What is Canon uniFLOW Online?
Canon uniFLOW Online is Canon’s new cloud-based print management solution that helps businesses reduce costs, tighten security, simplify IT support, and improve user experience without the need for print servers.
The solution is ideally suited for small to mid-sized businesses (up to about 250 employees), especially those that have multiple locations and/or do a lot of printing and scanning.
What exactly is print management?
Print management involves taking control of both printed and electronic documents, such as scanned and faxed documents. For example:
- Monitoring document output by user or department
- Identifying and cutting down on wasted printing expense
- Streamlining print, scan and fax workflows that save time for users and reduce the need for IT support
- Protecting network security and the privacy of sensitive document content
There’s so much you can accomplish with print management; read this case study to find out how it works and how much money you can save.
Top 5 Canon uniFLOW benefits for small to mid-sized businesses
1. Secure printers & documents with flexible user authentication
Your network is locked down, and users have to login to use their computers and other technology. But in many organizations, printers and scanners are also connected to the network and, unlike workstations, are not locked down. That’s why printers are a big potential security risk and a breach waiting to happen. This is particularly important if you have HIPAA or Sarbanes Oxley requirements.
Adding user authentication for document output (via Canon uniFLOW Online) makes your network safer by:
- Limiting access to networked equipment to authorized users
- Providing an audit trail
- Protecting the confidentiality of sensitive documents (since documents no longer sit unattended in the printer tray)
How does authentication work? Users must login using a proximity card, key fob, or a pin code before they can retrieve a print job or scan a document. It’s fast and easy for your employees, and not at all difficult to set up for your IT staff.
It’s also important to know that Canon uniFLOW Online keeps every print job within your secure network. Print jobs never travel to the cloud and back to the print device. When a user logs in to retrieve a printed document, the print job is released directly from the workstation or mobile device to the printer, so there is never a chance for sensitive information to be intercepted in transit.
2. Track document output activity to control costs
Many smaller businesses have no idea how much they spend on printing. Without monitoring and oversight, you end up with excessive waste and spend.
The first step to reducing print expense is monitoring who prints, scans, and faxes what types of documents, and which devices they use. That intelligence can drive policy and procedure changes that reduce waste and cut your costs for printer supplies and service.
Canon uniFLOW Online provides reports and dashboards that show you the who, what, and where data for printing, scanning and faxing.
3. Provide a simpler printing & scanning experience
The last thing you want is for people to need training before they can use printing and scanning equipment. That can be a challenge when you have a mix of devices models, because people will never remember user interface differences. They just end up confused, frustrated, and unable to complete their tasks.
Using the Canon uniFLOW universal print driver along with Canon uniFLOW Online means a simple, consistent experience whenever people print or scan.
And it gets better: users can set up personalized settings and workflows that make tasks even faster. For example, scan a document and have it automatically emailed to you, or stored in a Google Drive folder.
Watch this quick video to see how easy it is to scan with Canon uniFLOW Online.
4. Allow guest printing without the security risk
Do you regularly allow consultants, freelance workers, vendors or other guests to print or scan documents? If you give them access to your network printers, that’s a potential security beach waiting to happen. With Canon uniFLOW guest printing, guests can print without accessing your network or risking security.
5. Provide secure mobile printing for the modern workplace
Today’s workforce is on the move: taking advantage of flexible office space, attending meetings, collaborating with others, and working from wherever they happen to be. Providing access to document output from anywhere can provide a big boost to productivity.
For example, don’t tie people to a specific assigned printer. Print jobs should follow users to whatever printer they choose (this feature is known as follow me print or pull printing). With follow me print, they can walk up to the nearest printer, wherever they are in the office, and quickly retrieve their print job. Or, securely print or scan from their smartphone or other mobile device.
Canon uniFLOW secure print and mobile printing capabilities make it faster and easier for your staff to accomplish their tasks and goals.
You can see a Canon uniFLOW demo in Superior Office Systems’ NYC showroom. Contact us to set up an appointment.
Canon uniFLOW pricing
With any new Canon imageRUNNER Advance or imageCLASS printer, you get a free 30 day trial of Canon uniFLOW Online. That gives you the opportunity to try out the solution and see the following:
- Reduced print costs with smart management of your printing, scan and faxing
- More secure documents, printers, and network
- Reduced IT support for printing and document management
- Better employee productivity and satisfaction with document output tasks
After the free trial period, you can buy Canon uniFLOW Online via a monthly subscription. The price is as follows:
Monthly price: $2.50 per user per month
Minimum 3 users
Cost for advanced scanning workflows (to destinations other than email or Google Drive): additional $2.75 per month for each user of advanced scanning functions.
How is Canon uniFLOW Online different from Canon uniFLOW Express?
Canon uniFLOW Express is a free, entry-level version of the Canon uniFLOW Online software. It does not include a few features, including secure follow-me print or mobile printing. If your business is very small and your employees don’t need to print from mobile devices, Canon uniFLOW Express is a great way to get started with managing your document output and controlling print costs.
Canon uniFLOW Express is included when you get any new Canon imageRUNNER Advance Gen III printer.
Canon uniFLOW system requirements & supported devices
With Canon uniFLOW online, there is no software to install or update on print servers. One of the benefits of Canon uniFLOW cloud-hosted software is that you never have to install updates and you always have the latest version on your Canon print devices.
Canon uniFLOW online supports printing from PC, Mac, and mobile devices (using apps such as Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print). All you need to do is connect your devices.
Canon uniFLOW online works with:
- Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE printers
- Canon imageCLASS printers
You can even connect a non-Canon legacy machine to your managed Canon fleet by installing a separate release station tablet device.