I recently went on vacation with my family to Atlanta to see the Atlanta Braves play several games. Instead of each person individually buying their own tickets for every matchup, we decided to all just pick one game, then cover the cost for the rest of those attending. It would be an even bill across the board and much simpler.
So, we each logged into Ticketmaster, selected the seats, purchased them electronically and then received the confirmation email. On gameday, we opened the Ticketmaster app through our iPhones, transferred the other family members tickets to their phones, and then added our tickets to our iPhone Wallet App for convenient access. At the gate, we popped open the e-tickets – which were quickly scanned – and we were off to see our Braves in action.
So why do I mention my sporting event experience? Because modern ticketing is a great example of digital transformation and workflow integration.
While this instance was on the personal level, it parallels the way businesses strategically marry software applications and devices to produce collaboration, as well as precise communication, among team members.
Today we have thousands of applications at the tips of our fingers. Not only can we quickly access them to accomplish a task, we can also sync these applications with other applications to create a more efficient, streamlined workflow.
In a modern office, customers are no longer merely using their copiers or multi-function printers (MFPs) to copy, print, scan and fax. Users now are accessing custom and sophisticated workflows that allow them to accomplish more by doing less.
Understanding Workflow Integration
The best way to better understand workflow integration in your office equipment is to think about how you currently scan documents. When you walk up to the device, do you simply press go and scan documents to a folder or your email? If so, what happens next? Do you access it and rename it? Once you get back to your desk, do the documents get added to a cloud storage account like Google Docs or OneDrive? Answering these questions and diagramming the full journey of your scanning process will help you see your general workflow.
While this gives you a good start, documents seldom get handled the same way. In fact, they often pass through multiple hands, screens and departments within an organization. It is important to take into account all of the various checkpoints your documents go through. Knowing where your documents originate and where they need to end up will help you set the course for your software integration strategy.
Key Factors in Developing a Software Integration Strategy
Customization and security are key to the development of a successful software integration strategy. Start by examining how you access the devices within your workplace. You may already have an HID or proximity card to get you into your building or office. These cards also can be used with most MFPs to grant custom access to workflows. IT staff can even set specific permissions. If you don’t have this kind of technology in place, you can always revert to a pin code system, which often is standard protocol for MFPs.
Once logged in on a device, you will want to have access to your cloud accounts and other pertinent software platforms used on a daily basis. Much like the apps on the home screen of your phone or tablet, you automatically will be “signed in” upon accessing the device. Say you need to scan a proposal so your project team can review and make changes before it goes out to the prospect. You could click on the Google Drive integration on the MFP panel and save the document in a shared folder for the team to access.
Another common request we see from clients is the ability to browse subfolders, which is possible through cloud and network integrations. This ability allows you to name your file, save it in a subfolder, and email it to necessary recipients all in the same pass. Just think about how much time you can save if you rid those redundant scenarios from your current workflow! Imagine the freed-up hours over the course of the week.
When it comes down to it, there are nearly no limits on how you can integrate your MFPs with your work environment. It just comes down to understanding the workflows within your organization and prioritizing efficiency and security over fears of change. Though, it also helps if you have a technology partner that cares about helping you achieve those goals instead of just selling you a hefty piece of equipment.
At Copiers Plus, we have helped many clients step into the modern age through innovative integrations, providing them with benefits that far outweigh their investment. We would love to help do the same for you!