You've probably heard a lot of about software-as-a-service, or SaaS, one of the many new delivery models made possible by the advent of cloud computing. You might have even heard about SaaS printing, which trades the perpetual licensing of enterprise printing software for a convenient, on-demand subscription model with lower upfront costs. But how much do you know about SaaS print management?
If you haven't heard a lot about SaaS print management so far, that's understandable. Most organizations and service providers tend to focus on SaaS and cloud-based printing over cloud print management. As I'll explain below, that's to their detriment.
So, what's the difference between the two?
Well, cloud-based printing is just that—the mechanism for getting the print job from the client to the printer via a remote "cloud" server. That's it. It doesn't necessarily make it any easier to deploy printers to clients. It doesn't focus on making drivers and profiles any more manageable. It doesn't empower end users and alleviate the burden on your support staff. In many ways, it's not all that different to the same technologies that you've had to wrestle with for years, just translated to the cloud.
SaaS cloud print management, on the other hand, has the potential to revolutionize your print environment. When it's done right.
At PrinterLogic, we've developed a true cloud print management solution that's based on our industry-leading on-premises print management solution. It combines the convenience of SaaS printing with the power of centralized management, the robustness of direct IP connections and the flexibility of cloud-based printing in a single, zero-footprint solution that's incredibly quick to deploy, integrates seamlessly with any environment (including Citrix and VMware), offers next-generation features like Mobile Printing and Print Reporting, and is highly available. We call it PrinterCloud.
Among many other things, PrinterCloud enables you to deploy printers automatically, dynamically and precisely using criteria such as IP address ranges or Active Directory attributes like organizational unit (OU) or group. You can stop using GPOs and scripts altogether but still get the right printers to the right users every time—even in environments that are in constant flux. And for added flexibility, users can easily identify and install their own printers using PrinterCloud's handy self-installation portal.
PrinterCloud's printer and driver management is also second to none. You can change default settings for individual printers or an entire pool with a few simple clicks or push out updated drivers with instant effect. Because our intuitive admin console is cloud based and centralized, you can add, modify or remove printers anywhere in the organization from a single pane of glass.
Along with its outstanding cloud print management, what really sets PrinterCloud apart is the way it leverages direct IP printing. Because most cloud-based printing software relies on a constant WAN connection, printing can slow or even stop altogether when the WAN link is seeing high throughput or is interrupted in some way. PrinterCloud uniquely establishes one-to-one connections between client devices and local printers, so print jobs aren't competing for WAN bandwidth or at the mercy of the WAN status.
While many cloud-based printing solutions also require native printer support or a dedicated server to provide compatibility, which leads to additional infrastructure purchases that offset the benefits of SaaS printing, PrinterCloud brings cloud printing functionality to all your network printers. Just as importantly, PrinterCloud can provide advanced Mobile Printing capabilities across your entire organization. That means mobile device and BYOD users as well as guests can print easily to any authorized printer, including legacy devices.
With PrinterCloud, you get full-featured cloud-based printing—but you also get unparalleled cloud print management. Try it free for 30 days to see how SaaS print management delivers far more than basic SaaS printing.
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.