Published: 12 October 2000
Analyst(s): Camille D. Iorns, Don Dixon, Ken Weilerstein, Mark R. Gilbert, James Lundy, Peter J. Grant, Lynn Ritter, Paula Bursley, Michael Calvert, David W. Haueter, Andrew Johnson
Management Summary Digital document technology is forcing convergence in the copier, printer, fax and scanner markets. This will impact the way enterprises purchase output equipment through 2005. The technology trends and their implications include the following: o Multifunction products (MFPs) are enabling enterprises to take a collective view of their copier, printer and fax fleets. One multifunction device can combine the functions of a copier, printer, fax machine and scanner. At a minimum, enterprises should focus on replacing analog copiers with digital ones. o Color copiers are increasing in speed. Enterprises must balance the placement of these machines with those of the slower but less-expensive color printers. Enterprises should avoid desktop inkjet printers because of high supply costs. o Fax machines have been MFP-capable for years. When combined with a fax server implementation, an MFP with fax capability can be a cost-efficient investment. Leasing fax machines can cost much more than the total cost of the machine, and therefore should be avoided. o Printers can be actively managed as a fleet, and printers more than five years are strong candidates for replacement. Managing the deployment of color devices is critical due to higher supply costs. o Software for distributed output management (DOM) enables delivery of documents to individuals either as a print job, a fax job, an e-mail attachment or a viewable Web page. DOM software tracks jobs to their completion and is an important tool for potential integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP) or other mission-critical applications. Enterprises must evaluate their applications to see where DOM will play a role. Eventually, Gartner expects DOM servers to replace print servers. These technology trends are accompanied by new management issues. For example, physical placement of output devices for users can be a challenging task. By evaluating a number of factors, including proximity...
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