Dell has unveiled a host of new cloud printing products including new multi-function printers (MFPs) and a new free cloud document aggregator targeted at SMEs known as Dell Document Hub.
Document Hub, which will be available for Windows 8 as a free download, combines five cloud storage products into a single sign-on. It will begin with Box, Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive and Sharepoint, with more services including Evernote in the pipeline.
The Hub will be integrated into the firmware of selected new Dell MFPs, allowing users to print a document from the cloud without the need of a computer and is expected to be available for several smartphone operating systems – although at the time of writing Dell could not confirm which devices would be supported.
The service will work in both directions: documents scanned on Dell printers with Document Hub installed will be sent to a cloud service of the users' choosing via cloud-based optical character recognition (OCR) software, converted from a physical paper document into editable formats such as .doc and .xls. The OCR service will be free until the end of March 2014, at which point a charge will be added.
Dave McNally, director of product marketing at Dell Imaging in Europe, told V3 that Dell was targeting both smaller enterprises that are already using a patchwork of cloud services and larger corporations with more bespoke needs:"What tends to happen [with SMEs] is they will sign up to a free cloud service, use the limit of that and sign up to another. Before you know it, they have a myriad of cloud services that they need to be able to control."
He added that if a customer requested Document Hub integration with other cloud software platforms such as Salesforce.com, they would investigate the possibility of doing so. He confirmed that Document Hub would not be available on any older Dell printers in the form of firmware updates.
The first Dell printer that will come with Document Hub installed is the C2665dnf, which starts from £399. Other models unveiled by Dell, that do not have the Document Hub pre-installed, are the B2375dnf/dfw, which will be available starting from £319, and the a new high-end unit, the £4,499 C7765dn.
Document Hub will be available in the UK from 5 November, while the new printers will be available from 24 October. Earlier this month, Dell introduced its new line of business tablets in a bid to recapture the ever-expanding enterprise tablet market.
Intel's neural network USB stick could bring AI to the masses
Dubbed Barnard's star B, newly discovered planet is believed to be rocky
Also, what's a USB stick?
Gravitational waves become extremely weak by the time they reach the Earth and require highly sensitive equipment for detection