Samsung Tackles B2B Printing
When someone mentions Samsung, most people will think of smartphones, tablets and televisions. But the Korean conglomerate is expanding its 'kingdom' and tackling a wholly different product segment as revealed in a recent visit to its headquarters in Seoul, Korea.
Vice President and Group Leader of Samsung’s Product Strategy Group in Printing Solutions, Hyesung Ha, announced that the next growth engine for the company will be business-to-business (B2B) printers and print solutions, which is a quite different from its usual focus on business-to-consumer (B2C) products. An analysis on the B2B IT industry forecast has led Samsung to conclude that the largest profit segment in that space will be smartphones, followed by printing solutions.
Samsung is no stranger to smartphones - even in the business side of things as it has been busy deploying it's Knox software on compatible devices for enterprise deployment of BYOD devices at work. So it’s no surprise that the company has set its sights to improve its business services portfolio by heading straight into the B2B printing space next. Ms. Ha elaborated further on this decision, "When it comes to print’s value chain and ecosystem, it goes beyond the product and the hardware that we sell to the customer. Solutions, services and all of the extensions factor into the full life-cycle of the product, which can last up to 10 years. No product within the Samsung family has that kind of life-cycle."
And in order to gain in a foothold in that, Samsung has identified four areas on which to focus on: product, solutions, convergence and partnerships.
The Four Pillars
When it comes to the product, Samsung does have an advantage over some of the competition as it actually develops all the core components inside its laser printers and copiers. This allows it to customize parts to suit the various printers and copiers, and also have stricter control over quality.
Providing printing solutions has always been a major pillar in any print company’s B2B offerings, and Samsung is no different. In fact, this also ties in closely with another area of focus for Samsung - convergence. The Korean electronics giant is looking to provide mobile printing solutions which can connect seamlessly with other Samsung IT products such as notebooks and smartphones.
With more employees working on the go in addition to working at their desk, Samsung has come up with various solutions for this. The current crop (and future generations) of printers are NFC-enabled, and also have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct. This allows for easy printing of documents from your smartphone, notebook or tablet. The printers can also identify the format of the document you’re printing and will resize and optimize it accordingly to fit on the page.
Business Print Solutions
The basis of Samsung’s printer solutions revolve around its XOA (Xtensible Open Architecture) platform. It’s an open web-based platform, and thus does not require any high-end hardware to run and does not require businesses to run any servers in order to work, which should appeal to the smaller companies.
The use of the XOA platform will also help the business’ IT administrators by improving efficiency as it does not require the use of expensive hardware and servers, while also allowing the administrators to monitor and diagnose printing devices remotely.
Samsung printing solutions also include a suite of document management and output management solutions. The Core Document Management Pack, which comes with three key solutions:
- SmarThru Workflow Lite is an automated document capturing, scanning and routing solution which uses optical character recognization (OCR) software to identify predefined areas on a physical or electronic document and distributing them to the relevant destinations.
- Cloud Connector allows for documents to be scanned to and printed from the cloud securely, as the service supports various cloud services such as Microsoft SharePoint Online and Google Drive. Samsung is also looking to add support for more cloud services such as Evernote and Dropbox in the future.
- Secure Login Manager handles the security aspect of printing. It provides companies with various authentication methods such as user ID and password input, employee ID cards and network authentication.
The Core Output Management Pack consists of:
- SecuThru Lite 2 provides document security through user authentication. Documents are encrypted and only when a user authenticates their credentials will a document be printed. This feature also helps to cut down on waste as jobs accidentally sent to print will not be printed until the user authenticates their credentials. SecuThru Lite 2 also allows for pull printing among up to ten devices and allows registration of up to 500 users. Pull printing holds a user’s print job and offers flexibility as the user can print first and select which printer to print from.
- Usage Tracker monitors an individual’s usage across all networked printers including printing, photocopying, scanning and faxing on the printer’s operation panel. Administrators can generate usage reports to enable proactive resource management that could lead to lower operational costs.