Any business wants an easy-to-use document management system optimized for its own workflow and needs. Companies want their document solutions customized to work seamlessly within their IT infrastructure. Or even better, to work across all devices—from printers and PCs to personal mobile devices.
Samsung made this a reality with its 2014 release of the Smart UX Center, the world’s first Android interface for printers. A 10.1-inch Android tablet fixed to its top-of-the-line MultiXpress MFP series, the Smart UX Center is intuitive, customizable, and most importantly, the center of a connected workplace.
“People entering the workplace today expect an app for everything,” explained Mark Ash, Samsung UK’s head of print. “With our platform, you can turn basic print, copy, scan, fax into a platform and personalize that experience at a user level.”
Printers can now be customized, just like bespoke car designs or suits. Samsung’s unique Android platform makes it easy to use mobile apps on the printer, or develop entirely new printing apps. For instance, a world-popular app like Send Anywhere can be (and was) developed for the Smart UX Center into a printer version, allowing users to seamlessly send and print documents from their mobile devices.
Fast growth in printing business, thanks to demand for Android printing apps
In the first half of 2015, Samsung’s printing business saw an A3 MFP sales growth of 46%. It also achieved a 936% increase in MPS signings.
Paul Birkett, sales and marketing director at Samsung Electronics Europe, says that the versatility of the Android platform and Samsung’s quick development of solutions for its clients are key factors in the company’s success.
“One client in the Nordics was looking to buy screens and large format displays for signage,” he says. “But they could only afford to have a few dotted around the building, which didn’t give them the coverage they wanted. As it happens, they had just acquired Samsung smart MFPs with 10-inch tablets on them, and had already built an Android app to link to their signage platform. In less than two days, we modified that app to run on the smart UX.”
Birkett adds that where clients really benefit is in the workflow automation and content management services that Samsung can provide through its Android platform.
In the past, it took up to half a million dollars to link two data systems. “Today, everything is API-driven and you develop services in weeks with two programmers fresh out of college,” says Birkett. “We can do that with our platform because we link to all of the standard open APIs through the Android platform.”
Supporting dealers in providing optimized printing apps for businesses
Samsung’s Software Developer Kit provides developers with a suite of APIs for developing Smart UX apps, printing apps that run on the MultiXpress series. With this package of development tools, app developers can quickly and easily create apps for Samsung printers.
Birkett mentions a recent project with Top Image Systems (TIS). “In one week, using one developer, we had full invoice processing in the cloud running on our platform,” he says. “That’s the fundamental architectural difference that Samsung has built.”
Samsung holds SDK webinars and events for printing app development. More activities in support of dealers and developers are in store for the future, along with new Smart UX app and widget releases every month.