Will Apps Let You Say Goodbye to Server-Based Applications?

Once armed with a control panel full of document-centric apps, you may be tempted to pull the plug on that expensive, cumbersome server-resident document imaging software. Well, can you? Well, it depends.

As with smartphone apps, MFP-resident apps (MFP is short for multifunction printer) tend to offer more limited functionality than does a full-blown PC- or server-resident application. So if your organization relies on an existing document management or line-of-business application, you’ll want to look for a “connector”: an app that resides on the MFP to capture and route documents to that larger application.

For instance, connectors exist for destinations like:

  • Blackboard Learn
  • DocuWare
  • Evernote
  • Google Drive
  • Hyland Software OnBase
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • RightFax
  • Worldox

That said, if your workflow needs are less demanding, you may be able to find an app that delivers all of the functionality you need, without having to spend a lot of money on a more fully featured application.

Put another way, two or three well-chosen apps may handle only 80% of what a given customer may have on their wish list. But given the lower cost and complexity, some customers may opt for that over a traditional application. MFP apps exist for purposes like:

  • Document storage
  • Template creation and access
  • Custom one-touch scanning
  • MFP usage tracking
  • ID card copy
  • Print job release
  • Document editing
  • Document translating
  • Toner ordering


In many cases, MFP apps are simply connectors designed to route documents to already existing business software tools—including document management systems and cloud storage sites.

In other instances, MFP apps exist largely on their own to perform a specific functionality. Whether or not these apps can replace full-fledged business software is worthy of investigation, given potential cost savings that can be achieved.