Like it or not, we live in the era of Big Data. Technology has given us the ability to gather information on almost every aspect of our lives. We can then use that info to do things like improve our health, figure out what new TV shows we might like, become better drivers or optimize processes in the workplace.
Of all the areas where data gathering comes in handy, printing probably isn't the first one that springs to mind. But when you think about it, printing is as integral to our daily working lives as email or telephones. A few optimizations to the print environment, especially a large one, could have a big impact. That's where print-tracking software comes in.
The role of print-tracking software is pretty much what it sounds like. It monitors print activity across your company or organization, collecting the details of who, what, when, where and how for individual print jobs. Some printers or print-management tools have basic functionality along these lines, but dedicated print-tracking software usually offers more scope in how it collects and presents this data.
Making data-driven decisions, taking data-driven action
For those unfamiliar with data analysis, think of data like the words that make up a book. If you were to just print out all those words alphabetically, it would just be a long list. But when those words are arranged in the right way, they tell a descriptive story.
That's why simply collecting data doesn't do much good. It's what you do with that data that counts. When you can use print-tracking software to organize that data in a way that makes sense, you can make informed decisions. Those decisions, in turn, lead to practical actions that save money and time.
With the right tools, here's what the data from print-tracking software can enable your organization to do:
- Control printing: Let's say one department is constantly printing large volumes. Good print-tracking software would enable you to spot that behavior by indicating high page counts. You could then follow up with the department head or even individual users to encourage more economical printing habits.
- Reduce waste: High page counts aren't some abstract number in a report. Every one of those pages represents a physical sheet of paper plus the toner or ink required for printing. With color pages, you're talking even more consumables. By controlling printing, you're also reducing waste.
- Cut costs: Addressing the previous two issues ultimately translates to saving money. Printing less means using fewer consumables, which means reduced spending on paper and ink. In an enterprise organization, the large scale can add up to major cost savings.
- Promote future growth: Money not spent on printing is money you can spend on other things—like better infrastructure or additional employees. The sky's the limit on how you redirect that money, really. All of that amounts to opportunities for future growth.
Maximize your print tracking with PrinterLogic
PrinterLogic's centrally managed direct-IP printing platform takes print tracking to the next level. Our serverless enterprise printing solution:
- Deploys quickly and seamlessly in pretty much every organization, regardless of the existing IT setup.
- Provides you with a clear window onto the entire print environment.
- Collects more detailed and more comprehensive printing data.
- Gives you the tools to figure out exactly what the data is telling you.
- And it allows you to share that analysis automatically with decision-makers.
Some of those features are provided through our optional print auditing module. Some of them are there by design.
When I say by design, I'm talking about our centrally managed direct-IP printing platform itself. This takes the reliability and simplicity of direct-IP printing and combines it with the ability to manage every aspect of the print environment from a single pane of glass. All without print servers. End users get network printers that behave like they're directly connected to their workstations. Admins get the convenience, control and oversight that comes with one print-management console for the whole organization.
PrinterLogic's print-auditing capabilities tie into that foundation. Rather than being layered on top of an existing solution, our print-auditing feature is an extension of our centrally managed direct-IP printing platform. So, unlike aftermarket print-tracking software, ours has the ability to reach into every nook and cranny of your print environment. Any PrinterLogic connected printer—including USB printers—becomes a potential source of valuable data.
The big (cost-saving) reveal
Once you've got all this data, PrinterLogic's print-auditing functionality helps turn it into something actionable. Who are your top ten users with the highest print volumes? Our print-tracking software can determine that and even automatically send reports to their department heads. Are some printers underused? PrinterLogic can tell you that, too, and provide IT with cost-saving consolidation guidance.
Or, like AAA Carolinas did (read the case study here), you can figure out who's printing in color and enforce default black-and-white printer settings using PrinterLogic's admin console. That saved the company "a pretty good stack of dollars."
If that sounds like the sort of print-tracking software you're looking for, you don't have to make an investment on the strength of a blog post. We offer a free, full-featured demo of our centrally managed direct-IP printing platform so you can try it out as a proof of concept. Take a second or two to sign up today and test drive it without obligation for 30 days.
Julio Garfias is the Product Support Manager at PrinterLogic, where he oversees the company’s post-sales support operations and provides vital product-development feedback based on customer needs. His previous experience includes 10+ years as a product support engineer and help-desk analyst. Julio has Windows Server Administration certifications from Microsoft and is a Certified SAFe 4 Product Owner/Product Manager. He is currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications from Dixie State University.