Last month, Canon announced the expansion of their relationship with Box Inc. and a new relationship with mxHero, Inc. With 80 percent of the world’s data in unstructured form — 40 percent of which is trapped in emails — the trio forged this alliance to help businesses like law offices, financial institutions, and healthcare providers mitigate pain points associated with sending and receiving large files and attachments. Issues addressed range from maintaining regulatory compliance, overcoming email file size restrictions, and ensuring that all information is governed and secure.   

“The boundaries are breaking down between industries. And certainly when you look at where Canon is headed in terms of our overall direction on our solutions and services, we’re really starting to look well beyond Canon for the types of tools and technologies we want to bring into our solutions portfolio,” said Dennis Amorosano, VP and GM of Marketing and Professional Services at Canon USA.  “Our relationship with Box and mxHero are just two really good examples of how we’re working with those particular partners as a way to help customers drive better capabilities around collaboration.” In other words, Canon would rather integrate established winners into their portfolio than develop their own.

It’s a smart call. Box, and to a lesser extent, mxHero, are known solutions that Canon’s customers will trust to work (according to Canon, over 64 percent of Fortune 500 companies trust Box for their cloud collaboration needs). The partnership will allow customers to improve collaborative initiatives and leverage their Canon hardware and software investments against Box and mxHero to improve business processes — particularly scan-to-email workflows, and securely storing, locating, sharing, and collaborating attachments and large files.   

What’s in the “Box”

Box is a secure and flexible cloud-based file-sharing, storage, and collaboration platform that lets employees from all over the globe safely access, share, and work together on documents at the same time. Basically, Box delivers all of the document management features we’ve grown to love — version history, broad file support, easy file-sharing and collaboration tools, end-to-end document lifecycle management and simple-to-build automated workflows — without the obligation of purchasing and maintaining a server. But just because Box is in the cloud, it does not mean your business will lose control of your data. Box offers strong encryption and lets your IT department take complete control over encryption keys and who can see what information and what they can do with it. And the platform is extensible too. Developers can leverage APIs and SDKs to dovetail Box with your third-party or custom-built applications or just to serve as a content service for your applications — a fitting use case, especially when you consider some of mxHero’s primary functions.

The Hero Your Inbox Needs

Email might be the next paper. Inboxes can get bloated, and managing them can be as frustrating as the piles of paper on your desk. Further, emails and paper are chock full of information — some useless and some valuable – but you have to spend a lot of time mining to find the gold. 

mxHero is a cloud-based email collaboration, security, and cost savings platform that can help your employees tame their unwieldy inboxes and transform them into a secure, automated funnel for converting a pile of data into useful, shareable information. Users can merge emails with centralized-cloud repositories via drag-and-drop, all without leaving their email application. Administrators can apply governance rules to emails and attachments. For instance, they can define which documents should be archived, retained or held. And the platform offers many document management features that Box does, except pointed toward email. For instance, the solution can help users locate difficult-to-find attachments in their mailbox with powerful search features.

To keep your network trim and your systems secure, the platform connects with and monitors your email system or service. When an email with an attachment is detected, mxHero reroutes the attachment to a cloud-based repository and replaces it with a link pointing to that file in the cloud. Instead of sending or receiving massive emails — and to avoid size limit restrictions — users send a lightweight link. This can help businesses skirt email-related security disasters (remember Sony?). Since attachments are replaced with links, unauthorized actors cannot see the attachment directly. Administrative tools, like forcing users to authenticate, applying expiration dates, and designating linked attachments as read only, can be used to protect linked attachments. 

“These relationships allow Canon and its dealers the opportunity to provide our customers with solutions to help address one of the most daunting challenges faced by businesses today – the effective management, storage and collaboration of their unstructured data,” said Toyotsugu Kuwamura, president  and CEO of Canon Solutions America. With Box, Canon, and mxHero products rolled into one solution, customers can tackle one of unstructured information’s biggest strongholds: email.  

Box and mxHero should be available through Canon authorized dealers and Canon Solutions America in May 2017.  

Patricia Ames
Patricia Ames

is senior analyst for BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines. As a market analyst and industry consultant, Ames has worked for prominent consulting firms including KPMG and has more than 10 years experience in the imaging industry covering technology and business sectors. Ames has lived and worked in the United States, Southeast Asia and Europe and enjoys being a part of a global industry and community. Follow her on Twitter at @OTGPublisher or contact her by email at patricia@bpomedia.com