PrinterLogic Feature Updates – April 2022

We’re excited to announce some feature updates that are now available with PrinterLogic. Check out what’s new in serverless printing: 

Secure Release Printing Updates

  • New Ricoh and Fuji Xerox printer support. We recently launched new CPAs for Ricoh and Fuji. The Gen 2 CPA for Ricoh means SaaS now supports the manufacturer’s MP-series printers. In addition, we now support the ApeosPort series of Fuji Xerox printers (more than 60 models). 
  • New Control Panel Application (CPA) Manager. SaaS and the Virtual Appliance now include a new CPA Manager tool that’s found on your Service Client object on the Printer Apps tab. The CPA Manager is a quick way to get status or help troubleshoot all CPA installations in your environment. It allows up to 250 printer app installations or reconfigurations in batch mode. More information can be found in the CPA Manager topic in our documentation.

Identity (IdP) Update

Concurrent IdP support now in production. As part of our new Advanced Security Bundle, multiple IdPs can be configured and enabled simultaneously. This is especially helpful when bringing a new acquisition into the organization. New workgroups can be merged into the organization’s print environment even if the new acquisition uses a different IdP.

Mobile App Updates

  • Full suite of IdPs now supported.  Our PrinterLogic App for iOS and Android now supports the same IdPs that are available within our SaaS platform. The roster now incorporates 10 providers, including Ping One, Ping Federate, CyberArk (formerly Idaptive), JumpCloud, OneLogin, ForgeRock, Google Identity, and more. 
  • Enhanced Mobile Device Manager (MDM) support. App deployments now include preconfiguring the customer’s PrinterLogic instance URL. This simplifies the sign-in process for the end user and reduces help-desk calls.

Virtual Appliance Updates

  • Security vulnerability fix now available in VA Host update (1.0.742). Recently, an out-of-bounds vulnerability assigned to CVE-2021-44142 was disclosed in Samba versions prior to 4.13.17. This has been remediated. PrinterLogic VA customers with host versions 1.0.735 and earlier should update their VA Host, which includes the latest application release as well. Release notes and associated files can be found here.
  • Just in Time (JIT) provisioning for IdP-managed Badge/PIN and more. We know that for Virtual Appliance customers, JIT provisioning is preferred to SCIM. With that in mind, we just expanded the list of user attributes that can be provisioned, including authPin, authPinUser, badge, manager, department, and job title—if they are configured in the IdP. This means you can take advantage of IdP-managed badge and PIN, a feature that was only available in SCIM apps previously.

Advanced Reporting Update

Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) now available in PrinterLogic SaaS and the VA. The EDW feature facilitates data mining using your own Business Intelligence (BI) tools. The feature lets business analysts create custom reports for resources managed by PrinterLogic, including print jobs in a specific time frame filtered by printer type, region, paper type, black/white vs. color, etc. It supports standard BI tools such as Crystal Reports, Domo, Tableau, and more.

To learn more about these feature updates or our full PrinterLogic feature set, contact our customer support team.

Zero Trust Security and How to Implement Off-Network Printing

Remote working was initially an unexpected turn of events in early 2020 in response to the global pandemic; however, it quickly became an effective option for the workplace—or lack thereof. IDC has predicted that mobile workers will come to dominate the US workforce over the next four years. By 2024, their number is expected to hit 93.5 million, up from today’s 78.5 million. Although workers have adapted to working from home, it often comes with its own set of challenges. 

 

Challenges Remote Employees Face

Sometimes mobile and remote workers need remote printing and on-demand network access. In IT circles, that access is known to carry certain risks. According to an article in IT Brief, more than 80% of IT leaders surveyed by Tessian expressed concern that their company could be more vulnerable to cyberattacks due to staff who are working from home.

Those and other findings—including a worrying rise in user-facilitated phishing attacks—were revealed in Tessian’s report titled Securing the Future of Hybrid Working.

For a growing number of organizations, the way to balance remote collaboration and security is through Zero Trust.

 

About Zero Trust

We now know employees have accessible printing capabilities outside of the workplace, but what is Zero Trust and how is it going to keep your network secure? Let’s break it down. 

Like its name suggests, Zero Trust is an approach that says end users and vital IT infrastructure shouldn’t mix.

In a Zero Trust environment, mission-critical infrastructure like servers and printers reside on their own tightly controlled network. This internal network is kept separate from the employee network. Denying access (rather than granting it) is the default. Server and printer access are only permitted as necessary based on user ID and other identifying criteria.

Since Zero Trust entails strict separation, it would seem to be at odds with remote collaboration and work-from-home policies. But that’s not true. Let’s explore how this environment works well with the example of remote printing. 

 

Remote Printing Can Coexist with Zero Trust

PrinterLogic’s Off-Network Printing bridges the gap between hardened security practices and a seamless printing experience for remote workers. Even when those users are on different networks, they can safely send their print jobs to authorized printers behind the company firewall. Their native print workflows remain the same.

To do that, PrinterLogic’s serverless printing infrastructure uses two components: an External Gateway and an Internal Routing Service. The first receives the off-network print jobs from the user’s remote workstation. The second detects and relays those incoming print jobs to internal printers. 

The solution is highly secure: Data is encrypted before it is routed through the internet and is not unencrypted until it’s behind the organization’s firewall and on the network where the printer is located.

That enables use cases such as:

  • Zero Trust networks. As Zero Trust becomes more widely adopted in the enterprise, organizations need to support remote printing without inconveniencing end users.
  • Onsite contractors. Fixed-term employees like contractors and freelancers are often limited to guest network access. But they still need local printer access.
  • Business-affiliate printing. This is common in healthcare scenarios. Here, an independent affiliate (like a hospital clinic), needs to print remotely to the partner organization’s secure primary network.

PrinterLogic’s Off-Network Printing is available with PrinterLogic SaaS as well as PrinterLogic’s Virtual Appliance.

 

Further Benefits of PrinterLogic’s Off-Network Printing

Creating a more seamless and secure environment for mobile and work-from-home employees to print remotely is just the start. PrinterLogic’s Off-Network Printing brings additional advantages, too. These include:

  • Reduced infrastructure. By eliminating the need for VPNs and external portals to provide printer access, Off-network Printing cuts down on costs and complexity.
  • High availability. PrinterLogic is part of the AWS Well-Architected Framework. That helps to augment reliability through optimized routing of print jobs and added redundancy.
  • Mobility and remote collaboration. No matter where team members are, they can all print to the same devices as long as they’re connected to the Internet.

As the ranks of remote workers grow in tandem with the demand for remote printing, PrinterLogic’s Off-Network Printing lets you maintain tight, Zero Trust security while ensuring convenient access to company MFPs. For more details on configurations and scenarios, be sure to read our white paper on Off-Network Printing.

Zero Trust: What Is It? How Does It Work? Why Should I Use It?

The recent uptick in remote work has highlighted both the promise and the pitfalls of our connected world. Many of the same technologies that give work-from-home employees and contractors access to enterprise networks also create gaps that hackers and other malicious actors can exploit.

To lock down network security without causing productivity to take a hit, Zero Trust has emerged as a best practice and policy of choice for many organizations.

 

What is Zero Trust?

The origins of Zero Trust are rooted in the shortcomings of traditional network security methods.

Since the early days of enterprise risk management, organizations have typically taken a classic defensive approach to network security. There’s an internal network (the LAN), an external network (the WAN) and a protective firewall separating the two. Anything inside the firewall is trusted. Anything outside is untrusted.

The complexity of modern IT networks and the fluidity of today’s workplaces have proven challenging to this vaguely medieval “inside/outside” mindset. For example, this simple binary design doesn’t suit remote workers who need offsite access to internal resources. And what about contractors who might be physically inside the building but don’t merit full access privileges?

Virtual private networks, or VPNs, offer one way to expand the internal network to include this new class of mobile users. From a security management standpoint, the major problem with VPNs is that they implicitly assume trust. If an attacker manages to gain VPN credentials or exploit the VPN connection, that attacker has more or less unrestricted access to the internal network.

IT professionals therefore started looking for a viable VPN replacement. Zero Trust arose as a more identity based, hardline approach to network security that accommodates the nuance of the modern workplace and its dynamic mobile workforce.

Zero Trust is inherently more skeptical than traditional perimeter network approaches. Rather than eagerly award users with sweeping access to large portions of the internal network, the first instinct in a zero-trust environment is to withhold blanket access and instead grant it only on an as-needed basis to business-critical network resources. This is often called the least privilege model.

 

How does Zero Trust work?

The first implementations of Zero Trust network access (ZTNA) took a micro-segmentation approach. This made sense as an updated form of risk management, but the underlying inside/outside rationale didn’t change significantly.

As a result, micro-segmentation mainly served to fragment the internal network into smaller perimeter-bound networks that were further subdivided into cloud and on-prem architectures. This worked well enough as a VPN alternative but had the drawback of decreasing network-wide visibility and increasing admin overhead.

Today, the emphasis in ZTNA has shifted more from the how to the who. It’s not about developing complex blueprints for network compartmentalization or the finicky process of creating walls within walls. Instead it’s about verifying trusted users through their identity. That identity—validated by single sign-on (SSO) solutions, cloud-based identity providers (IdPs), or multifactor authentication (MFA)—becomes the basis for determining which resources users are allowed to access.

This has multiple advantages:

  • Tighter, more consistent security management at the gateway
  • Restricted access, even among trusted users, to lateral resources or low-level core infrastructure
  • Better support for hybrid networks that make use of cloud and on-prem solutions
  • A more curated experience for end users stripped of unnecessary functionality
  • Seamless, secure access for remote workers and contractors alongside onsite employees

Within that broad identity-based approach, ZTNA policies can vary depending on the organization or the user pool. They can require end-to-end encryption of all network communications. They can enforce “hygiene” checks by inspecting devices and data streams for malware during authentication or on an ongoing basis. Or they can prioritize the uniformity of the trusted user experience regardless of network location.

 

Who should use Zero Trust?

Every organization, large or small, can benefit from ZTNA. From agencies that need to allow regular contractor printing to global enterprises with ever-growing fleets of mobile devices, Zero Trust offers a secure, flexible path to better network security and improved risk management.

What form ZTNA ultimately takes will be up to each organization. If they’re looking for VPN alternatives that can scale to support large numbers of remote workers, they might want to explore ZTNA solutions centered around cloud-based digital workspaces. If zero-trust printing is the priority, then solutions that allow for off-network printing will be a logical choice. And if an organization’s business model is heavily reliant on IoT devices, ZTNA will naturally look quite a bit different from the other two.

Regardless of use case, however, Zero Trust is fast becoming the de facto network security standard. The NSA has recently endorsed Zero Trust policies and published detailed guidance on adopting ZTNA models. According to a Deloitte poll in mid-2020, more than 70% of organizations said that ZTNA adoption had either remained on pace or accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. All this speaks to the value of Zero Trust and its recognition as critical security practice going forward.

Print Server versus Service Client: What’s the Difference?

At PrinterLogic, we have one overarching mission: to eliminate print servers. They’re a huge pain point for print environments of every shape and size, a resource vortex that devours time, money and effort with very little to show for it. IT departments and help desk staff would have a lot less headache if print servers were a thing of the past.

And that’s the thing—they are. Print servers are a legacy technology. They’ve been superseded by solutions like ours, which unites proven direct-IP printing with modern centralized management. End users enjoy seamless, secure, highly available print capabilities from almost any device. IT admins can easily oversee and control the print environment from a single pane of glass.

PrinterLogic is so good at what it does that many folks assume it’s some kind of magical, next-gen print server. But there are fundamental differences in the design and operation of a print server and the PrinterLogic Service Client. Those important differences are what we’re going to examine here.

 

What is a print server?

A print server is a device that allows you to share a printer with multiple computers on a network. Its primary function is to funnel the print jobs from those computers into a single, shared print queue. Then it feeds those jobs to the printer one by one.

Simple, right? Ah, not so fast. As always, there are other factors to consider. It’s these added complexities that make print servers cumbersome, labor-intensive and unreliable.

  • Deployment: Physical print servers have to be rolled out individually and on-prem.
  • Configuration: Each print server has to be painstakingly set up for its print microenvironment (e.g., users, printers).
  • Print drivers: As the crucial software interface between clients and printers, drivers can be a major source of instability.
  • Print services: These are the printing capabilities that are made available to the computers. They can vary significantly from device to device.
  • Operating system: Whatever operating system the print server uses has to be licensed, maintained and updated.
  • Hardware: Like software, print server hardware has purchase costs, maintenance costs and upgrade costs. 

 

How does that compare to the PrinterLogic Service Client? 

First off, the PrinterLogic Service Client is not a physical device. It’s also not responsible for connecting computers to a shared printer or a shared printer queue. In fact, isn’t even responsible for handling PrinterLogic’s core printing functionality.

As its name suggests, the Service Client instead provides powerful print-related capabilities, or services, to end users. These services go above and beyond what print servers can offer. They include:

Because it’s a software component, PrinterLogic’s Service Client can be managed from a single web-based portal, the Admin Console, and automatically deployed to end users’ devices. And, unlike a print server, the PrinterLogic service client:

  • Does not create a single shared queue for a particular printer. This minimizes common print queue errors and increases print security.
  • Does not require any kind of server hardware, OS or manual configuration. That speeds up deployment and makes management more efficient.
  • Does not need print drivers to be manually installed. Those are managed in a central repository via the Admin Console.
  • Does not connect printers to client computers over the network. That’s done separately by the PrinterLogic instance.

 

The basis for a serverless printing infrastructure

Understanding how the PrinterLogic Service Client differs from print servers is also key to understanding what makes our serverless printing infrastructure possible. Basically, not being a print server is how we’re able to eliminate them completely from your print environment.

The unique interplay between the PrinterLogic Service Client and the PrinterLogic instance creates our powerful combo of distributed printing and centralized management. It’s why IT admins can easily deploy printers and apply profiles across the enterprise without resorting to scripts or GPOs. It’s also why end users can still print as usual when the WAN connection goes down—even with our cloud-based solution, PrinterLogic SaaS.

And it’s why we continue to make good on our aim to eliminate print servers. We’re helping IT professionals move beyond legacy print solutions to achieve a secure, easy-to-manage, scalable and robust print environment, one customer at a time.

Are Your Current Print Management Practices Future Proof?

When planning their enterprise print management strategies, most organizations try to take a long-term view.
They look to purchase cost-sensitive workhorse printers for their fleet and printer management solutions that will support and integrate with their wider IT infrastructure for years to come.

What’s wrong with traditional print management?

The problem is that traditional enterprise print management solutions are just that—traditional. The basic workstation/print server/printer paradigm has been around for decades, and no matter how many iterations of Windows Server are released with performance tweaks and improvements to longstanding issues, the same shortcomings tend to persist. What this means is that your print infrastructure will always be playing catch-up as your IT infrastructure evolves around it. It could even be holding your organization’s IT infrastructure back. Not to mention your productivity.

To truly future proof your organization’s current printer management practices, it’s essential to look to solutions that have four key characteristics:

  • Scalable—to grow with your organization, regardless of how that growth occurs
  • Versatile—to adapt to changes—both seen and unforeseen—in infrastructure, workflow and industry trends
  • Robust—to provide uncompromising stability in day-to-day use as well as over time
  • Efficient – to ensure that ease of use and cost-effectiveness don’t experience diminishing returns

The only enterprise print management solution that seamlessly unites these is PrinterLogic. Our approach to enterprise printing is unique because it combines the stability of direct IP printing with the unprecedented ease of centralized printer management, the smart convenience of end-user empowerment, and the power of a flexible printing platform with a remarkably small footprint. Taken together, those qualities amount to a future-proof print management strategy.

A closer look at future-proof print management

From a high-level perspective, that probably sounds ideal. But how exactly does it play out on the ground?

Let’s consider a common enterprise printing scenario. Standard practice is for most organizations to deploy new print servers to meet growth. The trouble with this is that growth can be unpredictable. Is it taking place in the same building or does it mean adding a new facility to a distributed environment? Will it involve a migration to a virtual desktop interface (VDI) solution? Are two very different print infrastructures and printer management approaches going to be merging as a result?

Unlike print servers, which are usually a response to growth and not a foundation for growth, PrinterLogic’s innate versatility and infinite scalability prepare you for any eventuality. So, for example, existing print infrastructures can easily be imported or merged into a single centralized server running PrinterLogic’s enterprise print management solution. Regardless of whether the organization is already distributed or about to become more distributed, PrinterLogic is able to expand to multiple sites with no need for additional remote infrastructure investment.

PrinterLogic also integrates smoothly with any kind of environment – including complex VDI setups like Citrix and VMware. And its effortless printer management scales to organizations of any size: 100 printers and drivers are just as easy to manage as 10,000.

Although the future is unknowable, implementing PrinterLogic’s enterprise print management solution means you don’t need a crystal ball. With it, your printer management practices can evolve dynamically and reliably along with your organization.

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.

How to drastically reduce printer-related service desk calls

You can probably imagine how eliminating print servers also helps to end single points of failure.

This means increased printer availability and more printer uptime at your organization. A welcome bonus? Fewer calls to the service desk.

That said, most printer-related service requests aren’t complaints about a single unavailable printer. They actually have to do with employees not being able to install the printers in the first place. Traditional print management solutions certainly don’t make this easy. Even tech-savvy computer users regularly run into trouble with printer installation. In remote situations, the problem is even worse.

Empower your end users

PrinterLogic’s Self-Installation Portal addresses this longstanding flaw of enterprise printing. It empowers your end users and simplifies the installation process for employees. And that’s true no matter how many sites or employees your organization has. As a matter of fact, this is where the simplicity and scalability of PrinterLogic truly shine.

As an admin, you can easily deploy printers to Active Directory users. Our print management solution lets you also deploy to computers, groups, containers, organizational units, or even entire ranges of IP addresses. From there, you can:

  • Provide a single consistent printer installation portal across your entire enterprise
  • Upload floor plan maps to enable self-service printer installation for remote employees

Suddenly, no more manual installs. The Self-Installation Portal empowers users to browse available printers, select the closest one, and then install that printer with a single click. It’s an intuitive, uniform, and secure experience no matter where they happen to be. Enterprise printing suddenly becomes about as complex as visiting a website. With that kind of ease, it’s no wonder why PrinterLogic’s enterprise customers revealed that 77% of them saw at least a 30% reduction in service desk calls.

More impressive still is that 62% of those customers saw a reduction in service desk calls by more than 50%. Even better: 41% saw a reduction of greater than 70%, while 15% saw a reduction of more than 90%.

Imagine that—a 90% reduction in service desk calls! Just think of the time and cost savings you’d achieve with even as little as a 10% or 20% reduction.


TechValidate Survey: Increased Efficiency Because of PrinterLogic

Here are a few of our case studies of customers who have seen major reductions in printer-related service desk calls:

Why You Should be Performing an Annual Audit on Your Print Environment

Corporate printing costs can get expensive. These costs can amount to as much as 3% of annual revenue (some estimates even go as high as 12%). It’s important to keep those costs in check. And with print security becoming an increasingly urgent priority for enterprise organizations, keeping tabs on what’s happening across your print environment.
 
That’s why it’s a good idea to conduct a print audit at least once per year. What is a print audit? It’s a deep and detailed dive into every aspect of your corporate printing. From the spare ink cartridges to a solitary desktop printer, everything should be considered.

What is the purpose of a print audit?

From a general standpoint, a print audit is designed to:
  • Provide greater visibility into your print infrastructure and activity
  • Help you to understand how printers are used across different locations and departments
  • Improve security and contributes to effective risk management
  • Ensure compliance requirements are being met
A print audit can also have specific benefits to your organization’s security, productivity and the bottom line. When carried out properly, a print audit:
  • Shows you exactly where you could be saving time and money
  • Reveals “unseen” corporate printing habits—both good and bad
  • Quantifies waste and environmental impact
  • Lays the groundwork for an efficient, practical print strategy moving forward
The key phrase here is carried out properly. The whole point of a print audit is to be as thorough as possible, because you get out of it what you put into it. Cutting corners won’t give you full insight into your corporate printing and will likely limit the potential gains. It might even give you a skewed picture that leads to flawed decisions. So rigorousness is something to bear in mind when it comes time to perform your print audit.
 

How to conduct a thorough print audit

A worthwhile annual print audit—one that provides a solid basis for guidance and future decision-making—has four general steps:
  1. Identify how each specific printer is used (ask the who, what, when, where and why).
  2. Rank printing usage by department and even down to individual employees.
  3. Calculate the total annual cost spent on printing (toner, upgrades, maintenance, etc.).
  4. Use this info plus IT input to determine weak spots in your print infrastructure.
Throughout this process, your print management solution could be your greatest asset. Or it could be your biggest obstacle.
 
Here’s what I mean by that.
 
Using print servers as your print management solution can limit visibility you need over the print environment. Getting basic information on print activity could involve manually combing through spooler event logs or creating custom PowerShell scripts. Deriving solid data on consumables usage will depend a lot on the device manufacturer and model. Translating that raw info into real-world costs won’t be easy.
 
And if your print management solution is conventional direct IP, performing a print audit could take forever. It will be incredibly time-consuming, if not downright impossible, to gather detailed information on every device and then extrapolate larger trends from that.
 
Compare those to a solution like PrinterLogic, which has built-in advanced reporting capabilities to make comprehensive print audits way more efficient. A feature like that can make all the difference.
 

Accelerate and add value to your print audits

PrinterLogic adopts a centrally managed, direct IP printing model. What that means is that admins can monitor and manage printer objects across the entire print environment. All from a single pane of glass.
 
The same serverless printing infrastructure that delivers such incredible visibility and control has another huge benefit. It allows PrinterLogic to gather core data on your corporate printing right at the source—including USB printers. With PrinterLogic as your print management solution, you can:
  • Automatically generate and distribute detailed reports on printing by department or location for a specified time period.
  • Set up PrinterLogic to calculate real-world printing costs based on printer data.
  • Capture extensive information on print jobs or printer usage and import it into your existing BI tools.
  • Track print activity down to the user and device across your entire organization with PrinterLogic’s web-based admin console.
  • Gain a clearer picture of your print environment for guiding printer consolidation, identifying security risks and implementing cost-saving initiatives.
PrinterLogic’s strengths as a print management solution have helped companies from all industries conduct more effective print audits and adopt more efficient, more economical printing habits.
 
For example, heavy-machinery dealer Thompson Tractor used PrinterLogic to identify users who were printing to the wrong printers (read the case study here). The financial consulting firm Wipfli LLC used it to inform cost–benefit analyses on their printer maintenance vendor (read the case study here). And healthcare organization OhioHealth used it to improve its Epic EMR printing (read the case study here).

How Centralized Print Administration Helps Tighten Control and Security for Corporate Printing

It’s tempting to think of corporate security mostly in terms of locking things down: restricting access, closing loopholes, patching vulnerabilities. Those are the necessary steps you take to reduce potential exploits before they happen.

Another crucial aspect of security is oversight. That’s a more active, interventional way to catch suspicious activity.

To give an example, your car has locks on its doors. But those locks don’t care who’s using the keys. The pivotal moment comes when an observer says, “Hey, that’s Jeff’s car. So why is that stranger unlocking it? I’d better figure out what’s going on.”

The same applies to corporate printing. An employee might have perfectly legitimate access to a certain printer. Yet, if you notice them printing unusually large jobs at odd hours, something could definitely be amiss. That’s where oversight comes into play.

Through centralized print administration, your organization can get the unified oversight it needs to create a more efficient and secure printing environment. Centralization doesn’t just tighten control. It also offers easier print monitoring in even the most distributed organizations.

How serverless printing enables centralized print administration

PrinterLogic’s serverless printing infrastructure allows you to centralize print administration in your organization while eliminating print servers at the same time. That means more oversight with less infrastructure.

How does our next-gen enterprise software do this? By moving beyond traditional approaches to corporate printing. Instead of relying on print servers to do the heavy lifting, PrinterLogic establishes direct IP connections between clients and printers. The web-based admin console then lets authorized IT staff manage all of those printer objects and settings from a single pane of glass.

Using the console, admins can update (or roll back) drivers and configure changes directly on user endpoints. With print servers eliminated, those changes can be carried out in real time. Furthermore, printing is more robust when it’s based on direct IP, and centralized management makes the entire environment feel much more cohesive—even if it’s a broad mix of printers and client devices.

Increased visibility through advanced reporting

In addition to its powerful admin console, PrinterLogic also offers advanced reporting. This is a print auditing and monitoring feature that increases visibility over the entire corporate printing environment.

Advanced reporting enhances centralized print administration by keeping tabs on things like print job metadata and SNMP status. That information gives admins a better understanding of how often printers are being used and for what. They can see details right down to the user and printer level.

What’s more, PrinterLogic makes that data accessible as well as actionable. Print job metadata can be integrated with your organization’s existing BI tools, and information on consumables usage or print activity can be emailed to department heads and decision-makers at specified intervals. You can use it to curb wasteful printing or as the basis for a secure printing initiative.

Secure release printing with PrinterLogic

Of course, any secure printing initiative ought to include secure release printing. The Secure Print Analysis report from HP found that almost 90 percent of enterprise businesses have suffered at least one data loss because of unsecured printing. Secure release printing helps to combat data loss by adding an authentication step to some or all print jobs.

PrinterLogic makes it super easy for organizations to incorporate that into their corporate printing strategy. Any network printer—even legacy devices—can be configured for secure release printing in PrinterLogic’s admin control. And for even more convenience, there’s the option to use multiple release methods: PrinterLogic’s Print Release App, badge/card release, the printer’s control panel and more.

More oversight, more control, less effort

Iowa’s Northwest Area Education Agency (AEA) turned to PrinterLogic SaaS when it wanted a single cloud-based solution that would do all of the above. That meant centralizing print administration, leveraging advanced reporting and implementing secure printing in a mixed-OS environment.

With print servers and conventional direct IP, those targets were impossible. But with PrinterLogic, Northwest AEA was able to hit every one of them. The organization now has more oversight and more control over its print environment—but with far less investment of time and resources in day-to-day print administration. You can read the case study here.

PrinterLogic SaaS Is a Truly Serverless Printing Solution

The cloud came with a lot of promises. You’d be able to reduce physical infrastructure, manage everything from one place, enjoy more flexibility and features. Migration to the cloud would free up IT resources and be more cost-effective.

As most IT professionals know, printing was one thing that proved harder to shift.

You can take your print management software and host it in the cloud, obviously. But some of the old problems don’t go away. You’re still stuck with single points of failure, awkward deployment mechanisms, on-prem servers, limited security and all the other drawbacks of legacy print management solutions.

That’s why PrinterLogic SaaS is unique.

Our industry-leading serverless printing infrastructure realizes the promise of what cloud computing was meant to be. It lets you fully eliminate print servers from your organization while gaining virtually effortless, totally serverless print management from a single pane of glass. You get centralized management of printers and drivers along with powerful reporting—all without having to rely on scripting or GPOs.

Unlike some “cloud-optimized” print management software, PrinterLogic is a true SaaS offering. It’s not some cloud-hosted shortcut that leaves you stuck with server licensing, configuration and maintenance. Nor does it force you and your users to tunnel through a VPN.

PrinterLogic SaaS also isn’t a hybrid approach that makes you keep servers onsite. Solutions like that involve too many compromises. When we say PrinterLogic eliminates print servers completely and permanently, we mean it.

All the Features (and More), None of the Infrastructure

Okay, so we know that PrinterLogic’s serverless printing eliminates print servers for good. How does serverless print management with PrinterLogic SaaS stack up against the status quo?

  • Maintenance-free. When you eliminate print servers, you don’t just get rid of physical infrastructure. You eliminate all the licensing, migration and other headaches that they entail.
  • Automatic upgrades. Like true SaaS solutions, updates to PrinterLogic’s serverless printing infrastructure are automated and seamless. That means your print environment always has access to the latest fixes and features.
  • Truly universal. More than just a serverless print server, PrinterLogic works with any printer, any OS and any VDI. Compatibility with your current and future IT environment just isn’t a concern.
  • Secure by design. Our serverless secure printing avoids common attack vectors because there are no shared print queues. And PrinterLogic’s robust direct IP architecture keeps confidential data on the LAN.

Hardened Security That’s Easy to Implement and User-Friendly

Considering the overlooked importance of print security, it’s worth highlighting that last point to appreciate just how secure PrinterLogic SaaS is.

  • PrinterLogic SaaS is AWS-hosted and therefore meets rigorous standards for security and compliance.
  • Eliminating print servers removes their inherent vulnerabilities. PrinterLogic’s serverless printing is the only way to eliminate print servers without sacrificing functionality and ease of management.
  • Features like serverless pull printing and secure release printing are now augmented by simple badge release and offline secure print release in PrinterLogic SaaS.
  • Plus there are many other release options for serverless secure printing. These include multifactor authentication (MFA) such as CAC/PIV as well as native control panel apps.
  • Integration with leading cloud-based identity providers (IdPs) such as Okta and Azure AD means users’ credentials are strong and centrally managed with the help of security experts.
  • Ours is the only print management software that’s been certified to meet with stringent U.S. government security standards like FIPS 140-2.
  • As security isn’t effective unless end users adopt it, we’ve always put a lot of emphasis on usability. PrinterLogic’s serverless pull printing, for example, is super easy for them to make a part of their everyday printing workflow.

Schedule a Risk-Free, Cost-Free Demo

The best way to understand exactly how these benefits play out in the real world is to see our serverless printing infrastructure in action. And the best way to do that is to schedule a demo of PrinterLogic SaaS. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to sign up. After that, you can deploy PrinterLogic as a proof of concept in your own environment entirely free of charge for 30 days.

You’ll quickly discover that PrinterLogic is efficient, flexible, secure, scalable and reliable—everything that printing should be, and everything that server-based printing isn’t.

That’s why PrinterLogic SaaS isn’t just print management software in the cloud. It’s better to think of it as what print management looks like on cloud nine.