Evidence that the world is changing and people are working differently, providing the channel with fresh opportunities to sell emerging technologies, can come from various different places and the latest food for thought has been served up by Brother.
The printer world has sometimes suffered from being fairly slow to move with the times getting bogged down debating the merits of inkjet or laser and mono versus colour and might not be the natural place to look for signs of change.
But Brother has revealed that the use of its iPrint&Scan app reached 130m prints last year, a 97% increase on the previous 12 months, and it now has 4.4m users printing off around 10m pages a month via the application that works on iPhone, Windows and Andoid phones.
The app works simply by allowing the user to print to a device that is connected to the same network and is free from all of the main smartphone application stores.
Brother UK’s product manager, Stuart Mabe, said that the UK workforce was going through a transition: “Businesses now really see the benefits of agile working, with employees increasing productivity and reducing ‘dead-time’ spent on-the-road."
“This is leading to a growing demand for portable print solutions. Businesses are looking for software that helps them to be more flexible – it’s no longer about one product, but the entire solution," he added.
His comments could be echoed across other parts of the industry ranging from hardware manufacturers pushing phones and tablets to some of the houshold names in software that are developing cloud strategies that provide flexibility in usage and payment terms.
The Brother statistics are also a timely reminder for the print channel specialists that the pace of change in the market is speeding up and any current discussion has to be more about mobility.
"Enabling people to work anytime, anywhere is something we’re really passionate about and our commitment to developing high quality products with great connectivity options proves this. Resellers should promote these types of products and solutions to ensure they support today’s ever more agile workforces," advised Mabe.