Industry Mopria alliance looks to boost mobile print adoption
Louella Fernandes, Associate Director,Print Services and Solutions
Industry Mopria alliance looks to boost mobile print adoption http://www.quocirca.com © 2013 Quocirca Ltd
The proliferation of smartphones and tablets inthe workplace, driven by broader adoption of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), has led torenewed predictions that mobility will usher inthe paperless era. Yet, paper remains
omnipresent in most businesses, with Quocirca’s
research showing that almost 70% still dependon printing to support business processes.Whilst various industry estimates claim thatmobility increase productivity by anywhere up to40%, printing is often a forgotten part of theequation, and many today still need and want toprint. Even if overall volumes may be on thedecline, the opportunity to print higher qualitycolour documents
from a smartphone or tabletis one the printer industry has been workinghard to capture.
Whether it’s a consumer need for printing
boarding passes or a business need to print acomplex business colour document, most mobileprint solutions available today only partlyaddress the printing needs of the user. So far,the ease of printing from mobile devices hasbeen anything but simple
the diversity of mobile operating systems combined with the mixof printers and copiers, all with their ownproprietary standards, means that mobile printadoption has been slow.Many vendors have come up with their ownmobile print applications
some are simpleapps, some print by sending the document to aprivate cloud as an email attachment which canbe printed at any device and some offer directprinting to new devices only. And in many casesprinter driver features may be limited tostandard default settings, meaning thatadvanced features such as duplex or bookletprinting may not be supported. There may alsobe a cost premium to implement mobile printing,which is in contrast to the desktop printingapproach which simply requires download of afree printer driver.This has created some confusion and complexityin the market, somewhat hindering adoption. In
Quocirca’s recent study o
f enterprises, around15% have adopted mobile print solutions, whilstaround although 30% investigating or planningto adopt some form of mobile printing.The lack of a standardised platform for mobileprinting represents a lost opportunity for printermanufacturers to capture pages as they shiftfrom the desktop environment.The good news is that a new standards allianceslooks set to address these challenges andprovide a seamless printing experience formobile users. The Mobile Printing Alliance(Mopria) is working to create a new mobileprinting standard and encourage mobileapplication developers to include printfunctionality within their applications.Each mobile operating system, such as Android,iOS and Windows Phone will need to include theMopria subsystem
and there are alreadyAndroid-based mobile devices in certificationtesting. The Alliance is launching with Canon, HP,Samsung and Xerox as founding members andthese vendors are already working to certifytheir products which will carry the Mopria brandmark.
From Quocirca’s perspective, this is a welcome
initiative, given the lack of standards andcomplexity in the market which has served toinhibit mobile printing adoption. The key tosuccess will be ensuring legacy printers are alsosupported and certified to enable businesses toleverage existing investments rather thanneeding to purchase new hardware.Meanwhile, the growing use of mobile devices inthe workplace also brings security risks, andbusinesses will need to ensure that any mobileprinting that is implemented is secure andmanaged as part of any wider managed printenvironment.