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Gitex Exclusive with Epson: Contactless, cost-effective, eco-friendly print and visual solutions

The following interview follows global technology leader Epson’s participation at GITEX Technology Week, enabling us to learn more about sustainable solutions for business and smart solutions for education

94% of Middle East respondents believe that environmental and social impacts will become more important post-COVID-19 About 9 in 10 workers expect that the use of shared devices at work (including printers) will need to change post-COVID-19 Organizations that invest in printing technologies, can find long-term savings in the cost of ownership

The following interview follows global technology leader Epson’s participation at GITEX Technology Week, enabling us to learn more about sustainable solutions for business and smart solutions for education.

Here to discuss this and the latest research about green technology and environmental sustainability is Jason McMillan, sales director, Epson Middle East.

New research commissioned by Epson stated that 89% of Middle East employees believe that the use of green technology will be important in improving the environmental and social impact of businesses. 

So we start with this question: 

1. What green technologies do employees see achieving that? why?

As per a recent B2B international survey commissioned by Epson in July 2020, 94% of Middle East respondents believe that environmental and social impacts will become more important post-COVID-19.  

Businesses in the UAE and the Middle East must adapt to ensure they’re ready for the next wave of the sustainability revolution; this is the biggest opportunity for forward-thinking organizations, looking to make simple but high-impact changes. Among the solutions that are seeing strong demand are:

  • WorkForce Enterprise and RIPS business inkjet printers that use Epson’s Heat-Free Technology to help save energy, minimize waste, CO2 emissions, and lower maintenance.
  • SureColor Large Format Printers for textile printing that print digital data from a PC directly onto garments, so there is no need for screens or plates.
  • EcoTank ink tank printers for consumer printing all equipped with a refillable ink tank and comes with up to 3 years’ worth of in-box ink thus eliminating unnecessary plastic packaging and waste. In addition, it can reduce energy consumption compared to other printers.

  • Moverio Smart Glasses, which allow for real-time collaboration between remote experts and on-site personnel to increase productivity, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce travel for on-site maintenance.
  • Interactive display solutions, which are designed to reduce an organization’s environmental footprint and minimize power consumption, thanks to an energy-efficient basic design and power-saving modes, leading to lower intervention.
  • Mobile Point of Sale (PoS) solutions, which can save on energy costs, reduce paper usage, and enhance environmental sustainability.  

Read: The UAE is leading innovation in the $546 billion global smart cities market

2. Are we taking the concepts of contactless offices a bit too far when companies are struggling to survive? 

Contactless and socially-distanced offices are the new norms. Middle East organizations that adopt innovative technology now can enable the socially distanced office to meet government guidelines and maintain business continuity. Investments in innovative technologies can also lower the total cost of ownership and deliver innovative new business models.

One of the biggest changes will be in shared devices. About 9 in 10 workers (91%) expect that the use of shared devices at work (including printers) will need to change post-COVID-19, involving both restrictions and ‘smarter’ working patterns, our survey said.

Epson’s results are aligned with a recent PwC survey of Middle East CFOs, which shows 76% are implementing workplace safety measures especially with technology, including 85% of respondents in the UAE. 

Epson’s technology solutions support the current need for physical distancing, as well as lower intervention, cost-effectiveness, and eco-friendliness.

  • Printing services: 
    • Contactless printing solutions, such as Epson Print Admin, can reduce touchpoints as employees swipe their cards to print without touching the device, also control paper and ink wastage.
    • Cloud-based solutions, such as Epson Connect, can allow employees to remotely print documents from their mobile devices.
    • Remote servicing software such as Epson Remote Services to reduce on-site repair visits that can reduce any potential health risks, increase first-fix success, and costs in servicing printers and business downtimes.

  • Epson display solutions maintain social distancing standards while still enabling viewing of presentation material due to the display screen size that can scale up to 155 inches, while those working or studying remotely can also annotate, share ideas, and add to group work. 
  • Epson’s visualizers such as the education document camera can project live views of 3D objects without people crowding or passing objects, reducing touch points and allowing engagement with remote students.  

3. Are your smart solutions geared for a hybrid education different from what’s on offer today by similar technology providers?  

Epson’s educational solutions can enable schools and universities to deliver the best possible education for in-person, remote, and hybrid learning. Our solutions are cost-effective, require low intervention, and are sustainable.

Epson’s interactive display solutions such as the Epson EB-1400 series,  offer scalable screen sizes of up to 155 inches, where the projected material is easy to read, even from the back of a classroom or remotely.  

Epson’s visualizers allow for the live projection of 3D objects without people crowding or passing objects, reducing touchpoints 

Schools and universities can also benefit from efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable printing with the WorkForce Enterprise and WorkForce Pro RIPS business inkjet technology that doesn’t use heat in the ink ejection process, which separates our printers from the competition. This Heat-Free Technology serves as a common platform for all Epson inkjet printers and enables our printer range to reduce energy consumption by up 95% compared to laser printers, reducing both cost and CO2 emissions.

The entailing cost savings for one year can be seen in the below chart, in their equivalent for healthcare, education, and hospitality. 

4. How do you make the case for these smart tech purchases if remote or hybrid learning models are no longer a must?

Digital transformation is causing a rapid adoption of contactless printing, lower intervention tech solutions, and hybrid work and education models, all of which are here to stay. 

In interactive display solutions, projectors can easily be moved, making them a sharable resource where funding is tight.  

Organizations that invest in smart technologies now, especially in printing technologies, can find long-term savings in the cost of ownership.  

Environmental sustainability is a major business benefit of adopting contactless and socially distanced solutions. As more Middle East organizations seek to reduce their environmental footprint, green technology solutions that can help them to reduce their energy, paper, and ink consumption and waste will see further adoption in the region.

Read: Edutech UAE before and post COVID-19

5. What are the real threats to inkjet printing? Paperless? Climate? 

Business inkjet printing is the wave of the present and future for offices and educational establishments. 

While the office of the future will have social distancing requirements, documents are still central to the workplace, especially in fields such as legal, medical, and banking and financial services.

Print is most powerful when combined with digital media. Many organizations are shifting from a culture of “print everything” to “print what matters most”

People and businesses hold real concerns on the topic of climate change and want a proactive approach in mitigating their impact on the environment to create a better tomorrow. 

92% of decision-makers recognize an increased role of Environmental & Social impact issues with IT decision-makers being amongst the leaders on this with a huge 98%.