Should we move our print management to the cloud? That's a question many CTOs and enterprise decision-makers are asking themselves these days. It doesn't matter whether their organization is small, regional or global in size, or whether they're focused on education, healthcare or engineering. The simple fact is that cloud print management is quickly becoming a solid and attractive option on account of its cost model and its potential to significantly reduce physical infrastructure.
If you're currently among those decision-makers, one important thing to bear in mind is that there's a crucial distinction between cloud printing and cloud print management.
- Cloud printing promises nothing more than print functionality—that is, relaying the print job from the client to the printer. Many cloud printing services limit themselves to this and offer little in the way of print management, making them more like a cloud print server than a total enterprise cloud printing solution. It isn't uncommon to find that they need to be augmented with a dedicated print management solution to streamline printer deployments and other tasks.
- When done right, cloud print management encompasses printer administration as well as enterprise-grade print capabilities. This is the most comprehensive and cost-effective solution of its kind, as it enables your organization to truly minimize its physical print infrastructure while enjoying all the advantages of the cloud, such as ubiquitous management and cross-platform compatibility.
Being careful to distinguish between the two could save you a lot of time, money and frustration in your search for the right solution.
Another key differentiator is WAN reliance. Like many cloud-based services, most enterprise cloud printing and print management solutions require constant WAN access to carry out their essential functions. If the WAN connection is interrupted, access to the cloud print server is lost and printing cannot take place until service is restored.
That alone might be the most significant reason why organizations remain hesitant toward migrating to enterprise cloud printing. With cloud-based file syncing, for example, end users can continue to work offline until the connection is restored. But printing doesn't wait. Just ask your support staff when printing downtime occurs.
PrinterCloud is unique in providing a comprehensive cloud print management solution with minimal WAN reliance. By leveraging direct IP printing in combination with effortless centralized management, it enables your organization to enjoy full-featured, high-availability enterprise cloud printing without compromise.
As a cloud-based SaaS solution, PrinterCloud integrates fully and seamlessly with any environment—including Citrix and VMware—to provide cloud printing functionality to any network printer. Unlike some enterprise cloud printing solutions, with PrinterCloud there's no need to run a local server or software hack to provide compatibility with non-branded printers. And PrinterCloud also has powerful print management tools, enabling you to easily stay on top of your driver repository and dynamically deploy printers without GPOs or scripts—all from a single pane of glass.
The other benefit of PrinterCloud is its extensibility. Want to provide Mobile Printing capabilities to your entire workforce regardless of the OS running on their mobile device? Looking to secure your print environment with Pull Printing that your employees will actually use? Hungry for detailed auditing information on organization-wide print activity that's tied to real-world costs? PrinterCloud makes all that possible. Natively.
So, should you move your print management to the cloud? That depends. If you're willing to deal with WAN vulnerability, limited compatibility and substandard print management, any cloud printing solution will do. But if you demand a more reliable, cost-effective, enterprise-grade solution, you should move your print management to PrinterCloud.
Brad Harker is Director of Sales Training & Automation at PrinterLogic. He oversees the recruiting, training and development of inside sales personnel who are focused on sourcing, qualifying and introducing new customers to PrinterLogic. Since joining PrinterLogic, Harker has been instrumental in the growth and development of the inside-sales team as well as implementing systems to support the company's sales objectives.