Recently many organizations have begun considering implementing follow me printing solutions, largely because IT professionals who are tasked with print management have been touting the obvious advantages of follow me printing more and more. Follow me printing solutions make life much easier for these IT pros as well as their end users because they introduce convenience, cost savings and security without impacting workflow and efficiency. Done right, deployment of the solution and follow me printing management can be easy, too.
What makes follow me printing so worthwhile? A big part is that it gives end users more flexibility in their printing options and more control over how their print jobs are executed. Let's take the example of the user in the HR department who wants to print a confidential document to a shared printer. Normally, the user would click "Print" and then immediately run over to the printer to collect the document. If there's a large print queue, however, the user ends up wasting valuable time waiting at the printer until the document is finally printed. And if the user is waylaid by a telephone call or an urgent email, the confidential document ends up sitting in the shared printer's output tray where it can be seen by anyone and potentially compromise the sensitive information it contains.
Follow me printing solutions prevent this from happening by splitting printing into two separate, deliberate steps: the initiation and the execution (or "release"). This means the user can print as usual from any workstation but the job is not completed until that user is physically present at the printer and gives the authorization to execute the print job. In other words, the user prints when it's most convenient and collects when it's most convenient.
PrinterLogic's custom follow me printing solution is known as Pull Printing or Release Printing. It's a much more feature-rich implementation than basic follow me printing because it offers greater flexibility without introducing more complexity for admins or end users to deal with. This means that our end user in the above example isn't necessarily tied to a specific printer; the job can be released at any Pull Printing-enabled printer anywhere in the organization. And it also means that follow me printing management is easier on admins because they can choose any one of three different release mechanisms depending on policy and preference:
- Badge/card reader release: If your organization uses ID cards, you can integrate PrinterLogic's pull printing into your existing badge authentication system. End users can execute their print jobs with a simple swipe.
- Embedded control panel release: With PrinterLogic's embedded app, which can be installed directly on most printers, end users can authenticate and release print jobs right from the printer's control panel.
- Browser-based release: Users can release their print jobs by simply using the native web browser found on any mobile device (e.g., Chromebook, iPad, Android tablet). These mobile devices can be free-floating or they can be dedicated follow me printing terminals that operate in kiosk mode and are associated with a nearby printer.
Better still, unlike some follow me printing solutions, PrinterLogic's multiple release methods and innate versatility enable you to equip any device with follow me printing capability – even legacy devices. This is a huge bonus to follow me printing management because you don't have to replace your existing hardware in order to get next-generation printing functionality.
Even though follow me printing has clear benefits, not all follow me printing solutions are created equal. PrinterLogic offers the ease of use and security you expect alongside its streamlined follow me printing management to ensure the smooth, seamless integration of follow me printing into your environment.
Before becoming PrinterLogic's Technical Product Manager, Chris spent more than four years as a Technical Product Engineer, Systems Engineer, and Sales Engineer—working side by side with IT professionals to eliminate print servers from their environment. He has a B.S. degree in Information Technology and loves learning about all of the new and innovating solutions that continue to revolutionize the IT industry.