Posted by Devin Anderson
Printer drivers can be the most challenging aspect of keeping any enterprise print environment running smoothly. It’s one thing to juggle and maintain interoperability between different workstations with different operating systems, but dealing with enterprise-level printer driver management is something else altogether.
It’s not hard to see why. Printer drivers introduce a whole host of new variables into your print environment. Not only does each major operating system require its own driver, each iteration of that operating system requires a discrete printer driver as well—and that goes for every printer a workstation needs to access. So if you have two versions of Windows interfacing with a single HP printer model, that’s two drivers. Okay, simple enough. But if you have three versions of Windows plus a Mac that need to interface with two different HP printer models, you’re now talking about managing up to eight separate printer drivers just for that small environment. And for each workstation/printer driver/printer permutation there’s a laundry list of things that can go wrong.
What makes this even more challenging is that those printer drivers have to be administered and reliably deployed to the right workstations. Subsequent printer driver updates have to be tested and pushed out to the right users. With so many moving parts, the complexity and the potential pitfalls of printer driver management are legendary. Just ask any admin who has to maintain 32- and 64-bit versions of the same printer drivers alongside one another.
In traditional print environments—particularly those that still rely on print servers—it’s easy to lose control of printer driver management and experience driver conflicts as a matter of course. This not only creates headaches for IT, it also creates headaches for end users who then turn around and call the service desk, creating even more support tickets for IT to deal with.
Without centralized administration and driver deployments targeted with pinpoint accuracy, there’s little hope of fully getting to grips with printer driver management and eliminating conflicts.
Fortunately, PrinterLogic offers both. Our print management solution allows you to compile and maintain a common printer driver repository from a single console, giving you the ability to identify and deploy the right driver to every user in your organization—automatically and without the usual WAN overhead. This makes the update process easier too. You can roll out new printer drivers to a select group of users or the entire enterprise, ensuring that you always have the most current, stable and secure releases.
Another way PrinterLogic helps you eliminate printer driver conflicts is through powerful but simple driver configuration. If you’re aware of a problematic feature, you can access advanced printer driver settings to adjust every possible printer function. You can also pre-configure driver settings (e.g., dpi, duplexing, paper size, source), specify default settings with the click of a checkbox, and choose to apply those settings following the initial installation or each time a user logs on. And these benefits are even available in virtual environments like VMware and Citrix.
Through PrinterLogic, you’ll regain complete control over your printer driver management and your enterprise print environment as a whole. Then you’ll see that printer driver conflicts aren’t a fact of life. They’re actually a thing of the past.