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| By Anwen Haynes

The Evolution of the MFD

The Evolution of the MFD

In Short

The multifunctional device printer has evolved incredibly over the years. However, the perception of the MFD as just a printer, copier and scanner is changing as it supports the workflows of todays business operations.

You may think that the box in the corner just prints and copies; you may even think that you no longer need it in your office with hybrid working and document management – you just don’t need to print!


However, the multifunctional device or MFD (or MFP!) has evolved over the last 20 years to become an essential solution in today’s workplace.


Rather than just copying, printing and scanning, the multifunctional device has led the way in technology and the benefits it can provide business operations have expanded considerably.


The printer has come a long way, let’s be honest.


When the multifunctional device was developed it opened businesses up to quicker printing and reduced costs with high security in the ability to implement follow-me printing to ensure the data you are printing and storing remains safe. With exceptional functionality with regards to creating booklets and finishing with exceptional quality, integrating USB’s and supporting high quality paper, the MFD has transformed the way businesses are able to print.

Employees are having a meeting

Then Covid happened.


We all began to work from home and, even when we returned, we all started to think that really we don’t need to print. You may think that you just don’t print the volumes you require anymore or create the type of presentations and proposals that your multifunctional device would have usually made as you present more online.


However, as with all technology, the MFD has evolved to become much more than a printer, copier, scanner and booklet maker.


With Xerox innovative technology, the MFD has become the workplace assistant that most business operations can no longer do without. This is entirely based on research that Xerox have conducted to understand how people are working and what their main issues are with how they work and how their work needs to flow.


What Xerox discovered was that:

  • 53% of businesses are working flexibly and remotely.
  • 40% automation of repetitive tasks and workflows will become more ubiquitous.
  • 81% of SMB’s are reliant on innovation to keep their businesses strong whilst the business landscape continuously changes.
  • 38% of workspaces will become increasingly interconnected and intelligent.


Sources for stats:

1 Future Enterprise Resiliency & Spending Survey, IDC, February 2021

2 The state and fate of small and medium businesses, Xerox Corp

We no longer go to work, work comes to us, so we need work to be seamless, ensuring we remain highly productive, keep our work flowing regardless of where we are and, importantly, secure, ensuring that our security protects our teams in and outside of the office.


However, the necessity to work hybrid has created several issues in the fact that businesses just don’t have the solutions to transfer documents, share written documentation and often, due to human error, sensitive data can become vulnerable.


As a result, Xerox have created a workflow assistant that is accessible from your multifunctional devices, laptops and tablets, ensuring that your teams can handle any physical and digital documents wherever they are. Combining several apps, they ultimately make your work secure, seamless and allow your teams to be highly productive in and out of the office.

Woman and printer

How does Xerox’s workplace assistant help my business?

Xerox’s workflow solutions address the issues of working seamlessly. All you have to do is:


Solution apps include:


  • Handwritten notes to digital version accessibly via your MFD, laptop or mobile.
  • Converting files into PowerPoints or PDFs.
  • Lost a digital copy but have a printed one? Your MFD will convert the document into an editable document for you to use again.
  • Easy Listening: We’re all drowning in the data and content needed to do our jobs. There is not enough time in the day to read reports, briefs and important articles; your MFD, tablet, mobile and laptop will allow you to listen to docs to save you time.
  • Merge and convert digital files for easy consumption anywhere – consuming critical content (reports, proposals, trends emails, etc.) is as easy as listening to a podcast.
  • Summarise and convert hard copy files for easy consumption anywhere.
  • Translate important documents from other languages: We work in a multicultural, multilingual world. Communicating in their language ensures receivers get the message. Sending documents out for translations is costly and time-consuming
  • Visibly Hidden: Many businesses deal with a variety of sensitive, personal or private information that needs to be protected or removed. Searching through documents word by word and hiding Personal Identifiable Information (PII) is time-consuming and error prone. But the visibly hidden app removes this barrier.


Not only do these apps (these are just a few that Xerox offer), provide the seamless productivity that we all need in today’s workplace now, but they also have the highest-grade security.


So, whilst you may think the multifunctional device is dead as it just ‘prints’, think again and contact Espria if you want to explore what more your MFD can do for your business operations.

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