Printer manufacturers must transition from commodity print sellers to document service providers. With the addition of Autonomy’s content management strengths, HP can help enterprises to optimize their document workflow.
On 30 October 2012, HP announced the color flow MFP M575C and flow MFP M525C — its first workflow-optimized, capture-enabled multifunction products (MFPs) — and HP Flow CM Professional, a cloud-based content management solution.
The new "LaserJet Enterprise flow" hardware platform includes features such as onboard optical character recognition and scan-to-SharePoint. Also, it can incorporate HP Flow CM Professional software based on Autonomy’s Worksite content management platform. The solution allows enterprise users to access the HP Flow content management cloud repository directly from their PCs, print hardware or mobile devices. Document management system functions include capture, storage, indexing, search, retrieval and version control.
HP’s latest document management solutions address three major trends in enterprise printing: workflow digitization, cloud and mobility. Workflow digitization reduces the burden of a paper-heavy document system in several ways. It saves storage space, decreases paper consumption, reduces costs, saves time and makes document processes more efficient overall. Over the coming years, the abilities to capture, store, index, search and retrieve information will increase in importance, and eventually, organizations of all sizes will require a solution that meets those needs. We will see more integration between hardware providers and content management software providers — such as HP/Autonomy and Lexmark/Perceptive — which will drive innovation in document management. Expect to see more acquisitions, partnerships and solutions similar to HP’s in the next few years.
This announcement is also significant in that the new MFPs are HP’s first print products to incorporate Autonomy software since that company was acquired in 2011. In addition, the flow MFPs are fully integrated document management solutions out of the box, and cost no more than equivalent non-flow models. The software is priced on a per-user or unlimited-user site plan basis. One potential drawback is that both new products use A4 paper size, which might be a disadvantage to customers with A3 requirements.
HP enterprise customers: Examine your print and document workflow to decide whether you might implement workflow functions within the next two to three years. Remember, however, that it's easier to buy equipment with workflow functions and not fully use them than it is to retrofit existing equipment with those functions later.
Print providers: Integrate content management software into your hardware so that you can help customers transition to a complete digital workflow.
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“Magic Quadrant for MFPs and Printers, Worldwide” — In the printer and MFP market, where lack of variation in features and functions has led to a lack of product differentiation, vendors will need to produce innovative document management solutions to stay ahead of the curve. By Sharon McNee and others
“Magic Quadrant for Managed Print Services, Worldwide” — Office printing page volumes are declining rapidly, so in the next few years, buyers will be looking for vendors with solutions that help them reduce volume, and with business models that allow buyers to reduce the quantity of equipment over time. By Ken Weilerstein and Cecile Drew