You have probably heard people talk about “the cloud” or moving their business files to the cloud. But what exactly is cloud computing? And how in the world does it have anything to do with my office copier?
What Is the Cloud?
The best place to start in beginning to understand the cloud is the use of a mainframe computer “back in the day.” In the early days of computers, mainframe machines could easily take up an entire room and were cost prohibitive for businesses to own. Businesses would share use of a mainframe computer off-site. This is the earliest use of the cloud concept. The cloud is basically a group of servers used to store data or run software located off-site through an internet or data connection.
With the increasing use and development of mobile technology, cloud computing has taken center stage. Cloud computing runs software applications such as social media websites, Google Drive, Dropbox and Evernote. The images and documents you upload to these websites aren’t stored locally on your computer or network, but rather on servers in data centers. These servers in data centers around the world make up “the cloud.”
Adobe recently discontinued offering its Creative Suite software (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.) as a local install. You now pay a monthly fee and access the software through an internet or data connection. Other traditional software companies are looking toward moving their software to the cloud as well.
What Does the Cloud Have to Do With My Office Copier?
Now that you have a better understanding of what the cloud is, you are probably wondering how in the heck it has anything to do with your office copier. Quite simply, the cloud can make your team and office more productive and efficient.
Konica Minolta has been on top of the cloud-computing trend, giving its multi-function printers and copiers the ability to tap into this powerful new computing option. The bizhub has many features available to integrate with cloud-computing applications and software such as Google Drive and Evernote.
Google Drive is becoming an increasingly popular tool among businesses for easy access and sharing of documents. For instance, you have a sales representative out in the field. He opens a new document in Google Drive on his iPad and takes notes during his meeting with the client on service issues they are having. When he returns to the office, he wants to print these notes immediately to discuss them with the service department. He can go directly to the bizhub multi-function printer, access the Google Drive document from the control pad and print out the notes for his meeting with the service department manager.
In an education setting, the copier or printer may be located far from a teacher’s classroom. Instead of running back to their classroom to hit print on their computer, a teacher could access his or her document directly from the multi-function printer and print. This saves the teacher time and is more efficient.
Wondering how cloud integration could help your business become more efficient and productive? If you are located in the Canton, Akron, Youngstown or Western Pennsylvania areas, contact us. We would love to help!