How Pull Printing and Secure Release Printing Are Different—and Why You Should You Use Them

Printer cybersecurity hacks are on the rise in 2024, with 61% of organizations experiencing print-related data loss within the past year. Forgotten documents in the printer tray, data-in-motion attacks, and printer hacks all pose a very real risk for businesses, with the average data breach costing $4.45 million in 2023.

Despite these risks, most CIOs place print security low on their agenda. Just 27% of SMBs say they’re confident in the security of their print infrastructure, and many businesses struggle to maintain the security of print management software, secure printing in remote work environments, and protect confidential information from being printed.

As print security concerns grow, enterprise organizations are beginning to pay attention. Print management trends show that 79% of organizations plan to increase their print security spending over the next year. Likewise, print security maturity is slowly improving, with the number of print security leaders increasing from 18% to 27% between 2022 and 2023.

To combat data loss in their print environments, businesses are typically turning to pull printing and secure release printing.

At first, these two printer security methods seem pretty similar. That’s because they share a common two-step format. It looks like this:

  1. The user initiates a print job as usual. However, the printing process is on hold until the next step.
  2. The user intentionally releases the waiting print job to a specific printer.

The key difference between the two methods lies in that release step. In contrast to pull printing, secure release printing requires some form of user authentication. That commonly involves swiping their badge or entering a PIN code on the printer’s control panel.

 

What makes PrinterLogic’s secure printing unique?

With PrinterLogic’s serverless print infrastructure, both pull printing and secure release printing follow this general description. But PrinterLogic’s ability to eliminate print servers adds an extra layer of security and convenience.

Instead of holding the pending print job on a server, creating a prime target for a malicious actor, PrinterLogic holds the print job on the user’s workstation. Once released, the print job travels straight to the destination printer. That allows for more secure printing by design.

And the flexibility of PrinterLogic’s serverless printing enables any network printer to become a pull or secure release printer, so you can make legacy machines a part of your secure printing infrastructure.

 

When should you use pull printing?

From a security standpoint, pull printing is a step up from conventional printing. That alone is reason enough to implement it.

Pull printing is especially handy for remote workers and mobile employees who travel to different offices. Thanks to PrinterLogic’s versatile pull-printing functionality, they can print their documents wherever it’s most convenient. They don’t have to install any printers or drivers at a particular location. That saves them time, and it saves IT hassle.

You can also use pull printing to curb waste and build sustainable printing practices in the workplace. Though many organizations recycle, paper still makes up 26% of total waste in landfills. Paper production is also an enormous strain on the environment, leading to deforestation and massive use of energy and water resources. Since the average worker uses 660 pounds of paper every year, pull printing can do a lot to save trees, energy, and office spending. In fact, one organization that implemented pull printing was able to reduce their print consumables usage by more than 50%.

With pull printing, the release step is intentional, meaning print jobs that users no longer want (or forget about) don’t end up being printed in the first place. Since the average U.S. company spends $120 million on printed paper every year, all that unused paper and toner can add up to big cost savings over time.

 

When should you use secure release printing?

PrinterLogic’s Secure Release Printing is ideal for employees who deal with highly confidential information, typically at a designated secure printer. This form of secure printing is for organizations that really want to protect sensitive documents—think healthcare, legal, financial or government—while also enjoying the same benefits that pull printing brings.

There are multiple ways that end users can authenticate securely with a PrinterLogic printer:

  • Badge/card: Employees can easily swipe their ID card or badge through a printer’s integrated reader or a dedicated external device.
  • Embedded control panel: Release takes place once users enter a PIN or login credentials right on the printer’s control panel. PrinterLogic SaaS now has native control panel applications for every major printer brand.
  • Browser-based: PrinterLogic features a web-based release portal that enables users to authenticate from almost any device.
  • Mobile App: Android and iOS users can view, release, and delete secure print jobs right from their smartphones via the PrinterLogic Mobile App.

Importantly, PrinterLogic doesn’t eliminate print servers and then forces you to install a bunch of new hardware. You can use your current badge/card readers and your existing print infrastructure with these authentication mechanisms.

For proof, look no further than EPIC Management, L.P., a managed services provider for healthcare organizations. They needed to comply with the industry’s strict regulations on protected healthcare information (PHI) but didn’t want to add unnecessary cost and complexity. PrinterLogic’s secure printing fit the bill. Read the case study here.

PrinterLogic SaaS Is a Truly Serverless Printing Solution

Originally published March 17, 2020. 

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

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

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

That’s why PrinterLogic SaaS is unique.

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

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

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

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

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

Centralized Management 

When you eliminate print servers, you don’t just get rid of physical infrastructure. You eliminate all the licensing, migration, and other headaches that they entail. In its place, you can manage all printing from a single location.

Simple Implementation

 It’s easy to configure PrinterLogic SaaS and additional security features. Best of all, there’s no need to reconstruct your current print environment.

Unlimited Scalability 

Cloud printing adapts to your needs and seamlessly scales with you as you grow—from a single site to multiple offices, across multiple locations.

Convenient for End Users

All end users, regardless of role, can print where and when they need to—with minimal effort and less helpdesk tickets.

Cost-efficient

With cloud printing, print jobs become more deliberate, and you save by removing infrastructure and consolidating vendors and licenses.

Enhanced Security

Protect yourself from data breaches with secure and safe serverless printing. Confidential data doesn’t remain at rest in the cloud and stays encrypted until it’s behind your firewall. 

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

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

AWS-hosted. PrinterLogic SaaS is AWS-hosted and therefore meets rigorous standards for security and compliance.

Zero-trust Printing

PrinterLogic supports microsegmentation and integrates with native Identity Provider (IdP) integrations to keep your data secure. Features like serverless pull printing and Secure Release Printing are now augmented by simple badge release and offline secure print release in PrinterLogic SaaS.

More Release Options

Along with pull printing and Secure Release, serverless printing offers other release options for serverless secure printing. These include multifactor authentication (MFA) such as CAC/PIV as well as native control panel apps.

IdP integration

Integration with leading cloud-based identity providers (IdPs) such as Okta and Azure AD means users’ credentials are strong and centrally managed with the help of security experts.

Federal Compliance

Ours is the only print management software that’s been certified to meet stringent U.S. government security standards like FIPS 140-2.

Seamless User Adoption

As security isn’t effective unless end users adopt it, we’ve always put a lot of emphasis on usability. PrinterLogic’s serverless pull printing, for example, is super easy for them to make a part of their everyday printing workflow.

Schedule a Risk-Free, Cost-Free Demo

The best way to understand exactly how these benefits play out in the real world is to see our serverless printing infrastructure in action. And the best way to do that is to schedule a demo of PrinterLogic SaaS. It takes just a few seconds to sign up. After that, you can deploy PrinterLogic as a proof of concept in your own environment entirely free of charge for 30 days.

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

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

How to Unify Printing for Multi-Site Manufacturing Companies

After the slowdown from the pandemic, the manufacturing industry is picking up speed again. As companies ramp up production, they’re changing locations. More than 90% of manufacturing companies in North America have moved at least some of their production or supply chain in the past five years. Additionally, the construction industry is seeing a surge in spending for building new manufacturing facilities

As manufacturing companies expand to new sites and adapt to their new locations, they’ll need a streamlined print management system that works in all their buildings. Manufacturing companies are already investing in newer technology, but if they want to keep up with competitors, they will have to include serverless printing. 

  

Common Print Obstacles in Manufacturing 

Every manufacturer struggles with downtime. Total losses due to machine downtime are estimated at US$864 billion annually across Fortune Global 500 industrial companies. 

When printers don’t work or they’re too slow to print labels and other important documents, a company can experience dangerous downtime. Enterprises may struggle with complex and inefficient printing workflows across systems and multiple locations, hindering seamless document management and distribution. Ultimately, a lack of print solutions can hurt uptime, data accuracy, and the ability to track activity across an enterprise.

Another concern is cybersecurity. Ensuring the security of documents, especially sensitive or confidential information, is a worry for enterprises. The average annual cost of cybercrime for energy businesses (including oil and gas) is about $14 million. 

Additionally, according to an IBM report, cybercriminals focused more extortion attempts on manufacturing than any other industry. The printing process is a common vulnerability for data theft and cyberattacks, yet many companies don’t protect their printing systems.  

Beyond cybersecurity, document management and compliance pose additional challenges. Compliance with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) can be challenging without proper controls. Additionally, many manufacturing organizations contend with ineffective document archiving, making it challenging to access historical documents when needed. Without effective document control, workflows suffer from slow completion times, improper reviews, and a less collaborative environment. 

Finally, sustainability is another hurdle. The manufacturing industry produces about 1,800 pounds of waste for every person employed. To better care for the planet, governments are instituting new waste management laws and regulations. Staying compliant and more sustainable often requires changes in machinery, software, and processes—including printers and print systems. 

 

 

Benefits of a Streamlined Print Management System 

A streamlined print management system offers many benefits to manufacturing companies, especially companies with multi-site operations. Here are some competitive advantages companies gain when they move to a serverless printing system: 

Increased Productivity and Efficiency 

When manufacturing companies invest in a streamlined print management system, the system allows many kinds of production documents (such as invoices, receipts, supply chain documents, and quality control documentation) to automatically route to their destinations efficiently with rules and routing workflows. Admins can set rules to automatically reformat and resize documents into the required formats for printing, email, and cloud storage folders as needed for standard processes. This process streamlines workflows, which improves employee collaboration and productivity across all locations. 

More Uptime

More uptime means more money, more products, and happier customers. Manufacturing companies must ensure their printing systems have more uptime, which keeps other systems functioning with the documentation they need. A unified, serverless printing system can unite disparate systems and multi-site operations to make sure they’re all connected and functioning correctly. Doing this equals lower operating costs, more uptime, less manual intervention, and faster production. 

Stronger Data Security 

Data security should be a priority for companies, especially for those with several locations, as papers can be forgotten amid the multi-site shuffles. Additionally, having more locations creates a greater possibility of data breaches. Serverless printing solutions help manufacturing companies restrict employees’ ability to print specific documents to maintain security and compliance. 

When connecting back-end applications through output management software, customers can also utilize front-end printing capabilities like secure release and off-network printing for additional security. 

Less Waste and More Sustainability

Data from McKinsey shows that companies that integrate environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) priorities into their growth strategies outperform their peers. If manufacturing companies want to start implementing sustainability initiatives, print management is a great place to start. Streamlined print management solutions help companies avoid unnecessary paper waste. In turn, operational printing efficiency saves the company money, ink, and paper, as well as wear and tear on printers. 

 

Get More Uptime with PrinterLogic

Ensure every document reaches its intended destination and achieve greater control over document access, security, printing costs, and more with PrinterLogic. PrinterLogic delivers brand-agnostic printing to unite disparate systems at all your multi-site operations. To learn how PrinterLogic can support your manufacturing company with more uptime and better data security, schedule a free demo today

5 Ways Print Management Can Save Your School Money

Budget cuts, underfunding, and rising costs are constant challenges for America’s public schools. Because the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is growing 13.5% faster than public education budgets, the education funding gap is only worsening.

Certainly, it’s a complex problem with no clear-cut solutions. But there’s one simple way schools can save money and reduce costs: by making the switch to serverless printing. It’s a move that can save public schools thousands of dollars annually, allowing them to reduce waste and put precious funds toward more important causes.

Wondering how it’s possible? Let’s discuss five ways smarter print management helps schools save big.

1. Reduce Costs by Eliminating Print Servers

Print servers are a massive drain on public school budgets. The hardware alone can cost schools $2,000 to $5,000 per server. That cost doesn’t account for the money spent on continuous maintenance nor the time spent on manual updating for fixes and security patches. Print servers are also highly susceptible to security vulnerabilities and the physical theft of sensitive documents. Even worse, they create a single point of failure for printing. If one server crashes, it limits everyone in the school from continuing to print until the issue is resolved.

Serverless printing resolves these pain points by ditching the costly legacy architecture in favor of a streamlined, secure direct IP print environment. Serverless printing reduces the attack surface, keeps data secure, and puts thousands of dollars back into the school’s budget.

2. Leverage Quota Management to Reduce Print Jobs

Traditional print environments make it extremely difficult to control printing costs. The average American uses more than 700 pounds of paper every year, and without print quotas, teachers and administrators are likely to print whatever they want with little oversight.

In contrast, serverless printing allows schools to restrict print usage to a sensible amount. It forces staff to take a more thoughtful approach to printing activities and act more responsibly, rather than sporadically. Print quotas can be assigned by modes, too, so users limit costly activities such as color printing or collated printing. Quota management is simple and intuitive, allowing administrators to create custom settings quickly and easily.

Print quotas save schools money, and they also help schools become more sustainable and eco-friendly — without making huge changes to internal processes.

3. Avoid Security Breaches with Secure Release/Pull Printing

Unmanaged print servers create massive amounts of waste. In fact, 70% of all office waste comes from paper, and up to 30% of all print jobs are never picked up from the printer. Not only is all that waste bad for the environment, it also creates a serious security risk.

Serverless print management eliminates the security issue by utilizing secure release/pull printing. With this added security layer, users send their print job and the job is held in the print queue until the user arrives to authenticate it at the printer. This approach greatly enhances security and increases the confidentiality of sensitive documents. It also reduces print waste and saves schools more money.

4. Minimize the Need for Costly Printing Materials

When public schools implement print features like quota management and secure release printing, staff members are more judicious with their printing. They think twice before they print personal or unnecessary documents, causing the total number of print jobs to shrink significantly. 

Since the average organization spends $1,200 annually in print materials per employee, this reduction equates to big savings. Schools that print less can also buy fewer print materials, including costly ink and toner. These cost reductions make a big impact over time, giving schools the freedom to use funds for more important aspects of education.

5. Reduce Help Desk Tickets and Reliance on IT

IT costs can be another major drain on public schools’ budgets. IT support isn’t cheap, and as much as 50% of all help desk tickets are printer-related. Print servers also make it difficult for IT professionals to gain visibility and insight into printing activity, making it tough for them to identify areas for cost reduction.

Serverless printers help mitigate this problem by reducing the number of print jobs. By doing so, there is also a lower need for IT staff. Cloud-based solutions also provide greater visibility and insights that empower IT staff to do their job quickly and efficiently, so schools can spend less on IT support and more on direct education needs.

Switch to Serverless Printing and Save Now

Print servers are a burden on public school budgets, staff members, and IT professionals alike. They’re costly, inefficient, clunky, and lack the oversight needed for schools with limited budgets. So, when schools are seeking simple ways to reduce costs and save money, we always recommend eliminating print servers as the first step.

Modern print management solutions make it easy for schools with limited budgets to increase efficiency, collaboration, visibility, and more. They reduce the number of print jobs and help desk tickets related to printing while also making schools more efficient, sustainable, and secure.

If your school is ready to make the switch to serverless printing, get in touch with Vasion today. We’d love to help you discover many benefits that come with the future of print management.

4 Ways Unified Print Management Helps Minimize Production Disruptions in Manufacturing

Time is money, especially in the dynamic, evolving world of manufacturing. The COVID-19 pandemic only heightened the importance of efficiency: unplanned downtime costs at least 50% more now than it did in 2019. Since the average manufacturer has 800 hours of unexpected disruptions yearly, these costs add up quickly. For example, unexpected downtime cost manufacturers 11% of their annual revenue in 2023. 

Luckily, manufacturing organizations can drastically minimize disruptions with a streamlined print management solution. By optimizing printer uptime in four key areas, manufacturers save time, money, and stress. Here, we’ll explain the importance of these four print management features and how manufacturers can implement them today.


1.
Serverless Printing

Serverless printing is the quickest path to reducing operational downtime. Today’s print servers cost up to $20,000 each. When you consider maintenance and print materials, the annual costs become astronomical. 

Fortunately, serverless printing solves the problem by replacing front-end print servers with centralized SaaS print management. This streamlined, unified system helps manufacturers overcome interruptions caused by slow print speeds, failed driver deployments, and helpdesk tickets. 

Instead, manufacturers can deploy printers to users without scripts and GPS. They can improve process efficiencies, optimize document flow, and ensure the right information reaches the right people at the right time. IT teams gain greater visibility into all printer tasks so they can spend less time with on-site maintenance, and users enjoy the convenience of continuous uptime.


2. SAP Connector

SAP printing and document management are expensive and complex to manage. When unforeseen circumstances and disruptions arise, they completely halt the creation of shipping labels, invoices, printer orders, and more. Many IT teams are overwhelmed with the task of manually intervening to create workarounds any time a printer malfunctions. 

Manufacturers can easily overcome this challenge with an SAP Connector—a feature that connects SAP environments to maximize visibility into print tasks across all mission-critical production processes. With a SAP Connector, organizations can streamline printing between SAP systems and offices, warehouses, and production line printers to manage all print queues and devices from a single console.

 

3. Output Management

Production failures and downtime can cause massive build-ups and a detrimental loss of productivity in manufacturing. Many organizations use disparate systems to generate, store, and send supply chain and quality control documentation, which only complicates the issue when failures arise. If a manufacturer has multiple locations, the problem becomes exponentially worse.

Output Management is the clear solution to these pain points, helping improve operational efficiency, visibility, and scalability. With Output Management, manufacturers can ensure every document reaches the intended destination while also gaining creator control over document access and output costs. By mitigating any printing failures and downtime, manufacturing organizations save thousands of dollars in potential losses. 

Administrators also enhance security and compliance with features like Secure Release and Off-Network printing, which restrict the ability to print specific documents. Ultimately, Output Management acts as the bridge to each printer, enhancing the management of print queues, flow, and more.


4. Rules-based Automation

Single points of failure can be devastating for any manufacturer. If the organization relies on one printer for labels or other critical elements, a system error could completely wipe out productivity and lead to revenue loss—even if it’s only down for a short time. (Case in point: one manufacturer lost $260,000 in just one hour when a production line printer went down.)

Rules-based automation helps manufacturers avoid this pitfall by eliminating any single points of failure. Instead, it reroutes print jobs to another printer if the main system fails. This arrangement eliminates the downtime that comes with print failures, so organizations can maintain productivity and avoid negative financial impacts.

Administrators can also set rules to automatically reformat and resize documents into required formats for printing, email, and cloud storage folders, limiting the need for manual intervention. Users are empowered to handle print jobs independently, and manufacturers can spend less time and fewer resources on helpdesk tickets.

 

Future-proofing Manufacturing with Unified Print Management Systems

In a world where even just a few minutes of downtime can cost thousands of dollars, manufacturers need their business-critical production processes to keep working—no matter what. A unified print management system makes this possible by mitigating network interruptions and device failure. It optimizes efficiency at a high volume, connecting previously siloed systems to create a consolidated, continuous, and secure system.

Avoid expensive process disruptions and maximize uptime today with PrinterLogic for manufacturing. By managing front- and back-end printing from a single platform, PrinterLogic gives you the tools you need to ensure printers and document processes never hurt your bottom line. Book a demo now to learn more.

How Manufacturing Companies Can Cut Downtime with a Brand-Agnostic Print Solution

More than half (54%) of manufacturing businesses are expecting to spend 10% or more on software in 2024 compared to 2023. If your business is one of these, your manufacturing organization is likely looking for software that helps to save time, cut costs with Output Management, and streamline workflows. 

If you’re investing in new software, print solutions should be at the top of your purchasing list. How do you know which print solution to choose? The printing software market was valued at $1.2 billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach $6.3 billion by 2031, so there are a lot of choices in this large market. As you weigh your options, be sure to choose a print solution that is brand-agnostic. Here’s why.

 

What Is a Brand-Agnostic Print Solution?  

If you’re wondering what a brand-agnostic print solution is, you first need to understand what “brand-agnostic” means. Being brand-agnostic means that one does not show a preference for a product based on brand. In software terms, brand-agnostic means that a solution can work with several different brands of software. If you’ve ever had an iPhone or a Mac computer, you know that iOS only works with other iOS software. This isn’t the same as Linux, which can be installed onto Windows or Mac computers. 

When print solutions are brand-agnostic, they can collect print jobs in a centralized repository from many different brands of operating systems, software, and platforms. The solution can work with many kinds of printers, print materials, and other related parts of the manufacturing process. 

The API printing of a brand-agnostic print solution can handle the challenges and differences of whatever existing systems you have. Developers can leverage API printing provided by the brand-agnostic print software to seamlessly integrate printing functionality into their applications, regardless of the printer brands or models used. 

 

6 Advantages of Having a Print Solution That’s Brand-Agnostic

Investing in a brand-agnostic print solution is a smart choice. If you’re looking to upgrade the way your manufacturing company operates, here are some of the ways a brand-agnostic print solution benefits your organization:

  1. They integrate with your existing systems. The major advantage of a brand-agnostic print solution is that it will likely work with whatever printers you already have. This saves your company money because you don’t have to replace your existing hardware. Among all industries, manufacturing industries spent the most on equipment ($15 billion, or 53% of total capital assets), so any way to save costs on more equipment is a smart idea. 
  2. You can future-proof your company with flexible systems. It’s no secret that tech changes fast. If you invest in a brand-agnostic print solution, you’ll have more flexibility to update and upgrade computers, printers, and other pieces because they’ll still work with your print solution. As mentioned in Forbes, organizations with a more tech-agnostic approach gain the power to harness market-leading tools that offer unparalleled excellence in their domain. 
  3. Your IT team will thank you. Brand-agnostic print solutions are easier on your IT team because these solutions easily integrate with your existing operating systems. Your IT support team will be delighted at how easily they can install the solution, connect it with your existing printers, and add new printers, 
  4. Users can learn to use it quickly. Brand-agnostic print solutions are easy and quick for users to navigate. These solutions also empower end-users to find and install their own printers via floor plan maps or lists without relying on IT assistance. It’s also easier for companies that have remote or hybrid employees, as the company can manage workers in different places effortlessly in a cloud environment without relying on local print servers at each location. The faster people learn to use the solution, the less downtime your company will experience. 
  5. Your brand-agnostic print solutions are safer and more secure. Because they’re designed to fit with a wide variety of software and hardware, brand-agnostic print solutions are safer than trying to cobble together disparate solutions that may not have the same Zero Trust protections or other safety measures. Manufacturing print software is especially at risk, as cybercriminals focused more extortion attempts on manufacturing than any other industry.
  6. You’ll get more data. Brand-agnostic print solutions integrate well with disparate systems, allowing your company to collect more data. One of the top trends in manufacturing companies for 2024 is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). IIoT, which includes integrated print solutions, will lead to improved asset management and predictive maintenance, more efficient supply chains, and less downtime. 


Systems That PrinterLogic Integrates With

PrinterLogic is a brand-agnostic print solution. Its API printing works well with many other systems. PrinterLogic provides you with cost savings and flexibility by integrating seamlessly with:

  • Okta, the leading independent provider of identity for the enterprise
  • IGEL, a secure enterprise endpoint OS designed for SaaS, DaaS, and VDI environments
  • Citrix, a leading platform with Zero Trust frameworks
  • VMware, a virtualization software that accelerates app operations with network and security virtualization
  • Microsoft, a cloud-based print solution that enables simple, rich, and secure printing experiences

 

To avoid downtime and help future-proof your company, learn more details about PrinterLogic for manufacturing. Unify your systems and save some money in the process–learn more by booking a demo today

How Serverless Printing Streamlines Print Management for Education

Originally published August 12, 2019.

K-12 schools face major challenges when it comes to controlling printing costs. Unmanaged print environments and high volumes of unnecessary printing strain budgets and resources. To add to the problem, most IT departments in the education sphere lack insight into overall printing activity, making it even harder to identify areas for cost reduction.

Though K-12 public schools in the U.S. spend an average of $16,080 per pupil, budgets are stretched incredibly thin. The federal government puts just 12.7% toward education—well below the global standard of 15%. In short, it has never been more vital for schools to maximize efficiency with printing costs and put much-needed funds toward other important aspects of their students’ education.


The Problem: Unmanaged Print Environments in the Education Industry

Providing IT services to a user base that’s in constant motion can be tough. Students move from classroom to classroom throughout the day. During the school year, especially in higher education, every semester can bring a massive shift in where each student and teacher needs to be. On top of that, you have students leaving the system and new ones entering it each year. That constant flux creates an ultra-mobile, ever-changing pool of end users.

In contrast to this mobile user base, the old-school printer model is incredibly static. Essentially, printers were designed to connect to a single desktop workstation through a cable. The mobile revolution is at odds with that model. Today, you have hundreds of free-floating devices interfacing with multiple network printers.

Most enterprise print solutions don’t have this figured out, either—but schools and districts face extra challenges because they’re working with fewer resources. 

Budgets are tighter. IT staffing departments are smaller. They’re dealing with legacy hardware in locations that are scattered all over a town or city. Or larger. In the case of Lamar Consolidated Independent School District (read the case study here), you’re talking about an area spanning 400 square miles.

Let’s dive into some of the most common pain points related to printing in K-12 schools:

  • Limited School Budgets: Without some system for controlling student printing, costs can become unmanageable. Students K-12 will print as much as they are allowed, rather than printing only essential documents.
  • Limited collaboration: Teachers and staff may need to physically share lesson plans, permission slips, etc., or send them via email by manually attaching digital files, which becomes cumbersome the more documents that need sharing.
  • Unorganized document management: Classrooms see lots of paper every day. From student classwork to homework to permission slips, loose documents can be difficult to maintain and organize if schools aren’t on top of it all the time.
  • Inefficient workflows: Teachers and staff may need to manually scan and save documents to a computer, then manually attach them to an email or save them to a specific drive to share with others.
  • Limited access: Staff and administrators across districts may be limited when accessing important documents from remote locations. This distance can make it difficult to collaborate with others, especially when class is remote or teachers are grading from home, etc.
  • No printing oversight: An administration often can’t see who is printing what, when they’re printing it, or how often they’re printing until the printers run out of paper and ink or throw up errors.
  • Printer overload: When too many users print from the same printer, print queues can get lengthy, ink and toner replacements proliferate, and technical issues are more common. That’s not to mention general wear and tear on the printer itself.

Modern print solutions for schools have to be able to meet these extra challenges, along with the challenges of the future. As the U.S. Department of Education stated in a recent brief, “Education’s digital infrastructure is officially considered critical infrastructure, and just as we work to provide a physical infrastructure that is safe, healthy, and supportive of all students, we need to align resources to create a digital infrastructure that is safe, accessible, resilient, sustainable, and future-proof.”

When it comes to print management, school administrations need to:

  • Simplify print management: Even when everything’s in flux, print management has to be a total breeze. Students and faculty need to be able to print easily no matter where they are. And admins should be able to configure those printer assignments as quickly and smoothly as possible.
  • Seamlessly implement next-gen features: Adding a feature like mobile printing or pull printing shouldn’t involve scrapping your existing print solution. It also shouldn’t mean having to fork out a ton of money for something that requires more infrastructure or can’t promise full compatibility with your other print software.
  • Make it easy to monitor print activity: Whether buildings are spread across a campus or an entire district, print solutions for schools have to provide visibility over the whole environment. For cost-saving reasons, admins should be able to tell where print volumes are high or which department is always printing in color.

 

PrinterLogic Is the Smart Choice for Printing in Education

PrinterLogic’s serverless printing software is a leading choice among enterprise printing solutions, so it might be easy to think it’s best suited for corporate environments. But PrinterLogic’s unique architecture is exactly what makes it so versatile. It’s able to meet all the unique IT challenges of educational environments, making it the perfect print solution for schools.

Migrating to PrinterLogic from a direct-IP or print-server environment is rapid and almost effortless. Once PrinterLogic is installed, your K-12 school can:

  • Eliminate print servers: The huge advantage of serverless printing software is that you can shut down all your print servers. Yet that doesn’t mean compromising on print functionality. At the same time as you’re eliminating this expensive, hard-to-maintain infrastructure, you’re also creating more uptime, more flexibility, and centralized management.
  • Implement mobile printing: PrinterLogic’s Mobile Printing feature lets you roll out print capabilities to all your mobile, Chromebook, and BYOD users regardless of the brand of their devices. There’s no software for them to install, and it works with any network printer (even legacy models).
  • Add secure pull printing: Just like Mobile Printing, PrinterLogic can enhance your print environment with secure pull-printing functionality. This helps to ensure that confidential documents like tests, transcripts, and teacher evaluations aren’t left sitting in the output tray.
  • Monitor print activity everywhere: Print auditing is one of the features that make PrinterLogic a top choice among enterprise print solutions, and it’s just as valuable in educational settings. Use it to keep tabs on the who, what, when, where, and how of printing across the entire school. Or set it up to automatically email print-activity reports to department heads and school administrators.

Along with Lamar CISD, educational organizations like the Fulton County School System (read the case study here) have all switched to PrinterLogic’s serverless printing software. Northwest Area Education Agency opted for PrinterLogic SaaS (formerly PrinterCloud), our cloud-based print solution for schools and other enterprise-scale organizations (case study).

In every instance, PrinterLogic saved them time and money by simplifying their print environments. Lamar CISD pegged its savings from PrinterLogic at about $20,000 per year.


Want to see the magic our serverless printing software can work as your K-12 print solution? Then check out
this white paper we wrote on the subject. Or, better still, sign up today to demo our print solution and see exactly how it performs. It’s free for 30 days.

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 Strategies for Deploying Print Servers

So, your organization has reached a point where it’s time to deploy another—or maybe your first ever—print server. Just like every other hardware, there’s a good way and a not-so-good way to deploy them. And there are alternatives to print servers that you might not have considered yet. 

Before you start down any path, you’ll want to think about your preferred topology. 

Will you have a single centralized network print server or will you have localized print servers distributed across your organization?

Let’s explore the pros and cons of each one. 

 

The Good and Bad of Centralized Print Servers

A centralized print server consolidates your print management infrastructure in one place. That makes print management more convenient, but it also introduces two potentially serious problems. The first is WAN vulnerability, as the WAN connection will be the only link between the network print server and remote locations. Should the WAN be interrupted, so will print activity for the affected location. 

The second issue is that a centralized print server creates a single point of failure. To guard against this, expensive redundancy measures are needed, although this will also create additional work for the print management team.

 

The Good and Bad of Localized Print Servers

Localized print servers allow you to keep the number of clients per server low. Because print server performance can suffer as the number of connected clients increases, fewer clients on more print servers sounds like a wise idea. 

However, increasing the number of print servers also complicates print management because the printer drivers, print queues, software, and user pool need to be maintained across each of them which drives up costs. When you upgrade, you’ll usually need to rely on a print server migration tool (provided a suitable one is available) to bring every single print server up to date.

 

Tips for Choosing the Best Print Server Model

Understanding the strengths and drawbacks of those two basic topologies will help you determine how to best structure your current print server deployment to build a solid foundation for future upgrades and deployments. Because print servers in any configuration have limits to their scalability, whichever architecture you choose will have an impact on how your IT environment expands and evolves in the coming years.

Starting as you mean to go on is an equally good mantra when setting up your organization’s network print server. Here are a few friendly pieces of advice to consider:

  • Clutter is the enemy, and less is more (or at least more manageable). 
  • Keep drivers to an absolute minimum, as too many drivers can be resource-intensive and cause print spooler problems. 
  • Test initial drivers thoroughly before deploying them. Rogue drivers are notorious for crashing print spoolers. 
  • Enable driver isolation and use up-to-date (v4) drivers to minimize the possibility of spooler crashes.

Lastly, you’ll need to look at your current as well as your future IT environment with a wide-angle lens. Does your organization have a mix of clients running different operating systems? Are you planning to transition to mobile or Chromebook-type clients? Is secure printing important to your organization? 

Your answers to those questions will determine what shape your print server deployment takes and whether or not you’ll need to augment that infrastructure with additional third-party solutions.

 

Do you really need a print server to print?

With all that in mind, perhaps the most fundamental step in print server deployment is asking yourself whether you really need one at all. PrinterLogic’s next-generation print management solution does everything you demand of print servers—but without the WAN vulnerabilities, the expanding infrastructure, the limits to scalability, and the susceptibility to PrintNightmare.

PrinterLogic’s SaaS solution allows you to manage your entire print environment, no matter how distributed, from a single pane of glass. Better still, you can deliver printers to users without relying on GPOs or scripts and easily implement advanced functionality like Mobile Printing. You can even empower end users to install printers themselves in the Self-Service Printer Installation Portal

 

Already using print servers?

So, what if you’ve deployed a print server (or several) in your organization? 

PrinterLogic makes the transition to powerful, centrally managed direct IP printing quick and easy. It features a handy print server migration tool that imports all your printers, drivers, and profiles, so you can seamlessly manage your entire print environment from a centralized location and eliminate your print servers—and all their attendant costs and hassle—in record time.

Even when done properly, print server deployment is no small task. It takes a lot of time and planning, but even if you make all the right moves, your organization is still stuck with their inherent limitations and security vulnerabilities. 

It stands to reason that the best way to deploy print servers is not deploying them…ever.

Go serverless. 

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.