Top Remote Office Printing Issues—and Their Solutions

Originally published on May 19, 2016

Network technology has taken colossal strides since the advent of the telegraph and is heralded for its potential to break down physical barriers and overcome geographic distances. But as most IT veterans will tell you, physical barriers and geographic distance still pose several challenges to distributed enterprise environments. Additionally, the surge of remote workers following the COVID-19 pandemic has posed further complexities for enterprises migrating toward this employment lifestyle. 

Extremely Slow Print Speeds

Remote office printing primarily suffers from issues related to speed. This is a matter of basic network infrastructure. Let’s say that an end user in a remote office wants to print a document. When the end user clicks “Print,”  they assume that the document is sent directly to the remote office printer that is likely situated not more than a couple of yards from where they’re sitting.

Although this case is ideal, it isn’t quite that simple. The print job sent by the end user is relayed to many locations from their workstation via the wide-area network (WAN) and eventually processed at a central print server. The data is then relayed back across the WAN to the remote office printer. Depending on the number of print jobs deployed by other end users, this process could take upwards of ten to fifteen minutes. That often seems like an eternity to employees Plus, it decreases their overall productivity. 

Yet, speed can remain a problem even with a remote office print server in place. Although they might be located onsite, these print servers act as bottlenecks because they aren’t always able to function efficiently under heavy loads. Examples of this include three workers printing 100-page documents simultaneously. These print jobs are rendered and queued systematically, then held in the spooler before being sent to the remote office printer for printing. And that’s the most ideal situation. In reality, remote office printers may experience storage driver errors or compatibility issues, leading to constant frustration and headaches. 

Security Risk Vulnerability

The vulnerabilities associated with giving the same access permissions and full network access to all employees could be detrimental to an enterprise from a cost and security standpoint. Before 2020, companies traditionally followed the “trust but verify” method; however, this compromised companies’ security and gave potential internal actors access to company data and files through unauthorized or compromised accounts. 

In the summer of 2021, the absence of a zero-trust security framework at many enterprises exposed a remote code execution vulnerability, paving the way for malicious attacks on a vulnerable system. This vulnerability, known as PrintNightmare, is still haunting many companies utilizing print servers, causing them to take extra precautions, such as disabling service on domain controllers, limiting traffic by disabling the print server role on workstations, and restricting access to print servers in general.  This nightmare caused enterprises to finally wake up and gravitate toward a serverless printing infrastructure that embraces a zero-trust framework, greatly reducing security complexity and operational expenses.

Print Security Stats

  • 68% of organizations have experienced data losses due to unsecured printing in the past 12 months.
  • 26% of organizations feel confident that their print infrastructure will be secure when they fully reopen their offices.
  • $775,000 is the average cost per data breach. 

Via Quocirca 2022

Overall Management Issues

Management is another issue that affects both regional print servers and remote office print servers. Deploying the right printers to the right users using a set of easy-to-define criteria is close to impossible because print servers generally rely on group policy objects (GPOs) and scripts to carry out deployments. 

Regarding driver management, it’s difficult to keep up with which drivers need to remain at certain versions for compatibility reasons. Print servers don’t even offer an easy way to remotely manage print queues and purge the stuck jobs that can temporarily bring remote office printing to an abrupt halt. This adds to the IT helpdesk’s to-do list along with having to solve Doug’s password predicaments and Michelle’s “blue screen of death”; the IT department just can’t catch a break. 

It’s difficult to establish effective cost management strategies while employing a print server as the prime source of your printing needs. Lack of control and continuous oversight on end-user print jobs puts company dollars right into the shredder. A lot of the cost comes from black ink, which has earned the title of “liquid gold” and is the most used ink color in the workplace. Users might change their settings to print in color even when it is unnecessary or print numerous copies of the same document because they couldn’t find out which printer the print job was dispersed to. These small acts tend to go unnoticed and cause a lot of financial headaches.


PrinterLogic is the universal solution to all the issues that plague remote office printing and support remote working environments:

  • Increased print speeds: PrinterLogic creates direct IP connections between remote workstations and remote office printers, virtually eliminating print-related WAN traffic and the need for print jobs to travel across long network chains. 
  • Serverless printing infrastructure: By eliminating the need for remote office print servers, PrinterLogic offers companies the ability to keep print jobs local and stamp out the single point of failure. You’re welcome, IT professionals. 
  • Off-Network Printing: Designed to cater to adopters of Zero Trust and remote work, PrinterLogic’s Off-Network Printing helps companies maintain airtight, Zero Trust security while allowing workers to print regardless of what network they are on. 

It’s time to say good riddance to long wait times, constant IT help desk calls, and the uncertainty of off-network printing. When exploring ways to save time, go serverless, and make use of Secure Off-Network Printing, there’s only one solution. It’s PrinterLogic.

How It Works: PrinterLogic’s New Quota Management Feature

I’ve been focusing on PrinterLogic K-12 education solutions for five years, and the number one request I’ve heard from prospective customers is the ability to set limits on how much a user can print. This stems from scenarios like these:

  • A student clicks “Print” but doesn’t immediately hear the printer start whirring. In their impatience, they click “Print” fifteen more times.
  • Instead of printing a selection of pages from a large eBook, a teacher accidentally prints all 200 pages of the document.
  • Faculty prints dozens of originals on a high-quality printer instead of the more affordable option of printing one master document and photocopying it.
  • For reasons no one can pinpoint, some classrooms are tearing through paper and toner at a disproportionate rate.
  • A small group of users is constantly printing in color when monochrome will suffice.

Every single one of these scenarios takes a toll on the limited print budget. If only IT could easily put hard caps on how many pages users could print during a given timeframe!

We heard those requests loud and clear. That’s why we’re pleased to roll out Quota Management as the newest feature in PrinterLogic’s native-SaaS serverless printing platform. This post will provide you with a quick overview of the highlights and functionality of Quota Management as it’s implemented in PrinterLogic.

What Is Quota Management?

Quota management is the process of creating fixed limits on print volume, typically within a certain period: User A can’t print more than 200 pages per month. Or User B is allocated a maximum of $100 in printing costs each quarter. Establishing these not-to-exceed thresholds can have several benefits—from controlling runaway print costs to reducing your organization’s environmental footprint.

There are a few different ways to implement a quota management system in your print environment. Most come in the form of add-ons or separate solutions that you deploy and manage on top of your existing print-management software. Unfortunately, the solutions themselves can become another universal pain point. They’re expensive, they rarely integrate well, and they occasionally create so much extra work that IT resorts to raising the quota to the point of ineffectiveness.

Quota Management in PrinterLogic

The key criteria for PrinterLogic’s Quota Management are price and volume. Admins can choose whether to limit printing based on either of these variables. They’re defined by currency amount or by page count using the provided fields in our Admin Console.

PrinterLogic further breaks things out by users and groups. A user will be an individual, such as a student or a teacher. A group can be anything you’ve configured in your identity provider (IdP)—a classroom, a grade, a school, or even an entire district. When you assign a quota to a group, all users in that group likewise inherit that limit. So, for example, every student (user) in 7th grade (group) will automatically be assigned the quota you’ve set for that group.

Groups are also cumulative. A user who is in group X and group Y will inherit the quotas of X+Y. As a practical illustration, imagine a teacher who teaches some classes at the middle school and some at the high school. If the middle-school faculty has a group quota of $100 and the high-school faculty has a group quota of $100, that teacher will have a quota of $200 total print spend. Of course, you can also modify user quotas separately to remove the cumulative effect.

Each of these quotas applies for a certain time period. Once again, that period is highly customizable: days, weeks, months, or a full academic year. If that period has not been marked as recurring, print volumes become unrestricted after the period expires.

Additional Customization Options

After configuring basic print quota criteria and user organization, many organizations will be up and running. But PrinterLogic offers even more parameters for enforcing print limits.

  • Limiting job size. One option is to limit users to a predetermined number of pages for each individual print job. Keeping print jobs to a reasonable 10 or 15 pages helps curb the tendency to print huge documents like entire eBooks or websites, whether intentionally or accidentally.
  • User and group quotas are adjustable midstream. If a user or group hits their quota before a period expires, IT or a trusted user (more detail on role-based access control below) can easily raise the allotted page count or total print spend in the Admin Console. That also works in the opposite direction: Quotas for groups or individual users can be lowered in the middle of a period as well.
  • Incentives to favor economy. Another option is to input differential price information for the four typical printer modes: B/W, color, B/W duplex, and color duplex. Admins can enter their own per-page costs and change them as necessary. If the school really wants to discourage, say, color printing, this value can be artificially inflated to encourage users to think twice before printing 100 worksheets with a single blue icon.
  • Mitigating redundancy and waste. Time-delayed printing was a feature requested by our K-6 customers. This is because young students are tempted to initiate a print job over and over when they don’t see a printer immediately spring into action. By instituting a waiting period of, for instance, 15 seconds before the same print job can be reinitiated, schools can mitigate the worst effects of itchy mouse fingers.

Coupled with all these features is the ability to control printing by mode or by device. PrinterLogic makes it possible for IT to confine student printing to a dedicated classroom printer or enforce black-and-white printing by default.

How Quotas Are Calculated

When a user prints, the number (or cost) of each successfully printed page counts against their quota—successfully being the operative word. Print jobs that take place through PrinterLogic’s secure release pull printing don’t count against the quota until the end user releases them.

Single-sided print jobs are calculated as one page. Duplex jobs are counted as two pages. In line with the features I’ve already noted above, IT can base quotas on price and set custom amounts for per-page duplex costs if it’s important to encourage users to prioritize that mode.

If a print job would put a user over their limit, the print job will not execute. Let’s say that a student initiates a 12-page print job with only 10 pages remaining on their quota. That print job will not be relayed to the printer. Instead, the user is informed that it would exceed their quota. The rationale for avoiding partial print jobs is that the user is likely to print the entire document again once print capabilities are restored.

Role-Based Access Control and IdPs

When developing Quota Management, we sought to make everything as user-friendly and transparent as possible. It has the same ease of use as our end-to-end serverless printing solution, so IT can configure custom quotas in a few clicks within the same Admin Console they’re already using for printer and driver deployment.

That ease of use extends to our use of role-based access control (RBAC), which provides IT with a way of safely delegating tasks to trusted users. In the case of Quota Management, this person might be a secretary or a power user. That trusted user would then have the ability to adjust quotas in real-time via the Admin Console in response to individual requests. However, they wouldn’t have the ability to make any higher-level changes to the print environment. RBAC empowers users to solve their issues quickly on the ground rather than having to submit piecemeal IT support requests.

Because PrinterLogic is a true SaaS solution with native support for 10 leading cloud-based IdPs, user provisioning and single sign-on authentication can be handled through your existing IdP data stores. That makes RBAC and group assignment in Quota Management both convenient and secure.

Metadata and Reporting

PrinterLogic’s Quota Management doesn’t just keep user printing under control. It also works in tandem with PrinterLogic’s reporting capabilities to provide more visibility into printing habits and specific print activities.

Each time a user prints, PrinterLogic captures the metadata of their print job—info like username, device, page count, document filename, mode, and destination printer. This information comes in handy when IT is trying to account for large departmental print volumes and make data-driven decisions on how best to guide printing habits.

Reports are accessible right from the PrinterLogic Admin Console. They can be searched and filtered by any metadata variable, which makes it easy to zero in on the information you’re looking for.


Quota Management comes as part of our new Cost Management bundle, which is focused on helping organizations get a better fix on all the factors that impact their print budget. The Cost Management bundle includes Quota Management today, with two additional features coming soon:

  • Quota Management
  • Client Cost Management*
  • Rules, Routing & Policies*

Because Quota Management extends the functionality of our core platform, it integrates seamlessly with PrinterLogic and ties into all the amazing features you’ve come to expect: direct-IP printing, self-service printer installs, effortless driver management, and much, much more.

Quota Management is available for PrinterLogic SaaS and the PrinterLogic Virtual Appliance (VA). It supports endpoints running Windows, Chrome OS, macOS, Linux, and iOS. Support for Android phones and tablets will be added later in 2022.

Future Roadmap

For now, we’re concentrating on the functionality our K-12 customers need most. But we’ve got a lot of exciting enhancements planned as well. Down the line, we’re working on features like:

  • The ability to count copies made on multifunction printers in quotas.
  • Cost accounting that empowers users to increase their printing allowance on their own.

We’ll have more news on timing and capabilities as development continues.

A Complete Printing and Print-Management Solution

Quota Management is just one powerful facet of PrinterLogic’s serverless printing solution. Along with cost-saving print quotas, your K-12 environment will benefit from:

  • Serverless (direct-IP) printing
  • System-wide identity provider (IdP) integration
  • Centralized management
  • Self-service printer installation
  • Driver and profile management
  • Reporting and auditing

All of this functionality is delivered through PrinterLogic’s native-SaaS platform, so it comes with all the advantages you expect from SaaS solutions, such as ease of deployment, ongoing updates, and incredible scalability.

*Available late 2022.

What Exactly is Pull Printing?

Originally published on December 14, 2016.

Depending on the implementation, pull printing goes by many names, including release printing, personal printing, secure pull printing, and secure release printing, to name a few. Regardless of the exact term you use, it refers to the same money- and time-saving strategy that Gartner says, “allows for a print job to be sent to a pull-printing server, which delivers the print job to the printer. This frees up the user’s computer for other tasks and reduces network traffic.” No matter what you call it, pull printing solutions all operate on the same principle and return the same benefits.

Print security has gotten a lot of attention lately as a legitimate security solution. Security threats from printing are particularly insidious, as they usually come from internal sources such as employees. Yet, companies still haven’t embraced pull printing simply because of up-front investment costs. Here’s why pull printing is absolutely worth implementing.


Pull Printing Is as Easy as Regular Printing

Pull printing solutions are comprised of a simple two-step process:

  1. A user initiates a print job from any workstation just as usual.

  2. Once physically present on the desired printer, the user can execute the print job using various authentication methods.

With these two steps in mind, it should be quite clear what the many practical pull printing benefits might be. 

Take a corporate setting, for instance. 

Let’s say that Tina, an HR manager, needs to print a document with a new hire’s personal information on it. Instead of Tina clicking “print” and leaving the print job unprotected in the print tray, she can simply release the print job when she is ready. The job sits in the queue until she releases it via one of the various authentication methods from any printer in her organization’s network—regardless of which floor or building it’s located in. 

Based on this example, you can also see how easily pull printing solutions would be applicable in healthcare or legal environments where confidential documents are handled regularly. 


Why You Should Use Pull Printing

It’s easy to see the convenience of pull printing, but there are extra benefits that are worth mentioning, too.

Cut Costs by Reducing Waste 

Many sources say unclaimed documents account for about 17% of all print jobs. All that excess waste created from printing the wrong documents virtually disappears since print jobs are more intentional. Along with making print jobs more intentional, pull printing solutions such as Secure Release Printing with PrinterLogic focus on reducing waste to promote sustainability. With most pull printing solutions, users can delete their queued print jobs if they no longer need them. 

Flexible Printing for End Users

End users gain immediate benefits from pull printing. They can prepare the documents they need to print and pick them up in bulk later and release print jobs at various locations throughout the organization. Users don’t even have to open the file on their computer in order to print. 

Less Stress for IT Teams 

Pull printing doesn’t restrict employees to just one or two printers. Employees can release jobs from any network printer that allows for pull printing. Fewer interruptions from frustrated employees about printers make for a happy IT team. 

Increased Security

When print jobs are left unclaimed on the printer tray, anyone can walk by and pick them up. Sometimes it’s an honest mistake; other times, it’s an intentional way to access and misuse company information. Because pull printing requires identity verification before printing, the whole company is safer. Pull printing also eliminates security risks by helping your organization handle critical customer and employee data with confidence.

More Preparation for the Future

As hybrid and remote work becomes more popular, pull printing is a strategy for future-proofing your business. Mobile printing options allow employees to print from anywhere. As employees travel to different locations, they also have the option of printing to their nearest printer. It’s a business-first, flexible way of approaching printing that will help your business stay modern. 


How We Help You

At PrinterLogic, our pull printing solution—referred to as Secure Release Printing—is featured in our cloud-native SaaS solution, which eliminates your print servers and gives admins complete insight into print activity across your organization. Secure Release Printing offers four different but equally versatile methods to authenticate and release print jobs:

  1. Badge or card reader: Using either an integrated card reader or an external one plugged into the printer’s USB port, users can swipe their ID card to release the print job. The card reader is also compatible with U.S. federal employee CAC and PIV identification. 
  2. Embedded control panel: PrinterLogic’s app with universal printer support is installed directly on the printer itself. Users can then log in using the LCD control panel to authenticate.
  3. Web browser: Any mobile device (e.g., Chromebook, iPad, Android tablet) can be used to release jobs via its built-in web browser. This can even be a mobile device set up in kiosk mode alongside the printer.
  4. Mobile App release: Users of iOS and Android devices can quickly and securely release print jobs via our Print Release App–available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Unlike other pull printing solutions, Secure Release Printing from PrinterLogic is completely printer-agnostic, making it incredibly easy to equip your entire print environment with this convenient and secure functionality. You and your end users can now enjoy the security benefits and increased savings without reconstructing your entire printing infrastructure. 

To see how pull printing could cut cuts and increase your company’s security, schedule a demo today.