Support for Microsoft Universal Print Available with Toshiba MFPs
As digital transformation shifts the way that people live and work, organizations seek new ways to rethink their processes. Often those conversations center around leveraging migration to the cloud.
One such cloud application getting recent attention is Microsoft Universal Print. This summer, Microsoft announced the public preview of Universal Print. This Microsoft 365 service enables an intuitive, rich, and secure print experience for users, while helping IT reduce time and effort.
So, why is Microsoft expanding its cloud print service whereas Google is shutting down it’s cloud print service at the end of 2020?
Simply put, the maintenance and management of on-premises print servers is becoming more and more challenging.
The Universal Print Service from Microsoft is designed to help customers eliminate those local print servers and transition the installation and management of printers and drivers to the cloud.
Here’s how this new service might impact current print service providers including Toshiba dealers and resellers.
How Does Universal Print Work?
Universal Print runs on Microsoft Azure. The service can be accessed by approved users with a Windows client and an identity stored in the Azure Active Directory.
Printers are registered with the Universal Print service and are then advertised as available to the users. Print jobs are sent from the Windows client to the cloud and then to the printer directly.
What makes this so appealing is that users can print from anywhere when connected to the internet and authenticated to Azure Active Directory.
What is the Current Status of Universal Print?
Microsoft Universal Print service is still under public preview. No release date has been published yet, but Universal Print is expected to be released in 2021.
In the interim, the service is accessible to existing customers through their Microsoft 365 subscription. Answers to frequently asked question for this service are available here.
Are My Customers Ready For This Change?
Most in-market printers do not support the required Universal Print protocols. While printer manufacturers including Toshiba are expected to release firmware upgrades that add Universal Print support directly into the printer, Microsoft has provided a Universal Print Connector (UPC) to ensure a wide range of in-market printers will be compatible.
This connector application can run on a on-premises Windows PC/Server or on an Azure Virtual Machine with access to printers on the organization’s network.
How Can Toshiba Help?
We are happy to announce that current Toshiba models are compatible with Microsoft Universal Print through the UPC; we are working diligently to include native Universal Print support in our upcoming firmware upgrade.
So, when Microsoft releases Universal Print for general availability, we will be ready. Toshiba printers will natively support Universal Print next year. Please review our blog on Microsoft site at https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/universal-print-blog/toshiba-integration-with-universal-print-in-microsoft-365/ba-p/2054640#m52
Moreover, our 3rd party print management software partners e.g. PaperCut and Pharos have also developed integrations with Microsoft Universal Print. Hence, you can stay assured that your customers’ migration of their Toshiba fleet to Universal Print will be seamless.
Please contact your Toshiba representative for more details.