COMPUTER BUSINESS REVIEW

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Issue Date: March 2008

Xerox gives MFPs more punch with Extensible Interface Platform

13 March 2008

Xerox is giving its MFP customers more functionality and flexibility than ever before with the release of its exclusive Extensible Interface Platform (EIP).
EIP is a software platform on which developers can use standard Web-based tools to create server-based applications that can be configured for MFPs' touch-screen user interfaces.
"Customers are no longer looking for a machine that simply prints, faxes, scans and copies; they want a system that can improve their work processes and deliver competitive advantage," says Grant Long, software product manager at Bytes Document Solutions, sole authorised distributor of Xerox products and solutions to 24 African countries.
"EIP enables Bytes Document Solutions developers to build applications that can be customised for MFP interfaces, allowing end-users to share, store and print information easily by providing access to common business forms directly from the MFPs."
EIP is not a standard feature of MFPs, but it does enable custom solutions to be presented at the devices. "Personalisation and customisation are key elements of EIP," says Long. "With this platform, MFP programs can be built that give users single sign-on access to applications specific to companies', workgroups' or individuals' requirements."
EIP applications
When implementing EIP into MFPs, menus and language that are company-specific can be designed, such as 'submit form to claims department' or 'print leave form'.
"This turns a complex workflow into a simple process, requiring only a few buttons to be pushed," says Long.
Other applications include scanning hard-copy information into document repositories to be stored on servers with the simple touch of a button, and printing the day's news or stock reports directly from the MFPs' touch-screens.
Other benefits of EIP include:
* End-users can share, store and print information easily.

* Simplifying complicated workflows while making MFPs easier to use.

* Transforming hard-copy documents into digital information, making it easier to edit, store and share information.

* Adapting MFPs to work habits and not the other way around.

* Completing some tasks entirely at the MFPs, including retrieving documents on a network without a computer.
"EIP is a big deal," says Long. "For our changing customers who want tailored workflows and more productivity; for our partners because it gives them the opportunity to present their offering in a new light to customers; and for Bytes because happier customers and stronger partners will help the company grow."


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