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Jamie Bsales

Touch-Free MFP Solutions for the Post-COVID Workplace: Part Two

More Ways to Minimize Touchpoints Back in the Office

Sep 21, 2020 12:22:28 PM


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Touch-Free MFP Solutions for the Post-COVID Workplace



As we noted in our post about a month ago, MFP manufacturers and document imaging solution developers have been introducing new ways for office workers to interact with a shared MFP without having to touch the control panel. The goal is to minimize touchpoints around the office to cut down on the spread of germs and to make employees feel more comfortable returning to the office. In the interest of providing as complete information as possible, allow us to add two more such solutions to the list…


Ricoh offers its Smart Device Connector app for use with MFPs equipped with Ricoh Smart Integration (RSI) Essentials. The RSI Essentials suite of embedded tools includes the Print Cloud secure print release feature, which allows users to submit print jobs—from a PC using the free “virtual” print driver or from any device by sending them to the Ricoh Print Cloud email destination—and then print them at any Print Cloud MFP. To print the jobs touch-free, employees can use the companion new Smart Device Connector app to print their pending jobs using their smartphone. Employees can also scan documents back to themselves (or to a cloud repository) without touching the panel.


The Sharp Synappx Go app lets users control MFP functions via their smartphones.


Sharp’s Synappx family of collaboration tools, which was honored with a 2020 Buyers Lab Outstanding Achievement in Innovation award, leverages the power of a smartphone app to enable touch-free tasks in the office in several ways. For starters, the Synappx Go mobile app allows an employee to log into compatible Sharp MFPs by holding their smartphone near the printer’s near-field communications (NFC) reader. The user can then use the app on the phone to release pending secure-print jobs, print files from cloud storage services (including Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive Teams, and SharePoint) as well as initiate scan and copy jobs—all without touching the MFP’s control panel.


Notably, the same app can also be used to allow employees to “badge in” to locations around the office by simply tapping their phone to NFC sensors. This can allow IT administrators to track the flow of people around the office (to monitor capacity limitations in public spaces such as breakrooms and conference rooms, for example), or to capture who was in the office on a given day should it become necessary for contact tracing.


As I noted in the first blog, companies should look for ways to make employees feel more comfortable returning to the workplace. Solutions such as these can help provide peace of mind and will continue to make the office MFP easier and more convenient to use once the pandemic has passed.