Serverless Pull Printing: Secure Printing Without a Print Server

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

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

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

 

What Is Secure Pull Printing?

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

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

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

 

What Does Secure Pull Printing Help Organizations Achieve?

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

Strengthened Security

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

Sustainable Printing

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

Flexibility 

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

Cost Reduction

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

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

 

Add Flexibility and Security to Your Print Environment

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

5 Reasons to Adopt SaaS Print Management

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

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

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

 

1. Optimized Print Security

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

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

 

2. Increased Business Agility 

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

 

3. Do More, With Less Hardware

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

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

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

 

4. Improved Business Sustainability

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

 

5. No More Hidden Costs

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

 

Bonus: Control Over Both Printing and Scanning

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

 

Enjoy the Benefits of SaaS Print Management

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

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

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.

PrinterLogic Virtual Appliance or SaaS? Analyzing Your Options After Web Stack End-of-Life

It’s been a minute since PrinterLogic Web Stack reached its end-of-life. 

Since February 28, 2023, to be exact. 

And if you’ve been holding onto the product for dear life, we understand—it’s a great product. However, we have alternatives that simplify print management and keep jobs on the local network while still giving you the control Web Stack provided. 

Below, we’ll cover our on-premise and cloud-native solutions, how they enhance security, and the benefits of upgrading to our next-gen software. 

 

What are your upgrade choices after Web Stack?

PrinterLogic offers two ways to manage print after migrating from Web Stack: PrinterLogic SaaS and the PrinterLogic Virtual Appliance (VA).

PrinterLogic SaaS is easy to manage, eliminates legacy infrastructure, scales on demand, and rolls out automatic updates to keep your data secure. Our SaaS platform is ISO 27001:2013- and SOC 2 Type 2-certified, which encompasses the protection of your confidential data and enables us to better satisfy your unique business requirements.

The PrinterLogic Virtual Appliance is our latest on-premise, self-contained solution for customers who want the latest functionality but who need to host the solution in their data center or private cloud. It’s a complete, unitized solution that’s ready to install, including a server OS, web services, network environment, and the PrinterLogic application.

 

What new features do you get access to?

Since we discontinued engineering support for Web Stack customers in August 2022, new features have been developed that aren’t accessible within Web Stack.

Extend and enhance your printing capabilities by migrating to our VA or SaaS solution: 

  • Simplified Scanning features that enhance document collaboration in hybrid environments (SaaS only, with Virtual Appliance support upcoming)
  • Modernized and automated Output Management tools to ensure efficient document delivery 
  • Cloud-based Identity Provider support (e.g., Okta, Azure AD, and more)
  • Chrome-OS Client Extension to manage Chromebooks like any other OS
  • Printer-agnostic, intuitive Control Panel Application (CPA) that supports your print release, copy, and scanning capabilities  
  • Zero Trust-supported Off-Network Printing solution for hybrid workplaces 
  • Offline Secure Release Printing for Windows–close your laptop and still receive print jobs
  • Native direct IP Mobile Printing on iOS and Android 
  • Secure Release Printing with touchless QR code using mobile devices, simple badge release, or from the CPA


How secure are the Virtual Appliance and SaaS solutions?

Like any on-prem solution, some facets of security are determined by your organization’s security policies. As a general rule, the Virtual Appliance is considered to be highly secure for several reasons

  • The VA’s low-profile operating environment is less exposed as an attack surface
  • The OS and platform elements are updated regularly, reducing vulnerabilities 
  • VAs offer content verification and integrity checking based on public-key cryptography

There are a couple other security benefits worth mentioning. First, your database and file storage locations are controlled by you, so you can apply your own security policies. Second, the latest PrinterLogic platforms use centrally managed direct IP, so by default, all print job data stays on the local network.

Our SaaS solution is ISO 27001:2013- and SOC 2 Type 2-compliant and offers the same security features and benefits as our VA offering. All communication between workstation clients and the AWS-hosted PrinterLogic SaaS instance is encrypted over HTTPS and TLS 443 with an OAuth2 security token. PrinterLogic SaaS utilizes the security features of Amazon Web Services and Azure Cloud to ensure that PrinterLogic systems and data are secure.

PrinterLogic SaaS integrates with one or more IdP services to authenticate and authorize users, groups, and computers. Confidential data is also protected through a choice of secure pull-printing capabilities, which are included in the core license.

 

What is the process for upgrading to PrinterLogic SaaS?

You’ll receive full support from our team to migrate from Web Stack. In five simple steps, you’ll have PrinterLogic SaaS and additional features up and running.

  1. We’ll ensure you’re using the latest Web Stack software (v19.1.1.13 SP3 and MySQL 8.0 or later) 
  2. After spinning up your SaaS instance, you’ll upload your database to a secure location using a URL we provide
  3. Transfer settings from your database (e.g., config options, printers, and users) to your SaaS instance 
  4. Build a script that removes, then reinstalls, our current client software on all user endpoints 
  5. Reinstall all Control Panel Applications if you’re using our CPAs

 

What about upgrading to the Virtual Appliance?

As a starting point, you need to be running Web Stack v19.1 SP3 with MySQL 8.0 or later. The VA includes an upgrade tool that allows you to migrate data into the VA from your Web Stack instance. You can do a migration on your own or reach out to Product Support for assistance. 

This upgrade does not overwrite your existing Web Stack install, which allows you to spin up the VA and test it before you cut over to the new solution. We recommend uninstalling your CPAs from Web Stack before doing the migration and then reinstalling the latest CPAs from the VA once it’s up and running.

 

Interested in upgrading from PrinterLogic Web Stack?

As we complete our transition to a complete SaaS-first company, we invite all of our current Web Stack users to increase security and enjoy all the features and functionality provided by our Virtual Appliance and SaaS print management solutions. 

If you’re a current customer and would like to discuss your upgrade options, reach out to your PrinterLogic representative.

For more details about PrinterLogic Web Stack End-of-Life, check out our FAQ.

Webinar Recap: Print Security Hacks for 2024

Security has long been atop the IT agenda. Customers demand it. Your business continuity depends on it. And it can greatly impact your bottom line if not implemented strategically.

But what are the main security focuses going into 2024? And what steps can you take to put your organization in the best position to protect precious customer and employee data in 2024 and beyond?

Vasion’s Principal Architect, Greg Smith, and Director of DevOps and Security, Justin Scott, sat down for a quick chat about Print Security Hacks for 2024 to share their knowledge on the best (and fastest) ways to achieve Zero Trust-caliber print management.

Watch the video below or read on for a short summary of the webinar. 

What’s top of mind in 2024?

You’ve constantly been asked to “Do less with more” when it comes to your current infrastructure.

But that still isn’t enough.

In 2024, the ask is a lot greater: Implement airtight layers of security that protect confidential data and maintain industry compliance BUT don’t decrease productivity or inconvenience end users.

A long-winded ask…we know.

Justin and Greg highlighted the following key criteria that are top of mind for CIOs and IT Directors for their print environments in 2024 to help you meet security demands.

  1. Zero Trust: Verify every end user before they get access to print applications.
  2. Federated Authentication: Access all apps with just one password to increase productivity.  
  3. Online Identity Providers (IdPs): Ensure secure access across all apps.
  4. Remediate Vulnerabilities: Update and patch existing hardware to keep attacks out.
  5. Reduce Attack Surfaces: Minimize infrastructure by removing underutilized printers and print servers. 
  6. Maintain Compliance: Leverage solutions that comply with ISO and SOC security frameworks. 

It’s possible to check these off your list rather quickly. However, there’s one piece of legacy hardware that needs to be addressed before you can optimize your print security in 2024: your print servers. 

 

What do print servers ACTUALLY do?

Being the status quo for over 25 years, it’s easy to forget why we have print servers in the first place. They’re a messenger between a client and your printers that queue print jobs to ensure your hardware never gets overloaded. 

Originally, servers were lauded for providing admins with centralized management, better print security, and improved print speeds. However, as businesses expanded, created new locations, and increased their print traffic, the immediate response for many IT pros was to put up more print servers to accommodate end users and equally disperse WAN traffic. Which, at the time, was a genius idea. 

Print servers have withstood the test of time, until recently, that is. They’re the primary cause of print-related helpdesk tickets, and they’re pricey to maintain and replace every three to five years. In short, print servers could be costing you more money, time, and headaches than they’re really worth. 

 

The security risks of print servers

Vulnerabilities exploited within print servers aren’t a secret. 

In 2010, StuxNet, a powerful malware, revealed itself to the world by exploiting a vulnerability in the Windows Print Spooler service. Eleven years later, the PrintNightmare exploit allowed attackers to take control of a vulnerable system. Since PrintNightmare’s emergence in 2021, there have been over 65,000 attacks on Windows Print Spoolers, 31,000 of which happened in 2022.

So how do you ensure these attacks don’t happen to you? 

Eliminate your print servers and get direct IP print management in the cloud.

 

Top questions to ask print vendors

So, you decided to move away from legacy print infrastructure and transition to a cloud-based print management solution. Naturally, you’re going to have a lot of questions about migration time, potential printer downtime, costs, and expected limitations you’d like to address—which are usually clearer after trying a demo with a new solution. 

Greg and Justin crafted a list of questions you can ask vendors upfront before investing your time and effort in a proof of concept.  

 

Conclusion

Implementing Greg and Justin’s print security hacks for 2024 doesn’t require you to search far and wide. PrinterLogic SaaS, our cloud-native direct IP print management solution, equips your organization with the features and functionality you need to print securely and protect your data for long-term success. PrinterLogic is ISO 27001:2013 and SOC 2 Type 2-certified and integrates with popular IdPs to authenticate all users before they print. 

Visit our website for more information

Or, schedule a free 30-day trial with one of our experts today.

Why We’re Excited About Simplified Scanning. And Why You Should Be Too

We are excited to announce a new solution: Simplified Scanning

We’ve added Scan To Email and Scan To Cloud to the PrinterLogic SaaS Core feature set to help organizations like yours quickly access and collaborate digitally instead of using those pesky paper documents or scanned copies.

As a product manager at Vasion for the past two years, I’ve been able to meet with our customers to discuss their challenges with both printing and scanning, like configuring and managing scanning processes on on-premise MFDs from different manufacturers, maintaining security and visibility to user activity, constantly training users on scanning as the process differs from MFD to MFD—the list goes on.  

We prioritized solving those challenges with this new solution to improve your way of doing things. That’s why I’m excited about Simplified Scanning. I think you will be, too, for these three key reasons.

 

1. Simplified setup, management, and control 

Varying configuration methods and interfaces can be a nightmare. If you have multiple MFDs of different manufacturers—the process gets way more time-consuming than it should be.

That said, pay close attention to the configuration steps below in Figure 1. 

To enable scanning within the Admin Console, you toggle on the feature from your Global Scan Settings, then enable Scan To Email or Cloud in the settings of the devices you want scanning. 

That’s it. Not so complicated, right?

From there, you have complete control within the Admin Console over the default Global Scan Settings for all MFDs and who can see and adjust which settings.

 

 

Figure 1: Configuration for Scan To Email and Cloud is simple within the PrinterLogic Admin Console. 

 

Scan To Email 

SMTP for emails is pre-configured in this initial release of Scan To Email, so you don’t have to configure it on each of your MFDs. Set it once, and you’re good to go. You can also lockdown Scan To Email recipients to specific domains and address book contacts, depending on the level of security and control you want with user scanning permissions. 

 

Scan To Cloud

Configure each cloud storage provider (Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, and SharePoint) within the Admin Console once rather than per user at every printer. You can set up specific groups or users to see and scan to particular cloud storage folders users need, like NDAs, contracts, and more. As long as the user has access to their cloud storage provider account, those folders will display for them at the MFD. 

Employee access maintenance is simple, too. Users are added and removed from cloud storage folders without you needing to re-configure access. If the user is in an IdP group, they get access automatically. 

 

2. Better visibility over your entire environment 

If you’re using the built-in scan function on your MFDs, you probably can’t see who is scanning or where files are sent—unless you’re standing at your MFD all day long, watching everyone who uses it. Scanning can be an inherently vulnerable process, and we put a big emphasis on being able to view and monitor all user scan activity from every MFD, all from a single platform, without standing guard at your scanner. 

Your basic MFD uses an NTLM V1 encryption, but we know you need more coverage than that. All file transfers that happen within PrinterLogic go through HTTPS/TLS 1.2, with all emails encrypted over SSL. With Single Sign-On (SSO) functionality, you can manage user access to MFDs to ensure only those that you have authorized can access printing and scanning functions. All users must authenticate their identity at the CPA via badge swipe or username and PIN credentials before scanning, ensuring that anything they do after login is tracked to their usernames. 

Then, within the Admin Console, you can access a designated scanning report to see activity information like who is scanning and from what workstation, the time of the scan, and additional scan job details to help you manage and maintain document and organizational security. 

 

 

3. Universal and convenient end user experience 

The old-school process for an end user to scan required users to scan a document, track down wherever that file was saved, then manually attach it to an email, or upload it to a cloud storage folder just to share it with others. Doing this with a few documents now and then can work, but it’s not a long-term solution, especially as the organization scales. 

With Simplified Scanning, your end users can log in to the Control Panel Application (CPA) on the printer as they usually would for Secure Release Printing, select a Scan To option (Email or Cloud), define their scan destination and settings, and then scan. The process takes minutes. 

This paperless process is great for you, too. With an intuitive, universal interface for end users to scan with no matter the printer manufacturer, you spend less time on helpdesk tickets for user configuration, logins, and retraining for different manufacturers. 

 

Looking to the future

Big things are happening behind the scenes that we can’t wait for you to see. 

There is more to come with additional scanning capabilities, from scanning to a network from a mobile device to a workflow with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. We’re dedicated to developing products that make your lives easier while benefiting your organization. 

Solutions like Simplified Scanning that automate manual processes and digitize document management are just the start of our Vasion unified platform—bringing print, workflow, and document management together. Stay tuned, and get excited. 

If you want to try Simplified Scanning in your organization, schedule a demo or contact your Customer Success Representative. 

Consolidate Your Network Printers With PrinterLogic SaaS

Simplify things. Minimize infrastructure. Do more with less.

You’ve probably heard these a time or two. And when you’ve already accumulated a ton of hardware, it’s hard to decide how and where to start. 

Printing is often an afterthought, but consolidating your network printers under one solution can prove to be one of the quickest ways to downsize your print hardware. This blog covers the ways you can reduce unnecessary hardware with PrinterLogic’s SaaS print management solution to cut costs, improve visibility, and remove the single point of failure.  

 

Start with eliminating your print servers

Though it might seem daunting to organizations married to a traditional print infrastructure, print server elimination is the most efficient way to consolidate and downsize your print environment. Thanks to next-generation solutions like PrinterLogic SaaS, eliminating print servers is as easy as rolling out our solution (which, as it happens, is really easy and very quick). PrinterLogic automatically migrates your printers and drivers to our centralized Admin Console so you can see your complete fleet from a single pane of glass. 

Migration is simple, but what truly separates PrinterLogic from other solutions is the speed of the migration compared to other solutions.

The trouble for other solutions on the market is that effective network printer consolidation requires extensive, real-time information on individual printers as well as the larger print environment. Most solutions have enough trouble making network printer configuration as effortless as PrinterLogic does, deprioritizing print auditing and the detailed insight you need to carry out infrastructure consolidation as a result.

 

Get advanced reporting and insights into print activity

In addition to making network printer configuration and oversight easier than ever, PrinterLogic SaaS provides advanced management features like print auditing and reporting already built-in. These are the same powerful, comprehensive print auditing capabilities that have given our on-premise customers macro- and micro-level visibility into their print environments, enabling them to carry out cost-saving infrastructure reduction and network printer consolidation. 

In fact, a TechValidate study (TVID: 77B-13B-830) showed that 79% of verified PrinterLogic customers reduced their infrastructure by 30% or more simply by implementing PrinterLogic. And PrinterLogic SaaS delivers those same benefits in a convenient, cost-effective cloud solution.

With PrinterLogic SaaS’s print auditing and reporting capabilities, you can easily determine things like:

  • Which network printers see the heaviest and lightest use
  • How many pages are being printed by user and department on each printer
  • Who is printing the most in different departments 
  • When certain documents are printed, including those that meet certain search criteria
  • What the real-time costs of printing are

This degree of visibility is hard to obtain, even from specialized auditing solutions, as they don’t have the deep-seated, system-level integration that PrinterLogic SaaS does. Not only do you get a window into data related to network printer configuration, such as grayscale, duplexing, and users that initiated print jobs. You’ll even get specific guidance on network printer consolidation from PrinterLogic SaaS.

 

Reduce print hardware and maintenance costs

Because PrinterLogic SaaS is a cloud-based solution, the only local physical print infrastructure you need is your printers. PrinterLogic’s already minimal hardware standards result in an impressive reduction in print-related hardware above and beyond network printer consolidation. That equates to less hardware to purchase, less to operate and maintain, and less to upgrade over the long term. Combined with the time saved through PrinterLogic SaaS’s intuitive network printer configuration, which allows you to easily adjust default settings and deploy printers dynamically without Group Policy Objects (GPOs) or scripts, the potential ROI should be clear.

Factor in a reduction in print-related calls to the service desk, greater flexibility of user access, feature extensibility, and higher print availability, and you’ll see how PrinterLogic offers far more cost savings than network printer consolidation alone.

Curious how much you could save? Try our free print savings calculator. 

 

Ready to try serverless printing?

Long-term projects like infrastructure reduction call for long-term solutions that future-proof your organization. PrinterLogic is just that. We provide a platform that equips you with all the tools you need to scale effectively, including:

  • Pull printing (Secure Release)
  • Off-Network Printing
  • Print Quota Management
  • Multiple IdP Support

All of these features are available in our free 30-day trial so you can get the complete, serverless experience. Learn more about PrinterLogic here

Or sign-up for your free 30-day trial today.

 

 

Best Practices When Implementing Centralized Print Management in an Enterprise

It’s easier to keep track of things when they’re all in one place. That’s why centralized print management is such an important goal for IT teams. However, it can take a lot of work to implement in large organizations with many moving parts like different operating systems, printer models, locations, and user needs.

It’s even more challenging when your infrastructure is working against you. 

Print servers and other prototypical corporate printing solutions don’t allow you to view and manage everything from a single pane of glass. Instead of unifying the print environment, they fragment it.

However, with the right resources, centralized print management is more than just possible—it’s easy to implement. And the long-term payoff can be huge if done correctly. Read on to learn the best practices to implement centralized print management.

 

Eliminate your print servers

More infrastructure doesn’t equal more features and more convenience. This assumption is one of the most common mistakes in print management. It is also one of the leading reasons organizations end up adding print servers when their print environment is underperforming. Which, in turn, only creates more hardware to juggle and increases overall costs. 

And, after the PrintNightmare scare, admins wished they had eliminated print servers instead of adding to their fleet.

Serverless printing infrastructure empowers you to ditch your print servers. That’s because it uses direct IP, which creates one-to-one connections between computers and printers without servers. At the same time, it helps bring the entire print environment together. All of those client/printer relationships are housed under one solution and managed from a single console.

 

Simplify printer deployments and driver maintenance with a single console

If your organization is after centralized print management, chances are you’re looking for a more streamlined print experience for admins and end users. Centralized print management gets you one step closer to simplifying deployments by providing a single console that allows you to deploy printers with just a few clicks and manage your printer drivers from a single repository. 

Admins can add new printers or make changes to existing ones effortlessly. They can even use Active Directory criteria to set up advanced deployments. On the other hand, end users can leverage Self-Service Printer Installation features to install printers by themselves—drastically reducing helpdesk intervention. 

 

Find a scalable solution 

When you think of traditional direct IP printing, the term “scalable” doesn’t usually come to mind. But server-based corporate printing solutions aren’t very scalable either. To scale up, they always call for more infrastructure. Otherwise, performance goes downhill.

A serverless printing infrastructure enables print environments to become incredibly scalable. Even ones that are growing. If you open or acquire a new location, you can import its printers automatically. There is no need to airdrop another print server to service a new office. 

 

Prioritize print security

Protecting your printers has become as commonplace as locking your door before you leave the house. It’s more than necessary. And you don’t want your property to get stolen. 

So, how do you keep threats out of your print environment? 

It’s simple. Require your users to have a key (password) to be allowed inside. 

When you eliminate your print servers and move to cloud printing, you open the door to integrations with IdPs, which mandate users to verify their identity before giving them access to necessary applications—including printing. On top of that, serverless print management offers advanced security features like pull printing, requiring a second layer of authentication before print jobs are released. 

 

Consider your sustainability goals

Businesses are doing all they can to create a more sustainable workplace, not just in terms of future growth, but also making an intentional effort to lower consumable usage to help the environment. Printing is, of course, a great place to start. 

Centralizing your print environment by eliminating your print servers does wonders for your sustainability initiatives in a few ways, including:

  • Reducing the amount of electricity used by print servers
  • Removing unused printers from your print fleet
  • Providing features like pull printing to create intentional printing habits
  • Setting limits on maximum print job size to cut back on paper usage
  • Tracking and auditing print jobs to calculate print costs per user, group, and department

And these are just the basics. 

Sure, you could just ask people to print less, restrict access to most printers, and cross your fingers that they’ll print duplex. However, serverless printing gives you control over what end users can do and provides the features and functionality to make sustainable printing almost automatic. 

 

Get proven results with SaaS print management 

Moving to a serverless print management solution allows admins to eliminate print servers and get centralized print management on a single platform. 

Take our customer, Aquafin, for example. 

This large Belgian wastewater specialist first went from hundreds of Novell IP printers to four Windows print servers. Then, it migrated again to PrinterLogic’s fully serverless printing infrastructure. At each step of the way, our solution helped Aquafin apply best practices and get optimal results. Read the case study here.

Large or small, your organization can do the same. Schedule a demo of PrinterLogic today and get a 30-day free trial to discover how quickly and seamlessly you can achieve centralized print management in your print environment.

Serverless Printing and the Modern Digital Workplace with AWS

Together with leaders from Amazon Web Services, we’ve examined what a modern print management solution looks like.

IT needs a solution that meets the demands of a modern digital workplace. Modern print management should support every OS and printer manufacturer. It should also support modern identity and access management technologies. If it checks those boxes, all while keeping printing on the local network, you’ve got a winner. 

PrinterLogic’s AWS-hosted SaaS offering is a true SaaS solution. In this blog, we’ll cover:

  • How PrinterLogic SaaS integrates with AWS to deliver modern serverless print management
  • How the AWS Digital Workplace provides an ecosystem of secure and collaborative solutions
  • How to support printing in Zero Trust environments and flexible workplaces

But first, let’s define and discuss the four tenets of a serverless printing infrastructure.

 

What is a serverless printing infrastructure?

Implementing a serverless printing infrastructure means eliminating print server architecture and utilizing a cloud-based solution to manage, track, and deploy printers. Along with eliminating print servers, serverless printing helps IT teams centralize their print environment, providing admins with a bird’s-eye view of all printer objects, drivers, and users across distributed office locations.

Companies are striving to remove infrastructure faster than ever before. According to Gartner, 75% of organizations will adopt a digital transformation model built in the cloud by 2026. And SaaS print management plays a vital role in any organization’s digital transformation. Moving from on-prem, physical resources to cloud-based solutions is critical to any digital workplace transformation.  

 

The four tenets of a serverless printing infrastructure

So, what exactly are the requirements of a serverless printing infrastructure? PrinterLogic CTO Corey Ercanbrack maintains that there are four, which we’ll highlight and describe below.

 

A modern SaaS architecture

Implementing SaaS-based solutions removes the need for expensive VPNs. VPN failures create bottlenecks. Not to mention, legacy systems require constant IT intervention, including security patches and upgrades to keep your hardware up-to-date. 

The immutability and microservices ingrained in SaaS solutions are critical components that allow for fully automated environmental scalability. These also prevent problematic breakdowns. These components, along with multi-tenancy, allow for speedy updates and delivery of services as they become available. Print jobs must stay local in the user domain, leveraging a direct IP protocol. In short, SaaS architectures encourage a better security posture and eliminate single points of failure.

 

IT infrastructure integrations

Ask more significant questions that take into account your IT roadmap as a whole. It’s bigger than users, printers, and print servers. It helps to think about WAN, BYOD, virtualization/DaaS, IdPs, and how to print across operating systems and multifunction printers. 

Ask yourself, “What will my printing infrastructure look like years from now? And, what steps can I take to future-proof it?” Consider how your print environment will integrate with business analytics platforms and other business intelligence software to drive you toward a fully digital workplace.

 

User-based security

One important consideration should be the path of print data. Direct IP printing provides better security since print jobs are sent directly from the workstation to the printer. 

Combining localized print jobs with Secure Release Printing and multi-factor authentication (MFA) features is integral to preventing print data loss. Open Identity Access Management dictates that the user is more important than the device. Auditable Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) allows for compliance and an improved security posture. These all align with existing infrastructure integrations.

 

Off-Network/Zero Trust printing

The fourth tenet of a serverless printing infrastructure is to keep print jobs local. With this in mind, consider other BYOD flexibility challenges. How can you deliver print functionality when the MFP in front of a user is on a different network? To access that service, you would need an external service available via a public internet connection and a local encrypted secure tunnel, creating hoops for IT to jump through just to maintain security. 

Serverless printing should extend Zero Trust printing capabilities to hybrid employees by empowering them to print securely to any network printer, regardless of their location. Authorized off-network users simply verify their identities via IdP, access the SaaS application, and select the network printer they wish to print to. In this scenario, all jobs remain encrypted until they reach the desired printer. This eliminates the need to print confidential documents to unsecure home office printers. 

 

Print management in the modern digital workplace

Now that we’ve defined the requirements of a serverless printing infrastructure, let’s look a little more closely at how AWS makes it possible. 

The AWS Digital Workplace delivers an ecosystem of secure and collaborative solutions. Kristen Escobar, Global Segment Lead for Digital Workplace at AWS, explains why: “When we say ‘Digital Workplace’…We are talking about the technology and the services required to support the end user daily, allowing them to work securely from anywhere on any device.”

“Work anywhere on any device.”

This statement may be poignant for IT pros. As employees slowly return to the office, there’s more interest in dynamic workplace models like hoteling and hot desking, creating a demand for BYOD support. Those new models create new challenges for IT and possibly for those who show up late to the office.

 

What makes a modern digital workplace?

Technology users today are either consuming, creating, or manipulating content. They do this either individually or in collaboration with others. And it’s possible only with a device and an application. 

The digital workplace defines the functions and mechanisms required to get the content to the user while enabling interactive collaboration and communication in a secure and accessible way. 

When we look at developing a truly digital workplace, three key areas stand out:

  • Endpoint management
  • Application management
  • Collaboration

The digital workplace identifies solutions that manage these components effortlessly. It provides a simple-to-use and practical remote work or remote learning environment. 

It’s important to note that we are not looking at the business applications themselves. Instead, we are looking at the mechanisms by which these applications are delivered, managed, and secured for remote users.

The combination of these principles and control operations allows us to define the function of a product or service. AWS has made it easy for PrinterLogic to provision a very secure, brand-new instance of their software. In a matter of minutes, it allows a defined printer object to be silently deployed across all operating systems.

 

Better Together: PrinterLogic SaaS + AWS

Since the beginning, PrinterLogic has shouted from the mountaintops to “eliminate your print servers.” In 2016, that message got louder when PrinterLogic and AWS partnered together. 

The goal? Deliver a true SaaS solution to enterprise printing. 

Since then, PrinterLogic and AWS have combined forces to leverage the following technologies and deliver a seamless print management experience:

 

Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS)

Amazon Simple Queue Service is a fully managed message queuing service that helps you decouple and scale microservices, distributed systems, and serverless applications. SQS removes the complexity and overhead of operating message-oriented middleware and empowers developers to focus on differentiating work.

 

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Amazon EC2 provides scalable computing capacity in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Using Amazon EC2 removes the need to invest in hardware upfront. This allows you to develop and deploy applications faster. You can use EC2 to launch as many or as few virtual servers as you need. You can configure security, networking, and manage storage. 

Amazon EC2 enables you to scale up or down to handle changes in requirements or spikes in popularity. This flexibility means you can reduce your need to forecast traffic.

 

Amazon Aurora

Amazon Aurora is a MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database built for the cloud. It combines the performance and availability of traditional enterprise databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open-source databases. Amazon Aurora features a distributed, fault-tolerant, self-healing storage system that auto-scales. 

It delivers high performance and availability with these several features:

  • Up to 15 low-latency read replicas
  • Point-in-time recovery
  • Continuous backup to Amazon S3
  • Replication across three Availability Zones (AZs)

PrinterLogic and AWS add incredible reliability and continuous delivery for print management. PrinterLogic SaaS is built on microservices that customers don’t have to patch or upgrade. They can reap the benefits of the new service as it comes online.

With PrinterLogic’s platform leveraging these technologies, IT departments everywhere can celebrate. Gone are the days of hearing, “The print server is down, and we can’t print.” 

With increased printer uptime and productivity, you might actually miss your end users a little bit. 

 

Highly available print management built for the future

PrinterLogic, combined with the power of AWS, can help you take a big step toward digital transformation. You can say goodbye to legacy, on-prem infrastructure. A modern print management solution is possible with PrinterLogic SaaS and AWS. 

PrinterLogic is available on the AWS marketplace and offers a 30-day, fully supported free trial of the software after trying a demo. 

Request a free demo and 30-day trial of PrinterLogic SaaS today.