Last week Brother International Corporation introduced an expanded line of color laser printers and All-in-Ones with enterprise-level security. The new color laser devices offer printing and scanning speeds up to 52 images per minute (ipm) simplex and up to 104ipm duplex, along with advanced features to help business users increase productivity, according to Brother. The devices are optimized for a mobile workforce and include access to popular business cloud services and NFC connectivity for mobile device printing and enhanced security.
Color Laser Devices
The new color line-up is designed for a full range of office, workgroup, and larger-volume print environments. They can support a broad range of office environments and industries, especially those that need to meet specific data privacy, sharing and storage guidelines, including education, government, healthcare, retail, legal, financial services and real estate.
“This next generation of products further underscores Brother’s commitment and leadership position in providing business-class document technology in a small footprint typically associated with larger, more expensive and service-prone devices,” said Steve Feldstein, Brother International Corporation’s director of marketing, Business Laser & Scanner Products. “From the business standpoint, these printers and MFPs deliver durability, scalability, security and high-impact color laser printing at an extremely low total cost of ownership. For IT professionals, the devices can integrate into an organization’s existing infrastructure, enhancing network document security.”
The HL-L8260CDW printer and MFC-L8610CDW MFP reportedly provide excellent cost efficiency with a range of features such as wireless connectivity and duplex printing. The HL-L8360CDW printer and MFC-L8900CDW MFP deliver all the features of the base models along with NFC connectivity and compatibility with super high-yield cartridges for low cost printing.
More importantly for the dealer channel, the new color portfolio includes two Brother Workhorse series models, the HL-L9310CDW and MFC-L9570CDW. These models offer scalable paper handling and a low TCO with included Super high-yield cartridges and Brother Genuine Ultra high-yield replacement cartridges, which Brother says is ideal for mid-sized offices and workgroups with higher print volumes.
This new device line provides security sensitive environments with advanced security features to keep documents and information private and secure. All devices offer Secure Function Lock, which gives administrators the ability to restrict usage and limit machine functions on a group or per user basis. Color printing can be limited to help control costs.
Additionally, most devices support LDAP, Active Directory, and an integrated NFC card reader that provides walk-up authorization to release print jobs and to access machine functions using a compatible NFC card or badge. Network user authentication is also included.
Enhanced Touchscreen User Interface
The devices are designed to improve an organization’s document workflow through the built-in Touchscreen display which comes in a variety of sizes by model, including a 7-inch tablet-like Touchscreen display on the MFC-L9570CDW. These enable creating up to 64 customizable shortcuts that Brother says simplifies complex and frequently used tasks. This enhanced interface reportedly reduces operational steps and provides quick access to Brother Apps, which enables scanning directly to e-mail, searchable PDF formats and to editable Microsoft® Office documents.
Touchscreens also provide easy access to the Brother Web Connect interface to directly print from popular business cloud services, including DROPBOX, GOOGLE DRIVE™, BOX, and ONEDRIVE®. Users can also scan to popular cloud services such as EVERNOTE®, ONENOTE®, and more. Other business-focused scanning destinations include SharePoint®, SSH Server (SFTP), Network Folder (CIFS) and support for the Brother Solutions Interface (BSI), enabling customized business-specific capabilities for improved operational workflow.
Pricing and Availability
The HL-L8260CDW, HL-L8360CDW, HL-L8360CDWT, MFC-L8610CDW and MFC-L8900CDW will be offered by online retailers, office superstores and Brother authorized resellers.
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The Brother Workhorse series models, HL-L9310CDW and MFC-L9570CDW are offered exclusively through our Brother Authorized Partner Program (BAPP) resellers, as well as direct market resellers, dealers, and office superstore contract resellers.
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The HL Printers will be available at the end of March, and the All-in-Ones will be available in April. For more information on the new color printers and All-in-Ones and the full line of Brother business-class office devices, visit: http://www.brotherthinkoptimize.com/products/.
For more information on the new color printers and MFPs and the full line of Brother business-class office devices, visit: http://www.brotherthinkoptimize.com/products/.
The introduction of the HL-L9310CDW and MFC-L9570CDW are the two products dealers should focus on because they fit squarely into the Brother Authorized Partner Program (BAPP). The company seems to have gone above and beyond to protect dealers selling these new B2B products by providing them with dedicated marketing materials, a partner portal, Webinars, digital assets, extended warranties, sales contests, and end user campaigns to enhance awareness. Add to that initiatives to drive contractual business in vertical markets such as K-12, higher education, healthcare, and retail, and Brother seems to have thought of everything to make these devices attractive to its BAPP dealers. These products also fit squarely into Brother’s Volume Print Program (VPP), which the company claims easily integrates into dealer’s existing MPS programs. The caveat is that the dealer must make a three-year commitment and commit to installing Brother devices and using Brother “genuine supplies.”
A Brother webinar for press and analysts the week before the announcement underscored the high hopes the company has for this line. During the webinar, Brother noted that the BAPP and its dealer recruitment has grown at a 40% clip in the number of dealers in the program along with 30%-40% business growth with its protected product lineup in color and black & white.
Admittedly, Brother is playing in a competitive space and the piece of the pie they own in the channel is barely a sliver. The emphasis on security is a compelling selling point, albeit a selling point that most OEMs are touting these days. As such we remain skeptical as to just how effective Brother will be in capturing not only the attention of dealers already in the Brother fold but dealers outside of that fold as they look to add more dealers to the BAPP. Let’s be real, it’s a crowded field of vendors competing to be a dealer’s second or third line.
Realistically, we don’t expect these products to change the competitive landscape, but we do expect dealers currently participating in the BAPP to have some success with these new devices.
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