The Mopria Alliance is pleased to welcome Michael St. Laurent, Print Software and Consumer Services Chief Architect at HP, as our new president. Michael joins our board of directors and steering committee as we continue to improve the print and scan experience at home and work.
We sat down with Michael to ask him about his expectations and aspirations for his new role at the Mopria Alliance, building upon HP’s ten years of membership with the Mopria Alliance.
1. Can you tell us about your background and previous experience that led you to become the President of Mopria Alliance?
I have spent the majority of the past 20 years involved in the Print industry with a continued focus on software enablers. I started my career as part of a small independent software company that focused on developing internet-connected printers and mobile print applications. As part of the company, I was lucky to have been involved directly or indirectly in many interesting milestones leading to today’s state of the industry both with mobile and Cloud print. I was part of an early group of companies trying to develop mobile print applications before the advent of the current solutions offered by the major OS vendors. I was also part of the development of what was at the time the world’s largest public print network connecting people on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices to print locations in hotels, libraries, and shops through the Internet, even before it was referred to as Cloud printing.
During that time, I learned how to engage in the industry as an independent software vendor working with partners across the industry. I later joined Samsung, where I had the opportunity to work in a large company focused on an ecosystem-wide connection from hardware including phones and printers as well as software both traditional and Cloud.
Today in my role with HP, I’m able to experience the industry from a print hardware provider’s perspective. This combination of experience at a small software provider, large mobile device provider, and print hardware manufacturer has enabled me to engage in the print industry from a very wide range of perspectives, offering a unique way of seeing the impact all contributors have on the industry and the unique importance everyone brings.
2. Mopria Alliance focuses on mobile printing standards and technology. What drew you to this particular field, and what do you see as the most significant challenges and opportunities in the mobile printing industry today?
I learned the importance and value of industry standards and a common way of work early on in my career working as an independent software producer. The ability to access and leverage a common way of interacting with print, scan, and fax hardware as well client devices from desktop/laptops and mobile devices proved invaluable to expand access to the industry. This created a common dialect that allowed for accelerated innovation and for the focus to be on bringing great features to users, first and foremost. I’ve always focused on the user experience and enabling intuitive and low-friction capabilities. The ability to standardize removes disparate experiences across more common capabilities within OS and hardware platforms, enabling the greatest outcome for the end user.
Going forward, this focus on consistency of experience and rapid innovation will be as important as ever. As users become more accustomed to rich features enabled at an unprecedented rate with the introduction of AI and an expectation of an always-accessible experience, the need to focus on a standard way of work will be critical to meet these accelerated expectations from users.
3. Collaboration is a key aspect of Mopria Alliance’s mission. How do you plan to foster greater collaboration among the member companies and drive innovation in the Alliance?
Ultimately, Mopria is an organization that is founded on collaboration and mutual respect. While all members have differing priorities, the common thread is the desire to create products that users value. Through that lens, the members of the Alliance can look to a working model that prioritizes that user outcome. This will allow members to identify common benefits. This approach will focus our energy and effort towards new innovation that users and customers will appreciate, which also results in positive outcomes for our members creating momentum across the organization.
4. In your opinion, what are the most important initiatives or projects that Mopria Alliance is currently working on, and how do they align with the organization’s long-term goals?
Mopria has been exceptionally successful in creating a foundation in mobile printing by identifying a gap in capability that was being demanded by end users at that moment in time. Today, there is a similar sense of importance around the adoption of Cloud technology that bridges the gap between traditional workspace printing and the new hybrid work style. This focus on Cloud and Enterprise print has similar hallmarks to the original mobile printing efforts led by the organization. As users become more mobile and work environments become more flexible, technology needs to provide a way to meet those needs that recognize the importance of security, privacy, and seamless integration between users at home and in the office.
5. Sustainability and environmental responsibility have become increasingly important in the tech industry. How is Mopria Alliance addressing sustainability concerns within the realm of mobile printing?
The greatest impacts one can have with respect to sustainability and environmental responsibility first starts with an awareness of the impact one has, and then taking actions to reduce one’s footprint. In the past, we have focused on reducing friction in the print experience, which will continue but paired with visibility into the output that is being produced as well as options to reduce it, while continuing to access what is most important to a user when it is needed. This will be done by providing tools for our members to offer reporting and manageability capabilities across the workplace and at home, allowing users to truly understand how they are using their products and services. Then by introducing modern digitization capabilities with modern scan technology alongside mobile printing and secure time-of-use output features, users will have gained awareness of the impact as well as the option to both manage that impact and shift to a more digital-centric workstyle.
Stay tuned next month as we continue the Q&A with Michael St. Laurent, Mopria Alliance president.
To learn more about the Mopria Alliance, please visit mopria.org. To learn more about membership, visit https://mopria.org/member-benefits.