 to 50 cents per page on inkjet printers). Whereas       administrators would be amazed by the new features
with the higher-duty cycles and faster print speeds of      available,” says Sandler. ❖

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