Submitted by: Mark Boyt, XE Solutions and Services Manager, Xerox Europe

There are simply times in our busy working lives where having something on paper, printed, is what we need and simply cannot do without. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to do this, especially when travelling – not being able to print can cause of all sorts of unforeseen problems.

Recently, a few customers have mentioned they no longer need to print their boarding passes because their airline has developed an app allowing them to check in with a unique barcode on their phone, which in turn means they  can simply use their smartphone like a magic wand to pass through the airport process.

So, as a somewhat of a frequent flyer and an iPhone addict, I recently had the chance to try this out myself on a flight home. Registering and checking in for the flight was straightforward and I proudly walked into the airport ready to wave my iPhone, displaying the mobile boarding pass,  at anyone that wanted to see it.

Airline boarding pass for British Airways on smartphone with QR Code

Mobile Boarding Pass for British Airways

But then I started to get nervous – what if my battery died (as I said, it is an iPhone and I had been using it all day), what would happen then – how would I board my flight? How could I prove I was entitled to travel? What was my seat number? I was already past check in, in the queue for passport control and battery low was flashing.

Thankfully, I had not wanted to take any risks, and before leaving the local office, I had printed my boarding pass via the Mobile Print Solution as a backup, just in case.

That proves the point – there are still times when there is no substitute for the printed page, wherever you are. Even though I had the ability to use my mobile device to board the plane, I still relied on the physical document as a backup.

In the SMART Centre at Xerox, we welcome customers from all over Europe. In many of our discussions we talk about the new Xerox Mobile Print Solution and consider situations like these, where important documents need to be printed wherever the user is. The airline boarding pass –a document they all need to get home – is just one great example that always gets their attention and reminds them of the printed documents they need to have on hand.

During our working day, when away from our desks, I believe we all receive documents that represent great value that cannot be realised until printed. Boarding passes, contracts that need signing, critical data for the meeting I am running to – are just some examples. Making it easy to print these wherever you are is going to make us more productive – and in some cases life less stressful, and get us home on time.

Are you using your smartphone to access more apps that replace paper-based tasks? Or do you look for a paper backup too?