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Canon U.S.A. And Alliance Partners Take Full Advantage Of Meap Technology To Lead The Developmet Of Innovative Embedded MFP Applications


Working closely with its customers and Alliance Partners, Canon U.S.A., Inc. continues to deliver new Canon-branded and facilitate third-party embedded solutions based on Canon’s proprietary Multifunctional Embedded Application Platform (MEAP), including cost recovery, authentication, kiosk, and job submission applications, as an industry leader in customizable MFP software development.

MEAP applications created by Canon Alliance Partners, including Ribstone EM1, Equitrac Embedded for Canon MEAP, Pharos Integrated Multifunction Printers (iMFP), eCopy SSOP, nQueue’s Embedded integrated cost recovery system, Captaris RightFax Integration for MEAP and Copitrak’s Canon Eclipse Embedded Terminal, were developed using the MEAP Software Developers Kit (SDK), with the assistance of Canon’s Developer Support Program.

Canon’s innovative MEAP technology enables the imageRUNNER MFP devices to support document and other services above and beyond the standard functions of digital copy, print, scan, and send-to-e-mail/ file/fax/Mail Box. The Java-based MEAP technology is the backbone for the development of intelligent, networkable solutions that help businesses with hardcopy operations, records management and distribution, document workflow and device management services.

Canon was the first manufacturer in the industry to launch an MFP software development platform in 2003. The Java-based MEAP development environment provides a platform for the creation of unique applications, simplifying the interaction between users and Canon’s devices, while tying tightly into a user’s specific workflow. Since the introduction of MEAP, Canon has been working with third-party software vendors, customers and dealers as they develop customized document workflow applications for Canon imageRUNNER MFPs for a variety of tasks including cost recovery, document scanning and routing, and security. MEAP-based applications are currently in use by organizations in the legal, hospitality, education and healthcare markets.

Because of its powerful and rich environment and ability to take control of the Multifuntional Peripheral (MFP), Canon’s MEAP platform and development tools appeal to many of the best and brightest developers in the independent software community. With several hundred thousand MEAP enabled imageRUNNER devices already purchased by customers, Canon’s MEAP platform offers developers a large installed base of customers ready for their applications.

In addition to Independent Software Developer solutions, Canon-developed packaged and customized MEAP applications are also available. Packaged applications include imageWARE Accounting Manager for MEAP and Canon Virtual Mailbox. Customized applications are pre-built to about 80 percent completion, allowing rapid development and deployment by Canon engineers for a customer’s specific needs.

“As the world of multifunctional peripherals continues to grow, the need for customizable and integrated solutions and applications for these devices is exploding,” said Dennis Amorosano, director and general manager, Solutions Business Development Division, Canon U.S.A. “As the first MFP manufacturer to launch a customizable software development platform, Canon has earned a leadership position in the industry with a number of customers, dealers and third-party vendors to create applications and solutions that provide a seamless, two-way flow of digital information and hardcopy documents to meet the diverse needs of specific industries or customers.”

Canon has - and continues to - work with dealers, customers and other third-party partners to help create embedded applications based on MEAP technology and expand end-user capabilities. For example, Canon U.S.A. recently announced that it has licensed the MEAP SDK to two additional Alliance Partners: Rochester Software Associates and Sepialine. Rochester Software Associates will develop a customizable remote hardcopy job submission application to complement its existing print center solutions. Sepialine will use MEAP technology to embed its Cost Tracking Suite into imageRUNNER devices to help service professionals capture their expenses.

Alliance Partner MEAP Solutions Highlights

Pharos Integrated Multifunctional Printers (iMFP) for Canon
Leveraging MEAP, Pharos has created iMFP for Canon devices - a cost management solution designed to help eliminate excess print and copy spending by both universities and businesses. The Pharos iMFP for Canon provides ID card or touch screen authentication, user-based job accounting, secure printing, departmental chargeback, and color printing control, each of which is available to users via quick and easy fingertip access on imageRUNNER devices.

“We especially liked the full-featured J2ME Java environment provided by MEAP. This allowed our developers to pull from a broad toolkit of Java source code to decrease development time,” said Fred Schempp, director of Solutions and Services, Pharos Systems International, Inc. “The development support provided by the Canon U.S.A. team was fantastic! We had direct access to engineers who developed the MEAP applications themselves, and they used the same tools that we used for development. Our questions were fielded and answered by a team with tons of real-world experience developing in the MEAP environment.”

nQueue Embedded Software
Using Canon’s MEAP technology, nQueue has developed an embedded cost-recovery application for imageRUNNER MFPs. The MEAP version of nQueue’s integrated Embedded brand software includes copy and scan tracking, the ability to differentiate black-and-white from color printing and a quick recall list of frequently-used account numbers.

According to Richard Hellers, president and chief operating officer, nQueue, Inc., “Canon’s MEAP platform provides a great vehicle for software development consistent with our vision and approach. The Canon Development Support Team became an extension of our organization and offered ideal suggestions, support and encouragement. As a result, our MEAP application advanced from a detailed specification to a certified and released software product on-time and within our budget; a perfect result!”

Equitrac Embedded for Canon MEAP
Representing a new generation of embedded solutions for law firms, Equitrac’s solution takes advantage of Canon MEAP technology to maximize cost recovery for legal and professional users. Through their imageRUNNER device, users have direct front-panel access to Equitrac Professional 5’s industry-leading print, copy, scan and facsimile tracking capabilities, including its Follow-You Printing and Secure Document Release features.

“The Canon MEAP environment is a rich platform that enabled us to implement Equitrac Embedded for Canon MEAP, extending our award-winning Equitrac Professional 5 cost-recovery solution for customers in the legal and professional market,” said Erik Vander Ahe, vice president, Product Development, Equitrac. “Throughout the process, we found Canon’s support excellent and were very pleased with the responsiveness of their MEAP Developers Support team. Our effective collaboration made all the difference in quickly and successfully bringing our latest generation, MEAP-enabled Equitrac Professional 5 solution to market.”

Ribstone Systems’ Ribstone EM1
Using Canon’s MEAP technology, Ribstone developed the EM1 from the onset to be embedded in the display of the imageRUNNER MFP. A customizable solution for the Legal market, Ribstone EM1 eliminates the need for external monitors at the copy machine and provides a fast and robust Bates(tm) numbering application.

“The MEAP Development Guide left no stone unturned,” said Eric Rodriguez, president, Ribstone Systems, Inc. “The detail of the development guide and the technical support provided by Canon U.S.A. was essential in planning and developing Ribstone applications for the MEAP environment.”

Captaris RightFax Integration for MEAP
Canon’s MEAP enabled imageRUNNER devices, combined with RightFax, provide customers with a consolidated solution for all their document development, duplication and delivery needs. The RightFax Integration for MEAP transforms the Canon imageRUNNER device into a central networked interface to send, receive and distribute hardcopy and electronic fax transmissions.

“The new RightFax two-way integration using MEAP technology provides a much richer user experience for our mutual customers,” said Mike Spacone, general manager of the MFP Practice at Captaris. “This integration is a continuation of our joint solutions and now it is even easier for Canon and Captaris users to automate and control their document-centric processes.”

Copitrak’s Canon Eclipse Embedded Terminal
Promatek, Copitrak’s parent company, has developed a cost recovery terminal to run as an embedded MEAP application on Canon imageRUNNER devices that communicates with an Expense Recovery System (ERS) to track and record transactions associated with a user’s copying, printing and scanning applications.

Canon MEAP Solutions

imageWARE Accounting Manager for MEAP
imageWARE Accounting Manager for MEAP is a device-embedded solution for document output tracking. This imageWARE solution allows for the monitoring of document output from the Canon imageRUNNER device without the need of a server or personal computer. This MEAP solution can help users schedule automated reports for document output analysis, make quick, cost-saving decisions, and manage color output for maximum output at minimum cost.

imageWARE Document Manager Client for MEAP
imageWARE Document Manager Client for MEAP “connects” MEAP enabled imageRUNNER devices and imageWARE Document Manager so users can more easily import data and images directly for central archiving and document management. This application will allow users to log into imageWARE Document Manager to create and choose cabinets and folders as well as create personal and shared “Favorite Buttons” to perform one-touch operations.

Canon Virtual Mailbox
The Canon Virtual Mailbox (VMB) allows an organization to manage its mobile printing requirements. Clients simply load their most frequently printed documents such as sales presentations, product brochures, legal contracts, and forms into their Virtual Mailbox. When ready, the user just logs into his or her Virtual Mailbox from any MEAP device within the enterprise to access and print the document.

Custom MEAP Applications
Customers can take advantage of MEAP to customize their imageRUNNER devices to meet their specific workflow needs. While customers with development expertise can create MEAP applications themselves, Canon has a number of pre-built applications ready for customization and rapid deployment to meet unique customer requirements. Sample customer applications include: Authorized Send, Scan-to-Database, Advanced Authentication, and Kiosk applications.


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