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uniFLOW Online

Cloud Services

Features

Device security is preserved as a user has to be physically at a machine to authenticate before accessing the machine functions, or their personal secure print queue. To release print jobs, users simply swipe their company proximity card or enter a PIN code on the screen of the Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE.
With uniFLOW Online, users are able to print confidential documents securely. All print jobs stay in a user's personal secure print queue until the user authenticates at an imageRUNNER ADVANCE system, and releases them. Print jobs follow users from device to device allowing the release of print jobs at an imageRUNNER ADVANCE of their choice. Users can also alter finishing options directly at the imageRUNNER ADVANCE before printing.
Regardless of location, users can use their smartphones or tablets to print documents securely. All submitted jobs appear in a user’s secure print queue, and are accounted for, charged, and managed correctly.
uniFLOW Online allows administrators to track their organization's print, copy, fax, and scan costs enabling the allocation of costs to a user or department. The uniFLOW Online dashboard displays information regarding the organization's environmental impact, e.g. pages printed, number of trees used, greenhouse gases emitted, water wastage, and solid impact. In addition, different reports can be created to give detailed user, device, and sampling summaries.
Using uniFLOW Online's innovative technology, there is no requirement for a local server. Secure jobs, and related information, are stored locally on the client's Windows® PC, or a supporting Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE. Print jobs can also be released even when there is no connection available to uniFLOW Online.
Cloud services can transform how today's businesses work, optimizing processes while reducing capital spending. And, cloud computing allows businesses to reassess how their products are designed and manufactured, and review how their customers purchase products, and how processes and markets work. uniFLOW Online can provide the answer to today's challenges for organizations to reduce IT overheads, improve productivity, and enhance security by offering a cloud-based secure print solution.

uniFLOW Online has been developed from the ground-up to leverage the benefits of the Microsoft® Azure cloud platform, providing superior enterprise platform security, scalability, and resilience for small- to medium-size businesses.

  • One single print queue. The uniFLOW Universal Driver provides a single print queue that users can print their jobs to, regardless of the printer model being used. Print jobs are encrypted and compressed as they are sent directly from the client PC to the printer.
  • Local processing of print jobs. It's an innovation in enterprise printing. Installed directly on the PC, the uniFLOW SmartClient processes the user's print jobs, and keeps them safe until they are released.
  • Control device authentication. Universal Login Manager is installed directly on the Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE, and communicates directly with uniFLOW Online and the uniFLOW SmartClient. It controls the device authentication process, and shows the list of print jobs available to the user.
  • Innovative cloud platform. Using uniFLOW Online's innovative technology, there is no requirement for a local server. All configuration and management of the system takes place in the cloud, providing administrators with online reporting tools and dashboards.

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Benefits:


Prevent Unauthorized Use of the Device
uniFLOW Online enables administrators to restrict printer access to authorized users only. This helps prevent any breach of data and misuse, as the device functionalities are unavailable to unauthorized visitors or employees. At the same time, administrators will have an overview of user print and copy behavior, which helps facilitate better control.

Increase Document Security
Protecting information is a key to any data loss prevention policy. Should sensitive information, such as contracts or staff payroll, find its way outside an organization, its reputation and brand image are likely to be damaged and could incur heavy fines. Using a single driver, uniFLOW Online enables users to print confidential documents securely, using any connected Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE system.

Improve Office Productivity
uniFLOW Online enables employees to print from mobile devices, giving greater flexibility in office workflows, and secure print jobs can also be modified on demand before being released, saving valuable time.

Gain Control over Costs
The volume of printing that occurs in an office can be surprising. One of the best ways to cut down unnecessary costs is to ensure users print only what they need. uniFLOW Online's serverless print management solution helps administrators take complete control of printing and copying activities. It can highlight expenditure by users/departments, and pinpoint areas where costs can be scaled down. Thanks to its unique technology, immediate financial benefits can be realized by the elimination of local print servers and the reduction of the burden on IT departments.

Reduce the Impact on the Environment
uniFLOW Online can help to reduce environmental impact, and support sustainability initiatives by optimizing printing procedures and improving internal processes that rely heavily on paper. This solution prevents unnecessary paper waste, as users can only print what they need, and finishing options can be changed at an imageRUNNER ADVANCE system before printing, saving reprinting and false output. And, uniFLOW Online can help reduce power consumption of the print infrastructure by eliminating 'Always On' print servers across an entire organization.


Cloud Services Create New Opportunities


Those organizations that embrace cloud services are driven by opportunities to increase flexibility within their markets, and to benefit from computing resources, whilst spending less. In addition, the cloud can rebalance competition between large and small enterprises by equipping small- to medium-size businesses with previously unavailable technologies.

“Cloud services are rated to become the most disruptive technology in the upcoming years.”1 They affect the way businesses operate and how consumers buy and use products and services. Moving local print management to a fully cloud-based system reduces infrastructure management costs significantly, while improving security and increasing productivity in comparison to currently available platforms.

1. KPMG (October 14, 2015): KPMG Technology Innovation Survey 2015

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Security

Maintaining System Security


uniFLOW Online is a multi-tenant, cloud-based service that enables customers to print securely, and provides a clear overview of costs. Users can either print from their Windows® PC or submit files by email. To allay any concerns regarding the security of a cloud-based, print management solution, details of uniFLOW Online’s security features are given below:

  • How does a user print a confidential document that stays within the local network?
  • How is user and document information stored and managed within the cloud?
  • How do printers communicate with the cloud-based service?
  • How is tenant data stored in regional Microsoft® Azure datacenters?
uniFLOW Online Protection Diagram

Frequently Asked Questions

How do Print Jobs stay within the local Network?
The uniFLOW SmartClient allows print jobs to be processed and stored on a user's PC rather than being sent via the internet to a cloud-based service. For Windows® printing, all print traffic stays within the company network. Print jobs are only released to a selected Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE system once a user has authenticated at that device. The spool file is deleted automatically from a user’s PC once it has been printed or following a pre-specified time period.

How does secure Mobile Printing work alongside uniFLOW Online?
Users can print jobs from their mobile devices, smartphones, or tablets by sending the file to be printed as an email to uniFLOW Online. If the file needs to be converted from its native format into a language the printer understands, this takes place within the regional datacenter in which the uniFLOW Online service is hosted, i.e. customer data does not leave the datacenter. Once converted, the original file is deleted, and the converted file remains within the regional datacenter until the user selects it to be released/printed.

How does User Authentication and Password Storage work alongside uniFLOW Online?
uniFLOW Online does not provide its own identity management. Instead, it accepts logon credentials from multiple identity providers. The default provider is Windows® Azure Active Directory®. Alternatively, administrators can use Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) to integrate with, e.g. Microsoft® Office 365, or their own locally hosted Active Directory®. In addition it is possible to make use of shared web identity providers like Facebook, Google, Yahoo!® or Windows Live ID. The primary security benefit of this identity management system is that uniFLOW Online does not store any user passwords. That said, provided the customer's own local Active Directory is connected, any password changes or user additions are automatically updated and recognized in uniFLOW Online.

How does uniFLOW Online store User and Print Job information?
uniFLOW Online does not store any print jobs. Accounting data and configuration details are the only information that are sent outside the company network. Administrators can also prevent file names of print jobs being uploaded, which removes yet another potential security risk. Other sensitive information, e.g. ID card numbers or PIN numbers stored in users’ accounts, is encrypted via a one-way salted hash to further enhance security.

What Tenant Information is stored within uniFLOW Online?
Customer data is stored in uniFLOW Online according to statutory requirements. Customer data is not shared with any third parties, including Canon or the Canon Partner selling the service to the customer. Canon and Canon Partners can only view the names of their customers and license expiration dates. Customer user names, details, and print data is only available to the relevant customer.

Where is Data stored?
uniFLOW Online is hosted in Microsoft® Azure datacenters that are distributed across the globe. The multiple Microsoft® Azure datacenters used by uniFLOW Online means that customer data respects data sovereignty, as it remains within the local region, i.e. U.S. customers' data will always be stored within U.S. datacenters, and European customers can be sure their data will never leave Europe.


Security Thanks to Unique Technologies

By combining a powerful cloud platform with unique uniFLOW technologies, uniFLOW Online helps address the challenges that cloud-based print management brings. Together these technologies can enable businesses to transform their onsite print infrastructure into a cloud-based print management system.

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uniFLOW Online Overview

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† Prices and specifications subject to change without notice. Actual prices are determined by individual dealers and may vary.

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