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The Visible Value Blog

Bringing IoT connectivity to printing

Posted by Gareth Aitken

January 30, 2017 at 11:24 AM

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Initiatives such as the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 are driving fundamental changes in every industrial sector, across manufacturing plants, retail operations and healthcare environments. Connected operations and real-time visibility enable enterprises to gain deeper, more actionable insight into their processes, and do more with less.

The connectivity that is central to IoT provides organisations with deep visibility into asset status and events, accessible through the cloud, anytime, anywhere. However, executive-level decision-makers have to be able to address the technology and service implications of deploying IoT solutions before they can really start to benefit.

To prepare for the new, digital business environment with devices that are increasingly mobile, intelligent and connected to the Cloud, Zebra Technologies has created a software environment to power its printers. The Link-OS environment combines an innovative operating system, a powerful Multiplatform Software Development Kit (SDK) and software applications that make industrial, mobile and desktop printers easier to integrate, manage and maintain than ever before.

  • Simple, time- and cost-efficient printer management with real-time device visibility
  • Direct, seamless connection to the cloud
  • More effective management of data security with reduced risk and lower TCO
  • Straightforward, hassle-free printer integration across any network or site
  • Short learning curve, accelerating training and adoption

Whether printers are producing barcode labels, receipts, or passive RFID tags, Link-OS makes managing the print environment easier than ever, enabling new and more creative ways for organisations to make the most of their printers. Gathering printer information has never been easier. Administrators can securely gather device information stored on the Cloud - such as device locations and workload capacity - to make informed business decisions, and even perform proactive maintenance to prevent down time. This helps to make print operations more cost effective, reducing time spent on deployment, administration and troubleshooting.

One of the real beauties of Link-OS is that it can enable companies to continue using existing installations. By allowing existing printing applications to run without modification via Link-OS Virtual Devices, projects deliver a better return on investment. Implemented through on-printer apps, Virtual Devices support the legacy languages normally associated with other printer brands. Multiple Virtual Devices are supported by a single printer, are highly manageable using the Link-OS Profile Manager or Zebra’s AVS visibility service offering, and can be used with any other Link-OS features such as Cloud Connect.

From deployment to management to maintenance, Link-OS enables enterprises to gain tighter control of their print operations. The results are increased productivity, reduced downtime and maintenance, fleet-wide consistency and stronger security for stronger performance and business return-on-investment.

Read more about how Link-OS is revolutionising industrial printer connectivity. Download the whitepaper here.

Topics: Link-OS Environment, Software, Internet of Things, IoT