Improve Workforce Productivity by Implementing a Mobile Printing Solution for Users

Corporate printing should work for your employees. But that’s not always the case. A lot of times that relationship is upside-down. Employees are forced to adjust to the printing environment instead. 

Mobile printing is a good example of this. Enterprise surveys show that employees really want to use their own devices.

  • More than half of workers aged 30+ prefer their own devices. For Gen Y, it’s over 60%.
  • Employees save almost one hour each day with mobile devices. Furthermore, their productivity goes up 34%.

As a result, many companies have BYOD policies these days. These policies allow employees to use their own tablets and smartphones. Which is a great idea—until it comes time for them to print. That’s when they find that printing isn’t BYOD friendly.


Common BYOD issues

Mobile print jobs often look something like this:

  1. The employee wants to print to a nearby printer. But they can’t.
  2. They struggle for a bit on their own.
  3. They call the helpdesk and ask for technical support.
  4. The helpdesk has to spend time assessing the situation.
  5. IT receives a support ticket and has to revisit the issue.
  6. IT makes the proper changes in the print management software.
  7. The employee is told that they can finally print—or not, if their device is unsupported.

That’s at least seven frustrating steps! It hurts productivity, limiting the benefits of BYOD. Plus, the extra time spent on support adds to printing costs.

In an ideal world, mobile printing should look more like this:

  1. The employee wants to print to a nearby printer from a mobile device.
  2. They send their print job using a clear, convenient method.

Those are two steps that anyone can master. So, how can you make BYOD and mobile printing that easy?


The simple way to more adaptable corporate printing

PrinterLogic’s mobile printing solution makes your print environment work for you.

First, it gets rid of the usual runaround. Employees don’t need to get authorization to install printers. They can just visit PrinterLogic’s self-service installation portal instead. There they can view and add printers with one click. No need to call the helpdesk or IT. 

Second, iOS and Android users can print natively. And they don’t need to install client-side software to do it. All it takes is a tap of the “Share” button.

Third, guest users can print easily too. Even if they’re off-network. They just have to send an email to the printer’s unique address. Any attachments will be printed just like regular print jobs.

But PrinterLogic is more than a mobile printing solution. It’s a print-management solution too. And PrinterLogic’s admin console is the control center. It gives IT total command over printer access and print activity. Therefore security stays balanced with ease of use.


More productivity for everyone

Hunton & Williams LLP is an international law firm. It saw more and more requests to print from iOS devices. But it didn’t see a simple way to meet that demand. PrinterLogic’s combo of easy mobile printing and powerful print-management software made it possible. Read the case study here.

In addition to introducing easy mobile printing, PrinterLogic eliminated the firm’s print servers. That helped reduce overall corporate printing costs. Similarly, it also made print management more efficient. Now the IT team can spend more time on important things.

Do you have questions about the specifics? To see how PrinterLogic works, be sure to read our mobile printing whitepaper.

Simplify Chromebook Printing with PrinterLogic’s new Chrome OS Extension

Google’s Cloud Print solution will be phasing out at the end of the year. Meanwhile, Chromebooks are quickly gaining ground in the enterprise. This leaves a big opportunity for a scalable printing solution that is up to the task. 

Imagine a serverless printing infrastructure that supports Chromebooks right alongside all other endpoints. That’s what PrinterLogic delivers: a secure, easy-to-manage platform for enterprise Chrome OS printing. In this blog, I’ll break it down for you and explain how it works.

The new PrinterLogic Chrome OS Client Extension is available now and empowers network administrators to centrally manage Direct IP printing for Chrome OS users. This is accomplished the same way they do for Windows, Mac, and Linux workstations. Reliance on cloud-based printing services is over. Print jobs go straight to the printer, keeping them local and secure.  

The Extension is now part of PrinterLogic’s SaaS platform and will appear in the new PrinterLogic Virtual Appliance next month. Because PrinterLogic’s licensing is printer-based and not user-based, there’s no additional cost for deploying the solution to your Chromebook users.


Why develop a Chrome OS Extension?

  • Google announced its Cloud Print service is being phased out on December 31, 2020. Customers are looking for a new solution.
  • Customers told us they don’t want print jobs to go to and from the cloud because of security concerns. PrinterLogic’s new Extension keeps print jobs local.
  • Anytime you send a job to the cloud, there’s a hit to bandwidth and performance. PrinterLogic’s direct IP approach mitigates these concerns.
  • Cloud print services rely on an internet connection, which can be unreliable. With PrinterLogic, printing works even if the network is down.
  • Google supports CUPS printing. However, it’s more challenging to deploy on a large scale and doesn’t allow IT to manage all OS endpoints in one place.

Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) and driverless printing

The new Chrome OS Extension eliminates the need for print servers. Also, it doesn’t rely on Google Cloud Print. Instead, PrinterLogic employs the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) to quickly pull available settings from printers. This feature takes settings and automatically configures them for Chromebook users. 

The new solution uses driverless printing technology to ensure broad printer compatibility. Meanwhile, accessing a printer’s features on-the-fly for the best possible output. When users select a printer, the Extension updates menu options based on that printer’s features. The user picks the options they want, clicks Print, the job renders, and goes directly to the printer. 

There’s no need for an internet connection or a cloud-based service to make printing work.


Easy to deploy and use

Chrome OS deploy process

  1. IT deploys the PrinterLogic Chrome OS Extension from a G-Suite account to managed devices. When a user logs in to their device, the Extension installs.
  2. Then, the Extension communicates with the PrinterLogic instance. The appropriate set of printers are set up and configured. 
  3. Printers deploy to Chrome OS devices based on AD users/groups, Google ID users/groups, endpoint IP address, Chromebook serial number, or Chromebook asset ID. 
  4. When it’s time to print, the user selects the desired printer from the native Chrome OS printing screen. Then, and the print job is sent via direct IP to the printer. Metadata about the print job goes to PrinterLogic for reporting and auditing.

More details about how the Extension works are available in our Admin Guide.


PrinterLogic’s rich feature set

PrinterLogic’s features work the same for Chrome OS endpoints as any other OS. For example, devices running Windows, macOS, and Linux. Here are just a few examples:

  • Reporting and SNMP alerts. Organizations can see who is printing how much to aid with cost reduction. Proactive alerts give IT a heads-up on printer outages. This helps IT address issues before they affect user productivity.
  • VDI printing. PrinterLogic works with Citrix, VMWare, and Windows Virtual Desktop. This allows IT teams to leverage existing front-end printing infrastructure, compress print jobs using standard VDI protocols. IT can also auto-deploy printers for session printing.
  • Secure-release printing. The user prints, but the job waits on the endpoint until the user goes to the printer to authenticate. This helps reduce abandoned print jobs, keeping confidential information away from prying eyes.

Migrate from Google Cloud Print

PrinterLogic’s Chrome OS Client Extension offers a simple, secure, scalable printing solution for Chrome OS devices. As such, it provides a straightforward migration path for organizations migrating from Google’s Cloud Print. 

The new PrinterLogic Extension makes it easier for organizations to embrace Chromebooks as a secure, cost-effective workstation by providing centralized printing management in mixed OS environments, keeping print jobs local, and supporting all of PrinterLogic’s advanced printing features. 

The Chrome OS Client Extension is free of charge with a PrinterLogic SaaS subscription. Why not check it out? Request a free trial setup of PrinterLogic SaaS today.

Guest Blog: Saber Healthcare Group

Saber Healthcare Group consults with about 125 long-term nursing facilities plus a smaller number of assisted-living facilities and physical therapy services. We’re based just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, but you can find these facilities across the eastern United States.

Around 2014, Saber started growing through a string of new locations. Over the next six years our company increased roughly 600% in size. During that process, we basically just absorbed any IT infrastructure that was onsite. That was a lot for the IT team to handle—especially when it came to the print environment. We wound up with a mix of printers: Brother, Konica-Minolta, HP, a couple Ricoh and Xerox machines, you name it.

When I joined Saber’s IT department in 2018, my first task was a company-wide printer fleet inventory and standardization. I immediately recommended PrinterLogic based on my past experience. Not only was I confident that it would help standardize our print environment, I knew that it would work well with Citrix Virtual Apps and PointClickCare EMR software that Saber relies on.


Taking back control

Our medical staff is on the front lines taking care of patients. They need round-the-clock print capabilities, even when they change to a different building. But when you’ve got 130 buildings and hundreds of regional staff out moving in the field, you can imagine the economies of scale and place. The IT department used to get flooded with support tickets to get printers installed.

Once we rolled out PrinterLogic, those installation requests pretty much vanished. That’s because end users were now getting their printers automatically through location-based (IP) deployments. Or they’d use PrinterLogic’s self-service installation portal. My colleague Amy Sharo, who oversees Saber’s help desk, said it was a “ridiculous” weight off her shoulders.


Integrating and managing Chromebooks

In 2019, we started issuing Chromebooks to our physical therapists. That was great from a computing standpoint, but it led to us having to manage Chromebooks separately in the Google Cloud Print console. It was like adding an extra print environment when we were trying to streamline everything.

Then Google dropped the news that Cloud Print was end-of-life. So we had to look for a replacement—but ideally one without the same management headaches.

PrinterLogic SaaS ended up being the only solution we needed. It has a Chrome OS Client Extension that lets us manage Chromebooks just like any other endpoint. And we can do it all from one window with the PrinterLogic Admin Console. It also made things easier in terms of ease of setup, flexibility and cost savings, because it’s a zero-footprint cloud solution that we can quickly extend to any location.

Better yet, we migrated from PrinterLogic Web Stack to PrinterLogic SaaS in one day.


Adding value and security

At Saber, we take protected health information (PHI) very seriously. Our staff is trained to safeguard sensitive patient information through measures like secure release printing, which requires print jobs to be authenticated. The thing is, with most printing solutions, secure release printing can be awkward for end users. Furthermore, it can be a huge hassle for admins to implement.

PrinterLogic SaaS allowed us to test drive a native Control Panel Application for Konica-Minolta devices. Instead of having to swipe a badge, users can authenticate their print jobs by just entering their PIN code on the printer’s embedded touchscreen. In the long run, that’s going to make it much easier for us at Saber to be compliant with PHI and HIPAA regulations.


A solution for healthcare printing—and much more

It’s pretty remarkable to think of how many problems we eliminated with just one solution.

If you look at just the print-related benefits alone, we succeeded in cutting help desk tickets by something like 75%. And we found a superior replacement to Google Cloud Print for Chromebook printing.

From a resource perspective, however, PrinterLogic has really lowered a lot of our overhead—from infrastructure to personnel. It helped us get everything under the same umbrella, and any future sites we add will be much easier to integrate. PrinterLogic simply lifts a lot of the day-to-day burden off the IT department, and it gives our end users more power, more convenience and more security.

Taken together, all those advantages have been huge.

Create an Optimal Enterprise Print Environment for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Adoption

What does your corporate printing environment look like? Do you have a lot of different printers? Are they spread out over many locations? Maybe you have print servers too.

Here’s the good news. Your print environment isn’t unique. Many companies have a big mix of print hardware.

But not all the news is good. Diverse hardware can lead to problems. The variety is hard to support. For instance, more printer models leads to more printer drivers. That gives IT more to manage.

As a result, corporate printing can get messy. And it can also be more expensive.

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) can make the problem even worse.

VDI environments are perfect for many companies. Especially if they have remote or mobile employees. It’s a win–win for both IT and end users. Why? Because it makes computing easier. Everyone gets to be more flexible.

However, virtual desktop printing can be tricky. Local printers aren’t always recognized. So companies turn to VDI printing solutions. But those solutions often force them to use print servers.

In other words, VDI adds more moving parts. Even though it’s supposed to make things simpler.


A VDI printing solution that eliminates print servers

PrinterLogic changes that. With PrinterLogic, VDI and corporate printing can stop working against each other. Instead they can start working together.

Our serverless printing infrastructure is different from other VDI printing solutions. Here are some key ways:

  • PrinterLogic doesn’t try to replace VDI printing. It improves the functionality that’s already there.
  • It combines centralized management with direct-IP printing. That’s how PrinterLogic is able to eliminate print servers.
  • PrinterLogic is all about ease of use. For example, it’s easy for users to install printers by themselves. And it’s easy for IT to manage.


Case in point: RC Willey

RC Willey is a large home-furnishings retailer. The company started in Utah in 1950. Later it expanded to several states. Its IT environment is mostly thin clients. It also has heavy corporate printing demands. Stores need to print invoices and reports every day.

After years of frustration, RC Willey chose PrinterLogic as its VDI printing solution. The IT department migrated the printing environment in under two hours. Furthermore, they now enjoy these benefits:

  • Better print management. The IT team is saving 80 hours per driver change.
  • No “ghost” printers. Old printers used to build up on the thin clients. Now IT can quickly clear and replace old printers.
  • Easy location-based printing. PrinterLogic can deploy printers based on IP addresses. End users get local printers automatically.

The company also supported some users with a centralized print server. PrinterLogic made it possible for them to eliminate it. By eliminating print servers, you save more than just money. You also save time and headache.

Check out the full case study here.


PrinterLogic: A solution for everyone

Like most print environments, RC Willey’s case isn’t unique. They had many of the same corporate printing issues as everyone else. VDI just added to the challenge.

PrinterLogic is a single printing solution to all those problems.

For cloud-first companies, it’s available as a SaaS version. It’s also available as a Virtual Appliance. Both versions are great VDI printing solutions. Above all, both versions make life easier on end users and admins.

Top 2020 Trends That Are Shaping the Future of Enterprise Printing

There are four current trends in enterprise printing that aren’t just changing the way we print. They’re also transforming the modern workplace for IT and end users alike.

  1. BYOD and mobile printing
  2. Advanced reporting
  3. Print security
  4. Infrastructure reduction

We’re going to take a brief look at each of these trends below. We’ll also see which enterprise printing solution allows you to capitalize on them.

1. BYOD and mobile printing

Now that there’s a smartphone in almost every hand, end users naturally want to print from them. And while three-quarters of companies have said that mobile devices are essential to their employees and their workflows, they also acknowledge that mobile printing in the enterprise hasn’t been easy.

For starters, it’s been tough for them to give smartphones and tablets—especially user-sourced BYOD devices—desktop-class enterprise printing capabilities. The other hurdle is mobility itself. When users are regularly moving from location to location, how can you be sure that they’re able to print to the right printers?

Despite the challenges around mobile printing, it’s a trend that is only getting stronger. In many organizations, mobile printing is already vital to their productivity.

2. Advanced reporting

One result of BYOD/mobile printing is that it introduces lots of new devices into the print environment. That creates a corresponding need for IT professionals: more insight into the state of enterprise printing as a whole. Basically, if a user wants to print, IT has to know about it and be able to monitor their print activity.

That’s why the adoption of advanced reporting has followed hot on the heels of mobile printing. A feature like this gives transparency to the print environment without requiring constant IT supervision.

But advanced reporting can do more than increase visibility. It allows IT to identify printer malfunctions with more speed and accuracy. It helps identify excessive print usage with a view to reducing costs. And the added oversight increases security.

3. Print security

On that note, companies are acutely aware of how important security is to their enterprise printing. They also know that their current print infrastructures aren’t up to snuff. Already they’ve begun taking active steps to beef up their secure printing efforts. That’s only going to intensify in 2020.

You’ll soon start to see increased uptake of features like secure release printing. This adds an authentication step to the printing process, ensuring that confidential print jobs stay in the hands of the users who printed them. Multifactor authentication and cloud identity providers (IdPs) will be a big part of the secure printing equation too.

This also means that you could start seeing a move away from print servers toward new forms of direct IP printing. Print servers are an attractive target for malicious actors because they channel print traffic from all over the organization. Direct IP printing, on the other hand, keeps print jobs on the local network.

4. Infrastructure reduction

Another benefit of direct IP printing is infrastructure reduction. When clients are able to print straight to printers without that connection being negotiated by a print server, those print servers can be eliminated. Along with all their hassle and costs.

Of course, streamlining is nothing new. Organizations have sought to shrink the hardware and software footprint of their enterprise printing for ages. Cloud migration is just the latest wave of that streamlining push, although it’s certainly helped to accelerate it.

Direct IP printing has been around for a long time too. But recent leaps in technology have resulted in a new generation of direct IP printing that enables organizations to jettison legacy infrastructure without sacrificing functionality.

PrinterLogic is the trendsetter in enterprise printing  

Your organization can start taking advantage of all these trends within a matter of days. PrinterLogic is a serverless printing infrastructure that combines next-gen direct IP printing with centralized management, giving you control over your entire print environment from a single pane of glass.

With PrinterLogic, features like advanced reporting, mobile printing and secure release printing don’t need to be layered on. They’re actually optional extensions of PrinterLogic’s core functionality. That makes them easy to implement, easy to manage and easy to use.

On the strength of PrinterLogic’s direct IP printing architecture, an organization like the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) was able to eliminate print servers and introduce more secure printing alongside higher print availability. Read the case study here.

Many organizations of equal size and complexity have migrated from print servers to PrinterLogic in under a week. Instead of following the trends in enterprise printing, they’re easily staying ahead of them. And saving time and money in the process.

Be Ahead of the Game: Give Your IT Department Tools to Encourage Innovation

As much as some folks like to brag about their ability to multitask, we all know by now that multitasking just isn’t efficient. Our brains prefer to focus on a single task rather than be pulled in different directions.

That applies to IT departments too. When IT staff are busy leaping from one urgent task to another, it can be hard for them to work efficiently.

A dysfunctional print environment only makes matters worse. The very nature of print management and printer support often forces IT departments to operate in response mode, which can be a huge resource drain in and of itself.


How does printing hurt IT inefficiency?

Sometimes it can seem like everything about enterprise printing is working against you. But inefficiency generally boils down to three major print-related contributors:

  • Basic troubleshooting and routine printer support. This usually takes the form of printer installation requests or vague “I can’t print” messages from end users. In many organizations, managing the print environment is a lot like babysitting.
  • A heterogeneous print environment. Supporting multiple brands and models of printers makes it way more challenging to manage printer drivers and troubleshoot printing problems. Complexity is the enemy of efficiency.
  • End-user frustration. When employees feel like they’re being forced to waste time and overcome printing hurdles, they tend to file unnecessary helpdesk tickets. And that just compounds the existing printer support headache.


Keep your print environment under control

There are a couple things your IT department can start doing right away to get back on top of things.

  • Give the IT team time to explore new technologies. The status quo is probably holding you back. One advancement worth exploring is serverless printing, which streamlines the print environment in multiple ways. 
  • Look into advanced printing features. Depending on their ease of implementation, ‘bonus’ features like mobile printing or secure release printing could make your end users more productive. And therefore more content.
  • Simplify your print infrastructure. Reducing your printer fleet and eliminating print servers cuts down on IT overhead. That gives IT staff the freedom to concentrate on future paths to optimization.
  • Train IT employees in print management. If just one or two admins are responsible for all things print-related, maybe it’s time to familiarize other staff members with that area. Training can also introduce helpful new perspectives.

Distilling these tips into one simple piece of advice would run something like this: Empower your IT department with the right tools to innovate.


Ditch your print servers for PrinterLogic

All the good intentions in the world won’t amount to much if your current printing solution keeps you in the weeds. If your IT department is constantly diverted by printer support, there’s simply no way to get the time you need for things like training, researching new technologies or brainstorming different approaches.

PrinterLogic’s serverless printing infrastructure is what provides that first vital push over the print management threshold. Its centrally managed direct IP printing eliminates print servers—and all their hassle—while consolidating management in a single admin console.

From there, your IT department can then easily roll out features like mobile/BYOD printing. Or a self-service printer installation portal that gives end users the ability to identify and install printers all by themselves. That’s how the benefits of PrinterLogic’s serverless printing build on each other, delivering additional time and cost savings at every step.

Those cumulative benefits are exactly what the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District in Texas had been searching for.

Before migrating from Novell iPrint to serverless printing with PrinterLogic, their IT department was swamped with thousands of printer support tickets each year. Now they’re in the single digits. They’ve eliminated multiple print servers and are directing reclaimed print-management time toward IT optimizations and improvement. Check out the case study here.

After years of being behind the 8-ball, Lamar CSID is now ahead of the game. Just like you could be.