How to Reduce Paper Waste in the Workplace

Money may not grow on trees, but trees made into paper certainly cost a lot of money. While recycling paper is a step in the right direction, it’s far better for a business’s bottom line if the paper wasn’t used for printing in the first place. In fact, businesses in the U.S. spend over $120 billion on printed forms, most of which become outdated within three months. Rather than simply managing paper waste with recycling, it’s time to save trees—and a lot of money—by reducing paper waste with paperless office software. 

 

Strategies for Reducing Paper Waste at Your Company

Reducing paper waste is an effort that involves everyone in an organization. Here are some strategies everyone across an organization can use to help prevent wasted paper in the workplace. 

  • Use printer monitoring software: Several different types of paperless office software products monitor who is printing, how much, and when. These metrics can help the company make strategic decisions about where printing is necessary and where the organization can cut back.  
  • Create a company culture of electronic communication: Printed forms are less and less practical, especially with remote work and global teams. Invest in features such as esignatures, chat platforms, digital content reviews, and cloud content storage such as OneDrive or Sharepoint.
  • Digitize existing content: Digitizing physical content items is a great way to prevent extra copies from being made and more paper being printed. You can scan images, faxes, photos, and forms. Bonus: they’ll be easier to find and share when they’re electronic. 
  • Take notes electronically: Taking notes electronically and using solutions such as OneNote or Evernote is a great way to reduce paper waste while also making your notes more searchable for future projects. 
  • Invest in a document management system: Document management software works for electronic documents as well as scans of existing documents. This prevents the need for extra copies and facilitates document collaboration. 

How Businesses Benefit from Reduced Paper Waste

Businesses that invest in paperless office software gain many company-wide advantages. Reducing paper waste is an environmental success—and  92% of consumers trust environmentally responsible brands. In addition to building trust, your business will see some other tangible wins along the way. 

For example, using less paper leads to immediate cost savings—paper, printers, ink, postage, and storage costs can add up. The average employee’s printing habits cost a company $725 per year per employee. Reducing paper usage saves space, too. By transitioning to digital storage, businesses can free up physical storage space, reducing the need for filing cabinets or off-site storage.

Increased security is another major benefit of moving away from excessive printed paper. Digital documents can be encrypted and protected with passwords. Access to documents can be restricted to authorized personnel only. This provides a level of security that’s hard to achieve with physical papers.

Digital documentation is safer against being hacked, but it’s also safer against physical danger. With proper backups, the risk of losing documents due to fires, floods, or other disasters is minimized. 

Other benefits you’ll see when you move away from those 8×11 sheets include the following:

  • Easier collaboration and access: Digital documents are easier to share and collaborate on, especially with tools that allow for real-time editing and commenting. This supports remote work arrangements and ensures that critical information is always at hand.
  • Better customer service: Easy access to digital records can lead to faster response times for customer queries or issues.
  • Easier compliance and auditing: Paperless office software solutions often come with features that allow for easy tracking of document changes, access histories, and versioning. 
  • Scalability: Digital solutions can more easily scale with your business, accommodating larger volumes of data without a proportional increase in physical space or manual effort.

Common Questions About Reducing Paper Waste at Work

Have questions about reducing paper waste in the workplace or investing in paperless office software? We’ve got you covered. 

What are the top features to look for in paperless office software?

When considering paperless office software, look for a product with automation features. These features often include naming, sorting, and batching capabilities. You’ll also want software with optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities, which makes data entry and document editing possible. 

What are some legal and compliance considerations with paperless software?

Security is always top-of-mind with legal issues. Make sure the paperless office software has authentication features for better data protection. Paperless software can also provide streamlined reports for compliance audits and help you track any incidents you may need to report. 

Does paperless office software have a mobile app?

Many paperless office software products have apps. Apps help you access information while you’re on the go, sign documents quickly, and communicate faster than you could when you had to hand printed packets to your team.  

 

Print Management Software Trends in 2024

Print management software is a massive market, and it’s growing fast. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18.4% for the next seven years, likely becoming a $6.3 billion market by 2031. As print management trends shift toward efficiency, security, and environmental responsibility, it’s easy to see the reasons behind such growth.

Here are some of the top print management software trends for 2024, and why they will be a differentiating factor for businesses. 

 

The Print Management Trends You Can Expect to See in 2024

Print management affects every aspect of a business and can have ripple effects through many departments, making the current trends a reflection of larger workplace trends. These are the top trends coming to print management in 2024:

 

Print management solutions with transparent sustainable printing capabilities

Customers are demanding more insight into the environmental impact of their print environment and print suppliers. About 70% of organizations say it’s important that their print supplier provides a range of sustainable products and services, and 69% think it’s important for print suppliers to show they are reducing their own environmental impact.

 

AI will make print management solutions more effective

As artificial intelligence continues revolutionizing technology, the print management market can also benefit. Print management software can implement AI solutions to reduce downtime, optimize print workflows, predict maintenance needs, and detect security breaches faster, among many other advantages.

 

Users will expect high availability, flexibility, and scalability in the cloud

Businesses are developing ways to become more agile while also reducing costs (both financial and environmental) compared to operating an on-premises environment. In addition to cutting costs and improving agility, cloud-first organizations are better prepared for advanced cyberattacks through optimized data compliance and security.

The shift to cloud-first solutions goes hand-in-hand with another trend: International business travel and in-person events are expected to increase in 2024. The growing amount of travel means that not only will people print more from work, but they’ll also print more from various off-site locations. If you plan to attend industry events while staying connected to work, you’ll need to be prepared with flexible and secure printing solutions.

 

Print security continues to become a higher priority

Print management solutions continue to boost their credentials when it comes to data protection and theft prevention. They do this by providing security features like pull printing and integrations with IdPs. Customers looking for secure printing should plan to leverage solutions that adhere to SOC or ISO security frameworks.

 

Return to office push = More printing

A whopping 90% of companies plan to implement return-to-office policies by the end of 2024. That means more people will be printing at the office, which costs more money to cover increased resource use. If your organization is moving employees back into the office, you may want to start looking for a solution that limits print volumes and keeps print costs in check.

 

Simple user experience will become a priority

Change is challenging. Implementing a print solution that doesn’t require users to jump through hoops is key. The learning curve for IT should be minimal as well. If your print management software has a better user experience, your employees are more likely to adopt the solution more quickly while maintaining or improving productivity.

 

Sustainability and eco-friendly printing will be non-negotiable 

Sustainability is a major factor driving printing trends, too. Print management is a key way to reduce paper waste and protect the environment; however, it’s just as important for the business. According to Brand Times, sustainability will be a key growth driver in 2024 because it will materially affect profit centers, stakeholder management, and market share.

As sustainability gains importance, print management software will incorporate more features to support environmentally responsible printing. This may include:

  • Eco-mode printing: Introducing further settings for reducing energy consumption.
  • Carbon footprint tracking: Tools that allow organizations to measure and reduce their carbon footprint.
  • Paperless initiatives: Integrating with document management systems to promote paperless workflows.

 

How PrinterLogic Prepares You for 2024 and Beyond

PrinterLogic is the key to future-proofing your print management for 2024 and beyond. Our solution simplifies your print infrastructure while reducing print tickets by 90%. Centralized management increases the security and efficiency of print jobs while still supporting flexible, scalable, and secure printing. And because PrinterLogic is a centralized cloud-native solution, you can access your critical print data from a single pane of glass so you can start printing less, saving money, increasing sustainability, and being more transparent with future customers. 

If you’re interested in accelerating automation and digitization and keeping up with print management trends, schedule a demo with us today.

How to Easily Migrate Printers from Print Servers with Automated Migration

With Windows 7 now officially past its end of life, OS upgrades and migration are on everyone’s minds. For IT departments and providers of managed print services, that’s not always a good thing.

 

Migrations cause migraines

Sure, the process has gotten a little easier over the years, but it’s almost impossible not to run into some hiccups. Even when moving from one Windows version to another.

With traditional printing solutions like print servers, migration takes on a whole new level of complexity. You’ve got to bring over drivers and profiles, many of which are incompatible with the new server version. You’ve got to reconnect workstations and cross your fingers that the client OS will play well with the new printing software. If you’re using group policy or scripts, you’ve got triple-check all the associations.

And then, of course, you’ve got to deal with all the end users who call the next day because they can’t print.

At least, that’s what migration looks like if you’re not using PrinterLogic.

Our serverless print infrastructure features an automated migration tool that makes life dramatically easier for IT and managed print services. With PrinterLogic, your organization can migrate away from legacy printing solutions once and for all.

 

What automated migration looks like with PrinterLogic

PrinterLogic’s built-in migration tool fully automates the transfer of printer objects from your existing print server to our next-generation printing solution. It’s a simple and straightforward process:

  1. First, the migration tool copies printer objects and drivers from the print servers you’ve selected into PrinterLogic’s centralized Admin Console.
  2. Next, the CSV uploader bulk imports any unmanaged direct IP printers you might have.
  3. Then, the PrinterLogic workstation client silently converts Windows shared printers into managed direct IP printers.
  4. Finally, the workstation client assumes control of all authorized printer objects.
  5. There is no step five. Your end users are now enjoying robust serverless printing, and you’re enjoying enterprise-wide print management from a single pane of glass.

We know that most admins can’t wait to say goodbye to their print servers. At the same time, they also don’t want to force downtime on their end users.

That’s why PrinterLogic’s migration tool makes things quick and seamless. RC Willey Home Furnishings transitioned several hundred printers—and 1,500 users—to PrinterLogic in under two hours (read the case study here).

And they’re not the only ones.

More than one IT professional has told us that their end users didn’t even know that a large print migration had taken place.

We also know that first impressions count. That’s why we designed our migration tool to be a stunningly smooth experience for large, distributed enterprise environments as well as managed print services providers who oversee multiple clients. And, yes, it’s just as straightforward with tricky Citrix printing environments.

 

The benefits of automated migration with PrinterLogic

Seamlessness, simplicity and ease of use are rare among printing solutions and therefore big pluses in any migration. But PrinterLogic’s migration tool also gives IT professionals granular control over which print servers they choose to migrate.

Using the tool, you can browse to your existing print servers through your Active Directory tree or the Windows network. Or you can target your print servers by IP address. That makes it easy to pinpoint the print servers you want to migrate and ultimately eliminate with PrinterLogic’s serverless print infrastructure.

Citrix printing sometimes falls into a class by itself, but PrinterLogic has been verified as Citrix Ready and offers the same level of control when migrating (and eliminating) Citrix print servers.

After migration, regardless of the prior print environment, you’ll have more reliable, cost-effective and less resource-intensive printing with PrinterLogic. And that’s true whether you’ve chosen to migrate to our cloud solution, PrinterLogic SaaS, or our on-prem version, PrinterLogic Virtual Appliance.

You don’t have to make a full-scale print migration based on faith alone. As a proof of concept, sign up for a free 30-day PrinterLogic trial today. You’ll see how easy it is to move from your current printing solution—no matter if it’s print servers, Citrix printing, or unmanaged direct IP—to PrinterLogic’s serverless print infrastructure.

Fix: Printer Not Showing in Remote Desktop Session

Remote desktop printing can often feel like it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Make no mistake: There are a lot of benefits to remote desktop protocol (RDP) environments. A leaner infrastructure, more flexibility and centralized management, to name just a few. At the same time, the advantages of RDP environments can also pose serious problems for RDP printing.

 

The weak points of RDP printing

Because RDP relies heavily on the WAN connection, particularly in distributed environments, that makes the WAN a potential point of failure. If the WAN experiences bottlenecking on account of heavy network traffic or goes down completely, RDP performance is hindered or interrupted, resulting in unwanted and unexpected downtime. RDP printing is no different because it’s subject to the same vulnerabilities. As a matter of fact, RDP printing is a major cause of WAN bottlenecking.

But it isn’t just the WAN connection that causes trouble in remote environments. RDP printing often involves printer redirection as the preferred deployment method, and the instances of remote desktop printer redirection not working as it should are legion. One of the most common problems is printers not appearing in the session.

 

The basics of RDP printer redirection in Server 2012

To properly troubleshoot this issue, it’s important to understand how RDP printer redirection works in Server 2012 to begin identifying reasons why the printer might not be appearing. In a nutshell, the server first receives a list of local printers that are installed on the remote client. Next, the server creates the print queue within the remote session. When the end user goes to print from the remote client, the server is queried for accompanying printer drivers. All being well, the printer is then redirected.

As you can see, this is a chain of events that depends on a series of successful queries and responses. Any failure at any point along that chain can result in remote desktop printer redirection not working and, among many other errors, the printer not showing.

There are three immediate steps you can then take to solve this kind of RDP printer redirection problem in Server 2012:

  1. Ensure that local printers are enabled. Invoke the Remote Desktop Connection screen, look under the “Local devices and resources” section and make sure that the “Printers” option is enabled.
  2. Confirm that the Server 2012 settings are correct. Go to Server Manager > Remote Desktop Services > Collections > Tasks > “Edit properties.” Then go to the “Client settings” tab. For printer redirection, the “Windows printer” option should be selected.
  3. Install the drivers on the server. In many cases, the drivers haven’t been installed properly. This could be due to a faulty deployment or a simple admin oversight.

If all that fails, double-check user and system permissions on c:windowssystem32spool and grant access to both groups.

 

How PrinterLogic helps with RDP printer redirection in Server 2012

By using a unique centrally managed direct IP printing paradigm, PrinterLogic is able to eliminate many of the variables that are responsible for remote desktop printer redirection not working—including those elusive printers that don’t appear in a session.

In addition to streamlining and simplifying driver management (which avoids those problematic driver installs), PrinterLogic enables you to deploy printers accurately and dynamically without using GPOs or scripts (which can cause a whole host of deployment hassles). It integrates seamlessly with any remote desktop environment, including Citrix and VMware, and can help your organization to eliminate print servers completely and minimize infrastructure even further. It’s the complete, cost-effective RDP printing solution that will transform how you think about enterprise printing in general.

What is Serverless Printing?

*UPDATE: Originally published March  24, 2020*

There’s a widespread assumption that enterprise print management goes hand-in-hand with print servers. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

At PrinterLogic, we’re all about challenging conventional wisdom. We’ve shown thousands of customers that serverless print management is not only possible, it’s actually superior to traditional enterprise print management solutions because it avoids many of the fundamental weaknesses that print servers introduce. That’s why “eliminate print servers” is our mantra.

Serverless Printing Benefits 

You’re probably asking yourself, “Why should I opt for a serverless print environment?” In this article, we’re here to answer that very question by breaking down the five leading benefits of serverless printing, including:

  1. Removing single points of failure
  2. Reducing WAN traffic
  3. Managing printing from a single pane of glass
  4. Making printing more secure
  5. Gaining next-level features

We promise you’ll thank us later. 

  1. Remove Single Points of Failure

First off, serverless printing solutions remove single points of failure. When a print server goes down, it affects more than print operations and can bring an entire office to a complete halt. With PrinterLogic, you’re able to avoid this because our solution is inherently redundant; end users can continue printing uninterrupted—even in the event of a WAN outage or a host server failure.

This constant availability is virtually unheard of in environments that continue to rely on print servers. 

  1. Reduce WAN Traffic

Traditionally, print servers place a heavy load on the WAN. A serverless print solution like PrinterLogic drastically reduces print-related WAN overhead, allowing your employees to print directly from end-point devices. That means individual print jobs–totaling dozens or even hundreds of megabytes–aren’t crossing the WAN throughout the day. By cutting down the network congestion from print-related traffic, it accelerates print processes as well as basic Web access. That makes for a nice productivity boost that employees will appreciate.

Now for the cherry on top, PrinterLogic also integrates with caching technologies to further reduce its WAN footprint. When you’re deploying or updating drivers enterprise-wide or just in select departments, you can cache them locally to sidestep cross-WAN driver downloading.

  1. Manage Print From a Single Pane of Glass

Day-to-day management of traditional print environments is complex and tedious. The PrinterLogic solution gives you centralized, at-a-glance control of your entire print environment all from a single pane of glass. Deploying printers? You can do it automatically, enterprise-wide—without the need for GPOs, scripting, or other time-consuming workarounds to accommodate print servers. Modifying printers? You can make individual or batch edits by simply ticking a box or using the handy find-and-replace feature.

Ready for the kicker? End users can perform routine printer installs themselves with a single click–no IT assistance required. Try that with traditional print server solutions!

  1. Make It Serverless and Secure

If you’re worried about the strength of security with a serverless print approach, fear not!
PrinterLogic’s intuitive central management makes it easy for you to configure printer assignments, so you can fine-tune authorizations for users and printers. Our solution actually makes printing more convenient and transparent for the end user, while also giving you more granular control over permissions—meaning an increase in security along with ease of use. It’s a win-win! 

  1. Enjoy Additional Features 

Now that remote work is swiftly becoming the norm, we’ve got you covered with additional serverless printing features to help you quickly adapt to modern workstations. Learn more about Off-Network Printing, Secure Release Printing, and advanced reporting capabilities on the blog

Serverless print management might not be the only way to approach enterprise printing, but here at PrinterLogic, we’re confident it’s the best.

Business IT Solutions for Print Environments

Finding the right business IT solutions can be challenging under any circumstances, but the stakes can be higher in enterprise environments when scale becomes a decisive factor. That’s especially true for enterprise print environments. The size and makeup of large printer fleets along with the intricacies involved in accommodating nuanced organizational structures and different user pools can cause things to get complicated fast.

The scale and complexity of the enterprise naturally makes it harder to provide the services and capabilities that every single end user needs at any given moment. From an administrator’s point of view, there’s no greater reminder of this than the number of help-desk calls that come in when those needs aren’t being met by the existing business IT solutions. In particularly bad situations, IT departments can become overwhelmed by the volume of support tickets.

When it gets bad enough, what often happens is that the organization looks to additional business IT solutions to compensate for the shortcomings of the ones that are already in place. But, of course, the addition of a further solution only adds to the complexity of the environment. Which only succeeds in compounding the current problems.

It follows, then, that the answer lies in addressing the root issue. With enterprise printing, this root issue is almost always the server-based architecture that has become the standard among print-management solutions in all kinds of organizations. To eliminate print servers means eliminating the problems they cause, such as unreliable deployments, inadequate print availability, poor scalability and limited functionality.

Eliminate print servers to simplify infrastructure and administration
PrinterLogic’s serverless printing architecture removes the need for print servers entirely. In fact, “eliminate print servers” has been our mantra for years because we saw how legacy print-management solutions—even those claiming to be enterprise-ready business IT solutions—were hamstrung by the server-based architecture and the software that was designed for it.

It’s this next-generation ability to eliminate print servers that remains the biggest benefit of our centrally managed direct-IP printing model, as it allows organizations to drastically reduce their infrastructure while also bringing greater ease of management, unprecedented scalability and flexibility, higher availability, and sought-after features like mobile printing and print auditing to their print environment. Some of those many features include:

Mobile printing: Conventional print-management solutions have a tendency to treat mobile printing like an extra layer of functionality. Maybe that’s no surprise. Legacy server-based architectures more or less demand that it be treated that way.

PrinterLogic, on the other hand, approaches mobile printing like an extension of its core functionality. Android and iOS users can print natively from their devices without having to install any client-side software. Any network printer, including legacy devices, can be configured to receive mobile print jobs. Meanwhile, BYOD and off-network guest users can leverage PrinterLogic’s proven email-to-print capabilities to easily send jobs to authorized printers.

Pull and secure printing: Given the increasing awareness of risks to print security, organizations are looking for ways to implement features like pull printing, which splits the printing process into two steps: printing and release. Secure printing builds on pull printing by adding an authentication mechanism. Often, however, this calls for a dedicated pull-printing solution above and beyond the basic print-management solution along with expanded hardware infrastructure for authentication.

With PrinterLogic, organizations can use as many as five separate authentication mechanisms to securely release print jobs. These mechanisms can include anything from CAC/PIV (used primarily for high-security government agencies and contractors) or a repurposed tablet in kiosk mode. There’s even a convenient new PrinterLogic Print Release App for iOS and Android smartphones that synergizes the benefits of mobile and pull printing. And, like mobile printing, pull and secure printing harness PrinterLogic’s native print capabilities, so they can be easily configured, managed and extended to any printer using a single web-based administrative console.

Print auditing: With increased emphasis on security comes the desire for increased oversight. PrinterLogic’s print-auditing feature gives admins the ability to monitor print activity in detail across the entire print environment. This is possible because, even though the client-to-printer connections are direct IP (and more robust as a result), printing takes place through PrinterLogic’s common platform.

What’s more, our print-auditing capabilities are augmented by reporting. Admins can automatically share the wealth of data gleaned through print auditing by having periodic reports emailed to department heads and decision-makers. PrinterLogic’s print auditing can thus create a solid, informed foundation for cost-saving and efficiency initiatives.

Self-service portal: One of the most longstanding challenges to enterprise print environments is the need to deploy the right printers to the right end users at the right time. The approach adopted by most business IT solutions is to all but remove the end user from the equation and instead put all the responsibility for deployments on the admin’s shoulders.

At PrinterLogic, we recognized that there was a lot to be gained from end-user empowerment. By making the printer-installation process as simple as viewing a floor plan map and clicking on the desired printer, our self-service portal has given end users the resources they need to make sound installation choices while also helping them avoid making mistakes. They no longer need to call the help-desk every single time they need a new printer, and admins can be confident that printer access is still tightly controlled.

Your organization can eliminate print servers
Based on their past experience with legacy print-management solutions, IT professionals can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking, “Eliminating print servers will never work in our organization!” Our customers tell a very different story. QTC, the largest provider of government-outsourced disability and occupational health-examination services in the United States, was able to eliminate print servers and enjoy an estimated 93% reduction in the time its IT team spent of print management (read the case study here). That’s just one of many, many examples.

But there’s an even better way to be sure: Try PrinterLogic for yourself. Just sign up today to test our serverless printing solution free of charge in your organization for 30 days.

Protect Your Enterprise Documents, Data and Devices

There’s a growing awareness of the risks of IT weak points and the costly consequences of security breaches. That has led many organizations to take a much more aggressive stance toward the security of their workflows and infrastructure. One particular aspect that often gets overlooked, though, is enterprise print security and the important role it plays in a strong, comprehensive security strategy.

High-Risk Environments in Enterprise Print Security
While organizations in any industry ignore the security of their print environment at their peril, there are a few fields where enterprise print security is doubly important because the associated risks are so much greater.

  • Healthcare: It goes without saying that secure printing and tightly controlled print management is an absolute must in the healthcare industry. Hospitals, insurers and medical providers are subject to strict regulations on the maintenance and disclosure of sensitive patient information. Violations are not only severely punishable by law; they also shake patients’ trust in the organization.
  • Finance: The banking and financial industry is also under strong regulatory and commercial pressure to ensure that confidential information stays that way. If information is compromised through the unintentional or deliberate exposure of account details, financial statements or transaction records, the repercussions can be swift and expensive.
  • Legal: Printed documentation is a mainstay of the legal profession. Important contracts, personal wills, confidential memos and case histories are just the tip of the iceberg. Lawyers and legal aides therefore have to remain vigilant, which can and should involve monitoring each stage of the print process to keep private documents out of the public eye.
  • Government: Secure printing is being increasingly adopted by municipal, state and federal organizations—along with their contractors—as standard operating procedure. At higher levels of government, some of this adoption can be attributed to tighter standards in the handling of digital information. But added rigorousness around printing and print management is also recognized as a best practice among governmental agencies.

What Does Secure Printing Look Like?
Currently, the most common approach to secure printing splits the printing process into two distinct steps. In the first step, the user prints as usual (i.e., by clicking “Print”). But instead of printing automatically on a default printer, most implementations of secure printing—sometimes conflated with Pull Printing for reasons that will become clear—then hold the print job in a queue to await the end user’s next instructions.

The second step involves releasing the print job for physical printing. This is when the user authorizes a particular printer to execute the print job using a particular authentication mechanism, examples of which will be outlined below. The advantage of this second step is that the user can generally choose to print the job on a nearby (and therefore more convenient) device instead of being forced to print exclusively on a default printer. Hence the notion of Pull Printing.

When enterprise printing solutions implement this two-step process properly, it offers more than just secure-printing capabilities. It’s also easy for the end user to understand, poses little to no disruption to the printing workflow (in fact, the flexibility of Pull Printing can actually be more convenient for the end user) and can even cut down on consumables usage because jobs are far less likely to be abandoned in the output tray.

What Makes PrinterLogic’s Secure Enterprise Printing Solutions Unique?
Thanks to its versatility, simplicity and superiority by design, PrinterLogic’s software sets itself apart from standard solutions because it:

  • Keeps print jobs on the workstation, not the server: Ordinary enterprise printing solutions typically hold secure print jobs in a queue on a print server. This actually introduces an unnecessary security risk by consolidating secure print jobs and making them vulnerable to a single attack vector! PrinterLogic’s serverless print-management solution safely holds the print job on the user’s workstation until it is successfully released by the authorized user.
  • Works with any network printer: Whereas some secure-printing solutions are limited by manufacturer or model compatibility, PrinterLogic gives you the ability to turn any network printer into a Pull Printing device. This saves organizations from having to purchase new hardware or restrict secure-printing functionality to certain users or departments.
  • Multiple print-release authentication options: Whether your organization prefers to authenticate with badge/card readers (this is typically CAC/PIV in federal government applications), the printer’s embedded control panel or a dedicated mobile device in kiosk mode, you can be sure that PrinterLogic’s secure printing will support the method that best suits your environment.

Above all, PrinterLogic’s enterprise printing solutions are easy to deploy and administer, and that same ease extends to secure printing. From a practical print-management standpoint, this should come as welcome news to admins, who are often faced with a demand for secure printing but have no cost-effective way of implementing it across the enterprise and do not want the added burden of configuring and managing a Pull Printing solution.

Download a free 30-day trial of our serverless print-management software to see for yourself how PrinterLogic’s secure printing stacks up against that of other enterprise printing solutions. Our next-generation approach to enterprise print security can serve as a crucial building block in any overall security strategy, thereby helping to protect your data, documents and devices from unwanted access.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Printing with PrinterLogic

As static, deskbound workforces morph into dynamic, mobile ones and IT departments take steps to maximize functionality while reducing infrastructure, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions have already become attractive options for organizations that want to cut down on overhead without sacrificing flexibility or features. However, one sticking point in the adoption of virtual solutions is VDI printing.

This has created what you might call two general virtual desktop printing scenarios. One involves making do with the virtual solution’s built-in printing capabilities. Admittedly, with the addition of features like location-based (proximity) printing, this native functionality has progressed by leaps and bounds over the years in major VDI solutions like Citrix and VMware. Yet it still has its share of shortcomings, particularly with regard to print management.

The second scenario involves adding a dedicated VDI printing solution to the environment in an attempt to replace the native VDI printing capability outright. These extra solutions might make it easier to introduce sought-after features like secure printing into the print environment, but they also add another layer of complexity. Instead of dealing with just one virtual solution, admins now have to oversee and manage multiple solutions that each address a discrete aspect of the virtual environment.

Perennial Pain Points in Virtual Desktop Printing

Depending on the approach to VDI printing that an organization chooses, it stands to experience multiple pain points that never really go away. For example, native printing functionality is typically undermined by a lack of control over printer deployments. Admins simply don’t have tools with the granular precision they need to provision the right printers to the right users reliably and automatically across the entire organization.

Meanwhile, despite their compatibility claims, third-party VDI printing solutions are often hamstrung by poor integration with the primary VDI solution or the organization’s wider IT environment. Each use case is a little different, and many VDI printing solutions lack the versatility and scalability that are necessary to adapt to every single implementation. To overcome this, they’ll place restrictions on software and hardware that can severely limit the organization’s room to maneuver.

One pain point that’s common to both types of virtual desktop printing approaches is the extra burden they place on the IT support staff, whether that be the help desk (which fields the reports of the issues) or admins (who are then tasked with troubleshooting and correcting the problem). The increased volume and frequency of support tickets and help-desk calls from VDI printing errors creates a drain on resources that can be expensive, time-consuming and ultimately a hindrance to the organization’s success.

The PrinterLogic Solution to VDI Printing

Rather than try to replace the native virtual desktop printing capabilities of a particular VDI solution, PrinterLogic augments and enhances those capabilities. That enables our advanced print-management solution to integrate seamlessly with popular virtual solutions like Citrix and VMware in even the most specialized and challenging environments. By the same token, PrinterLogic introduces more control and flexibility into the print environment, providing admins with a VDI printing platform that works with them, not against them.

Here are some of the specific ways PrinterLogic transforms VDI printing:

  • Effortless location-based printing: Also referred to as proximity printing, this deployment method provisions printers to users automatically based on criteria such as their IP address. This allows all users—even roaming employees—within a particular IP range to print to a nearby printer with minimal configuration on the administrative side.
  • Dynamic and automated deployments: In addition to proximity printing, admins can automatically assign printers to users based on a number of Active Directory (AD) criteria, including user, group, and organizational unit (OU). This gives admins the ideal tool to set up deployments with surgical precision under ever-changing conditions. Furthermore, PrinterLogic eliminates the need for GPOs and scripts in these advanced deployments, which can speed up login times and avoid common installation errors.
  • Direct IP connections: Depending on the provisioning method, PrinterLogic’s next-generation VDI printing solution establishes one-to-one connections between the client and the printer. In addition to making virtual desktop printing faster and more robust, this cuts down on the excessive WAN traffic that can adversely impact the user experience in VDI environments.
  • Self-service installation: PrinterLogic features a convenient self-service printer installation portal that empowers end users with the ability to easily identify and install printers that are close to them. They simply visit the web-based portal through their browser, view printers that are laid out on an optional floor plan map and then install their desired printer with a single click.

The proof of the effectiveness and efficiency of PrinterLogic lies in the implementation. Hrvatska pošta (Croatian Post) considered PrinterLogic to be a pivotal component in the success of its Citrix-based Private Cloud initiative (detailed in this case study), and La Roche College found PrinterLogic’s versatile VDI printing solution to be central to its migration to VMware (as they explain here).

To see how PrinterLogic can enhance your current VDI printing experience or aid in your organization’s migration to a VDI environment, sign up today for a free 30-day trial of our serverless software solution.

Secure Release with the PrinterLogic Print Release App

When you think about “Serverless Printing” you probably don’t think about Secure Printing. It kind of seems counterintuitive, right? Having your print job securely held so that you don’t have to run across the office to grab it off the printer before anyone else sees it, without a server to hold the job?

Well, now you can do that. PrinterLogic provides serverless printing and secure printing. You get client-based secure printing, with each print job held on the end user’s workstation instead of being stored in a central server that acts as a single point of failure. It’s secure, direct-IP printing. The same applies to Pull Printing. Jobs are held on the user’s workstation until they are released for printing.

Now to release these jobs you’ve probably heard of using ID badges, active directory credentials, or PIN codes. You have those options using PrinterLogic, but now we’re also very excited to offer the new PrinterLogic Print Release App for smartphones. Without any extra hardware or infrastructure of any kind, you are able to download the app, iOS or Android, log in, and see all your jobs being held for you. Voila!

Print Release App Demo

Users can select multiple jobs to release at once.

Have printers from multiple manufacturers at every site you manage? No problem. The app is manufacturer agnostic. Don’t have the budget for badge readers for every printer? No problem. Download the app and hit release from your phone when you’re at the printer ready to retrieve your job.

This isn’t an entirely new concept for PrinterLogic. We have a mobile web-release portal that lets you use a phone and go to a URL to see your print jobs, and then release them. But what we found is that customers aren’t really using it because it’s not as easy as using an app. You had to bookmark the URL where print jobs are found and then sign in every time. Because it was a miniature browser page viewed on your phone screen, the type was small. It just wasn’t very convenient.

But it gave us a start. When we created the app we leveraged that back-end functionality and built on it. Our goal was to make it simple, while also not requiring someone to sign in again and again. With the Print Release App, you can set it and forget it. It looks clean and is intuitive to use. We made it so users can save their PrinterLogic Web Stack (formerly Printer Installer) or PrinterLogic SaaS (formerly PrinterCloud) URL and their AD credentials locally. No documentation is required. A user can launch the app and use it right off the bat.

Getting and using the app is very straightforward. Just go to the App Store or Play Store and search for PrinterLogic. Download the app, sign in to the PrinterLogic URL, and use your regular credentials. No special login needed—just whatever you use to sign in to your computer.

This most easily works with PrinterLogic SaaS, our SaaS-based solution, because a user just needs an internet connection to release their print job. With PrinterLogic Web Stack, our on-premises solution, the user’s phone would need to be on the same network as the PrinterLogic Web Stack server or on a trusted network with access to the PrinterLogic Web Stack server.

Reach out to a PrinterLogic rep at any time to set up a meeting. Or check out the resources on our website. You can try out the new PrinterLogic Print Release app and provide true no-print-server secure printing to your organization!

Printing from a User Experience Standpoint

Take a moment to consider all the elements that comprise your print environment. There are the printers, of course, and probably print servers as well. There are consumables like paper and ink or toner. There’s your enterprise print-management software and any pull-printing or mobile-printing solutions you might be using. And there are the administrative and support staff, too, who help set up printer deployments, manage drivers and remedy any problems as they arise.

Forgetting anything?

As important as the end user is in any organization (after all, they’re the reason for the entire IT infrastructure), they tend to get left out of the print-management equation. Sometimes that omission can be accidental, and sometimes it can be deliberate. Because, if we’re honest, it isn’t uncommon for end users’ ongoing needs to create an adversarial relationship between them and the IT staff who are there to support them.

That’s not necessarily the fault of either party. At PrinterLogic, we think that has more to do with the limitations of traditional enterprise print-management solutions.

Why the User Experience Matters
Like any other essential technology-related task, printing should be intuitive. It should be reliable. It should be effortless.

When a company implements pull printing for the sake of security, for example, it should be convenient enough for the end user to actually use it, and the authorization and release process shouldn’t come at the expense of productivity. When a user wants to print from their mobile phone, they should be able to do so without jumping through all the usual mobile-printing hoops, such as having to select dedicated printers that only work with a particular OS.

And when a user wants to do something as routine as install a printer, it should be straightforward. Having to file a support ticket or hunt through lists of obscurely named devices in the hope of selecting the right one results in layers of complexity that only create more steps and more work at every level.

When the printer-installation process is easy to understand, pull printing is a snap and mobile printing is reliable, life gets easier for the entire organization—not just the end user but the administrators, the support team and even the organization’s customers.

So why does the user experience matter? It’s because the end user’s printing experience is ultimately everyone’s experience.

Enterprise Print Management without Print Servers
With print servers as your enterprise printing backbone, it’s difficult to guarantee a pleasant user experience. Despite long-awaited advances like driver isolation, print servers remain delicate single points of failure that can halt printing capabilities for entire departments as the result of one rogue print job or server-side error. Conventional direct-IP printing is much more reliable, but it creates severe fragmentation from an enterprise print-management standpoint.

PrinterLogic adopts a unique, centrally managed direct-IP print architecture that removes the inescapable shortcomings of both print servers and conventional direct-IP printing. PrinterLogic’s serverless print infrastructure provides complete visibility over an organization’s print environment from a single pane of glass, yet by completely eliminating print servers, it also eliminates single points of failure.

In a nutshell, it combines the robustness of direct-IP printing with powerful centralized manageability that’s superior to anything print servers can currently offer.

That simplicity and ease of administration translates to the front end. With PrinterLogic, end users can identify and install printers themselves by accessing a web-based self-service installation portal. Using optional floor plan maps, they can view nearby printers in relation to their current location and install them—along with any necessary drivers—with a single click. Instead of filing a support ticket or installing the wrong driver by accident, they can reliably print to authorized printers in seconds.

The PrinterLogic Pull Printing and Mobile Printing Experience
Unlike the usual patchwork of third-party software, PrinterLogic provides optional pull-printing and mobile-printing capabilities that are seamless extensions of our core print-management solution.

With pull printing from PrinterLogic, end users can take advantage of print security best-practices without the sharp learning curve. They simply elect to hold the print job, then use one of four available authentication mechanisms to release the waiting job at their convenience. This solves the perennial problem with secure printing—namely, making it a natural and unobtrusive part of the end user’s printing workflow.

And with PrinterLogic’s mobile printing, any user with a mobile device—including BYOD users and guests—can print to authorized printers with incredible ease. There’s no added software to install, and it works with any device and any printer, including legacy models. For roaming users, mobile printing from PrinterLogic enables them to move from location to location without ever having to take the time to install a printer.

By dramatically improving the overall user experience in enterprise printing, PrinterLogic has enabled organizations like the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office to achieve reductions of 95% in their print-related support call volume. See what it can do for your users by downloading a free 30-day demo of PrinterLogic today.