Canon has launched an automatic fault reporting service that sends incident reports from users' printers to its Japanese headquarters.
Called eMaintenance, the service is designed to ensure more efficient repairs. It continually tracks device performance by automatically monitoring printers and multifunction devices via the local network and sending incident reports to both Canon service providers and the user business.
Unlike other online device maintenance services, eMaintenance sends device-specific reports by dialling out, alerting both the user and service centre via e-mail if there are any problems. Canon said IT directors should not need to open up external access to their company's network in order to use the service.
The system also minimises call outs, for instance, by booking services after a predetermined number of paper jams or a certain amount of copies have been logged.
Each device is connected to a central server in Japan called the Universal Gateway. Once a device dials out to report a fault, the message is received by this server, which decodes it and attaches specific customer information as well as an analysis about device performance in recent months.
This report is then forwarded to the appropriate support centre so the fault can be rectified.