All of IT is a puzzle. Regardless of whether you're working with software or hardware, you have to make sure that each piece fits snugly within its larger environment, ultimately forming a single seamlessly interlocking whole.
That's not always easy to do, of course, and least of all where enterprise printing and print management are concerned. For years print servers have been the de facto standard in print infrastructure, but nowadays they are quickly being superseded by cloud-based printing solutions. Cloud printing provides organizations with a way to enjoy the benefits of a full-featured print environment without the tangle of onsite hardware that has traditionally served as its backbone.
But cloud printing presents a puzzle of its own. Theoretically, migrating to a cloud print service should be just a matter of unplugging your existing enterprise printing solution and swapping in one of the growing number of cloud-based printing solutions. In practical terms, however, it takes a lot of legwork to make that migration happen, and in the end many organizations are likely to find themselves spending as much time managing their cloud printing environment as they did their physical printing environment. That's because cloud printing and cloud print management are often treated as if they're separate components, and so migrating to cloud printing comes with the additional challenge of shoehorning that solution into your print and IT environments.
At PrinterLogic, we've always seen them as two sides of the same coin. You can't have effortlessly reliable printing without effortlessly reliable print management. So when we designed PrinterCloud, our next-generation software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud printing solution, we knew that it should retain the same powerful administrative features as our on-premise print management software. These are features that give you the ability to:
- set up precisely targeted deployments without the need for group policy objects (GPOs) or scripts
- configure default printer and profile settings quickly and easily
- create dynamic and automatic printer deployments based on location and active directory (AD) criteria
- manage print queues effortlessly
- make changes to printer names and other common settings on the fly with instant effect across the print environment
- monitor the cloud printing environment to conduct data-driven print audit analyses
With PrinterCloud, end users also have the ability to identify and install nearby printers themselves using the convenient self-service portal and optional floorplan maps. This is a perfect example of how better cloud print management results in a superior cloud printing experience. Because users don't need to waste time calling the service desk or hunting through labyrinthine lists of printers for mapping, they can start printing out their documents sooner rather than later.
And unlike other cloud-based printing solutions, the transition to PrinterCloud is remarkably easy and smooth. There's no special hardware to purchase or hoops to jump through. All you need to do is use the handy migration tool to import all the printers, drivers and settings from your existing print servers. That's it—an almost imperceptible transition and you're now enjoying the advantages of a cloud print service. Better still, with your migration to PrinterCloud complete, you can 86 your print servers and all their accompanying costs and headache.
Getting the entire IT jigsaw just right is a tough and ongoing task, but cloud printing can be one of the easiest pieces of the wider puzzle. The trick is to ensure that you're not just looking for basic cloud printing functionality. Effortless, powerful cloud print management has to be an integral part of any cloud-based printing solution that you choose. PrinterCloud is unique in delivering both in one feature-rich, straightforward and cost-effective package.
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.