Are MFDs Better Than Standalones?

Published Date
01 - Mar - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Mar - 2005
 
Are MFDs Better Than Standalones?
What works better in an organisational set-up? MFDs or standalone devices? The fight is on...

It is a little early to say that MFDs are better than standalones
Rediff.com is an online provider of news, information, communication, entertainment and shopping services. By and large, Rediff.com uses standalone machines and prefer those over MFDs.

"Our standalone devices provide good scanning and printing speeds, good colour reproduction and so on. Scanning and printing is slower with MFDs. Moreover, there is virtually no queuing with standalone devices as the various machines print, scan and fax independently.

"With standalones, there is proper distribution of equipment area, since one can divide and deploy work. Moreover, downtime is considerably less with single-use devices. For instance, if a printer develops problems, that alone can be sent for servicing, and hence the functions of the entire department need not come to a grinding halt-which is bound to happen in case an MFD malfunctions. As a media organisation, our functions never come to a standstill, since all is not dependant on one piece of equipment. We must have alternatives to resort to.

"Products that are properly maintained have delivered value for money till date. Maintenance is 10 per cent cheaper with a standalone machine.  

"I feel that MFDs are appropriate for secretarial cadres and extremely convenient for home users who need a printing and faxing solution with a small footprint. It is a little early to say that MFDs are better than standalone machines. Improvements in technology and an increase in efficiency, coupled with a drop in prices, will make MFDs more attractive to buyers-and single-use devices may one day become a thing of the past.

"At the same time, one cannot deny the possibility of standalone machines getting outdated due to  consumers demanding multi-functioning products. Nowadays, don't people prefer to buy a CD and DVD combo over a separate CD-Reader and DVD-Writer?

"Having said that, I would still advise other businesses to use standalone machines and not MFDs, since  the combo features have not worked well so far. By and large, MFDs are not yet equipped to meet the rigorous demands of professional work."

MFDs work out cheaper, and are easier to operate
Established in 1995, Spanco Telesystems and Solutions Limited is a networking and systems integration solutions company, with offices in Mumbai, Pune, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Bangalore, Lucknow and Guwahati. Spanco prefers MFDs over standalone devices.

"We use MFDs because they offer an all-in-one solution, centralised  technology, ease of maintenance and a smaller footprint that saves space. Moreover, MFDs work out cheaper than single-use solutions. An MFD combines all the essential features otherwise provided by separate devices into a single, convenient desktop unit. Indeed, an MFD offers all the benefits that standalone machines offer such as copying, printing, faxing, scanning and telephone-plus optimal utilisation of relevant features.

"Shifting from single-use machines to MFDs was a drastic change. We  took some time to adjust, and also had to train the operations staff. The major benefit we have seen after shifting to MFDs was ease of operation. It is a really a big boon-there is no more running to and fro as all the work is done at one place. This obviously saves time and has led to higher productivity.


For general applications, scanning, printing and faxing through MFDs is as good as that offered by standalone machines. However, for specialised usage, standalones serve the purpose better.
Deepak Bhagchandaney, Director, Sales and Mktg, Spanco Telesystems and Solutions Ltd

"The main advantage of MFDs is multi-location usage; they can be conveniently used in the office or at home. For general applications, scanning, printing and faxing is as good with standalone machines. However, for specialised usage, standalones serve the purpose better. For instance, the quality of the zoom and sorter feature in our MFD's scanner is almost same as that of a regular office-use scanner. The image quality and resolution in printing is as good as that of a regular office-use printer. However, the memory capacity of an MFD is lower.

"I feel that MFDs and standalone devices have their own target markets and complement each other-there is no question of competition. MFDs are reliable and never completely break down; any issues with specific functions are taken care of by the service network of the vendor.

"Since we have deployed MFDs very recently, there have been no maintenance, upgradation or downtime issues so far. Of course, it is advisable to have multiple MFDs if the user base is large."


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