Since its founding in 1901, Hunton & Williams LLP has gone from strength to strength. Individual lawyers from the Virginia-based firm are routinely recognized as the top in their respective fields, with one famously going on to serve on the US Supreme Court. The organization itself has expanded to 19 separate international locations, including Brussels, Beijing, London, Bangkok, Tokyo and major cities across the United States.
Hunton & Williams counts energy, retail and consumer products, financial services, and real estate among its many areas of expertise. Enterprise printing, however, proved slightly more challenging. With more than 1,700 users and 700 printers to support within a distributed, high-demand Citrix print environment, the firm's IT team found the traditional print-server-based infrastructure to be more of a hindrance than a help.
Earl Demiar, the firm's IT support services manager, describes it as nothing short of a "nightmare."
"If there was an issue with the print queue, for example, where a server wasn't happy with either the printer driver or the printer that was on it, the print spooler would need to be reset constantly," he says.
"Maintaining drivers was extremely difficult, too, because you'd have to make that change across multiple print servers unless it happened to be located on the central print server. And even if it was on the central print server, then you'd have to wait for that driver to get pulled, which took a long time."
To mitigate some of these issues, Hunton & Williams experimented with universal printer drivers, managed print services and conventional direct IP printing, but no solution was able to deliver all of the desired benefits. It took an entire team of admins, with two of them specializing solely in print management, to handle the firm's enterprise printing needs and provide the necessary level of print availability to its end users.
Then they discovered and implemented PrinterLogic.
"I don't think we knew anything like it existed," says Demiar, "but it certainly lightened our load. We had engineers that were spending a lot of time maintaining those print servers. PrinterLogic enabled us to eliminate those print servers completely, so it was a big relief. It allows us to be a lot more flexible and responsive."
Hunton & Williams had high expectations of its print environment, but the traditional print infrastructure could not provide the effortless management, organization-wide transparency and robust performance that the firm needed. Instead, Demiar describes a print environment that was in "constant turmoil."
"It was just a nightmare from the management perspective, and we weren't having any success in trying to resolve these that issues kept coming up. We just had no way to fix them. Whether it be a hardware or a software issue, it was just, 'We can't print.' Folks were quite upset, deadlines were missed."
“PrinterLogic eliminated our dependency on print servers, so that was a lot of maintenance and support that was taken off our plates.”
PrinterLogic's next-generation print management solution was singlehandedly able to meet every one of their expectations through features like its centralized management console, powerful administrative tools and comprehensive auditing capabilities. Demiar says those qualities are best captured by the "consistency" of the solution.
"When we make a change, we see that change everywhere. We don't have to wonder why something is behaving differently in D.C. versus Richmond, which is huge. And there's more accountability because there's auditing. If somebody changed a profile or something like that, we can quickly see who and why and what it affected," he explains.
"With some of the other capabilities of PrinterLogic, we're able to do things en masse. So instead of having to go to each print server and gather details, we're able to just use the data manager and quickly pull the reports we need."
Like many organizations, Hunton & Williams has seen significant demand for guest printing from mobile devices—specifically iPhones and iPads. The IT team briefly considered proprietary solutions like Apple's AirPrint ecosystem. They were skeptical of AirPrint's broader compatibility, and the degree to which it would fully support an enterprise environment without new hardware investments.
PrinterLogic's Mobile Printing solution fulfilled all their requirements on account of its ability to support printing from any mobile device to any printer, even legacy devices, without the need to install any client-side software.
"We have a conference area where we want to offer guests printing, but without access to our network," says Demiar. PrinterLogic's Mobile Printing gave us that alternative. Plus, our own staff can print easily from their mobile devices as well. We don't have to rely on Bonjour or other networking protocols. It's been easy for us to set up that functionality."
It was one thing to have increased ease of use through PrinterLogic's convenient Self-Service Installation Portal and greater print accessibility through its Mobile Printing feature, but Hunton & Williams did not want to trade convenience for security.
"A big requirement for us is that our networks stay secure," Demiar explains. He refers back to guest printing as a case in point: Guests needed to be able to print, but they couldn't have access to the local network because that could compromise its integrity.
With PrinterLogic, security and accessibility were no longer mutually exclusive. Using the built-in email-to-print functionality of Mobile Printing, guests are now able to print effortlessly to nearby printers without even being on the local network.
"Guests don't have direct access to our printers. Instead we supply them with a unique email address for each printer. We limit this to certain printers that are labeled guest printers because they're in a publicly available space, and it's only these certain printers that we allow external email to go to," Demiar explains.
The IT team was also able to "tighten the control and security" of everyday printer management because of PrinterLogic's centralized administration.
"We now have a central team and only a few folks are touching the driver profiles as opposed to having that spread out across different offices," he says. "PrinterLogic is almost like our secondary asset management for printers. We're able to gather information and metrics and see what's going on, such as when changes are made. It's pretty intuitive."
Hunton & Williams has not carried out any strict ROI analysis since implementing PrinterLogic, but Demiar says that the cost savings are apparent when you consider the infrastructure and resources that were replaced. Every local print server at their offices was eliminated, and the time spent on print management was cut significantly.
"PrinterLogic eliminated our dependency on print servers, so that was a lot of maintenance and support that was taken off our plates," he says. "We were able to remove those servers and free up some backend folks. Not only do we enjoy using it, it's been very successful in our firm."
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