Aquafin

Managing Hundreds of Printers Across 100 Locations: A 10-Year (and Counting) Partnership for Simplified Print Management

Aquafin Case Study

Challenges

  • Originally, managing hundreds of Novell IP printers across 100 locations with no print servers
  • Then, migrating all printers to Microsoft and managing four print servers
  • Finally, eliminating print servers altogether while managing printers for over 1,000 employees across 100 locations

Results

  • Aquafin deployed PrinterLogic to centrally manage its distributed Novell print environment
  • When it came time to migrate from Novell to Microsoft, PrinterLogic enabled a seamless migration across all 100 locations
  • PrinterLogic also enabled Aquafin to eliminate all of its print servers while still centrally managing all printers for over 1,000 employees

Aquafin is a Belgian company that specializes in the design, financing, building and operation of all infrastructure needed to treat domestic wastewater. The company currently manages 281 wastewater treatment plants and 1,394 pumping stations throughout Belgium.

Aquafin’s corporate facilities include 100 offices throughout Belgium. Ten years ago, the company was looking for an Enterprise Print Management solution that could help it manage its primarily Novell printer environment. The company first heard about PrinterLogic via the Brainshare conference’s forums, which have a great deal of content focused on helping enterprises manage Novell print environments.

“When we first heard about PrinterLogic from our peers, it sounded too good to be true,” said Benni Dillen, System Engineer for Aquafin. “We thought we were going to need to invest a lot in print servers for all our locations, so we were pleasantly surprised to find out we could manage all our printers without print servers, while gaining all the functionality.”

After testing print management tools from competitors, Aquafin determined that no other solution provided the centralized management of all their printers without print servers.

“First we tested PrinterLogic, then we fully deployed it throughout our 100 locations. We’ve been using it for 10 years now, and it has worked perfectly the entire time,” said Dillen.

Throughout the 10-year relationship that the company has had with PrinterLogic, PrinterLogic has helped Aquafin overcome several challenges as its printing environment and needs have changed.

Challenge #1—Managing Hundreds of Novell Printers with No Print Servers

Originally, Aquafin had hundreds of Novell printers across their 100 sites, and had no print servers. They needed a solution that could wrangle all of their printers and provide a single, central management console for all of their IP printers.

“Anyone who has ever had to manage hundreds of disparate Novell printers across many locations knows how difficult and time-consuming it can be,” said Dillen. “We needed something simple for our distributed users, so that we didn't have to physically install printers on every laptop, in person, for 1,000 users.”

“We have all the functionality of print servers, but without the cost and complexity. And we’ve seen a massive reduction in print-related help desk calls”

Solution

Aquafin deployed PrinterLogic and immediately gained visibility and control of their entire print environment from a single console. They could easily provision and configure all printers, including their Novell printers, across all locations—without any intervention by the individual users.

“It’s so simple. As soon as we deployed PrinterLogic, all of our users were able to easily select which printers they want to print from, without any configuration or setup on their end,” said Dillen. “And we were able to roll this out to all users from headquarters, without having to visit each location separately.”

Challenge #2—Migrating from Novell to Microsoft Active Directory, and Managing Print Servers

When the time came for Aquafin to migrate their Novell print environment to Microsoft Active Directory, they knew they were going to need help. Novell migrations typically demand significant project time for adding printers into the new environment.

Solution

PrinterLogic helps alleviate migration headaches by enabling the simple import of Novell printers directly into its management portal, or easy migration of printers to Windows print servers. Aquafin decided to deploy four print servers, and PrinterLogic enabled the seamless migration of all new printers to the new print servers.

“We knew that PrinterLogic’s value proposition was all about helping eliminate print servers, so we were pleasantly surprised to learn that it also makes the management and updating of print servers significantly easier, too,” said Dillen.

Challenge #3—Eliminating Print Servers While Maintaining Central Management and Functionality

Recently, Aquafin decided to update to Windows 8, and at the same time it decided it wanted to completely eliminate its print servers. It needed a solution that would maintain the simple, central management of its entire distributed print environment without losing any of the functionality its print servers enabled. And it needed a solution that would reduce the amount of print-related help desk calls received from remote employees.

“With half of our workforce spread out across remote locations, we need a solution that could eliminate our print servers while still providing a simple self-serve solution for our end users,” said Dillen.

Solution

PrinterLogic enabled Aquafin to easily take the final step of eliminating its print servers while maintaining (and enhancing) the functionality those servers previously provided. With PrinterLogic’s simple and intuitive interface, employees can easily find and select the nearest printer—regardless of location.

“We have all the functionality of print servers, but without the cost and complexity. And we’ve seen a massive reduction in print-related help desk calls, which saves my team a ton of time,” said Dillen.

Conclusion and Savings Summary

Over the past decade, PrinterLogic has helped Aquafin manage, migrate, and optimize their print environment through several major changes. In addition to the cost savings seen through the reduced hours spent dealing with help desk calls, the Aquafin team has also seen significant savings when it comes to deploying printers, managing printers and the elimination of time spent managing and upgrading print servers.

“For 10 years now, we have relied on PrinterLogic to help us through all the changes in our print environment—and they have helped us navigate those changes flawlessly,” said Dillen.