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Xerox rolls out more ConnectKey apps to make your printer more useful

The apps, which directly connect data from paper documents to digital platforms like Salesforce and Quickbooks, are part of Xerox's initiative to transform its printers into "workplace assistants"

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Xerox on Wednesday is rolling out a series of new ConnectKey apps and capabilities, including apps that will connect printers directly to popular business platforms like Salesforce and Quickbooks.

Xerox's ConnectKey brand refers to the hardware, software and services that add mobile and cloud capabilities to Xerox's multi-function printers. By bringing integrating digital tools with printers, Xerox aims to expand the boundaries of its market segment.

"There are a number of business processes that are documented related... Some of those mix paper and digital documents," Bertrand Cerisier, VP of Global Marketing for Xerox's Workplace Solutions Business Group, told ZDNet. "We figured out our technology could be expanded into workflow automation."

The apps work with Xerox VersaLink and Xerox AltaLink printers, via a touchscreen interface. Users can also interact with the devices via their phones or computer. Xerox is building up its off-the-shelf app offerings and also facilitates customers that want to build their own apps.

"That's the whole promise here," Cerisier said. "Whatever type of business you are in, whatever your needs are in terms of automating business processes, we have a solution for you."

With the Xerox Connect App for Salesforce, for instance, a user can upload and share sales management information to client folders by scanning the documents directly into Salesforce.

Other new apps include:

  • The Xerox Audio Documents App: securely transforms hardcopy documents into audio files The Xerox Connect App for QuickBooks Online: offers expense reimbursement process with multi-receipt scanning. Receipt data is extracted into an expense report and submitted with notifications sent to reviewers for approval. For Concur users, a similar receipt management app will be available by year's end.
  • The Xerox Forms Manager App: With intelligent routing capabilities via embedded QR codes, scanned forms are automatically routed to the appropriate email address.
  • The Xerox Quick Link App: enables a fast start to printing without IT support. This app sends an email directly from the device containing appropriate links to install, and connects computers or mobile devices with the drivers and configuration settings.

In addition to adding new work-centric apps to the ConnectKey brand, Xerox is introducing a series of education-focused apps for teachers and students:

  • The Xerox Connect App for Blackboard: provides access to the Blackboard learning management system; documents are digitized and stored into a user'sBlackboard Learn account from the printer
  • The Xerox Connect App for Remark Test Grading: simplifies grading of bubble tests with the ability to print answer sheets, scan completed sheets back in for automated grading, and email students their grades or print the results right at the device.
  • The Xerox Proofreader Service: checks for writing elements in the English language, such as spelling, grammar, style and plagiarism.

Xerox has also partnered with Cisco and McAfee to secure ConnectKey technologies. The company is also working on improving the ConnectKey user experience with capabilities like sign sign-on, enabling a printer to securely hold a user's credentials when using apps.