OKI Ups Its Game in Solutions with an Embedded Software Platform

06/12/2012

At its recent “First Look 2012” event for analysts and press, OKI Data Americas unveiled some interesting hardware products, most notably the all-new CX3535 and CX4545. These A3 copier–based color MFPs, slated to ship in the August timeframe, offer the engine speeds (35ppm and 45ppm, respectively) and finishing options for medium- to large-size workgroup duty. But it’s what will follow a few months after those machine debut that caught our attention on the solutions side.

The new devices will support an embedded software platform to extend the functionality of the MFPs. The as-yet-unnamed embedded platform (we humbly submit OKI—short for OKI Knowledge Interface—for consideration) consists of a Meta Scan Enabler component for advanced scan capture and routing. With this component, users will be able to scan directly to external workflow systems and data repositories right from the control panel of the MFP. The optional External Interface Enabler component enables the CX3535 and CX4545 MFPs to display web-based applications on their control panels.

One of the first solutions available from OKI for the platform will be the Microsoft Exchange Connector, which will enable users to scan a document and route it through their organization’s Exchange server and access their Outlook address book at the MFP. Messages sent via the connector will appear in the user’s Sent folder in Outlook, and users will be able to save a scan to their Drafts folder. Also on deck is a Microsoft SharePoint Connector for delivering scanned documents directly to SharePoint libraries, as well as a Google Docs Connector for scanning to and printing from that cloud service.

OKI will also make available a software development kit, so third-party developers can integrate a wide range of existing applications. Though there have been no announcements yet, products such as Nuance Communications’ eCopy ShareScan and Equitrac, NSi’s AutoStore, PaperCut’s PaperCut MF and other popular solutions would be a natural fit for OKI’s new embedded platform.