Brother UK has entered the enterprise print market with its fastest, most secure mono laser devices to date.
Brother is attacking the fastest growing – actually, the only growing – part of the mono laser market with its fastest ever laser printers and MFPs, the L6000 series. With print speeds of 50 pages per minute (ppm), these new devices are 10ppm faster than the existing HL5000 and HL6000 series and take Brother into the enterprise workgroup segment of the market for the first time.
Speed is not their only selling point. Reflecting the concerns of enterprise customers, the printers/MFPs feature new authentication and security features and compatibility with market-leading print management solutions. They have large input and output paper capacities, high yield toner cartridges and Brother’s lowest cost per page – all features that will appeal to managed print services (MPS) providers.
Migration from A3 to A4
Andy Johnson, Brother UK head of product management, says the new models will enable Brother to address changing market dynamics and extend its market leadership into the enterprise segment. In this context, he says a key trend is the migration from large A3 MFPs to distributed A4 printing.
“People are shifting away from centralised A3 devices because they don’t print enough A3,” he said. “Creating a cluster of four or five of these A4 devices will give you the volume you get from one A3 MFP, but with the convenience of a local workgroup printer. And, because you don’t have one point of failure, as you do with an A3 device, you won’t experience downtime if one of the devices goes down.”
A number of other manufacturers have developed productive A4 devices as alternatives to departmental A3 MFPs, including KYOCERA Document Solutions/UTAX. A key selling point of KYOCERA’s devices are their sophisticated finishing capabilities.
Johnson says that Brother is after a different type of customer. “The L6000 series doesn’t have anything like the finishing capabilities of an A3 device. We aren’t targeting that part of the market. We are giving the customer a different proposition; we are saying ‘If you don’t need finishing, you no longer have to pay for it’. What we do have is a mailbox on the printer, so you can expand the paper output capacity, and you can have up to 2,650 pages input with the tower tray, making it a real workgroup printer or MFP.”
Giuseppe Iafulli, Product Manager Imaging, added: “We don’t think the customer wants to pay extra for a machine that does things like stapling. With our new machines we are trying to give customers only those features they need and are going to use.”
Increasingly, what enterprise customers say they need is security, and on its new models Brother provides a variety of tools to protect print data and printed output.
“There are three areas we focus on,”explained Johnson. “We have authentication security features, which include Active Directory integration and a built-in NFC card reader so you can authenticate using an NFC card if you want. We also have enterprise level encryption – TLS and SSL and IP-Sec. And, because we are getting more and more demand for multifunction security features, we have included things like scan to FTPS or SSTP.
You can also scan to secure PDF to password protect a document. All straight from the device.”
He added: “We are really focusing on security features, because customers tell us that they face more and more cyber security threats and they want to know that the printer on their network is secure. And they want authentication on the device. If you work in HR, you don’t want to print documents that people can see. Instead, you can use an NFC card to pull the print job from the server when you are ready.”
Integrated print management
Brother has traditionally offered pull printing through its own b-guard print management solution.
With the L6000 range, users have the option to embed the popular Papercut, Ringdale Follow Me and Ubiquitech enterprise print management solutions on their devices. This allows users to interact with the software at the device itself and authenticate using a PIN number or NFC card without the need for additional hardware.
Integration with such solutions strengthens Brother’s MPS proposition, as do the devices’ high yield toner cartridges, longlife drums and Brother’s lowest ever cost per page (for a mono laser) of 1p, falling to 0.7p for users of high yield cartridges.
“With this device, we are offering a 12,000-page in-box toner and an ultrahigh 20,000-page toner, so they are much more suited to an MPS environment than previous machines,” explained Johnson. “This means resellers are able to target a different customer – one who is ready for MPS. We are taking these machines to market knowing we have an MPS in the background, we have print management software, we have high level security and we have workflow features. It ticks all the right boxes for this type of product.”
Examples of workflow solutions include the ability to scan direct to Sharepoint or to Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive for Business. Users can also print directly from iOS, Android and Windows devices, using solutions like Google Cloud Print, AirPrint, MOPRIA and Brother’s own iPrint & Scan app., and integrate with other software solutions using the open standards Brother Solutions Interface (BSI).
Summing up, Johnson said: “We are not coming to market with features that people are not going to use. We are trying to answer customer pain points, and at the moment these are all around security, integration into workflow systems, productivity and reliability.”