City of Cape Town

How PrinterLogic eliminated 140 print servers, streamlined printer and driver management, and helped cut help-desk costs for more than 20,000 employees.

City of Cape Town

Project Goals

  • Primary goal: Improve the manageability of the print infrastructure and reduce the corresponding workload of the lean IT staff across the entire organisation.
  • Additional goals: Dramatically reduce the city’s print infrastructure and consolidate the print environment by eliminating print servers and reducing the number of printers. Conserve print consumables.

Challenges

  • Centralised server consolidation created problems for local print management.
  • Ageing print-server hardware had begun to fail and warranties had expired.
  • Limitations of the print environment meant users required in-person support, diverting IT staff from business-critical projects and draining resources.

Project Success and Results

  • Consolidated 140 print servers into one print management server—Outdated hardware was successfully and permanently removed where previous efforts had failed. The cost savings associated with the time and equipment involved in maintaining, updating and replacing the ageing infrastructure resulted in immediate ROI with much more anticipated.
  • Greatly reduced help-desk calls and support-staff callouts—Technicians now experience fewer call-outs; and support tickets are resolved much faster. The IT staff has gained the ability to remotely manage the entire print environment from a single pane of glass, eliminating the need for on-site visits and constant support.
  • Effortless print management and oversight—Printers can be easily deployed individually or en masse with a few clicks. Drivers are conveniently maintained in a single repository, and comprehensive reports on print activity are easily accessible for auditing purposes.

Additional Results (Beyond Project Goals)

  • Enhanced experience for end users and IT staff—Login times for users switching between workstations or using multiple devices has significantly improved. IT frontend staff can quickly identify and install new printers without any backend support. IT staff can manage printers and drivers and make updates in minutes, not days or weeks.
  • Rapid and easy deployment—The initial PrinterLogic rollout was one of the fastest and most straightforward projects the City of Cape Town has ever carried out. Software installation and folder structure creation took one week. Completed migration of all 140 existing print servers and associated printers to the PrinterLogic platform occurred in just two weeks. The solution deployed almost seamlessly with little to no interruption to end users, IT staff or day-to-day business operations.
  • Eliminated single points of failure for a drastic increase in productivity and uptime—Prior to installing PrinterLogic, entire sites would be unable to print for days when print-server failures occurred. Now end users can print without interruption—even if a site loses its connection to one of the data centres—because PrinterLogic's direct-IP printing is not dependent on the management server being accessible via the WAN.

As the global economy shifts, more people than ever are choosing to live in cities, where vital resources and quality-of-life amenities tend to be more concentrated and accessible. Cape Town has likewise become an increasingly popular destination to live, work and play, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in South Africa in terms of rates of urbanisation.

Located at the southernmost tip of Africa, the City of Cape Town (CCT) is a world-class municipality that strives to provide all of its citizens with the services, facilities, governance and transparency that they deserve.

“We want them to feel empowered to make things happen for themselves because they live in Cape Town. We don’t want to be the obstacle to their success, we want to be the facilitator. We want to save them time. And in return, we want them to care—give us feedback, report faults, use our services and become an active citizen,” says Omeshnee Naidoo, CIO at CCT.

The CCT is a localised but highly distributed organisation that consists of a total of 632 sites spread across Cape Town. Of these sites, only 140 had print servers, leaving hundreds of sites with unmanaged printing. When the CCT removed all remote servers as part of its strategy to consolidate its infrastructure within two data centres, the situation was exacerbated. For the sites that did retain locally managed print servers, the IT teams began to experience hardware failures in older equipment. This ageing server hardware was not replaced, which resulted in more unmanaged sites.

It also resulted in frustrated end users and exasperated support staff. When these servers failed, they occasionally left entire sites unable to print for days on end. In the Cape Town Civic Centre, the primary site that houses over 3,000 users, the IT team experienced regular problems with the server. This was further complicated by the virtually managed environment.

The IT team consulted with Microsoft and several other vendors to assist with the problems they were experiencing, which ranged from hardware issues to application crashes. But expiring warranties limited the amount of support they were able to receive. This meant the relatively lean IT team was investing valuable time in routine print management and infrastructure maintenance, creating a drain on resources that had a negative impact on other, more critical projects.

“Within a short period, where print-server hardware began to fall out of warranty, we sought a solution that would give the same management as print servers but would eliminate the risk of downtime of a print server,” Naidoo explains.

“When the need was identified in CCT for better print management, we evaluated options and were able to quickly turn to PrinterLogic as an easy to deploy solution that would effectively meet and exceed their tender requirements.”

“We considered many options but few could offer a solution that we were seeking. We went out on tender for a product that could meet all our requirements, and PrinterLogic proved to be the successful bidder with their solution.”

Naidoo adds: “The implementation was one of the quickest and most seamless that we have ever done!”

PrinterLogic is represented in South Africa by Blue Label Technology Solutions (BLTS). BLTS is an established value-added distributor to many leading southern African IT channel partners.

“When the need was identified in CCT for better print management, we evaluated options and were able to quickly turn to PrinterLogic as an easy to deploy solution that would effectively meet and exceed their tender requirements. We’re delighted that the implementation was successful and look forward to further similar implementations in the future,” states CEO, Tito Pereira.

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