HP ePrint: Simple, Effective, Smart
Trading fax calls for bandwidth, and redirecting some of those Inbox items directly to the printer where they belong.
Recently we discussed and finally decided on a new multi-purpose printer and initially paid little attention to the ePrint feature offered by HP. ePrint enables your HP printer to receive and then print up to 10 documents via email. HP's service translates the email and sends the documents directly to your printer. Compatible documents are Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, along with PDF, text and HTML and various graphic formats including: bmp, jpeg and tiff with at least 100 DPI.
Of course, the hook is you must purchase or own an HP printer with the ePrint feature. The service is currently free and each email is limited to 10 attachments, and the total file size is limited to 5 MB.
Users register their printer with a unique code/identifier and then an available email address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Now, the value of ePrint that I found is obtaining drawings from the Architects and having them printed without any file conversion. This was very useful when I needed to review site plans of a customer project that needed the demarcation relocated and new conduits installed. Also, a hosted provider sent me contracts and non-disclosure forms that needed signature.
There are only two modes of receiving ePrint documents: public, or restricted to an address book. In the public mode, anyone obtaining the email@example.com can send email with attachments to your printer. The online address book only allows those entries you determine to send email attachments.
The HP ePrint isn't likely to set the world on fire but I think for enterprise communications to absorb something as simple, effective and smart as HP has crafted, is a step in the right direction. Moving a document off the fax may be cheaper or more effective if you need printed copy. The theme of accessing a document or some printed material where and when you want it is similar to using different tools for voice communications. With the ePrint service I am trading some fax calls in exchange for bandwidth. What I like even more is that I'm redirecting some of those Inbox items directly to the printer where they belong.
The reality is that today, startups and very small businesses can essentially create a business front on a shoestring budget. Using "cloud services" is seemingly becoming the choice to avoid infrastructure investments.