Looking beyond cloud as 2018 gears up to be a pivotal year for print and document solutions
The new year in tech customarily gets off to a flying start with the CES trade show in Las Vegas. As expected, January’s event was all about virtual-reality, autonomous robots, hologram machines and the latest generation of smart devices. But while CES trades in consumer gadgets, the technology much of this stuff depends upon is cloud.
Once a breakthrough technology, cloud is now mainstream both for consumers and enterprises. Just look around you at the highly competitive and commoditised market for cloud services. The majority of UK organisations have now adopted some form of cloud strategy in response to the evolution of easy-to-use services, and the appetite for utility and subscription-based IT consumption models.
Manufacturers like KYOCERA have been part of this change; innovating our technology to take advantage of cloud-based delivery models to ensure the security, efficiency and performance of document-related processes and data. Look out for future announcements about our cloud strategy as we prepare to go to market with an exciting new customer proposition for 2018.
Cloud is a critical enabler for IoT (Internet of Things) which, in my opinion, is the technology trend most rapidly becoming useful at the present time. The reason for this is that organisations want to be more agile and collect data and parameters that enable them to innovate faster and thus potentially springboard the competition. Collecting and crunching relevant data and intelligence is the cheapest and quickest way of doing this.
The file and print estate is a core element of IoT, and we are seeing the development of new features that combine this environment with areas such as Document Disaster Recovery, and the ability to make documents accessible from anywhere, by anyone. Mobility is the enabler here, as is the ability to seamlessly integrate with not only the file and print server, but with the backend Document Management (DM) solution too. This could, for example, be facilitated by an app on the printer, or on your phone.
But what if your print solution became “psychic” and developed the ability to pre-empt what you want, without you even knowing precisely what it is you wanted. This is the impact that artificial intelligence (AI) is set to create in our industry, and innovation is key to driving this forward.
Perhaps our industry will be re-invented by AI over the next five years. Read the full article about this topic on raconteur.net.
Say you want to find a document on your computer; you need to know where it is or use a crude search engine using keywords. AI changes this. Imagine you’ve seen a chart with five coloured circles intersecting. How about just telling the AI engine, verbally, what you’ve seen? It knows what you mean, with a wide margin of error, and produces it. That’s such a time-saver.
It won’t be long before we see a printer which has facial recognition built in. Walk up to the printer and it will see you. Your personal profile will be loaded. Relevant documents and print jobs will be loaded for you to command. Revolutionary? At first, yes. But soon everyone will demand it as standard.
Or what about an AI interface that surfaces documents you and your colleagues happen to refer to as you chat online? You could be on the beach in Barbados chatting via IM to a prospective client, mention a report, and the AI would produce the link, with the report hosted in the cloud. Just click “approve” and the link would be sent.
The other thing to be ready for is talking documents. It’s a potential game-changer for personal productivity. Imagine asking your AI to read out “the conclusion to Report A” and listen as a fluent voice recites the relevant text.
We spend our lives working with documents. AI can make searching, using and sharing documents so much easier and, at KYOCERA Document Solutions UK, we’re working to launch these breakthroughs. We want to live in a world where AI is normal in our industry and can’t wait to make it a reality. Don’t you?