Okay. So I have racked my pea-brain to come up with the list of features and benefits to consider when thinking of mobile printing, or MP (Okay, I made that up, so don’t go looking it up). Mobile printing -- small-M, small-P -- has its benefits. Your employees or customers should have the freedom to print docs (not me), emails and Web content in full-color from Internet enabled laptops, cell phones and handheld devices. And they should not have to download drivers or install additional software. Let me try to break down the features and their benefits to think about, so when you talk to your boss, you’ll seem much smarter.
iPhone, Palm Pre, Blackberry, etc.
Mobile plus handheld printing. You should be able to forward any email from PDAs or Internet-enabled cell phones – with or without attachments – to a printer’s email address.
Driverless Web-based printing ability. Users should be able to surf to a printer’s URL using any browser, and upload a file or enter an URL of what’s to be printed. After submitting each request, the service automatically replies to an email address with a secure release code. At the keypad attached to the printer, the user then enters the code to release their print job.
Simple installation. Find a turnkey system that can be self-configuring and ready to print from anywhere in minutes. Internet Access is all that one should need.
Totally embedded. All printer hardware enhancements should be preconfigured; all software should be pre-loaded; no additional support should be required. That means no external appliances and no way for users to accidentally change system settings or access other jobs.
Strong data encryption. All print jobs should be encrypted and transferred using 128-bit secure SSL communications.
Secure mobile printing. After printing, every job should be automatically erased from printer memory so you don’t have to worry about unauthorized reprinting.
Flexibility. You should be able use the mobile printing solution as a free client convenience to hold on to customers -- or as a fee-based printing service to increase revenues, if you are a super capitalist.
Customizable interfaces. The solution should incorporate logos and colors on the Web page to reflect your business identity and present printing as a value-added service exclusive to your establishment.
Add links and custom messages. You should be able to customize the user interface to add links to other websites, add new printers or insert new screens for additional services, print job options and job confirmation/approval steps.
Support for 3rd party billing systems. The mobile printing solution provider should be partnering with the likes of Printer On and Web Pay Services (WPS) to enable hosted billing solutions so that the system can count the number of pages, calculate the job cost, and initiate a credit card billing sequence.