How to Achieve the Printing Efficiency You Need with Rule-Based Automation

Output Management Rules & Routing

Your electronic medical record system, enterprise resource planning, and other large-scale applications your organization relies on form critical parts of business processes. It’s crucial the output from those systems ends up in the right place, in the correct format, and on time.

With Vasion’s introduction of Output Management comes higher reliability, speed of delivery, and unification of management for both office and back-end application print management when printing from these systems, but still leaves the opportunity to further increase the efficiency, accuracy, and reliability of print and workflow tasks. 

 

Our customers stress that better efficiency is necessary for their output processes.

One of the concerns commonly brought up by customers I’ve spoken to has been ensuring uptime for critical printing with their printers themselves. If the printer designated for shipping labels or customer invoices breaks, it can put a serious dent in productivity while it’s down, and it’s not always easy to redirect traffic to a new printer within a customer’s application, resulting in unacceptable downtime.

Additionally, these environments often bring processes requiring manual intervention. A healthcare organization we worked with hoped to reduce costs by printing the majority of their documents in black and white, with only after-visit summaries printed in color to maintain a positive patient experience. Now, a manual touchpoint is introduced into the printing process, and it’s up to the individual clinician to remember to select the correct setting for just that type of job every time. 

 

These, and many other examples, drove Rules & Routing, a rule-based automation feature, as part of our Output Management Bundle. 

I challenge you to look deeper into your printing processes–you’ll notice those manual touchpoints often arise in your print environment, like manually converting documents to print-ready PDFs, paper notes taped to the printer reminding employees to print only in black and white, and attaching digital files to emails after scanning. These can all be automated as rules that trigger specific actions based on a set of behaviors. 

The three main components of Rules & Routing: 

  • Triggers are used to watch for specific events that should prompt the Rules & Routing service to decide which course of action to take.
  • Conditions provide the qualifying attributes that decide whether or not an action should be performed.
  • Actions are the actual behavior applied when conditions are met. 

These automated rules reduce or even eliminate any manual intervention, alter print data, increase document security, ensure proper delivery of documents, and more. In addition, document delivery goes beyond printers, including delivery direct to storage folders or through email, eliminating the manual touchpoint for your coworkers. 

 

Let’s look back at the example above from our customer needing to ensure continuous uptime for their printing processes. 

To solve this issue, I would create a rule that automatically reroutes my print data to a backup printer in the event we detect print failures on the primary printer to avoid long periods of downtime by following these steps:

  1. Create a rule with the trigger “Print Job Failed”
  2. Choose a condition selecting the primary printer(s) you are watching for failures
  3. And the “Redirect print job” action, where you’d select the backup printer
  4. Optionally, you could also add an additional action to email the originating user to alert them their job is located on a new printer

Serverless Pull Printing: Secure Printing Without a Print Server

Pull printing has emerged as one of the most useful ways for organizations of all sizes to implement a secure printing protocol among their workforce—and for good reason. Sixty-one percent of organizations have experienced data loss due to unsecured printing

Not surprisingly, though, many organizations balk at the idea of having to deploy even more physical infrastructure to gain one piece of extra functionality. That’s why demand for serverless pull printing has increased.

Before we explore serverless pull printing in more detail, let’s pause briefly to look at what exactly secure pull printing is and why it’s beneficial.

 

What Is Secure Pull Printing?

Pull printing—sometimes referred to as secure pull printing or Secure Release Printing—turns the act of printing into an intentional two-step process. Broken down, it looks like this:

  1. The user initiates the print job– This is no different from how computer users have been printing for decades—they simply click “Print,” as usual. The job is then sent to the destination printer, where it’s held in the queue instead of being carried out immediately.
  2. The user allows the printer to execute the job– Once at the printer, the user engages an authentication mechanism, such as a badge or card reader. That authorizes the printer to start the associated pending job. The user then retrieves the job from the output tray once it’s finished.

It may be perceived that an extra step in the printing process would burden end users. However, adding the “release” step enables users to release print jobs in bulk and maintain document privacy which is sought after in high-confidentiality industries like healthcare, banking, and government.  

 

What Does Secure Pull Printing Help Organizations Achieve?

There are several benefits of secure pull printing that make an immediate impact on your organization.

Strengthened Security

By ensuring that the user is physically present before a job can begin, documents aren’t left sitting in the output tray for anyone to see—or steal. According to a report by the Ponemon Institute, 60% of organizations stated “accessing sensitive data not associated with role or function” as the reason for insider threats. This advantage of secure pull printing should be apparent to anyone in the healthcare or high-tech industries, where confidentiality is at a premium.

Sustainable Printing

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword anymore. According to Quocirca, 70% of organizations say it is important their print supplier provides a range of sustainable products and services. Secure pull printing addresses eco-friendly initiatives by cutting down on consumable usage and preventing jobs from being abandoned. If a user spots a typo just after clicking “Print,” the previous job can easily be canceled before the final authorization step. In addition, admins can set unreleased print jobs to be deleted from a user’s virtual print queue after 24 hours. 

Flexibility 

Let’s say you want to print a meeting agenda on a distant conference room printer, but the room is currently in use. With secure pull printing, you can print your job at a different printer without disturbing the current meeting. Simply authenticate and execute the job at the nearest convenient printer.

Cost Reduction

Along with avoiding expensive insider document theft and data threats (which cost around $179K to contain), printing overall becomes a more intentional practice for users, ensuring they don’t print accidental duplicates of the same print job. Not to mention, these secure practices extend your printer life by minimizing accidental, high-volume print jobs.

There is one glaring negative about secure pull printing worth noting: many pull printing solutions require additional hardware, such as a dedicated print server that’s used exclusively to provide secure pull printing functionality. This is far from desirable, particularly in organizations that are trying to reduce infrastructure and costs by migrating to serverless printing.

 

Add Flexibility and Security to Your Print Environment

PrinterLogic’s next-generation print management solution was designed to provide serverless printing to any organization, and that naturally applies to its powerful but easy-to-implement Secure Release Printing as well. You can deploy it throughout your entire print environment—including those with legacy printers—without the need for any additional infrastructure. 

As a matter of fact, PrinterLogic enables you to eliminate print servers across the board to attain truly serverless printing that’s cost-effective, enterprise-ready, and cloud-native—even in VMware, Citrix, and IGEL environments.

You and your users gain flexibility too. Our Secure Release Printing feature gives you the choice of the following four release methods:

 

Mobile QR-Code Release: Scan a QR code at the printer using your mobile device to release a print job. This eliminates the need for additional infrastructure like badge readers. 

Secure Badge Release: Utilize a tethered or network-enabled badge or card reader that integrates with your existing ID system. 

Control Panel Application: Leverage PrinterLogic’s embedded control panel app for supported printers. 

Web Browser: Release jobs from any device with a browser, such as a PC, mobile phone, or a nearby tablet in kiosk mode.

 

And in each case, it bears repeating that no print server is needed.

There’s a lot to like about this secure printing feature, but there’s even more to like when it’s serverless, seamless, and intuitive. Book a demo and get a free 30-day trial today. 

5 Reasons to Adopt SaaS Print Management

The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market has exploded in recent years, with the majority of businesses adopting some form of SaaS in their business processes. And this growth is only expected to continue: it’s estimated the SaaS market will increase by 7.33% each year and be worth nearly $375 billion by 2028.

There are many reasons the SaaS market is booming; these services enhance efficiency and reduce costs. Benefits like these can easily be brought to your print management strategy by moving your operations to the cloud. 

Below, we’ll delve into the top five reasons why you should adopt SaaS print management and how making the switch will benefit your business.

 

1. Optimized Print Security

Cyberattacks have drastically increased over the last few years, with cybersecurity events happening every few seconds. According to Security Magazine, 79% of organizations expect some sort of cyberattack (such as ransomware attacks) to occur. Additionally, 61% of large organizations have reportedly experienced at least one print-related data breach due to insecure printing practices in 2023.

Printing infrastructures on a cloud platform address these concerns by maintaining top-notch security through automated patches and updates as well as robust security features. Some of these features include advanced encryption protocols, customizable user roles and authentication, and secure printing options like pull printing.

 

2. Increased Business Agility 

One of the biggest advantages of SaaS print management is the ability to scale on demand. Opening up a new office? Set up your print infrastructure in minutes. Moving, adding, or changing printers? Give end users access on the fly without worrying about helpdesk tickets. With more business agility, you can easily adjust to changing needs—whether that’s a sudden increase in printing demands or needing to downsize operations and infrastructure.

 

3. Do More, With Less Hardware

Making the move to SaaS printing reduces your reliance on traditional printing hardware, which can help to alleviate strain on your business resources. For example, SaaS printing reduces the amount of hardware needed to print, helping your organization save money. 

And we can’t forget the device-agnostic nature of SaaS solutions. Unlike legacy hardware, SaaS platforms allow you to make the most of the devices and Operating Systems you currently utilize in your environment without having to go out and buy a new fleet of printers or computers. 

Additionally, SaaS printing solutions eliminate the need for extensive and expensive in-house infrastructure. Reducing infrastructure needs helps minimize the environmental impact associated with manufacturing, maintaining, and disposing of hardware components. 

 

4. Improved Business Sustainability

Traditional printing methods are taking a toll on the environment. According to recent studies, over 375 million empty ink and toner cartridges are thrown away every year and take over 1,000 years to decompose. SaaS printing enables users to optimize print usage and reduce paper waste by leveraging features such as duplex printing, Secure Release Printing, and Print Quota Management.

 

5. No More Hidden Costs

Keeping business costs low is a high priority for most businesses. However, unexpected hardware failures, upgrades, or downtime can cost organizations up to $5,600 per minute. SaaS solutions, on the other hand, come at a fixed rate—whether it’s in packages, bundles, or per printer/print queue. If you know exactly how many printers are in your fleet, receive rolling automatic security updates, and eliminate the fear of unexpected failures, you’ll have a better idea of how much your preferred platform costs.

 

Bonus: Control Over Both Printing and Scanning

Many traditional print management solutions only cover printing needs. If you want scanning capabilities, you’ll likely have to pay extra or implement an entirely new solution. Many SaaS printing solutions come with built-in scanning functionality that allow you to track, manage, and store your digital scans wherever you need to. Scanning solutions standardize the scanning experience for end users and ensure that documents get to the email inbox or cloud storage location. 

 

Enjoy the Benefits of SaaS Print Management

Ultimately, SaaS print management is a strategic business decision that brings your organization more than efficiency. SaaS printing boosts your security, enhances agility, lowers costs, and more. 

As the business landscape continues to evolve and your needs change, it’s crucial to implement faster, smarter, and more flexible solutions wherever possible. SaaS print management is a great place to start.