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Mobile Printing Networks

Choose the right approach for your security needs

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You have several possible approaches for mobile printing. Choosing one depends on a few factors, but the most critical choice concerns the security requirements for your print data. To find the printing network that's right for you, ask yourself this question: Is having your data travel through a publicly hosted environment acceptable, or do you require data to remain secure behind your firewall? In some cases, it's more important to enable access for a number of locations and users. In other cases, data security is the primary concern. What if you need both? Ricoh offers mobile print solutions to meet a variety of needs.

Public Cloud

Think of your smartphone as a mini computer – especially when you're accessing your favorite stores through an App. Have you ever asked yourself how the data from your device is transmitted to this store? Yes, the Internet is involved – but it is some type of Cloud service that is connecting the two of you in making the transaction. This holds true for mobile printing. The Internet connects you to the Cloud service that takes your data and sends it to the printer of your choice. When you use your smartphone or other Cloud-based services, such as email, you're probably using the public Cloud. You can use the public Cloud to print from your mobile device too.

Despite its name, the public Cloud doesn't mean that anyone on the Internet can see your print jobs. You can think of it as a community Cloud or shared Cloud. It is simply a shared infrastructure that supports multiple clients, and you can access it via the Internet. Typically, public Cloud solutions are hosted offsite by a Service Provider.

So how does this affect the way you print?

When you use the Cloud to print from your mobile device, your print job is typically sent to an external print server. The Cloud enables communication between your mobile device and the printer or MFP. If a network firewall exists at your location, this connection to the Cloud circumvents the firewall and your data leaves the network before it is routed to its final destination.

Is the public Cloud for you?

Just because your data is traveling through the public Cloud does not mean it's accessible to everyone. If your organization is looking to help mobile users connect to devices, then leveraging the public Cloud can be a viable and cost-effective solution for your organization.

Private Cloud

Your organization may need something more secure for transmitting sensitive print jobs. Do you need data to stay inside your company firewall? The private Cloud is better-suited for dealing with sensitive information. Hosted on your internal print server, it prevents data from being shared outside your network – regardless if you are mobile.

So how does this affect the way you print? 

The user experience is the same whether your print solution uses the private or public Cloud. You still send your print job to the Cloud, but this time the Cloud is hosted internally on your print server. Therefore, data only travels inside your company firewall. Connectivity to this internal private Cloud can be enabled over the private network itself, fiber, or the Internet.

Is the private Cloud for you?

A few factors can lead to the decision to implement a private Cloud. If your operation has multiple networks and you want to tie these together, a private Cloud solution can bridge the disparate networks to enable mobile printing.

Hybrid Cloud

Your print needs might require features of both private and public Cloud solutions. For example, you may need to keep employee print jobs inside your firewall, but you might not be worried about how guest print jobs are carried out. In cases like these, a hybrid Cloud solution can best meet your needs.

So how does this affect the way you print? 

In the hybrid Cloud, two types of printing networks are present – but the two networks do not interfere with each other. They perform discrete functions, which can help keep your critical print data separate from outside data.

Authenticated users' print jobs are handled in-house using the private Cloud. This print data will never leave the security of your firewall, because the private Cloud is hosted internally on your network. However, you can offer public Cloud-based "guest printing" for visitors, vendors and contractors. This eliminates the need to grant network access to guests, while still offering them the ability to print.

Is the hybrid Cloud for you?

In addition to providing peace of mind to security-conscious organizations, the hybrid Cloud gives you the benefits of both private and public Cloud solutions. The private Cloud component lets you bridge different networks, so mobile devices operating on different platforms can still communicate with printers. You can also expand print options for guests. You can offer typical guest printing through the public Cloud, or you can enable guest printing within your network using the private Cloud. You can even enable Secure Release for documents, where documents can only be retrieved at the printer via release code or authentication.
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