Cisco, Xerox Partner on Mobile Printing via the Cloud

Cisco and Xerox are creating services that will enable businesses to print from any device onto any printer through the cloud.

Cisco Systems and Xerox are partnering up to offer print services via the cloud through Cisco's data center technology.

At the Interop 2011 show in Las Vegas May 9, the two companies unveiled a partnership plan that will enable businesses to print from any device anywhere on any printer on the businesses' networks. Through the alliance, "print becomes part of the managed network," Rick Dastin, president of the Xerox Enterprise Business Group, said in an interview with eWEEK before the show opened.

Cisco will integrate print agents into its routers and switches-the first of which will be the ISR (Integrated Services Router)-to facilitate the printing services. The ISR is designed for SMBs and branch offices. The offering will leverage the technologies within Cisco's Borderless Networks initiative, from WAN acceleration capabilities to speed up the printing process to security solutions to ensure the data is protected. Businesses also will be able to monitor and manage the mobile printing solution.

Businesses will be able to leverage the joint Cisco-Xerox offerings in multiple ways. They will be able to deploy the solution themselves via the Xerox MPS over Cisco Borderless Networks, with capabilities such as security, monitoring and WAN acceleration being run on Cisco technology. In addition, Xerox will offer Xerox Cloud ITO services that will be delivered via the cloud from Xerox data centers running Cisco technologies, such as the UCS (Unified Computing Systems) converged solution-which includes tightly integrated servers, storage, networking and virtualization capabilities-and Vblock infrastructure.

In addition, mobile print software will be offered on Cisco's Cius enterprise tablet and its Virtualization Experience Client devices, which essentially is Cisco's desktop virtualization offering.

Cisco's channel partners will be able to sell these offerings, which will become available at different times throughout the year.

The deal with Cisco builds on mobile printing efforts Xerox announced earlier this year and mirrors a similar partnership that rival Hewlett-Packard entered into with Google in March. In that instance, HP is enabling users of Google Cloud Print to print documents and other files to any HP ePrint-enabled printer from any device.