Three Ways to Make Printing More Reliable

General office printing requires reliability and availability, so in-office and remote employees can continue their work. A direct IP printing model works well–it relies on a direct connection from the workstation to the printer without using the Internet. Even if an Internet outage occurs, printing continues.

But you’re not only managing general office printing. Your organization integrates many core business processes with electronic record and resource applications that store, manage, and generate documentation. This is especially prevalent in the healthcare industry with electronic health and medical record systems managing all patient information with physicians and nurses needing access to distribute care accurately. 

Your print servers are heavily tied to these vital business processes, intercepting spooled print jobs from the source application and distributing them to the printer or channel they need to go to. 

Consider an output management software.

Output management software either works with your print servers or replaces them entirely. It sits between the source application and your printers to facilitate communication. This software automates, manages, and distributes output from any source application to multiple channels, either physically or digitally. 

Here are three ways we suggest improving the reliability and efficiency of your output processes using output management software: 

1. Confirmed Delivery of Print Jobs

Printers on their own don’t give you all the information you need about the status of your print jobs. Most of the time, it’ll tell you it received the job, then radio silence. If your batch print job of 50 documents made it to page 35 on the first document before stopping, and it’s not a lack of paper or ink, you aren’t sure how to diagnose the issue. Or worse, you’re unaware of any issue until missing invoices, shipping forms, and contract pages grind everything to a halt. 

Output management software often provides bidirectional communication as part of the print job’s journey. It’s extra assurance and confidence that your print jobs and output processes were delivered where they need to go. These updates could also tell you what page the job failed on and what issue occurred, giving you the chance to address the issue immediately without hours of troubleshooting. 

2. Redundant, Low-footprint Infrastructure

Using a Windows, Linux, or Unix print server offers load-balancing and clustering as long as it’s configured and maintained properly, but often operates as a single point of failure if the servers crash from any kind of software or network issue, printing can’t continue, which, of course, is a detrimental interruption to your processes and workflows. 

Output management software doesn’t have to run on a print server. Some use a service client–a low-footprint client that performs similarly to a print server but is much simpler to spin up and maintain redundant instances, eliminating the single points of failure. Print jobs are spooled and received by a service client, load-balanced to the redundant clients, processed, and distributed simultaneously. With significantly less effort and maintenance, your processes can easily scale with your organization’s demands and speed. 

3. Rules-based Automation 

With the advancements in machine learning and robotic process automation in recent years, automation should be introduced in some form for your document processes. Automation can save employees three hours a day, roughly 30 hours a month, eliminating manual touchpoints such as converting individual files to PDFs for printing or reprinting if print jobs fail.

Setting rules that automatically perform specific actions when certain triggers and conditions are met significantly reduces, if not totally eliminates, manual tasking. One popular case is if a print job fails due to an unavailable printer, it automatically redirects to an available backup printer to complete the job successfully. Compounding with the hundreds of documents and outputs processed daily, this simple redirect rule significantly extends your environment’s value and reliability. 


Vasion’s Output Management solution has the reliability you’re looking for. 

Replace your Windows, Linux, or Unix print servers in your environment with a much more reliable and highly available Output Management solution that ensures any output makes it from your source applications where it needs to go, in the format it needs to be in, and when it needs to be there. The solution is backed by a robust feature set that ensures reliability at every stage:

 

If your organization manages multiple critical output processes for the business to function efficiently and successfully and is trying to do it over various disparate systems, or if you’re just looking for more reliability overall, chat with us about your goals, and we’ll discuss where we can help. 

Schedule a demo today.

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