By Robert Covington
“They don’t make them like they used to.” We’ve all heard someone say this, and it’s typically not meant to be a compliment. In many cases though, things are made better.
While a ’57 Chevy Belair is quite the desirable classic, it’s perhaps not the best choice for a daily driver. The same goes for your office copier.
Let’s take a quick look at five reasons you should consider retiring the trusty office MFP in light of the newer model.
1. Compatibility – Today’s office copiers are more than just a copier. They’re often multifunction powerhouses with network printing, scanning, and fax capabilities, too.
The fact is, printing or scanning from a computer or mobile device to your MFP involves a connection. That means it’s subject to the compatibility of that computer’s operating system.
While MFP manufacturers do agree to support their devices for a number of years (seven at the most), there comes time when the PC has to sever ties with the old way of thinking, which means time for the next update. This could mean, at best, feature support is limited, or at worst, your office MFP became a boat anchor.
2. Security – This can’t be stressed enough. This is a moving target. If you don’t think it will happen to you, let me tell you, the threat is real.
I’ve been in the business a long time and there’s been some awful stories featuring security hacks of office PCs and servers and the devices that connect to them. Security breaches can stop a user, a business, or even a whole city in its tracks.
While this can be inconvenient to say the least, it can be expensive, too. Businesses that handle any customer’s data can be subject to lawsuits, fines or worse.
Just ask yourself, “What’s at stake here?” When security countermeasures are brought into play, they can sometimes butt heads with what we mentioned earlier – compatibility. And for justifiable reasons, security wins in the end every time.
3. TCO – Total Cost of Ownership is an often-overlooked factor. This ties in with parts and service support.
I’ve seen the office equipment business evolve quite a bit over the last 20+ years. Equipment truly is getting more efficient and reliable.
Energy standards such as Energy Star and basic design evolution all play a role in getting you a better product. Just like that ’57 Chevy probably got 15 miles per gallon on a good day, today’s Toyota Prius on average can get more than three times that.
MFPs have followed a similar path achieving higher speeds, lower cost per copy and a lower overall TCO. And they’re exceptionally more reliable. At a certain point it makes sense to reevaluate your needs and what your current office equipment is costing you.
4. Productivity – While many new models may leverage the best design ideas from the previous generation, you can bet they’ve made improvements to entice you into upgrading.
In many cases devices have been sped-up slightly, or offer a lower cost per page, or have new features that automate workflow and improve overall productivity. The new model is not just new, but it’s always a better value than the current model.
5. Features – New MFP models have incredibly clever features designed to improve productivity and just be useful.
A few of my favorites:
• Rules Based Printing – this clever MFP feature says, for example, whenever I print emails from Outlook, print black & white and 2-sided.
• Endless options for apps that suit any business need.
• Customize the front panel to your brand, what apps you use the most, and so on.
• Multi-station print lets you send your print to whatever MFP is convenient and available.
• Need a document translated? Scan it using the eTranslate app.
The list goes on. Honestly, for me, this is the most compelling reason to migrate to new technology when it comes out. Sure, being a trendsetter can cost you a bit, but sometimes being a laggard can cost even more.
At a certain point it stops making sense or becomes impossible to keep an outdated MFP around. I encourage you to go through this list with your MFP in mind and assess if it’s time to upgrade.