The conversion of analog data to digital information has resulted in hardware that can perform many different functions.
In simple terms, a copier is a scanner sitting on top of a printer. A facsimile is a scanner attached to a phone line. A printer takes data and converts it to images on paper. The overlap of functions has given us the opportunity to join these previously disparate functions into a single device that performs all functions at a lower price and much more efficiently. The same scanner now makes copies, digitizes images for an Electronic Document Management solution and captures the image for transmission as a fax. The same printer now makes the copies, generates the prints from a data stream and prints information coming from a fax source.