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Business IT Solutions for Print Environments

Posted by Ethan Janson on May 13th, 2019

Finding the right business IT solutions can be challenging under any circumstances, but the stakes can be higher in enterprise environments when scale becomes a decisive factor. That's especially true for enterprise print environments. The size and makeup of large printer fleets along with the intricacies involved in accommodating nuanced organizational structures and different user pools can cause things to get complicated fast.

The scale and complexity of the enterprise naturally makes it harder to provide the services and capabilities that every single end user needs at any given moment. From an administrator's point of view, there's no greater reminder of this than the number of help-desk calls that come in when those needs aren't being met by the existing business IT solutions. In particularly bad situations, IT departments can become overwhelmed by the volume of support tickets.

When it gets bad enough, what often happens is that the organization looks to additional business IT solutions to compensate for the shortcomings of the ones that are already in place. But, of course, the addition of a further solution only adds to the complexity of the environment. Which only succeeds in compounding the current problems.

It follows, then, that the answer lies in addressing the root issue. With enterprise printing, this root issue is almost always the server-based architecture that has become the standard among print-management solutions in all kinds of organizations. To eliminate print servers means eliminating the problems they cause, such as unreliable deployments, inadequate print availability, poor scalability and limited functionality.

Eliminate print servers to simplify infrastructure and administration
PrinterLogic's serverless printing architecture removes the need for print servers entirely. In fact, "eliminate print servers" has been our mantra for years because we saw how legacy print-management solutions—even those claiming to be enterprise-ready business IT solutions—were hamstrung by the server-based architecture and the software that was designed for it.

It's this next-generation ability to eliminate print servers that remains the biggest benefit of our centrally managed direct-IP printing model, as it allows organizations to drastically reduce their infrastructure while also bringing greater ease of management, unprecedented scalability and flexibility, higher availability, and sought-after features like mobile printing and print auditing to their print environment. Some of those many features include:

Mobile printing: Conventional print-management solutions have a tendency to treat mobile printing like an extra layer of functionality. Maybe that's no surprise. Legacy server-based architectures more or less demand that it be treated that way.

PrinterLogic, on the other hand, approaches mobile printing like an extension of its core functionality. Android and iOS users can print natively from their devices without having to install any client-side software. Any network printer, including legacy devices, can be configured to receive mobile print jobs. Meanwhile, BYOD and off-network guest users can leverage PrinterLogic's proven email-to-print capabilities to easily send jobs to authorized printers.

Pull and secure printing: Given the increasing awareness of risks to print security, organizations are looking for ways to implement features like pull printing, which splits the printing process into two steps: printing and release. Secure printing builds on pull printing by adding an authentication mechanism. Often, however, this calls for a dedicated pull-printing solution above and beyond the basic print-management solution along with expanded hardware infrastructure for authentication.

With PrinterLogic, organizations can use as many as five separate authentication mechanisms to securely release print jobs. These mechanisms can include anything from CAC/PIV (used primarily for high-security government agencies and contractors) or a repurposed tablet in kiosk mode. There's even a convenient new PrinterLogic Print Release App for iOS and Android smartphones that synergizes the benefits of mobile and pull printing. And, like mobile printing, pull and secure printing harness PrinterLogic's native print capabilities, so they can be easily configured, managed and extended to any printer using a single web-based administrative console.

Print auditing: With increased emphasis on security comes the desire for increased oversight. PrinterLogic's print-auditing feature gives admins the ability to monitor print activity in detail across the entire print environment. This is possible because, even though the client-to-printer connections are direct IP (and more robust as a result), printing takes place through PrinterLogic's common platform.

What's more, our print-auditing capabilities are augmented by reporting. Admins can automatically share the wealth of data gleaned through print auditing by having periodic reports emailed to department heads and decision-makers. PrinterLogic's print auditing can thus create a solid, informed foundation for cost-saving and efficiency initiatives.

Self-service portal: One of the most longstanding challenges to enterprise print environments is the need to deploy the right printers to the right end users at the right time. The approach adopted by most business IT solutions is to all but remove the end user from the equation and instead put all the responsibility for deployments on the admin's shoulders.

At PrinterLogic, we recognized that there was a lot to be gained from end-user empowerment. By making the printer-installation process as simple as viewing a floor plan map and clicking on the desired printer, our self-service portal has given end users the resources they need to make sound installation choices while also helping them avoid making mistakes. They no longer need to call the help-desk every single time they need a new printer, and admins can be confident that printer access is still tightly controlled.

Your organization can eliminate print servers
Based on their past experience with legacy print-management solutions, IT professionals can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking, "Eliminating print servers will never work in our organization!" Our customers tell a very different story. QTC, the largest provider of government-outsourced disability and occupational health-examination services in the United States, was able to eliminate print servers and enjoy an estimated 93% reduction in the time its IT team spent of print management (read the case study here). That's just one of many, many examples.

But there's an even better way to be sure: Try PrinterLogic for yourself. Just sign up today to test our serverless printing solution free of charge in your organization for 30 days.

Ethan Janson
Ethan Janson
Ethan is a commercial systems engineer at PrinterLogic. He assists account managers in helping potential customers learn about the PrinterLogic solution through online demonstrations and facilitating trials of the software. One of the things he enjoys most about his work is helping customers optimize their print-management capabilities and experience. Prior to his two years at PrinterLogic, Ethan held various positions in IT and customer service roles. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Information Technology.

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