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Today we are excited to announce the public preview of Universal Print, a Microsoft 365 service that enables an intuitive, rich, and secure print experience for users, while helping IT reduce time and effort.
Organizations moving to the cloud with Microsoft 365 have responded en masse since we announced the private preview of Universal Print in March, and today we have more than 2,500 customers testing the new service. Many of them have accelerated their adoption of cloud services and Universal Print because employees and teachers working from home can now print to company or school printers from anywhere when connected to the internet. While many processes have gone paperless, many critical business processes – especially in education, healthcare, and other industries – still require print.
What is Universal Print?
Universal Print provides a user-friendly, easy print experience that also:
- Eliminates the need to install printer drivers because it is built into the Windows experience
- Helps you to find printers both near and outside of your current location
- Enables print from zero-trust networks via single sign-on (SSO) when connected to the internet and authenticated to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD).
For IT professionals who are managing print, Universal Print offers:
- A print solution to unblock the move to the cloud and support print for Azure AD users.
- Managed printing in zero-trust networks.
- Eliminates the need to manage print servers or the need for complex hybrid print solutions.
- A centralized portal that enables robust management capabilities.
- Visibility and insights into your print with reporting.
- Print data stored in the same manner as other Microsoft Office data, in accordance with Microsoft’s data management guidelines.
- Printer deployment and default printer configuration on end-user devices using Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Microsoft Intune).
Universal Print public preview rolling out globally
We are ready to roll out the Universal Print public preview to data centers in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific in waves over the next weeks. We will start with Microsoft 365 E5 and A5 tenants, followed by customers who have a Microsoft 365 E3 or A3 subscriptions, and then those who have Windows 10 E3, A3 and E5 only subscriptions. And finally, we will complete the roll-out with Microsoft 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Firstline F3 customers. Details will be published on the Universal Print release page, where you can start your journey with us.
Partners are essential to Universal Print
Customers are not the only ones getting onboard. The service opens opportunities to many partners who are selling print solutions to Microsoft 365 customers.
Partners are hard at work to integrate cloud solutions, software solutions, and printers with Universal Print.
For existing printers, customers can simply use a Universal Print connector application that connects printers to Universal Print. It is available for download and can be installed on any Windows 10 PC, learn more here. However, Printers that natively support Universal Print will offer the best cloud experience.
Brother is actively working on native device support for Universal Print.
“Brother is working with Microsoft to offer integration with the Universal Print service on select Brother devices in order for organizations to manage their print infrastructure through Microsoft 365 cloud services. This integration should be complete in early 2021.” — Frank Martin, Senior Director, Solutions Development Business Machine Group
Canon Inc. joined the Universal Print effort as a part of the private preview in March, and today is reaffirming its commitment to integrate with Universal Print:
“Canon, a leader in digital imaging solutions, will support the Universal Print solution natively with current imageRUNNER ADVANCE products beginning in 2H 2020. uniFLOW Online Express, a free SaaS solution running on Microsoft Azure, can provide device authentication, print/copy/scan/fax reporting, and scan to myself while using Universal Print.” — Isamu Sato, Senior General Manager, Digital Printing Business Operations, Canon Inc.
In addition, HP Inc. announced it will work with Microsoft to build a cloud-to-cloud integration with Universal Print and the HP Managed Print Cloud Services platform. Through this collaboration, organizations will be able to increase security, manage devices, and limit print jobs to authorized users.
“By collaborating with Microsoft to integrate Universal Print with HP Managed Print Cloud Services, we’re providing our customers with the flexibility to choose the solution that best suits their needs. This cloud-to-cloud integration will enable Universal Print users to print virtually anywhere, simply and securely.” — David Prezzano, General Manager and Global Head, Print Services and Solutions Category, HP Inc.
Kofax will be integrating Kofax ControlSuite with Universal Print:
“Kofax ControlSuite and Universal Print represent the future of work, providing customers a modern print infrastructure delivered through cloud services. Customers benefit from Microsoft’s cloud services while Kofax ControlSuite provides a single print management, cognitive capture and output management platform across the enterprise, resulting in reduced cost of ownership and improved, secure experiences for employees.” — Chris Huff, Chief Strategy Officer at Kofax.
Konica Minolta is partnering with Microsoft to integrate digital workplace services with Universal Print:
Konica Minolta is excited about the Universal Print technology from Microsoft that enhances our cloud printing services to the next level. Konica Minolta provides multifunction printers with hybrid print solution, unified technology of on-premises and cloud printing, to add more value to Universal Print – such as print management, secure printing and print-from-anywhere incl. home office to make remote work efficiently. Konica Minolta’s hybrid solution and services with Universal Print help customers digital transformation from on-premises to cloud smoothly to keep pace with customer’s maturity level. — Kazuo Taira, General Manager Digital Workplace Business at Konica Minolta
Today, Lexmark announces availability of firmware updates for currently marketed devices to provide native Universal Print support:
“Aligning with a cloud strategy is key for our customers as they continue down their journey for document optimization and infrastructure consolidation. Lexmark has a full product portfolio of devices that enable our customers to place the right device where it’s required within their business process. In partnership with Microsoft, we are committed to supporting initiatives such as Universal Print and working together on many other offerings to continue to enable digital transformation for our customers.” — Larry Early, director, Lexmark software and industry marketing
NT-ware, a member of the Canon Group, is working on integration with Universal Print for uniFLOW Online.
“Cloud technology is the future and Universal Print is another excellent proof that traditional server infrastructure can be moved to the cloud while simultaneously providing new benefits to organizations. uniFLOW Online supports Universal Print and is the answer for businesses seeking enhanced functionality, such as secure printing and scanning, all hosted in Azure.“ — Karsten Huster, CEO, NT-ware
PaperCut is building a native Universal Print connector:
“PaperCut brings all the print management power you need to give you the best Universal Print experience. The integration’s built in, making it easy for customers to track, control, and secure their Universal Print jobs.” — Jamie McClunie, Product Manager PaperCut
Pharos started on the cloud print path in 2013 and is now partnering with Microsoft on Universal Print:
Microsoft and Pharos share a vision of a world in which printing is simple, secure, and free of print servers. We look forward to supporting our customers who plan to use Universal Print and Azure Active Directory to simplify their printing operations. — Kevin Pickhardt, CEO, Pharos
Ringdale is partnering with us to integrate FollowMe:
“Strategically partnering with Microsoft allows Ringdale to augment Universal Print with our security and compliance features that are essential for large enterprises that are transforming their workplaces. Our customers and partners will be able to take advantage of Universal Print with their existing printing fleets.” — Jan Bollmann, Executive Vice President at Ringdale
Y Soft is announcing availability of YSoft OMNI BridgeTM, a serverless edge device that instantly connects in-market printers to Universal Print, with YSoft OMNI UP365TM, the first of YSoft OMNI AppsTM:
“For companies to accelerate Digital Transformation and take advantage of the Universal Print ecosystem today, they need their existing printer fleets to connect with Universal Print natively or keep maintaining costly on-premises infrastructure. With the YSoft OMNI SeriesTM product family, in particular YSoft OMNI Bridge, a serverless edge device, and YSoft OMNI UP365TM we are proud to work with Microsoft to address the need to support in-market printers with an instant and cost effective way to connect to Universal Print — truly providing businesses with the Future of Print!” — Bruce Leistikow, Director Product Marketing, Y Soft
There is a lot of excitement in the print industry with the introduction of Universal Print as part of Microsoft 365.
Give Universal Print a try and let us know how it works for you!
If you would like to participate in the public preview, go aka.ms/UP_TryNow for the details. If you are already part of the private preview, your Universal Print service will continue to work.
We invite you to join our other customers and partners in the Universal Print Tech Community to discuss your experiences, ask questions or get support. Universal Print is a fully supported service, even during public preview. This is also where the Universal Print team is sharing what they are working on, and where you can engage with them and share feedback, questions, and requests.
For more technical details and requirements, see the Universal Print documentation.
Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.