Smarter printing: protecting the environment, protecting the business

MC561dn Web PR
Harry Takahashi Web OKI Europe Ltd

Cost will always be at the top of the list when considering the best print options for the business. Yet there are two other key issues which now figure highly when SMBs are reviewing their print needs for today and tomorrow

- those of security and reducing the corporate carbon footprint both of which can translate as areas of potential cost savings for the business.


OKi MC561

In its latest white paper, SMB Buying Considerations for Smarter Business Printing, sponsored by OKI Europe, IDC identifies that environmental considerations remain high on the agenda. Almost half (46%) of European SMBs who responded to IDC’s 2011 SMB Hardcopy survey identified energy use as of major concern. 

Other green issues at the top of their agenda included the availability of hardware and consumable recycling programmes, the use of recycled paper and the need to reduce packaging. Manufacturers  have already responded well to this changing customer landscape, with print solutions that typically consume 30% less energy and 20% less toner than legacy products.

Almost two-thirds (61%) of SMEs have functionality such as duplex and reduced energy consumption firmly on their list of ‘must have’ features when purchasing print hardware, as part of a broader ‘green IT’ agenda. The majority of SMEs also recognise the importance of education and training in changing the behaviour of their employees if environmental gains are to be firmly embedded in the business.    

Environmental pressures are set to increase. The European Union Energy-using Products (EuP) directive, which comes into force in January 2013, will require all new devices to incorporate additional energy-saving features such as ‘auto off’ mode, shutting down the device when not in use for a defined time period.


Harry Takahashi –OKI Managing Director

Getting more for your investment

With space constraints another key issue within the smaller business, the footprint of the device becomes another key element in any purchasing decision. Though more versatile than their smaller counterparts, the value of earlier A3 devices was limited by the fact that they took up significantly more space and were significantly more expensive. Advanced design now means that the footprint of today’s A3 printers are only marginally greater than that of an A4 and are much more affordable for SMBs, making it a serious consideration for many SMBs for the first time.          

Protecting the business

Security too continues to be a matter of concern for SMBs. Another IDC study entitled “The Importance of IT for Business Enablement Among Western European Vertical Markets in 2012” showed how data protection ranked highest in importance on the ‘to do’ list of initiatives for European firms. And again, this can only grow in importance as more flexible working puts greater demands on the need for secure remote access to corporate networks.

In meeting this challenge, print security software plays an important role in keeping company data safe. A growing number of SMBs are adopting a range of options such as digital document capture and storage solutions together with document security and user ID in order to help manage their print devices.

Security packages ensure stringent authentication and restriction of access, as well as PIN protection so that sensitive documents can only be printed when the user enters their PIN or swipes their ID card. Document encryption also ensures that documents sent across the network are kept secure until they are printed.

The good news is that, printer manufacturers like OKI Europe are addressing all these issues, so the best of today’s print products have taken a significant step forward in enabling businesses to print greener and more securely – and at lower cost.