A recent report by Gartner states, “Xerox has redefined the multifunctional device in the office as the ‘workplace assistant’ of the future.”

What exactly does Gartner mean by “workplace assistant”? First, we have to understand that the “assistant” in this case starts as a multifunction printer, a smart device that prints, scans, copies, sends your invoices, translates your letters, protects business documents, bridges paper and digital worlds, things like that.

What business couldn’t use another assistant, especially one so talented? Through its flexible service, the MFP workplace assistant drives workplace agility, and it’s largely through apps. As the market moves away from one-size-fits-all devices, apps open the path to “curate” digital workplace capabilities specifically for a process or department.

DIY or Managed Services?

Workplace assistants can thrive in DIY environments that have ample talent to manage smart printer fleets and develop their own apps, but adding embedded features also puts more pressure on security teams to configure and manage these tools.

MFP assistants also do exceedingly well when companies outsource fleet care to a managed services provider. These partners should bring skills to build out a digital roadmap of new apps for the business. Gartner says this about app collaboration:

[I&O leaders must] play an active role in driving both device feature and app adoption across the enterprise to ensure devices do not languish as last-generation print-copy devices. While the technology offers much potential, the potential must be actualized for value to be realized.

Make MFPs Part of Your Business Strategy

Smart, able printers have moved beyond the hardware discussion to become part of the strategic vision with useful technology that supports the digital workplace. As Gartner notes, “This MFD technology is more complex than previous platforms, but also more dependent upon the customer and its users for its features to be understood, capabilities used and value realized.”

View this Gartner Report to start building competency in the emerging world of MFP workplace assistants and their apps.