Mobile and BYOD Printing in Citrix Environments

Posted by Devin Anderson

Printing in Citrix environments can be challenging enough, but Citrix mobile printing can be a challenge in and of itself.

Unlike conventional workstations, mobile and BYOD devices have the potential to introduce a host of unknowns into any print environment, and particularly in mobile Citrix printing. Are they tablets or smartphones? Are they running iOS, Android, Blackberry OS, or Window Mobile? And which iteration? The list of variables can be depressingly long and difficult to accommodate.

Because of all those unknowns, BYOD printing and Citrix isn’t always an ideal combination. But PrinterLogic takes the uncertainty out of BYOD and mobile printing in Citrix environments by providing reliable and near-universal mobile printing to the nearest physical device. It doesn’t require installation of any extra software, is device and platform agnostic, can handle any file type supported by the printer, and is easy enough for any mobile or BYOD user to master.

With the PrinterLogic Web Stack (formerly Printer Installer) client running on the published app server or in the VDI gold image being provided to the user, no matter what the end-point device is, they can self-install the printers into the session based upon their physical location. You also have the option of using Active Directory Username, Group, Container, OU or IP Address range. This would automatically get the printers into the session or app so that a user can print from within Citrix no matter what that end point device is.

To carry out Citrix mobile printing directly from the BYOD device itself, all a user has to do is walk up to the nearest physical printer, determine and enter its dedicated email address (aliased by PrinterLogic Web Stack), and then email the documents to be printed. The documents will then be queued just like a job initiated from a Citrix workstation.

Not only does this mean that any device capable of emailing can print, it also means that any printer is capable of supporting mobile and BYOD print jobs—even legacy devices.

Citrix mobile printing is still subject to the same security and comprehensive auditing as any other print job sent to a PrinterLogic network printer. IT admins can specify which users are authorized to print, which printers are able to receive mobile print jobs, and set quotas for how much users can print. Admins can also limit printing to black and white, for example, or to particular file types. So while PrinterLogic makes mobile Citrix printing incredibly easy for users, it also allows the IT team to retain control over the entire print environment.

Of course, any mobile device or laptop that is capable of running Citrix, Citrix Virtual Desktops or Citrix Virtual Apps can also take advantage of PrinterLogic’s seamless, full-featured Citrix support. This includes features like proximity printing, in which the nearest endpoint device will automatically be accessible to the user for printing. Because available printers are determined by physical location, this means that devices will be dynamically reassigned as mobile or BYOD Citrix users roam within a session.

With such a full palette of options for Citrix BYOD and mobile printing, PrinterLogic allows each enterprise to find the method appropriate to each user and situation. Whichever you choose, it’s bound to take the challenge out of BYOD printing and Citrix. For even more information on printing in Citrix environments using PrinterLogic, check out this page.

Citrix Print Management Solutions

Posted by Devin Anderson

If you’re one of the thousands of organizations using Citrix, you know what an incredible asset it is. You also know that Citrix printing and Citrix printer management aren’t always as seamless and straightforward as they ought to be. For admins, deploying and assigning the right printers to the right users in Citrix environments can be hit and miss, which is the last thing you want in mission-critical situations. For users, installing the right printers at the right time can be an exercise in frustration—especially if those users happen to roam during a session.

Thanks to its incredible flexibility and built-in support for Citrix printing, PrinterLogic serves as a Citrix print management solution that brings oversight, control and simplicity to even the largest and most intricate Citrix environments, ultimately benefitting the end user as well as IT and the service desk.

How, exactly? PrinterLogic can either supplement native Citrix printing capabilities or implement its own powerful feature set instead. Regardless of the method you choose, you’ll empower your users through self-service installation and automated proximity printing.

The first feature allows Citrix session users to view, select and install nearby printers quickly and intuitively. As has been proven in case study after case study, this leads to a drastic reduction in calls to the service desk asking for help with routine installations. The second feature automates printer installation on the basis of session users’ physical location, which can be determined by means of their MAC address, IP range or other factors. If the users move to a different floor or building during that session, PrinterLogic will automatically remove the previous printer and install the new one closest to them. Not only does this keep service desk calls to a minimum, it also avoids common Citrix printing complications with lingering or “ghost” printers.

PrinterLogic has the further ability to compress print jobs, reducing the heavy WAN traffic that virtual environments can create. If you’d prefer to simplify driver installation across the enterprise, you can opt to use PrinterLogic’s universal driver instead of potentially buggy manufacturer-issued drivers.

And, of course, unlike other Citrix printing solutions, PrinterLogic gives you access to its renowned Citrix printer management capabilities, such as bulk printer deployment, centralized administration through a single web-based portal, mass creation of printers, driver profile management, automatically setting the default printer, SNMP monitoring and comprehensive enterprise-wide auditing. You’ll even be able to assign printers without having to resort to group policy objects (GPOs) and scripts. When you manage printers or their drivers using PrinterLogic, the settings are automatically altered and updated on the Citrix servers.

For an overview of the different Citrix printing options in PrinterLogic, have a look at this page. It goes into more detail about using the Citrix universal driver, session printers and Citrix auto-created printers, plus the features that are available in all these different scenarios.

Users and Admins “Love” PrinterLogic Print Management Solution says Large Financial Services Company

Posted by Andrew Miller

A few months ago the independent research firm, TechValidate, sat down with representatives of a large-enterprise financial services company to see how they were getting on after installing PrinterLogic. The resulting case study (TVID: D0F-F5B-573) shows not only how ambitious the company’s goals were but also how PrinterLogic helped to realize them in full.

This financial services company had no fewer than ten major aspects of its print environment it wanted to address with PrinterLogic. It aimed to:

  • Centralize its print queue management
  • Consolidate its server infrastructure
  • Make printer installation simpler and more accessible for end users
  • Simplify printing in Citrix/VDI sessions
  • Ensure high availability for its enterprise print services
  • Manage Direct IP printing
  • Find an easy and efficient way to manage printer drivers
  • Improve the visibility into physical printer status (via SNMP)
  • Deploy printers without the need for scripts and group policy objects (GPOs)
  • Secure printer access and implement pull printing

What’s more, the company wanted to achieve all these goals in a sizable print environment that comprised over 500 networked printers and 150+ print servers, and was spread across more than 100 sites.

After installing PrinterLogic in just five days, this financial services company achieved every single one of those targets through PrinterLogic’s systematic streamlining of print management enterprise-wide. Here are just a few of the specific results:

  • Print-related service desk calls plunged by 70.
  • The company’s remote server infrastructure also shrank by 70%.
  • Time spent on print management was cut by 50%.
  • Printer downtime was reduced by nearly one-third.
  • Usage of print consumables was down 15%.

“PrinterLogic simplified the complicated print server setup we had and made printing as easy as a simple click. Users and admins love it. It just works,” said a company representative.

The organization went on to rate PrinterLogic as “great” in terms of printer driver management and printing security, and “excellent” in terms of ease of deployment, speed of deployment, and ease of use.

And this large enterprise financial services company didn’t just scratch off every item from its print management wish list—it saved money too. PrinterLogic had fully paid for itself by the six-month mark, and the return on investment (ROI) since then has been more than 100%.

TechValidate Case Study: Large Enterprise Financial Services Company

PrinterLogic: The Top Mobile Printing Software Solution

Posted by Andrew Miller

Why has the general public been so quick to embrace mobile devices—a trend that, if anything, shows signs of speeding up rather than slowing down? Two important reasons are that mobile devices are convenient and they’re easy to use. Which is something that holds true until it comes time for mobile printing. That’s when you start looking for mobile printing software solutions that share convenience and ease of use with the devices they claim to support.

The problem is that easy and convenient could rarely be used to describe mobile printing software. Often these solutions take the form of clunky add-ons, selective proprietary technology such as iOS or Google Cloud Print, or workarounds that are anything but seamless. They might enable mobile printing by bridging the mobile device with the printer, but they can be unreliable, limited in function and complicated for the mobile user.

As this page explains in detail, PrinterLogic’s Mobile Printing solution separates itself from lesser mobile printing software through its powerful simplicity. Without having to install a single driver, plugin or app, your mobile users will have full mobile printing capabilities within your enterprise print environment.

Thanks to the convenience of Mobile Printing, users can print:

  • Any file type: Word document? Excel spreadsheet? Powerpoint presentation? TIFF or PDF? PrinterLogic’s Mobile Printing allows mobile users to print any format you authorize.
  • From any device: Regardless of whether their device is running Android, iOS or a niche mobile OS, users will be able to print without complications or the need for extra mobile printing software.
  • To any printer: PrinterLogic works with all network printers, which means mobile users aren’t restricted in their printer choice. Even legacy devices can be endowed with mobile printing capabilities.

Just as importantly, Mobile Printing with PrinterLogic is easy too. All users have to do is tap the “Share” button and then select a PrinterLogic-enabled printer. The print job then enters the print queue like any other. That makes full-featured mobile printing no more complicated than sending an e-mail attachment or posting a photo to Facebook, so even less skilled users will be able to grasp it in no time.

PrinterLogic’s Mobile Printing also enables BYOD and guests to print with the same ease and convenience. By leveraging tried and tested email-to-print functionality, PrinterLogic allows BYOD users, contractors, freelancers, temps and roaming employees to safely print to network printers from their mobile devices—even if they’re off-network. The way it works is simple: All they have to do is obtain the dedicated email address for a network printer. Any document they send to that address is immediately relayed to that printer’s print queue.

The best part about PrinterLogic’s Mobile Printing is that you don’t have to compromise on security. Through quick and straightforward configuration, you decide exactly who’s allowed to print, what they’re allowed to print, and which printers they’re allowed to print to. In other words, IT enjoys the same convenience and ease of use as the mobile user!

Users No Longer Afraid of Printing After Large Bank Deploys PrinterLogic Print Management Solution

Posted by Andrew Miller

Companies in the financial sector know a thing or two about return on investment (ROI). The very nature of their business is predicated on looking at several different options and figuring out where money is most likely to generate more money—for themselves as well as their customers.

So when it came time for a large-enterprise banking company to put its money toward a new print management solution, which solution do you think it chose?

The independent research firm TechValidate recently surveyed this company to see if its investment in PrinterLogic had been as successful as it had hoped. The resulting case study (TVID: AFD-A01-6BD) affirms that it definitely was.

This particular large-enterprise banking company had between 1,000 and 2,500 network printers in its environment. These devices were distributed across as many as 25 sites. To accommodate that arrangement, the company was using a minimum of 26 print servers to manage its print environment. But print servers, as we know, can be inefficient and costly. So this company began looking at PrinterLogic as a way to:

  • Deploy printers without requiring scripting and group policy objects (GPOs)
  • Consolidate server infrastructure enterprise-wide
  • Manage drivers simply and quickly
  • Simplify routine printer installation for its end users

It took just five days for this large-enterprise banking company to fully install PrinterLogic across the entire organization. And it just kept getting better from there. The company completely recovered its investment in PrinterLogic within three months. The reason for that rapid ROI came down to the following:

  • Its remote server infrastructure shrank by 70%
  • The time it was spending on print management also dropped by 70%
  • Print-related calls to the service desk were cut in half
  • Its usage of print consumables fell by 15%

Yet all those reductions amounted to much, much more savings over time. At the time of the TechValidate survey, this company had seen ROI of more than 300% after implementing PrinterLogic’s print management solution. It doesn’t take a financial whiz to know that’s the kind of return that would make any investor proud.

It makes sense, then, that this large-enterprise banking company would rate PrinterLogic enthusiastically. In terms of printer driver management, ease of deployment, speed of deployment and ease of use, it gave PrinterLogic an unqualified “amazing” across the board. When it came to printing security, PrinterLogic earned a “great.”

One company representative said, “Users are not afraid of printing any more”—all thanks to PrinterLogic. So ROI is one thing, but conquering users frustration and apprehension toward enterprise printing? You might say that’s priceless.

Contact us today for a free demo to see if we can help you reduce costs and increase efficiency in your printing environment.

TechValidate Case Study: Large Enterprise Banking Company

Current Print Management Trends

Posted by Andrew Miller

Print management is currently experiencing one of the most dynamic periods in its multi-decade history. Trends like employee mobility, device heterogeneity, and enterprise distribution are rapidly reshaping the modern workplace in remarkable ways.

Yet these changes are also placing new demands on the status quo. Traditional print management solutions are no longer up to the task of dealing efficiently and seamlessly with workers who move from location to location, a multitude of devices running different operating systems, and organizations that are spread across several cities or continents. This has in turn led to another new trend in print management: the elimination of print servers.

For years print servers have been implemented by organizations as a common printer management solution. And although far from perfect, they worked tolerably enough when print environments were fairly self-contained, uniform and static. In today’s print environments, however, print servers betray their roots as a piecemeal, add-on response to enterprise growth and diversity. They don’t allow for true centralized administration across the entire organization from a single pane of glass, effortless mobile printing from any device, or consistent and intuitive end-user self-installation—all clearly visible trends in print management. What contemporary print management calls for instead is a solution that is versatile, transparent and dynamic.

PrinterLogic was designed from the very beginning to address these print management trends—and anticipate future ones—through a forward-thinking approach to printer management. It’s equipped with built-in features such as:

  • Mobile and BYOD printing support: Users can easily print any file, anywhere, from any device, to any authorized printer. There are zero drivers to install, zero workarounds or hacks, zero dependencies on proprietary software like Google Cloud Print or iOS.
  • Centralized administration: PrinterLogic’s easy-to-use web-based admin console gives you a single window onto all the print activity and print management across the entire enterprise. Deploy drivers, install printers, edit assignments and audit usage from just one terminal anywhere in the organization.
  • Simple but powerful automation: Deploy printers to staggered sites around the globe during non-office hours. Ensure that the right printers are installed for the right users every time—and without resorting to complicated group policy objects (GPOs) or scripting. PrinterLogic allows you to make individual deployments or batch changes easily and at the most convenient times.
  • Seamless integration with virtual environments: PrinterLogic works hand in hand with popular virtualization solutions like Citrix and VMware, leveraging their native printing functionality or replacing it altogether with PrinterLogic’s own powerful print management capabilities.
  • End-user empowerment: Employees of any skill level can view and install nearby printers with a single click via a consistent interface no matter where they are within the enterprise network.
  • Driver management: Maintain and deploy a multiplicity of drivers for all the devices in your organization without fear of conflicts and compatibility issues.
  • Reduced WAN overhead: PrinterLogic makes intelligent use of bandwidth by caching drivers where necessary and relaying print jobs directly from the workstations to the physical devices

If you’re seeing significant change in your print environment, adding another print server isn’t the answer. But eliminating them is, as more and more organizations around the world are discovering. Before long the hottest new trend in print management could very well be implementing PrinterLogic. Contact us today for a demo on how our software can add value in your environment.

Eliminate Your Enterprise Print Servers

Posted by Devin Anderson

Why would anyone want to eliminate enterprise print servers? After all, don’t they have a purpose?

It’s true—they do. For a lot of organizations, enterprise print servers represent the first step in the growth of their print environment. A small office of five, ten or even twenty users with minimal printing demands can usually get by with one or two network printers and no dedicated print management solution. But as soon as that office expands in size or to another location, it becomes necessary to start controlling that print traffic. Think of it like going from a 4-way stop to a traffic light.

Where printing is concerned, an enterprise print server functions as that traffic light. A print server takes print jobs from workstations and enters them into a single queue, which frees the workstations from having to allocate any computing power needed to monitor and maintain the queue themselves. In that queue, print jobs can be automatically prioritized according to user and file type. And if a print job gets stuck, the system administrator can simply delete the problematic item from the queue so other users can carry on printing.

Enterprise print servers can also help with printer and driver deployment. Instead of installing a driver on every single workstation, admins can install the standard driver for every relevant printer on the print server. Those drivers can then be automatically installed on users’ workstations as needed. Print servers can deploy certain printers to specific users based on the predetermined criteria laid out in group policy objects (GPOs) or scripts.

These are all very useful functions. The problem is that enterprise print servers work best the more specialized they are, so each new department or location requires its own dedicated print server and, ideally, a homogenous print environment that consists of one kind of workstation and one kind of printer. As soon as any anomalies enter the mix—even in the form of a single machine—there can be driver conflicts and complicated deployment protocols. Print servers also take a very fragmented, top-down approach to print management, meaning that they function more like a rigid gatekeeper toward end users than an enterprise-wide printing tool to benefit them.

Worse, enterprise print servers create single points of failure. The driver conflict that might emerge because one workstation requires a manufacturer-specific driver and another one uses the universal printer driver can cause print server slowness that affects every end user who relies on it. Conflicts and other issues can even cause print servers to crash outright, bringing printing to a halt for that department or location. The only solution for that is redundancy, which means another print server. At the same time, each new print server comes with costs: the initial outlay for software and hardware, followed by maintenance, upgrade and replacement.

With all these costs and limitations, enterprise print servers quickly become a hindrance to print management rather than a facilitator of it. Print server elimination is the obvious answer, yet many organizations don’t believe it’s possible.

The good news is that you can eliminate print servers, and PrinterLogic allows you to do it. PrinterLogic replaces all the functionality of print servers while introducing incredibly powerful and scalable features such as centralized administration, end-user self-installation and streamlined deployment—which solve the biggest shortcomings of enterprise print servers and give your enterprise the mobility and flexibility it needs to operate efficiently and grow. This page has a comprehensive breakdown of all the cost- and time-saving benefits of print server elimination through PrinterLogic.

Federal Agency Seamlessly Manages its More than 5,000 Printers with PrinterLogic

Posted by Andrew Miller

If ever there were a testament to PrinterLogic’s incredible scalability, it would be the case study of a federal government agency carried out by the independent research firm TechValidate (TVID: 9B7-248-E75).

This agency had more than 5,000 networked printers and over 100 print servers before installing PrinterLogic across its 100+ sites. With a hardware count and distributed environment like that, you can imagine the massive logistical implications that any change to its enterprise print backbone would have.

And yet this federal government agency was able to fully install PrinterLogic and begin eliminating its 100+ print servers in just one month. That had immediate and lasting benefits, such as:

  • The number of calls to the service desk regarding print-related issues dropped by 70%.
  • The time the agency spent on print management was slashed by 50%.
  • Usage of print consumables such as toner and paper were also cut by half.
  • Printer downtime fell by 30%.
  • The agency’s remote server infrastructure experienced a 15% reduction.

Those reductions corresponded to quantifiable, real-world cost savings. This federal government agency was able to completely recoup its investment in PrinterLogic within 18 months. Everything since then has been a bonus—to the tune of a whopping 400% return on investment (ROI). On the way to achieving such stunning cost efficiencies, PrinterLogic enabled the organization to do everything it had set out to do, namely:

  • Consolidate its server infrastructure through centralized print management
  • Radically simplify the printer installation process for end users
  • Effortlessly manage Direct IP printing
  • Deploy printers easily and without having to resort to scripts and group policy objects (GPOs)

Agency representatives were especially impressed with this last point. “PrinterLogic makes deploying printers simple,” they said in a short-but-sweet testimonial. They were so impressed, in fact, that they also rated PrinterLogic as “excellent” across the board. Broken down, that means our enterprise print management solution scored top marks in terms of:

  • Printer driver management
  • Ease of deployment
  • Speed of deployment
  • Ease of use
  • Printing security

The federal government gets an awful lot of flack for not being cost-effective and streamlined enough. As this TechValidate case study shows, this particular agency is using PrinterLogic to address both in pretty significant ways.

TechValidate Case Study: Federal Government

Citrix Printing Tools from PrinterLogic

Posted by Devin Anderson

PrinterLogic provides a number of integrated Citrix printing tools that make it even easier to work with Citrix environments and avoid common Citrix printing problems. Better still, with PrinterLogic as your Citrix print manager, you have the flexibility to use your preferred method of Citrix printing. That makes our print management solution a powerful complement to your current print environment.

The three provisioning methods PrinterLogic employs for Citrix printers are:

  • Citrix Universal Printer
  • Session printers
  • Citrix auto-created printers

For the first, it’s a matter of using PrinterLogic to provision direct IP printers to the endpoint device, then having users print to the Citrix Universal Printer during their virtual session. For the second method, PrinterLogic provisions direct IP session printers to users. Each of these methods is incredibly easy to set up and makes printing from Citrix much more efficient and less resource-intensive. They also provide the following benefits:

  • Print job compression: Reduces the size of the files to be printed, which in turn reduces the amount of bandwidth required to transmit the print job to the Citrix printer. The aggregate effect within an organization can be staggering.
  • Driver-less printing: Files are sent from the workstation to the endpoint device without the need to install or maintain a driver.
  • Simplified administration: With PrinterLogic as your Citrix print manager, you enjoy PrinterLogic’s renowned ease of use and extensive management features.

When using the third Citrix printing solution—that is, auto-created printers—PrinterLogic also provisions direct IP session printers as above. But it leverages different strengths to deliver a host of benefits such as:

  • Instant printer creation: Citrix printers are created for each session with zero delay.
  • Improved Citrix server performance: PrinterLogic’s intelligent optimizations reduce WAN bandwidth requirements and other demands on the server that can delay printing in Citrix as well as logon times.
  • Citrix Universal Printer Driver support: You can take advantage of the universal driver, avoiding the need for custom or manufacturer-supplied drivers that can cause conflicts.
  • Proximity printing: Also known as location-based printing, this feature will deploy the right physical printers to the right users at the right time—even if they roam during a session.
  • No rights management: This simplifies printer management in Citrix and removes a potential source of error.
  • Easy printer deployment: You can make use of PrinterLogic’s automation for rapid mass deployment of Citrix printers.
  • Self-service printer installation: End users are able to view and install Citrix printers themselves with a single click—and without having to call the service desk for assistance.

Thanks to these feature-rich Citrix printing tools, you can implement PrinterLogic to eliminate your print servers and their related costs while actually enhancing your Citrix environment. For a handy at-a-glance overview of all this functionality, check out this page on Citrix printing using PrinterLogic.

Deploying Printers Using Group Policy Objects (GPOs)

Posted by Devin Anderson

In traditional print environments, it’s common to deploy printers via group policy objects (GPOs) to end users. Although GPOs serve a clear purpose, the drawbacks associated with this method are almost too numerous to count.

To begin with, GPOs require elevated permissions to manage. This results in certain members of IT staff being granted increased privileges to manage group policies. Were these staff members dealing exclusively with GPO printer deployment, that might not be an issue, but those elevated privileges also open the possibility for them to make higher-level changes in other areas as well. GPOs are intricate, too, which makes it easy for a junior IT staff member who’s been granted elevated permissions for the sake of convenience to make accidental unwanted changes to GPO printer deployment configurations.

End users dislike GPOs without even realizing it. This is because GPOs can extend end-user logon times as the necessary provisioning is carried out. IT is aware of why this is happening, but end users simply view it as pointless waiting while they drum their fingers on the desk.

PrinterLogic removes GPOs from the printer deployment process without sacrificing their useful functionality. It gives you the power of deploying printers to end users according to a host of pre-specified criteria but with the security and ease of use that comes from PrinterLogic’s effortless printer management. So when you use PrinterLogic for deploying printers, you’ll benefit from features like the following:

  • Active Directory (AD) integration: PrinterLogic seamlessly accesses AD categories and hierarchies, so you can deploy printers simply and quickly to AD users, computers, groups, containers, OUs or even IP address ranges. The intuitive web-based interface shows you all printers in your organization along with all deployment assignments, allowing you can make batch edits as easily as specific changes to individual deployments.
  • Zero GPO rights: With PrinterLogic, anyone on the IT staff—even trainees and service desk personnel who would not have permission to edit group policies—can be confidently empowered to add and remove printer deployment assignments. This distributes responsibility without creating a potential security or operational issue.
  • Orphan printer removal: Printer deployment is one-half of the equation. Printers occasionally have to be removed from workstations too. Using PrinterLogic, all you have to do is remove the deployment assignment in the web-based console and the printer will be automatically removed from all workstations where it was installed. The end user will see a speed boost here as well, now that the orphaned printers are no longer trying to connect to printer shares that don’t exist.

GPO printer deployment has always been time-consuming and overly complex, but its shortcomings had to be endured if you wanted its functionality. Not anymore. PrinterLogic has all the utility of GPOs built right in—but none of the headache. This page has a convenient overview of all the advantages that PrinterLogic brings to printer deployments that once relied on scripts and GPOs.