Canon Expo 2015 Focuses on Solutions

09/24/2015
The Box Takes a Backseat to its Digital Companion

“See impossible” was the overarching theme of Canon Expo 2015, a product showcase put on every 5 years (making it a quinquennial event for you word lovers out there) by Canon U.S.A. to showcase its entire portfolio. The Jacob JavitzConvention Center in New York was brimming with high-tech offerings ranging from still and video cameras to medical equipment to document imaging products. Expounding on the theme, Canon’s goal at the show was to help customers solve their business challenges and achieve their business goals – no matter how impossible that may seem. Based on the products displayed, it is apparent that Canon sees the best lens through which to “see impossible” is their software solutions.

On the document imaging front, the show focused heavily on technology convergence and leveraging software geared towards streamlining workflows, thereby making business processes more productive and efficient, improving customer service, and ultimately buying their customers more time and resources to invest in growth areas.  

The view of Canon Expo 2015 from “Canon Central Park”
What We Saw
Therefore 2015   

The newest installment of the award-winning document management system boasts a robust workflow module, enabling organizations in any vertical market to build custom workflows that streamline their business processes. In addition, the solution’s API and various connectors support integration with many third-party applications including Microsoft SharePoint and Office, SAP Netweaver, and PlanetPress. What’s more, Therefore Universal Connector enables organizations to dovetail many Windows-based business applications to the Therefore repository.

To showcase these capabilities, a Canon representative demonstrated how easily banks could automate the mortgage approval process and improve customer service with Therefore. The process was simple, with a document being scanned and indexed into Therefore, then routed to a workflow. Workflows can be designed to wait for vital documents and information to be gathered before moving to the next step and to alert users when actions are required.

Canon also showed off Therefore 2015’s business analytics capabilities. The solution monitors workflows, offering organizations data that can be converted into reports and used to identify and address problems and inefficiencies.

Security
Also being demonstrated was uniFLOW. Winner of BLI’s Winter 2015 Outstanding Document Imaging Solution Suite, uniFLOW is a single solution delivering output management for accounting and cost recovery, secure printing, mobile printing, rules-based job routing, output reporting, and more.

In addition, attendees caught a glimpse of the future of document security at output devices. Instead of authenticating with an HID card, PIN, biometric scan, or username/password, users were authenticated via a Canon-developed security camera when they walked up to the device. If a document isn’t picked up by a pre-configured time, the user who sent the job will get an email reminder that the document is still at the output tray. Additionally, when the document is picked up from the output tray, the security camera will capture a short video of who picked up the document.

Enterprise Imaging Platform

Combining Canon’s latest imaging technologies with Enterprise Application Integration, Enterprise Imaging Platform is a value-added middleware platform geared towards merging important business information dispersed among different back-end systems. What’s more, the platform integrates with input and output devices, helping organizations in paper-intensive environments streamline inefficient paper workflows. Documents can be automatically classified, sorted and distributed based on the document type and content.     

As convention-goers walked through the Enterprise Imaging Platform booth, Canon showed off examples of different ways organizations can utilize this product to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. In one section of the booth, a Canon rep demonstrated how the platform can improve purchase order processing. He scanned a paper document, and the platform took over from there, automatically extracting and verifying the data before it is sent off to an approval workflow. Unverifiable documents are routed to a scan operator who verifies the document before routing back into the approval workflow.   

My ADVANCE

Canon’s contribution to the recent control panel customization trend, My ADVANCE, will be available on future imageRUNNER ADVANCE devices. Users can personalize their control panel, adding widgets for commonly used settings such as scan-to-email or customized display menus and personalized address books, and more. Changes are saved and follow the user to additional networked devices.

MDS Cloud

Harnessing the power of the Internet of Things and the cloud, Canon MDS Cloud enables dealers to see a wide range of information about devices – including name, model, IP address, status, consumables levels, error codes, a myriad of statistics (which can get pretty granular), and more from a remote dashboard. The analytics tools offered by MDS Cloud are designed to help dealerships use the data to better assist their customers and sell more product. They can also provide a customer portal, controlling what information customers can access.

This solution, which can work with Canon and third-party equipment, can also automate repairs, maintenance, and consumables services. If a device is low on toner, replenishments can arrive before the device runs out, reducing, and potentially eliminating down time. What’s more, when a device has an error code or is approaching its scheduled maintenance, the dealer may know before the customer. They can dispatch technicians intelligently, optimizing efficiency and device uptime, and ensuring that their customers remain satisfied.

Versatile Collaboration System

Paired with a futuristic scanner that projected an interactive user interface onto a surface (such as a desk), this system enabled users to capture images and information on the spot. Canon exhibited this system in various use cases throughout the show floor, but perhaps its most useful demonstration was in the medical field. Simulating the front-desk of a doctor’s office, attendees could walk up and “check in” to the office. They could fill in a form, then send or print the document.Infographs at the booth explained how users could expedite the check-in process by scanning their insurance cards, hastening the filling in of lengthy medical forms.