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Canon Announces Cloud-Based uniFLOW, New ADVANCE Cloud Portal & a Platform For Working Smarter

Monday, August 08, 2016  
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Canon U.S.A. Inc. has announced the availability of uniFLOW Online, a multi-tenant, cloud-based print management solution enabling small and medium-sized businesses a way to manage their print environments without the need for a local server. Compatible with Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE devices, uniFLOW Online provides a scalable enterprise platform with security features.

"Whether it's in the form of financial records, human resource information or sensitive customer data, every business handles some form of confidential information," said Randy Dazo, group director, Office Document Technology Group, InfoTrends. "It's critical that companies take the appropriate steps to help protect sensitive documents, and limiting user access and restricting customer data within a local network are strong protective measures that businesses can take to increase security."

"The expansion of uniFLOW to a cloud-based print management solution represents another impressive success for one of Canon's most popular business solutions," said Toyo Kuwamura, senior vice president and general manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A. Inc. "With uniFLOW Online, we've expanded the success of Canon's award-winning technology to customers that may not have previously had the infrastructure or personnel in place to host an in-house, server-based solution."

The key benefits of uniFLOW Online include:
  • Document access and device security features — Using personal authenticated print queues, uniFLOW Online allows users to print confidential documents using any connected, compatible device. uniFLOW Online has security features which allows network print jobs and their content to stay within the customer's local network and only limited information is stored in the cloud. This helps document content stay protected by limiting view from outside the network. The only information stored in the cloud is printer configuration and accounting data. Administrators can also restrict printer access to authorized users only, helping to limit access to confidential information or misuse of the device's print, scan, copy and fax functionalities by unauthorized visitors or employees.
  • Help improve office productivity — Providing employees great flexibility, uniFLOW Online helps users to print from compatible mobile devices, from virtually any location Additionally, print job finishing options can be modified on demand before being released, helping employees save time.
  • Control over costs — With uniFLOW Online, administrators can track and assess printing, copying, faxing and scanning costs directly in the cloud. With reporting capabilities and a real-time online dashboard, administrators have the ability to pinpoint areas where costs can be scaled down. As with all uniFLOW editions administrators can also allocate costs to individual users or departments.
  • Help reduce environmental impact — uniFLOW Online helps limit unnecessary paper waste as users can print only what they need and finishing options can be changed at a device to help limit reprinting or false outputs. The solution can also help reduce power consumption of the print infrastructure by limiting "Always On" print servers across the organization.
In other news, Canon U.S.A. Inc. has announced Version 2.0 of its ADVANCE Cloud Portal for compatible imageRUNNER ADVANCE systems. ADVANCE Cloud Portal V2.0 helps users directly scan, store and print documents to and from their cloud file services.

Building on the capabilities of the current version of ADVANCE Cloud Portal, which allows users to scan and print from their Google Drive accounts, ADVANCE Cloud Portal V2.0 enables users to scan to four additional cloud destinations, including Box, Dropbox, Evernote and Microsoft OneDrive from the latest imageRUNNER ADVANCE systems. Version 2.0 also now provides scan and print access from many imageRUNNER ADVANCE systems to Google Drive.

"The ability to scan and print from cloud-based services is a critical workflow component for many of today's businesses," Dazo said. "The latest version of ADVANCE Cloud Portal demonstrates that Canon understands the significance of cloud-based services in the modern workplace and the benefits that they can provide to its customers."

"Making it easy for users to scan and print documents from cloud-based file services is a critical step for organizations in achieving business collaboration and productivity goals," said Toyo Kuwamura, executive vice president and general manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A. Inc. "With ADVANCE Cloud Portal V2.0, imageRUNNER ADVANCE systems devices can provide a portal to the expanding use of cloud file and information collaboration systems, helping organizations easily access documents and information wherever they may be stored."

In other news, Canon U.S.A. Inc. has announced the Canon Business Services Platform, a self-service portal designed to strengthen dealers’ solutions offerings, helping them build the future of their customers' success.

This user-friendly, online marketplace and virtual storefront provides authorized dealers with a simple way to offer, order, manage, bill and deliver subscription-based document and information management solutions from Canon. With the ability to help channel partners manage SaaS solution sales, this platform empowers dealers with the opportunity to enhance relationships with their customers by making it simple to order subscription-based Canon solutions and to access support information, such as the overall configuration and term end-dates.

Key features and benefits for the dealer and customer include:
  • Online marketplace & e-Commerce — The Canon Business Services Platform can enhance the overall ordering experience for dealers and their customers by placing available solutions and information necessary to place an order, on one landing page, making it simpler to purchase subscription-based Canon solutions. This streamlined approach helps provide customers with faster turnaround service, helping ensure that customers receive their solutions sooner.
  • Centralized management — The more efficient the dealer, the better the customer experience. By placing the availability of Canon's subscription-based solutions online and in one location, tenant information associated with orders placed on the Canon Business Services Platform is also available online and in one location. This provides dealers with a way to centrally manage their customers' subscriptions, which can include visibility into all subscriptions sold, adding subscriptions, renewing subscriptions, billing information, subscription expiration dates and notifications, as well as the ability to activate, deactivate and transfer device licenses.
  • Flexible offering — The Canon Business Services Platform allows the customer to receive the right solution at the right time. By making Canon's subscription-based solutions available online, and with the ability to centrally manage those solutions, licenses, maintenance and support can be sold and added to an account on a monthly basis and/or on a device basis, which can even extend to selling additional functionality to existing accounts.
  • Dynamic/On-time billing — Selling and billing for subscription-based solutions can often result in delayed invoicing, delayed payments and often complicated order placement. However, with the Canon Business Services Platform, customers experience a simpler ordering and invoicing experience, as dealers can handle billing from one centralized location, online and on time with flexible and auto-calculated billing for licenses, monthly add-ons and maintenance and support.
  • SaaS dealer — By delivering Canon's subscription-based solutions online, dealers can easily manage the Canon SaaS solutions they sell. SaaS has numerous benefits to organizations, including high adoption, lower initial costs, painless upgrades and seamless integration. Therefore, having the ability to properly deliver SaaS can provide dealers long standing in their accounts and expand the solutions portfolio they provide to businesses.
  • Cost/waste management — Today's businesses are accustomed to managing billing and payments online. With the processes for selling, managing and billing all in one online, central location, the need for paper-based invoicing, billing and storage can be eliminated, reducing order infrastructure costs and paper use, and providing organizations with a modern, simplified customer experience.

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