Dialogic Blog

Future of the Multifunction Peripherals (MFP)

by Jim Machi

Aug 1, 2017 9:01:00 AM

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MFP’s (Multifunction Peripherals) take up valuable real estate in an enterprise office environment.  As the world goes more digital and more green, it stands to reason that there will be less printing, less scanning, and less faxing. But they will remain essential to the office for when you do need to print, scan, or fax. So, what can you do with them to maximize the real estate?

Konica Minolta has an interesting idea. Turn the MFPs to World Place Hubs (WPH) – that is, turn the MFPs to CPE (Customer Premise Equipment) that works with enterprise clouds to serve all the needs of the local enterprise.  In other words, the WPH would still be the MFP, but also become the local WiFi access point, handle file sharing, be a server, handle local storage, act as a hybrid cloud, and handle enhanced communications.

Yes, you heard that right.  While many of you likely have heard the MFP squawking with fax tones from time to time, the WPH vision is that this would also be the communication hub for voice and video in the enterprise.  In other words, it would be the PBX, Unified Collaboration, voice mail, IVR and Unified Communications center serving the enterprise employees.  

To make this occur, there need not be CPE based systems.  It could all be in the cloud.  The media servers handling the different required applications could be cloud-based, the SBCs required to “border control” the enterprise could be cloud-based, and whatever applications the corporate enterprise wanted all the local enterprises to use could also be cloud-based. 

This is an interesting concept to utilize the “real estate” already occupied by the MFP to make the MFP (now WPH) more tightly integrated to the business.  It’s a great concept so it will be interesting to see it in action.

Topics: WebRTC, 3G, 4G, 5G, and WiFi, NFV/SDN & Cloud, Communications Application Development