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. 

Reduce Printing Costs With Effective Print Management Software

Many organizations begin researching print management solutions to eliminate (or avoid) print servers and introduce greater efficiency and simplicity into their print environment. That could be through features such as centralized administration, self-service printing for end users, auditing and tracking—or a combination of all of the above. 

 

What makes a print management software “cost-effective”?

The best print management software minimizes infrastructure and synergistically leverages modern print features to help companies reduce costs and increase return on investment (ROI). 

What’s often overlooked is that it takes a holistic system to generate maximum cost savings. A piecemeal approach through one or two discrete print management solutions that are limited in scope and function will only result in piecemeal cost reductions—not counting the fact that each solution also requires a separate investment.

In multiple case studies conducted by the independent research firm TechValidate, PrinterLogic is a print management solution that reduces printing costs and commonly generates an ROI of around 200% or more. A few more organizations have reported an ROI as high as 500%. 

But how does PrinterLogic’s SaaS solution help companies generate such an astronomical ROI?

Read on to find out how admins drive down costs with PrinterLogic. 

 

Elimination of Print Servers

Print servers aren’t just big fancy boxes in your server room. They cost money to install, maintain, upgrade, and replace. Quorcirca estimates the average cost to maintain and license a print server to be around $3400 yearly. Not a small number, especially when working with a few of them. What’s worse is the time and productivity wasted because of not-so-unexpected issues, including server crashes, failed deployments, and slow printing speeds. 

PrinterLogic replaces your print servers with a serverless, direct IP printing solution, eliminating all those financial outlays. Implementation is quick and easy, too. Using our automated migration tool, you can move all printer objects and drivers from your print servers to our centralized Admin Console—which we’ll cover more in the next section. 

 

Centralized Administration

After implementation, admins can manage, edit, create, and remove printers across the enterprise—no matter how distributed the print environment—from a single pane of glass. PrinterLogic is true SaaS print management software that gives you full visibility into and control over every printer in the organization, ultimately saving countless hours previously spent grappling with the finer points of printer management. 

On top of increased oversight, admins can identify underutilized printers to help minimize the company printer count and reduce electricity consumption. 

 

Self-Service Printing 

End users of all skill levels can easily view, identify, and install nearby printers themselves with an intuitive Self-Service Installation Portal. Users can simply open the customizable floor plan map or drop-down list to access nearby printers. Admins can add or subtract printers from the user’s view at any time within the Admin Console, helping eliminate unwarranted access to specialty printers or printers used by specific departments. 

This feature alone results in up to 95% fewer print-related helpdesk calls, saving time and boosting employee productivity. 

 

Comprehensive Tracking and Auditing

PrinterLogic provides a crystal-clear window into all aspects of your print environment—including the quantifiable details of page counts, ink and toner usage, and more. This alone can account for massive reductions in printing costs, as it provides a basis to monitor and address the individuals, groups, and departments responsible for the overuse of consumables. To keep executives informed on print costs and volume, admins can set up automated reports to be emailed monthly, quarterly, or yearly. 

 

Optimized Printer Uptime

In its ability to remove single points of failure and print-halting issues like driver conflicts, orphaned printers, and stuck jobs, PrinterLogic provides your organization with a print environment synonymous with rock-solid reliability. Less downtime means more revenue and fewer costs devoted to troubleshooting.

If a printer does need servicing, SNMP Monitoring and Alerts with PrinterLogic helps admins take care of printer issues before they happen instead of taking on bush-league helpdesk calls like “printer needs paper” or “printer is low on ink.”

 

Eco-Friendly Printing

It’s hard to find solutions that can lower costs and promote sustainability. 

PrinterLogic makes it possible in two ways:

  1. Adding a simple step before printing to create intentional printing habits.
  2. Empowering admins to configure default printer settings.

Features like pull printing and Secure Release Printing ensure that users authenticate at the printer before they print. Since print jobs are held in a queue instead of going directly to the print tray, users can cancel accidental color print jobs, documents with typos, and duplicates that would otherwise increase costs. They can authenticate via various methods, including QR code release, web browser, badge swipe, or by entering a PIN on the printer control panel. 

To prevent users from accidentally printing in color or simplex, admins can configure printer settings to default to greyscale and duplex after each print job. This can be done en masse or to individual printers, depending on the needs of your end users. 

 

Advanced Print Security

According to IBM’s 2023 Cost of a Data Breach report, the average cost of a data breach globally is $4.45 million. And this number has risen by 15.3% in the past three years. 

So, how does PrinterLogic ensure you’re not a victim of a print-related data breach?

PrinterLogic extends the security of your print environment to your mobile employees and remote workers via Off-Network Printing capabilities. Instead of end users relying on unsecured home printers to print sensitive information, remote users can print directly to any networked printer in the office to pick up later or collaborate with a colleague to ensure its retrieval at the printer.

PrinterLogic adds a Zero Trust layer of security to your print environment via integrations with popular identity providers. All users must authenticate and verify their identity before accessing printers in your environment. And, to top it off, our SaaS print management solution is ISO 27001:2013- and SOC 2 Type 2-certified which helps your company stay industry-compliant and protects your critical data. 

For more info on security and privacy with PrinterLogic, click here.  

 

Calculate Your Potential Cost Savings

We’ve shared the cost-saving features of our SaaS platform. But how can you put a realistic dollar amount on your savings after eliminating your print servers? 

Our print savings calculator accounts for print server maintenance costs, consumable usage, and printer driver updates to help you generate your potential savings after eliminating your print servers with PrinterLogic.

Try the free print savings calculator now.

Webinar Recap: The Best SysAdmin Tool You’re Not Using

As a sysadmin, you’re asked to do miracle work at a rapid pace. You’re tasked with helping your company drive forward (sometimes on a tight budget) and are in charge of making critical decisions on which solutions can solve all the pain points plaguing you and your end users. 

What if we told you there is a tool you can add to your toolbox to simplify the end user’s experience and reduce your workload?

On July 25th, two of our experts, Katie and Kayla, collaborated to discuss the Best SysAdmin Tool You’re Not Using and uncovered how making a few subtle changes to your print environment boosts productivity and positively impacts your company’s bottom line. The webinar recording is below to catch anything you missed, and we summarized the key points for easy reading. 

Watch the webinar

 

Eliminating print servers to reduce costs

What’s the key to reducing print costs? Moving your current print infrastructure to the cloud. 

Switching to a serverless printing infrastructure allows you to streamline print management and minimize IT intervention by helping you take the following steps:

  • Migrate your existing printer objects from your print servers to a cloud-native platform.
  • Manage all printers, drivers, and settings from a centralized Admin Console. 
  • Deploy printers, updates, and changes to end users—without scripts and GPOs.
  • Print securely by keeping print jobs on the local network and utilizing robust features.

And if it sounds too easy, that’s because it is. You no longer need print servers and can manage all of your printers from a single pane of glass. Additionally, you may find underutilized printers in your fleet that you can throw out—translating into more savings.

 

Enhancing the overall printing experience

Serverless printing boosts productivity for both IT teams and end users by providing a few key features to streamline printer deployments and installations. For admins, all printer drivers can be deployed from a centralized Admin Console which provides admins with granular control over which users have access to which printers. Plus, you can configure automated deployments based on IP address if you employ a mobile workforce to allow easier access to printers on-the-go.

But what’s in it for end users?

For an even more hands-off approach to deployments, admins can empower users to install printers themselves without calling the helpdesk via the Self-Service Printer Installation Portal. All the user has to do is click their desired printer on a floor plan map or dropdown list. Productivity increases and users can move around the organization knowing they don’t need IT for printer installs. This feature alone has reduced print-related helpdesk tickets by up to 95% for PrinterLogic customers.

 

Bolstering security with advanced features 

Many companies are on the fence about cloud-based print management because of their industry’s strict security requirements. But with PrinterLogic, you can meet industry compliance standards and achieve a Zero Trust print environment with features that protect confidential documents and information, including:

  • Secure Release Printing (pull printing)
  • Off-Network Printing
  • Integrations with major IdP providers

In addition to security features, PrinterLogic’s SaaS solution is certified by ISO 27001:2013 and SOC 2 Type 2, meaning we have the systems, people, and processes in place to keep your customer and company data secure on a global scale. 

 

Freeing up your time with serverless printing

Saving money and strengthening security is great and all, but how does that translate into more time for sysadmins? 

Well, instead of worrying about hardware refreshes, security patches, and Windows 2012 Server end-of-life, you can finally start pursuing other projects to help drive your business forward. Overall, print-related issues decrease because users no longer have to call the helpdesk to have printers installed. Plus, you can start tackling digital transformation or other Zero Trust initiatives since printing is already checked off your list.

And remember that new important project you talked with your team about a while back? Yeah, you can finally do that too. 

 

The top 5 reasons you deserve PrinterLogic

The truth is, you deserve a way out of print-related issues so you can finally start doing tasks that promote company growth and provide ample opportunities for you and your team to succeed. 

So what are you waiting for? 

It’s time to spoil yourself a little and simplify the way you manage print for these five reasons:

  1. You can reduce costs.
  2. You can be more proactive rather than reactive.
  3. You can better support end users.
  4. You can bolster your organization’s security.
  5. You can have more free time to focus on more impactful projects.

If you have more questions about eliminating your print servers, tune in to the Q&A portion of the video where many of your peers’ burning questions are answered by Katie and Kayla. 

 

Learn how much you can save on printing

Want a breakdown of how much you’ll actually save on print management by eliminating your print servers? 

We’ve developed a free print savings calculator tool that accounts for time spent on print-related helpdesk tickets, annual print server costs, and paper usage to help you learn how much you can actually save on printing by moving to the cloud. 

Try the print savings calculator.

Guest Printing Made Easy

You know that familiar saying that goes “Guests, like fish, smell after three days?” The inventive guy who coined it—Benjamin Franklin, as it happens—clearly had the unrelenting demands of hospitality in mind, but the sentiment behind it could just as easily apply to enterprise print environments.

No, guest printing has never been particularly pleasant for anyone. Guests either have to go through the long, complicated, and often frustrating process of installing printers and their related drivers on their personal machines while the IT staff scrambles to make sure they have the necessary access, or they have to find some way to transfer their files to an authorized workstation for someone else to print. Mobile devices add even more difficulties to the mix. All these roadblocks demonstrate why guest printing problems are widespread.

PrinterLogic changes all that with two options for guests:

  1. Email Printing — enables an end user to forward an email (from a smartphone, tablet, or laptop) to a printer that has been explicitly designated for printing from email.
  2. Off-Network Printing — a secure, Zero Trust solution for guests that allows them to send print jobs to a printer located behind the company firewall without a VPN or special firewall rules.

 

Guest Printing Is Simple and Secure

Here’s what makes guest printing with PrinterLogic simple:

  • Guests, contractors, and freelancers can print from any mobile device, anywhere, anytime via email-to-print functionality.
  • It integrates rapidly and seamlessly into any print environment running PrinterLogic.
  • Thanks to PrinterLogic’s built-in capabilities, any network printer can handle guest print jobs.
  • It’s secure. You retain complete control over which users, printers, and jobs are authorized.

With a guest printing solution like PrinterLogic, all your guests—among them contractors, freelancers, consultants, and even remote or BYOD employees—can print any file type with the same simplicity as sending an email. From any device—on- or off-network. 

It doesn’t matter whether your organization employs 10 or 10,000 employees, whether it’s distributed over two cities or two continents, or whether you’re running legacy devices or cutting-edge hardware. Plus, there are no print servers or proprietary third-party software or printers to install or add.

Does that sound far too simple to eliminate guest printing problems? The strength of guest printing with PrinterLogic actually lies in its simplicity. To print, all guests have to do is follow three easy steps:

  1. Obtain the dedicated email address for their desired printer.
  2. Email their files. These immediately enter the print queue like any other job.
  3. Pick up the printed documents at the printer.

It’s so straightforward, in fact, that it’s been repeatedly shown to cut down on the number of print-related service desk calls in real-world scenarios. That saves your guests time and energy, boosting their satisfaction and productivity, and it also saves your IT staff from having to field calls about installation woes and other guest printing problems.

Yet there isn’t a trade-off when it comes to oversight. Guest jobs can be audited according to criteria such as user, file type, and printer—just like jobs initiated from a workstation. Plus, you can set any number of limitations: monochrome-only printing, for example, or restricted access to certain paper trays.

 

Off-Network Printing Makes Hybrid Work Easy

Zero Trust Network Architecture (ZTNA) has become necessary in these days of hybrid work. While many companies may be looking at returning to offices, we all know hybrid and remote work is here to stay. And that means ZTNA needs to be in place now; it isn’t something IT teams can continue to push down the road.

Because of that, PrinterLogic created its Off-Network Printing feature. Here’s what you need to know about it:

  • Print jobs are encrypted end-to-end so sensitive data is never exposed or at risk.
  • Security is further enhanced with confidential data never at rest in the cloud, limiting risk factors common with traditional print solutions.
  • It mimics regular printing—which means you don’t have to train guests or employees on how to use it.
  • It’s supported on iOS and Android devices without the need to install client-side software.

What does all of that mean for you? Well first, it means fewer costs. Off-Network Printing reduces infrastructure and lessens the need for home printers. Second, it’s far more secure and gives your company more visibility into when confidential data is exposed. And third, it’s easy. No more dealing with workarounds or VPNs for printing.

So how does it work? Well, for your employees and guests, they basically get to print like normal. They can even utilize Secure Release Printing to hold the print job until they release it, keeping the printed information protected as well. On the back end, two components make it work:

  1. The External Gateway receives incoming print jobs from remote workstations, their user identity, and a trusted certificate over a safe TLS connection. 
  2. The Internal Routing Service resides behind your firewall and maintains a constant outbound connection with the External Gateway to watch for print jobs.

When the External Gateway receives a print job, the Internal Routing Service opens a new connection for that job. It then downloads and delivers it to the designated printer. If the Secure Release Printing feature is used, the job then waits for the user to release it at the printer using credentials, a QR code, or a badge.

It’s that easy.

 

Guest Printing Should Not Be Hard

In today’s world, being able to keep business moving forward without unnecessary complications is vital to success. And printing is often something that IT teams hate dealing with. PrinterLogic makes it easy for your team to stop worrying about print and instead focus on keeping your company on the cutting edge of the next big thing. Check out PrinterLogic’s full serverless platform for additional capabilities that can help your business now and in the future.

 

How Does Pull Printing Support Your Organizations in 2023?

In today’s fast-paced digital era, businesses are searching for ways to secure their data and documents without disrupting printing processes. One feature that has gained mainstream prominence is pull printing. Also known as follow-me printing or secure printing, pull printing transforms traditional printing workflows by introducing a user-friendly approach to authentication and keeping confidential documents in the right hands. 

In this blog post, we will delve into the concept of pull printing and uncover three ways pull printing supports businesses in 2023. 

 

What is pull printing?

At its core, pull printing is a print management strategy that allows users to securely release and retrieve their print jobs from any network-connected printer within an organization. Unlike the traditional “push” method, where print jobs are sent directly to a specific printer, pull printing employs a virtual queue system. Users send their documents to the virtual queue and can then authenticate themselves at any pull printing-enabled printer to release and print their files.

Pull printing has become so widely adopted that its capabilities have extended to remote employees that need to print off-network. Click here to learn more about pull printing for off-network and remote employees. 

 

How does pull printing streamline printing processes?

One of the key advantages of pull printing is its ability to streamline printing workflows, optimizing efficiency and productivity—while adding an extra layer of security. With the traditional approach, employees often face long queues at specific printers, leading to delays and frustration. To top it all off, users can retrieve all of their queued print jobs at the printer in bulk, instead of making a trip to the printer for every print job. 

Pull printing offers a device-agnostic approach to printing as well. Users can send print jobs from their computers, laptops, or mobile devices to a virtual queue (instead of spooling on a print server), allowing them to print on demand at their convenience. This flexibility saves time and improves productivity, as employees can retrieve their documents from any nearby printer without having to wait in line or walk to a specific location. 

Moreover, if a printer is out of order or busy, users can easily redirect their print jobs to an available device or simply walk to another pull printing-enabled printer to release their print jobs, further enhancing efficiency.

 

How does pull printing optimize security?

In addition to streamlining workflows, pull printing significantly enhances document security. In traditional print environments, sensitive documents may be left unattended in shared output trays, increasing the risk of accidental (or intentional) document theft. Even if documents aren’t stolen, the last thing you want is for employees to see sensitive information like how much money Tom in sales is raking in or a list of expected layoffs following a merger. 

Pull printing addresses this concern by requiring user authentication at the printer before releasing the print job, ensuring that only authorized individuals can access and retrieve the printed materials, mitigating the risk of data and confidentiality breaches.

Industries dealing with sensitive information, such as healthcare, finance, and legal services, greatly benefit from pull printing’s heightened security measures. Confidential patient records, financial statements, legal documents, and other sensitive materials remain protected until the intended recipient is physically present at the printer and authenticates their identity.

 

How does pull printing address sustainability initiatives?

Pull printing offers instant financial and environmental benefits to organizations by minimizing print waste and associated costs. Instead of automatically printing every document, print jobs remain in the virtual queue until the user releases them at the printer. This allows users to review their documents, make corrections, or delete unnecessary pages before printing. 

The reduction in print waste not only saves money on paper and ink but also contributes to a more sustainable environment. According to Deloitte’s 2023 Sustainability Report, 54% of organizations use climate-friendly solutions to achieve their sustainability goals. 

And this push for sustainability isn’t only to preserve the environment, either. It’s to lure in eco-conscious consumers. 

Research shows that consumers have become more selective in the brands they choose. A separate Deloitte study shows that consumers prefer companies actively reducing their carbon footprint and committing to ethical working practices—both of which pull printing can help cover.  

 

So, is pull printing a must-have feature?

If your organization is adopting additional security measures and viewing sustainability as a key player in your future business success—then, yes. Even if you’re only looking to cut print costs, implementing pull printing pays quick dividends. 

As businesses strive for increased efficiency, productivity, and security, pull printing emerges as a valuable tool. Its user-centric approach and enhanced document security make it an ideal choice for organizations of all sizes and industries. By implementing pull printing, businesses can optimize their printing processes, cut costs, and strengthen their overall security posture, setting the stage for success in 2023 and beyond.

At PrinterLogic, we offer a free 30-day trial so you can see if pull printing is a good fit for your current environment. Schedule a demo today

 

The Challenges of Enterprise Secure Printing

Many moving parts define secure printing. But the key component of secure printing requires end users to take an extra step or two before they print, making it an ongoing challenge to implement.

This brings up two questions: 

What challenges do IT teams face when implementing secure printing?

and

Does secure printing inconvenience end users?

Let’s answer both.

The biggest challenges of enterprise secure printing

The purpose of secure printing is to keep all printed documents out of the print tray and prevent information theft. It’s a priority for many data-sensitive sectors, however, new workforce trends and legacy devices pose challenges that make it hard to implement.

Challenge #1: End users have to memorize yet another password. 

By now, most users know that complex alphanumeric passwords prevent unauthorized access to their devices. Yet many of them choose obvious words or phrases for their password (like “password!”) because they’re easy to remember and enter—making them almost as vulnerable as having no password at all. 

It’s difficult asking users not only to remember an extra password but to log into their computer and authenticate via your company identity provider. 

Asking them to memorize another password to release a print job—is borderline torture.

Challenge #2: Simplifying secure printing for your mobile users 

It wouldn’t be farfetched to assume that most of your users are probably roaming somewhere in your organization. They need to be able to print on the move. 

In many cases, they have to call the helpdesk to get a printer installed. This turns secure printing into a four-step process when it should only take two. Here’s what secure printing looks like from the viewpoint of a user:

Call the helpdesk→Wait for the printer to be installed→Send print job to printer→Release print job

Although this does enable them to print securely, it doesn’t streamline the printing process. Secure printing for mobile users should be as easy as “Click print and release.”

Challenge #3: Extending secure printing to off-network users 

Unsecured home office printers are considered printing enemy number one for most admins. 

Why?

Users can print sensitive documents to a printer on an unsecured network. That data sits on the printer, waiting for hackers to steal it. Plus, print jobs go untracked, leaving admins in the dark about who, when, and where of documents. Organizations usually counter home office printing with expensive VPNs or urge users to connect the printer to the workstation via a USB—both of which require hours of babysitting by admins.

Remote employees and contingent workers who operate off-network need a way to print securely to networked printers in your organization from their home office or other off-site locations. This eliminates risky home office printing and allows users to pick up their jobs when they visit the office. 

Challenge #4: Finding 100% printer-compatible solutions

If you have a homogenous printer fleet, good on you. 

But this isn’t the case for most organizations that employ a mix of MFDs and legacy printers from different manufacturers. 

It’s difficult to find a solution that allows you to utilize any of your printers for secure release and saves you the time and money of buying a whole new fleet. Another worry is deciding which authentication method fits your environment and end users. You may discover that users prefer using badge release to authenticate instead of entering a PIN on the control panel or enjoy scanning a QR code to release their print jobs. 

Either way, these are decisions you and your organization have to make. The ideal solution would be a printer-agnostic platform that allows for all authentication methods, but those are few and far between. 

Does secure printing cause problems for end users?

No. At least, it shouldn’t. 

We discussed a few pain points for secure printing like memorizing more passwords and calling the helpdesk to install printers. However, these can easily be averted by choosing a solution with the right tools. 

Even if end users do feel inconvenienced by a small change, the returns are rewarding and worth conveying:

  • Users’ environmental impact will decrease with more intentional printing.
  • Users can cancel print jobs before they are printed at any time. 
  • Employee and customer data are protected with every print job.
  • Users can release print jobs in bulk instead of making multiple trips to the printer.

You’d be surprised. Users may be happy to learn that their newly developed printing habits are making a difference at the workplace—and not at the cost of productivity.

Make enterprise secure printing an easy addition.

PrinterLogic’s serverless print management solution allows you to centrally manage your print environment from a single user interface. 

Our version of secure printing, Secure Release Printing, requires users to authenticate via one of these convenient methods:

Mobile QR Code: Users can scan a QR code on the printer with their mobile device to release held print jobs.

Web browser: Users can utilize any device capable of running a browser—PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, and even mobile devices—to access PrinterLogic’s web-based app and release their print jobs.

A badge/card reader: If your workplace uses a badge system, you can situate a badge reader next to the printer or use your printer’s preinstalled readers. Employees can then release their print jobs on any printer associated with their badge.

Control Panel: Provided the printer is compatible, the dedicated PrinterLogic app can be installed directly on the printer itself. Users can then log in using the printer’s LCD screen and release their print jobs. No additional hardware is required.

For mobile employees traveling between offices, our Self-Service Installation Portal empowers users to install their printers without calling the helpdesk, giving them instant access to printers and increasing productivity.

Secure Release Printing also extends to your remote users, allowing them to print off-network to any networked printer and release them when they get to the office.

All-in-all, PrinterLogic makes enterprise secure printing so easy that end users will have no reservations about using it. 

Try secure printing free for 30 days

Or check out our Secure Release Printing white paper to learn more.

Print Servers Not Working? Eliminate Them!

Horror stories surrounding print servers are all too common. In fact, before PrintNightmare flooded the tabloids, you’d hear about disappearing “ghost” printers, spooler crashes caused by heavy print traffic, and, of course, plans to add more servers to distribute workloads. 

The list of potential print server issues is as long as a high-volume print queue. 

You’ll see what issues we mean in the sections below. 

 

What’s the REAL problem with print servers?

Print server issues tend to be wide-ranging and recurrent. Permanent fixes for printing issues are few and far between, and the smallest problems can lead to a cascade of events that affect IT and end-user productivity. Take this basic occurrence for example:

  1. You deploy a printer to a user.
  2. The user clicks “print” and nothing happens.
  3. Frustrated, the user calls the helpdesk for help.
  4. The user waits around until they can print.
  5. IT arrives and devotes time to solving the issue, only to discover it was a botched printer installation. 
  6. Rinse and repeat.

The more users and printers you have only add to your workload. This is exactly how a tiny print server mishap can spiral out of control. Depending on how severe, several minutes or hours can pass by before printing is able to continue, and in cases of corrupted drivers or print queues, the problem might affect other users in the meantime, which, you guessed it, translates into more calls to the helpdesk. 

print cycle

It’s time to let print servers go. 

It starts with the single point of failure. 

Print server crashes cause printing to come to a screeching halt. Productivity decreases, panic ensues, and you’d think the whole organization is on the brink of a catastrophe. 

Having more than one print server doesn’t mean the issues stop, either. More servers increase the need for more resources and labor to maintain them. Plus, admins forfeit centralized control making it harder to track print jobs, keep costs down, and deploy printers to correct users. 

 

The IT workload is overbearing.

In terms of workload for IT teams, there’s server maintenance, licensing, and replacements. And, depending on the size of an organization, servers may require around-the-clock babysitting to ensure printing stays afloat. Printer deployments are becoming more complex as businesses expand, open new locations, and adopt mobile and dynamic work environments. 

In traditional print environments, users don’t have the ability or resources to install their own printers, resulting in calls to the helpdesk just to gain access to printers. In truth, most print-related requests would disappear just by empowering users to handle their own printing needs.  

 

Security issues are a concern.

PrintNightmare was a wake-up call for organizations. Admins felt the brunt of it with security patches and strict deployment methods taking over.

We could just stop here on our security rant. But, we won’t.

Hybrid work has brought another headache to print security: home printers.

Employees are printing confidential documents from home more than ever and, if printed on an unsecured network, the data and information from those print jobs can be swiped by cyber attackers. Plus, a lot of these jobs go untracked by IT. The only way to limit the security risks is to ask users to connect their home printers to their computers via a USB cord or use expensive VPNs.

And then there are unattended print jobs. 

Although sometimes unintentional, many print jobs are accidentally picked up by other users, improperly disposed of, or just sit in the open for too long. This critical customer and company information can be used with malicious intent by internal actors for financial gain or competitive advantage—both of which are detrimental to an organization. 

 

Print servers affect your company’s bottom line.

Printing costs companies up to 3% of their total yearly revenue

It doesn’t seem like much, but a company that makes $20 million is projected to spend $600,000 on printing alone. And these costs are untraceable in traditional print environments—especially under a decentralized management model. 

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Wasted paper and ink caused by unnecessary print jobs, failure to print in duplex, and printing personal documents at work are all reasons companies spend too much on printing. However, many of these issues can be circumvented by gaining more insight into print activity across your organization.

Plus, in distributed print management models, your organization is on the hook for licensing, maintenance, and replacement costs for each server you have. Quocirca estimates a single print server costs organizations up to $5000 per year. 

Depending on how many print servers you have, you save a lot of money by eliminating them. 

 

What do you gain by eliminating your print servers?

Faster printing, less printer maintenance, and increased oversight to name a few. But you’ll immediately notice the aforementioned issues with servers and traditional print architecture go away when you eliminate your print servers and move to cloud print management. 

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Centralized management: Cloud print management solutions unify your distributed print environment allowing you to see and manage all printers and users in your organization from a single console. Support native drivers from any printer manufacturer in a single repository. 

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Boosted security: Eliminating print servers enables you to reduce infrastructure along with them, minimizing attack surfaces and removing PrintNightmare concerns. Take advantage of next-gen IdP integrations to authenticate users before they print.  

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Fewer helpdesk tickets: No more spooler crashes or print-related helpdesk calls to install printers. Cloud print solutions empower users to install their own printers—without requiring elevated rights. 

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Easier deployments: Set up customized deployment criteria from a centralized console and deploy printers in just a few clicks—without scripts or GPOs. Automatically deploy printers based on IP address range to deliver them to users on the go. 

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Cost-efficient printing: Cloud print management allows you to keep tabs on print costs per print job, user, machine, and department. Leverage features like Print Quota Management and Secure Printing to make printing more intentional and cut down on consumable usage.

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Hybrid-friendly features: Mobile employees gain access to printers automatically when moving between floors and office buildings. Put an end to home office printing concerns by giving hybrid users the ability to print securely off-network.

 

Print servers not working for you?
Eliminate them. 

As much hassle as print servers are, as much time and money as they waste, it’s a head-scratcher that organizations keep going back to them like they’re the only game in town. 

There are superior alternatives out there. But few deliver a full SaaS experience that requires zero on-prem architecture, is ISO 27001:2013 certified, and addresses the most prominent pain points of traditional print management. 

So the next time a print server crashes, fails to show all associated printers, or just stops working altogether, remember you don’t have to continue down the same path. 

PrinterLogic can help you.

Our centralized, direct IP approach to print management allows organizations of any size, sector, or structure to eliminate print servers completely while enjoying increased uptime and advanced features like secure printing that drive sustainability—even in tricky virtual environments where VMware or Citrix printing is a must. 

Get a free 30-day trial to experience serverless printing today