Make Enterprise Cloud Printing Easy with PrinterLogic

Posted by Jordan Pusey

Now that mobile and BYOD printing have made such rapid inroads into the enterprise, various cloud printing services and cloud printing solutions have rushed in to address this relatively new and still-evolving need. That’s understandable. However, many of the features that they claim will provide cloud print functionality are simply stopgaps, limited in their usability. For example, two of the more common cloud printing solutions including Google Cloud Print, are better geared toward consumer-level needs and only work with select mobile and print devices.

PrinterLogic’s Mobile Printing is an enterprise-grade cloud printing solution that delivers true cloud print functionality to any mobile device, regardless of manufacturer or software platform, enabling these devices to send print jobs to any printer without the need for any additional software to be installed. All mobile users have to do to cloud print natively from their devices is print natively from an Android device or use the email-to-print features. No additional app or client installation is necessary. And it even works with legacy printers; they don’t need to have built-in cloud printing capabilities.

Furthermore, Mobile Printing from PrinterLogic does more than provide a solid cloud printing service for company-sanctioned mobile devices. It also endows BYOD users, contractors and guests with cloud print functionality. Under most circumstances, these “outside” users are prevented from printing at all using their preferred devices within the enterprise because of the protracted process of network authorization and printer installation, not to mention broader security concerns.

PrinterLogic leverages proven email-to-print capabilities to provide this traditionally hard-to-support group of users with an easy cloud printing solution – even if they happen to be off-network. For these users to cloud print, they just have to acquire the dedicated email address for a particular printer and then email the desired files to that address using their smartphone, tablet or laptop. That’s it. Once again, unlike other cloud printing services, Mobile Printing places no restrictions on the types of devices that can cloud print or the printers that can handle such jobs.

PrinterLogic’s ease of use as a cloud printing solution for both IT and end users also means less time spent on support, cloud print configuration and service desk calls. And because it can integrate seamlessly with your existing PrinterLogic environment, the deployment process is as fast as you want it to be.

With all that in mind, it’s clear that few, if any, enterprise cloud printing services can accomplish as much—and as quickly and easily—as PrinterLogic.

Solving Printer Driver Conflicts

Posted by Devin Anderson

Printer drivers are the vital intermediary between the client and the printer. If a print driver is outdated, it could result in reduced printing functionality at the very minimum. If a print driver is incompatible, it will likely result in the end user’s inability to print altogether. In a print server environment, it could even cause conflicts with other printer drivers that will affect the entire client pool.

At the same time, it’s not always easy to be absolutely certain that a given printer driver is the right one in every instance. The printer driver has to be fully compatible with your client OS, your server platform, and the make and specific model of the destination printing device. Should one of those fall short, you and your end users are in for reduced printing functionality and hard-to-troubleshoot printing errors. Solving printer driver conflicts like those can easily eat up several hours of an admin’s valuable time.

And even then it’s not enough just to have a print driver that aligns with all those strict parameters. In traditional print environments that aren’t robust toward printer driver conflicts, printer drivers still have to be thoroughly tested to make sure they play nicely with all the devices that comprise the IT network. Updates usually shouldn’t be deployed in these environments without going through a lengthy test phase, otherwise you’ll have to deal with the protracted process of rolling back to the previous version.

No wonder managing print drivers and solving printer driver conflicts is such a headache for so many organizations. Maintaining the different printer driver versions for all the permutations of hardware and software platforms can easily lead to a scenario in which one tiny pool of client computers will require three or more print drivers just to print to a single printer. And it’s even more of a headache for organizations that rely on print servers, because print servers only complicate printer driver management.

Luckily, PrinterLogic was designed to address these management issues and solving printer driver conflicts. Our print management solution provides an easy way to maintain a common printer driver repository while also offering effortless centralized administration, targeted automatic deployments, and an avoidance of the kinds of printer driver conflicts that can routinely bring print servers—and your end users’ ability to print—to their knees.

PrinterLogic allows you to:

  • Maintain different versions of printer drivers alongside one another. This is one of the biggest steps toward solving printer driver conflicts. With PrinterLogic, you can safely keep multiple printer driver versions in one place without fear of confusion, incompatibility or incorrect deployment.
  • Leverage WAN caching solutions. PrinterLogic integrates with your current or future WAN caching technologies, so you can push out new and updated print drivers from a local storage point at remote sites. This reduces the load on WAN connections.
  • Automate print driver deployment. New or updated printer drivers can be pushed out to end users as soon as you’ve installed them.
  • Roll back easily. Has a new printer driver update introduced unwelcome printing behavior? PrinterLogic’s effortless print driver deployment works both ways. With a few clicks you can redeploy the stable print driver to end users individually or enterprise wide.

Solving printer driver conflicts in traditional print environments is an ongoing and often futile task. With PrinterLogic’s centralized administration, simplified management and built-in robustness, you can regain complete control over your printer drivers.

Know Your Print Job Costs

Posted by Jordan Pusey

With the latest release of PrinterLogic Web Stack (formerly Printer Installer), customers now have the ability to tie printer costs to actual print job usage data. This helps IT and operations understand the true cost of printing throughout the organization. With this information, you can initiate cost reduction initiatives, change end-user printing habits, purchase more efficient printers and create cost-saving profiles to reduce waste throughout the organization.

Years ago I tried to authenticate to our cell phone carrier with my work’s address. After trying several addresses, we realized that none of them worked. It turns out that our carrier was sending the paper bill right to a shredder after we requested a “digital” copy for all our employees. If management in the cell phone company had understood the costs of printing, they could have found some of these egregiously wasteful practices.

What an eye opener. Imagine if you were responsible for a division of employees and you received a nice little report that showed the costs of printing in the organization. Armed with this data you can now educate your employees to reduce print jobs and save money. For instance, maybe your employees have a habit of printing their emails. Even worse, they print them single-sided and in color! Now you can identify the waste, train employees and optimize your printing costs.

pricing graph

PrinterLogic’s job costing feature enables IT to define cost templates associated with printers individually or across the entire organization. Simply enter the cost per page for each type of page printed including color, black and white and duplex. Add new paper types as needed such as legal or A4 for Europe. To find per-page costs, take the cost per page published by your vendors, from calculations based on your actual printer consumables, or from what your MPS charges.

cost graph

The “Default Costs” template will apply to every printer you define in PrinterLogic Web Stack. If you have specific models or types of printers, you can create additional templates and apply the newly created templates to each printer.

Now that you have a way to track costs, you may need to share the information with key executives. Role-based access control in the admin console allows IT to give permissions for reporting-only purposes to share reports with managers and executives. If you do not want to manage additional logins for casual users, you can send reports to anyone in your organization via email. Simply setup the report you need and schedule it to process and send updates daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly.

Automated print job reports in PrinterLogic is a great way to educate your company on printing costs. Speaking of education, I was on a phone call the other day where a school district was so excited about scheduled reports because they can now send a monthly report to each principle in the district. Scheduling it, means they don’t have to think about it again. This saves them hours of time over a manual process.

Mobile Session Printing for iPhone, iPad, Android Devices

The biggest challenge facing enterprise IT today? That would be mobile printing. Ever greater numbers of employees expect to conduct more and more of their business—inside as well as outside the office—on smartphones, tablets, laptops and netbooks instead of at fixed workstations. Some organizations are actively encouraging this shift by equipping their workforce with mobile devices. Yet, as IT professionals are usually quick to point out, all that convenience and flexibility comes at a price. Mobile devices introduce new variables into the network environment and call for an evolving infrastructure that will adapt to and support them. Nowhere is that more evident than when it comes to enterprise mobile session printing.

Printing from mobile devices poses obstacles that are all too familiar:

  • Client heterogeneity. You might have iPhones and iPads running different versions of iOS. Now factor in the many flavors of Android and models of Android devices by different manufacturers. That leads to thousands of different permutations of mobile device pools, particularly if your organization has a BYOD policy in place. How can any organization confidently support such a free-for-all with mobile device printing?
  • Limited software. Most of the operating systems and apps for mobile devices are stripped-down versions of their desktop counterparts. Chromebooks can barely operate without an Internet connection. As such, mobile devices lack the ability to run the drivers that are necessary to print to your existing network printers. How can you ensure compatibility and functionality when printing from mobile devices?
  • Stopgap solutions. To accommodate mobile devices, many enterprise IT environments have put temporary solutions in place to give users limited access to features like mobile printing. These solutions are never as scalable, stable or as seamless as they ought to be. How can an organization implement mobile printing without a patchwork, piecemeal approach?

PrinterLogic’s Mobile Printing overcomes all those obstacles and answers all those questions through a single solution. With it, any mobile device can print to any authorized network printer, including legacy devices – and there’s absolutely zero client-side software to install. No matter what kind of device or OS your mobile employees are using, they no longer need to call the service desk to install printers at a new location. When printing from an iOS device, all users need to do is tap the “Share” button, then “Print,” and select a PrinterLogic printer from the available options. Android users hit “print” and select the PrinterLogic printer. That’s it. At the same time, admins can determine precisely who is able to print what to which printer, so you won’t run the risk of rogue users abusing their mobile printing capabilities.

Best of all, Mobile Printing from PrinterLogic caters to BYOD and guest users too. Using proven email-to-print functionality, these users can simply email files to a specific printer address, even if they’re off-network. Worried about them printing documents with massive page counts? Don’t be. Admins can set mobile printing quotas, restrict certain file types and limit printer output options.

Many organizations struggle with implementing enterprise mobile printing in a way that’s versatile and seamless. But yours doesn’t have to. PrinterLogic’s Mobile Printing enables your mobile/BYOD users to print from mobile devices easily and empowers IT with the oversight to carefully monitor the mobile printing environment.