Lexmark Delivers New MFP Functionality via the Cloud
Document translation, enhanced scan management added to Lexmark Cloud Services suite
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We were already impressed with Lexmark Cloud Services, the company’s cloud-based suite of services that lets customers reduce infrastructure requirements for print, simplify device management, and provide print solutions (such as print-usage tracking and mobile print support) that enhance the flexibility of compatible Lexmark MFPs. With its latest updates to the platform, Lexmark is pushing beyond the core fleet management and print management features to delve into the realm of intelligent document processing.
One new offering is Lexmark Translation Assistant, which provides document language translation (in real time) through the MFP or a user’s desktop. At the MFP, users simply scan the document to the cloud service, and the translated document is printed at the MFP and/or emailed to desired recipients. If the document is already in electronic form, a user can log into the Lexmark Cloud Services (LCS) platform, upload the document, and receive the translation.
As with similar offerings from other OEMs, the output is a “machine” translation (think Google Translate) rather than done by a human translator. But it is still good enough for most organizations’ purposes. For instance, a primary use case is for K-12 schools. Administrators and teachers often need to send notices and other paperwork home to parents/guardians, but English is not always the primary language spoken in the home. With Translation Assistant, these documents can be translated on the fly to dozens of different languages.
The other new offering—Lexmark Cloud Scan Management—makes capturing and archiving documents easier. Again, users can access the service via the MFP (when scanning paper documents) or their PC (for existing electronic files). They can select destination folders from their cloud storage platform of choice (e.g., OneDrive, SharePoint Online, Google Drive), create a destination folder if one does not yet exist, name the file, and make it accessible to others. As the service matures, looks for document processing (say, conversion to other file formats and OCR) to be added to the offering.
Keypoint Intelligence Opinion
We’ve touted the “appification” of document solutions—where document conversion and processing tasks are handled directly at the MFP, as opposed to desktop software—for years now. The increased adoption of cloud-based software and services makes this model even more attractive. Instead of being reliant solely on what the MFP’s CPU chipset and embedded operating system can handle, functionality is expanded to anything a cloud-based server can manage. And advanced document processing could be just the beginning. Yes, it makes sense that MFP OEMs are focusing on paper-based capture and conversion tasks to start with, but given their central placement in most offices, MFPs and their associated cloud services could serve as the hub for all manner of activities—including those that do not involve paper at all.
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