Last week, we shared Part I of Inside Samsung Printing Solutions: Interview with Vice President Chin Yoon. Today, we continue the series with the second half of the interview, where we discuss the revolutionary Smart UX Center and Samsung Printing Solutions’s future goals and vision.
(Click here for part one of the interview.)
A growing community of printing app developers
Q: As Vice President of Enterprise Business Group in Sales and Marketing, you’re in charge of sales for enterprises and global companies. Are there any success stories or interesting cases in sales that you can tell us about?
The recent stories I’m most proud of are ones where we meet a client’s needs perfectly and quickly using our Android platform. For example, one client needed a Scan to Web Server solution, and we saw that it would take a long time for us to develop. But the company was already using an Android app to upload files to the web server using smartphones. So, the answer was easy: just tweak that app, and put it in their Smart UX Center.
At first, we developed solutions for important clients from scratch, but now, most of our solutions are developed using Android.
Q: What do businesses think of the Smart UX Center? What benefits can they enjoy?
Because we’re fully Android-based, we can customize printing apps for a company’s specific requirements and continue to meet its needs as they change. Let’s not kid ourselves; printers don’t change much. Copiers have not changed. Whereas IT is changing rapidly, a copier lasts about four years without becoming outdated in its technology. But with Samsung’s printing apps, you can enjoy the latest IT in your printer.
Q: Please tell us more about the technology behind the Smart UX Center’s platform.
We have three SDK* platforms: XOA-E, XOA-Web, and Android. To explain briefly, XOA-E is Java-based, and allows software installation. XOA-Web is also Java-based, and it doesn’t allow software installation. With the Smart UX Center, we introduced an Android platform, offering more flexibility in software development.
The great thing about this is that we can take something that already exists and make it better. Take camera scanning, for instance. It’s so simple, it’s so easy, and many users use it to scan business cards with their smartphones. With the Smart UX Center’s Android platform, you can take the API** for that smartphone camera scanning app and make a printing app that uses the same code to scan documents. It doesn’t even take a second to do it.
Most copiers run on Java. But with Samsung’s launch of the Smart UX Center, there is now a new, growing community of Android developers creating printing apps. Android is easier to work with than Java, so developers are proactively coming up with new ideas for Android apps for printers.
*Software Development Kit, a package of APIs for software developers to use to create applications
**Application Program Interface, a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications
Q: How do you reach out to these developers?
We reach out to them through our website and SDK webinars. We also do it through dealers, who have software developers that they work with. Plus, we’re always getting the message out there on our social channels like our blog and LinkedIn. We tell them, “Reach out to us! You have an idea, come to us. Make your own printing app.”
The first app we put on the Smart UX Center was Angry Birds. All the dealers had it installed. Just goes to show that you can do so many things with the user interface of an office printer.
Driving big changes in the printing industry
Q: How is Samsung’s printing business differentiating itself to create sales lead when approaching dealers?
One area we’re investing a lot in is service. Competitors and their partners have been working with the same brands for 25-30 years. When a device fails, their service engineer can probably fix it with their eyes shut. With Samsung, things are different, of course. So to prove to dealers that we’re serious, we developed a mobile service app called Samsung Printer Diagnostic System. It has about 600 short videos that show you how to install or take apart printers, or fix minor errors. We’re basically showing the dealers that even if they don’t know our products well, they can easily use them.
My tech sales team is all veteran developers/engineers, and we manage our channels directly from our headquarters. And dealers are happy with our service. They say other brands take six months to fix a problem or don’t fix the problem at all.
Q: How do you think the printing industry will change? And what is Samsung doing to prepare for these changes?
I remember a forum where a printer brand had “Android” written big on their banners. But they have a legacy to uphold, so they’re only selling their Android-based products as an option, and not attached right to the printer like we do. We don’t have this kind of legacy, so we’re flexible. We can change whatever we want.
Plus, we already have the advantage when it comes to connectivity. We may be the new kids on the block, but as we change the paradigm of printing, the market will inevitably follow, and change with us. The printing industry will change because of Samsung.
Q: What do you think will help Samsung become a top brand in the printing industry?
In the end, I believe it will be user experience. We might be conducting our printing business B2B, but the user, in the end, is a consumer. And Samsung is a company that has very closely studied the user experience. The line between B2B and B2C is blurring, which puts Samsung, a company that has worked in both, an advantage. So I believe that even in the traditionally B2B printing industry, Samsung will move along with IT trends to provide new and innovative printing technologies for users.
And we’re not afraid to throw away the past. When feature phones turned into smartphones, there were companies that couldn’t catch up, because they were too afraid to let go of their legacy. I think the same might happen with printing companies; they won’t catch up with us if they hold on to the past.
*Large Format Display
Q: Any last comments?
Samsung will become number one in the printing world. I joined the company believing this. Samsung can’t stand to see something not work. When I was at other companies, they simply said, “Just don’t sell it if it doesn’t work.” But that is not tolerated at Samsung.
Samsung will probably still be hungry when it’s number one. Our motto is, “Be the number one that number two cannot overtake.” The printing industry is old-fashioned and slow-changing, but Samsung is fast. Competitors will try to catch up, but our goal is to be number one by year 2020.