Top 3 Gains from Print Management Services

Posted by Andrew Miller

There are hundreds of potential tweaks and optimizations to be found in your organization’s print environment. Some are big, some are small. Some are obvious, some are obscure. Some are short-term, some are ongoing. But what they all have in common is that they can be discovered and unlocked through sound print management solutions.

Printer management can take a variety of forms. Below we’ll take a look at some of the most common ones—including next-generation print management solutions like PrinterLogic—as we examine the top three areas in which print management services can benefit your organization.

1. Print Consumable Usage

Consumables such as toner and paper account for approximately 10% of most printing budgets. These are what you might call “invisible” costs because they are integral to the act of printing itself and tend to be automatically resupplied by support staff as needed. This means the end user rarely gives the costs of these consumables any thought before, say, printing the full 30-page report a third time after correcting a single typo on page 4.

A good printer management strategy understands that there are huge cost savings to be found in curbing consumable usage. But how can end users be made aware of their consumable overuse? How can departments gather enough data to monitor their consumption and incentivize resource conservation?

With traditional print management solutions such as print servers, this is difficult to achieve. In the absence of extra software add-ons or plug-ins, print servers don’t offer comprehensive periodic or longitudinal reporting on consumable usage. Some print management companies do monitor consumable use as part of their services and, depending on your organization’s service tier and infrastructure, they can deliver prepared reports along those lines.

Next-generation print management solutions like PrinterLogic have built-in reporting features that allow you to review current as well as historical data on consumable usage for individual devices or whole printer fleets. This compartmentalized or aggregate information can be automatically e-mailed to department heads, managers or other decision-makers on a periodic basis. Your organization can then use this shared data as a basis for efficiency initiatives. Independent surveys of PrinterLogic customers have shown that close to 70% of the respondents succeeded in reducing print consumable usage by 15% or more this way (TVID: 7F5-FCC-413). It also paves the way for informed decisions about hardware fleet optimization.

2. Purchasing, Deploying and Maintaining the Hardware Infrastructure

Infrastructure costs money. From the initial outlay to purchase the hardware and software, to the cost of deploying it (including any productivity lost to a prolonged implementation and teething period), on to the ongoing maintenance of all aspects of that infrastructure, it adds up to a dollar figure that gets subtracted from your bottom line. Therefore, as far as printing and printer management infrastructure is concerned, it makes sense to aim to achieve more with less.

Conventional print management solutions give you a choice: Either expand your infrastructure through multiple print servers, or consolidate your infrastructure with a centralized print server. The former means a lot more hardware, oversight and maintenance – the exact opposite of our “more with less” goal. The latter, however, creates a single point of failure that can jeopardize printing across the entire organization and drives up the costs of redundancy. In distributed environments, centralized servers can also place huge and unnecessary burdens on the WAN connections.

Because PrinterLogic can scale to suit organizations of any size from a single central server, it enables you to operate an entire printer fleet—even in distributed environments—on minimal infrastructure without any of the drawbacks associated with traditional print management solutions. Even in the event of a host server failure, PrinterLogic’s robust printer management and direct IP backbone allows printing to continue as normal with no loss of core functionality. This is why independent surveys have shown that nearly 80% of PrinterLogic customers are able to reduce their remote server infrastructure by 30% or more (TVID: 77B-13B-830) while simultaneously experiencing significant gains in printer management.

3. Productivity

There are many events that threaten printing availability to end users. Among these are print server crashes, queue congestion, improper printer deployment, limited access to printer installation and paper jams. Regardless of the root cause, every time printing is unavailable for any reason, productivity takes a hit.

And it’s not just the end users who are inconvenienced by lack of printing downtime and interrupted printing availability. The service desk and technical support staff are also affected because they have to devote time to addressing printer management and print-related issues. This might equate to the time that they spend performing backend troubleshooting and restarting a server. Or it might be the hours they spend on the phone walking end users through basic printer installation. The simple fact is that the resources expended on addressing printing problems are resources that cannot be directed elsewhere.

Print servers are notorious for being resource vortexes, sucking up a disproportionate amount of IT’s time and effort. As print management solutions go, they are the least optimal when maximizing productivity is a priority.

As a total print management solution that also integrates seamlessly with virtual environments like Citrix and VMware, PrinterLogic enables organizations to realize serious boosts in productivity through multiple areas. For example, PrinterLogic has an intuitive self-service portal that allows end users to identify and install printers themselves with a single click. It also has robust features to deal with the driver conflicts and software incompatibilities that can regularly crash print servers.

All this drastically reduces print-related calls to the service desk, with an independent survey showing 77% of PrinterLogic customer reducing their downtime by at least 15% (TVID: 5CC-DBB-F3A). And PrinterLogic’s centralized administration and ease of use allows IT staff to carry out printer management far more efficiently than ever before. In another independent survey (TVID: 539-304-868), 83% of PrinterLogic customers reported reducing their time spent on routine printer management by 30% or more.

Additional Benefits

Unlike traditional print management solutions, PrinterLogic has the ability to provide enhanced functionality through its Mobile Printing and Pull Printing modules. These deliver convenient full-featured printing for mobile and BYOD users as well as easy-to-use secure printing for confidential documents. With other print management services, next-generation features like these might be inconvenient, cost-prohibitive or difficult to integrate, but PrinterLogic’s print management solution seamlessly incorporates them into any print environment.

Given its proven ability to reduce usage of consumables, increase print-related productivity across the organization and shrink infrastructure while delivering enhanced functionality, PrinterLogic avoids the shortcomings of conventional print management solutions yet matches or exceeds their strengths.