Designed to provide a modern print service experience in Microsoft 365 for businesses and educational institutions of any size, Universal Print moves some key Windows Server print infrastructure to Microsoft 365 and offers print management capabilities. As an added convenience, a single generic driver is used, irrespective of printer model, so no driver management and setup are needed.
Native support for Universal Print with imageRUNNER ADVANCE DX and third-generation imageRUNNER ADVANCE models is set to be included in version 3.11 of the Unified Firmware Platform, which is currently scheduled to release in September 2020. This allows users to print to these models using Universal Print without the need for local print servers. uniFLOW Online Express, a free-of-charge SaaS service also running on Microsoft Azure, will be able to extend the capabilities of Universal Print for these models by providing device authentication, comprehensive print/copy/scan/fax reporting, scan to myself and Google Drive.
“Digital transformation is now higher on business’ agendas than it has ever been and the need for flexibility has become even more critical throughout this period of global change. But the desire for more cloud-based ways of working isn’t new.” says Taz Nakamasu, Executive Vice President of B2B Document Solutions, Canon Europe. “We have been collaborating closely with our customers for many years to support the evolution of their workspaces, providing the right tools and expertise no matter where they are in their transformation journey. Partnering with Microsoft to ensure native integration of Universal Print across our portfolio was a natural next step in making cloud functionality even more accessible for businesses of all sizes. Aligning the strength, reliability and innovative technology of both brands results in a secure and user-friendly print experience for workers and a more streamlined and manageable setup for IT teams.”
uniFLOW Online, an optional 100 percent cloud solution running in various Azure data centers globally, will have the ability to connect natively to Universal Print and offer even more capabilities to the print environment including:
- Secure Print with a single universal queue
- My Print Anywhere allowing users to release their job to any compatible device, including those not supporting Universal Print natively
- Extensive accounting (print, copy, fax, scan), prices, cost centers and reporting
- Support for other client operating systems such as macOS and Chrome OS
- Mobile Printing and Mobile Printing for guests
imageRUNNER ADVANCE devices can be registered to uniFLOW Online in bulk, easing administration burdens. Users are able to select supported finishing options such as duplex, hole-punch and multi-position staple from either the Windows print dialogue or the Canon device panel.
“We are excited to be working closely together with Microsoft on the integration of uniFLOW Online and Universal Print,” said Karsten Huster, president and CEO, NT-ware. “The result will be a holistic cloud solution that combines powerful features with straightforward administration.”
Support for Universal Print will be launched with the next uniFLOW Online deployment update, which is currently expected in October 2020. Large organisations have the opportunity to try uniFLOW Online and the Universal Print integration before the official launch date. To learn more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issa Khoury, principal program manager lead, Microsoft Corporation, said, “Universal Print was developed to provide our Microsoft 365 customers with an easy-to-use solution to help them migrate and manage their print infrastructure in the cloud. We are happy to be working alongside Canon and NT-ware to expand this offering and help our joint customers meet ever-changing business needs. We are really excited that Canon will have print devices in market that will have native support for Universal Print.”