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What is Follow Me Printing?

Posted by Jordan Pusey on December 14th, 2016

Follow me printing solutions have become popular in all manner of print environments—educational and enterprise settings in particular—because of their convenience and security. They give end users more flexibility and greater control over their print jobs and can even help reduce waste by making printing itself more intentional.

Depending on the implementation, follow me printing goes by many names. Some of these include Pull Printing, Release Printing, Personal Printing, Secure Pull Printing and others. No matter what they're called, follow me printing solutions all tend to operate on the same principle, and the broader follow me printing benefits are generally the same.

The basic two-step process that underlies most follow me printing solutions is this:

  1. A user initiates a print job from any workstation just as usual.
  2. Once physically present at the desired printer, that user can execute the print job using a variety of authentication protocols.

With this scenario in mind, it should be quite clear what the many practical follow me printing benefits might be. For example, in a university setting, a student can print from any nearby workstation to a shared printer in the building where her next class is going to be. After she gets to the printer, she can scan her ID badge using a card reader and release her print job. This means her print job is sent to a convenient location for retrieval, yet the completed job isn't left sitting in the output tray to be viewed by other students or taken by mistake before she arrives. Based on this example, you can also see how easily follow me printing solutions would have useful applications in an enterprise environment with mobile employees or confidential documents.

One thing that often gets overlooked in all this is the potential follow me printing savings. Because follow me printing solutions make the "execution" or "release" step a deliberate one, they avoid the factors that can lead to thousands of pages of unclaimed documents each year – waste in the form of consumed paper and ink that goes straight into the trash or the recycle bin. This makes resource efficiency just one more of the incidental follow me printing benefits.

At PrinterLogic, our Pull Printing solution is bundled into a single, easy-to-implement Pull Printing module. It offers three different but equally versatile methods to authenticate and release print jobs:

  • Badge or card reader: Using either an integrated card reader or an external one plugged into the printer's USB port, users can swipe their ID card to release the print job.
  • The control panel embedded in the printer: PrinterLogic's app with near-universal printer support is installed directly on the printer itself. Users can then log in using the LCD control panel to authenticate.
  • With a web browser: Any mobile device (e.g., Chromebook, iPad, Android tablet) can be used to release jobs via its built-in web browser. This can even be a mobile device set up in kiosk mode alongside the printer.

Unlike other follow me printing solutions, Pull Printing from PrinterLogic makes it incredibly easy to equip your entire print environment with this convenient and secure functionality, so you and your end users can begin reaping the follow me printing benefits as well as the follow me printing savings without a complex deployment process.

Jordan K. Pusey
Jordan K. Pusey
With more than 15 years of product marketing experience, Jordan has been been instrumental in helping IT software companies produce valuable software solutions and achieve growth. From IT desktop operations to infrastructure and security, Jordan has talked and written about sound IT best practices, amazing time and money saving products, and industry trends. At PrinterLogic, he leads the company's product marketing efforts and loves talking about how organizations of all sizes can eliminate the need for print servers.

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