The Monmouth County Sheriff's Office is responsible for meeting the needs of 9-1-1 communications, law enforcement and corrections throughout Monmouth County, (pop. 630,000) in east-central New Jersey. Its staff of more than 600 officers and civilian employees operates out of the agency’s Freehold, NJ headquarters as well as over 25 additional remote sites of various sizes in the county.
Comprising a total of six distinct but mutually complementary areas of operations (Law Enforcement, Corrections, Communications, Special Operations, Emergency Management and the Monmouth County Police Academy), the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office is the only agency of its kind in the state to have received the esteemed “Four Star” accreditation for law enforcement, corrections, correctional healthcare and communications.
Although the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office clearly excels when it comes to matters of law enforcement, its print environment seemed to live by its own rules. The organization used a mix of direct IP printing and a Windows-based print server with group policy to service its distributed environment and 200-printer fleet, but basic functionality and manageability were sorely lacking.
“From a high-end financial perspective, it significantly lowers the cost of printer hardware as well as man-hours spent fixing printer issues.”
“The previous system was flawed,” said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. “It was difficult to print to other locations. IP addresses would change and connections would not work correctly. Our print server wasn't reliable when printers got renamed or moved around, or when computers were replaced. It was a hassle to keep track of everything and make sure all the users on the same computers had access to the same printers.”
To remedy the situation, the agency began researching print management alternatives online. Sheriff Golden and his team considered several solutions, but ultimately opted for PrinterLogic since “no other company made such a simple-to-use program.”
"We could have gone with another solution and bought a print server. However, the cost would be astronomical and the maintenance headache would still be there," said Sheriff Golden. “PrinterLogic’s feature set, cost-benefit ratio and scalability made it an easy decision.
Deploying the solution across the entire organization took approximately three days: “A day to install, a day to set everything up, and another day or two to push the software out to every computer.”
With a large dispatch center in Freehold, connected to 30 off-site locations throughout the county, the sheriff's Office relies heavily on inter-office and inter-department printing, with the nature of its work demanding considerable urgency. For example, the operators in the 911 communications center often have to print case-relevant documents for police officers in the field.
“In the past, we had to fax documents to one another or have officers drive to our building to pick up documents. That was a challenge because it would take hours for a document to be received by an officer,” said Sheriff Golden. “With direct IP [printing] it didn’t work that well. It was inconsistent and difficult to maintain over time.”
PrinterLogic has made it possible for the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office to print with the speed, convenience, efficiency and reliability that it needs to operate effectively in a fast-paced, multi-site environment.
“Now we‘re able to print [to remote printers] directly from the dispatchers’ desks,” said Golden. “The dispatchers print out documents for officers just like they would print to their printers in the dispatch center. Before, it might have taken hours; now it takes seconds.”
“Another challenge for us was cutting down on the helpdesk calls,” said Andrew Calvo, IT Director, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office. “A large part of our [print management] needs had to do with IT staff time—troubleshooting, running around to different computers to make sure the printers worked, reconnecting them, uninstalling them and reinstalling them.”
All this manual troubleshooting and shuttling back and forth between locations wasn't just a strain on IT. End-users on the front lines had to bear the brunt of the problems, such as difficulties with printer installation, inability to print, partial or delayed deployments, and waiting around for fixes.
“It wasn’t even as though we could say the user was at fault and then train them. It was just the way the Windows print server operated. It was frustrating to have to fix the same thing repeatedly.”
“From an IT perspective, the big benefit [of PrinterLogic] is to manage the entire printer infrastructure from a single web page.”
With PrinterLogic's print management solution now in place, Calvo said, it's seamless for the employees to be able to print. “When the user logs in, their printers are already installed based upon policies defined in PrinterLogic, or, they can simply install other printers instead of having to find out the IP address and make sure they have the right drivers installed on their computer. PrinterLogic does all of that for them, which is a tremendous help.”
As anticipated, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office has likewise seen a drastic reduction in service desk calls owing to the ease and dependability of printing, using PrinterLogic.
“There’s pretty much zero helpdesk calls about printers now unless there’s something physically wrong with the printer, which was never the case before.”
A second factor that contributed to the burden on the IT staff was basic administration—which was anything but basic in the organization’s former print environment.
“We're a 911 center, so we have fifty consoles that are populated by 110 people rotating throughout the day,” Golden explained. “When we deployed a new printer, especially for the dispatch center, it would take two or three weeks to get everyone’s profile to work correctly, because employees might be on vacation, or they might not be in at the same time the IT staff is here.”
Paradoxically, the poor administrative capabilities actually resulted in a larger fleet of printers. The inability to use shared network printers effectively meant that each user had their own printer.
“That was hard to maintain, not cost effective and difficult to keep track of supplies and consumables.
“We would easily spend five hours a week on maintenance. If there was an issue, you’re probably doubling or tripling that time,” said Golden.
Because PrinterLogic provides enterprise-wide oversight from a single pane of glass, even in widely distributed environments, the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office was able to regain control of its print environment and shrink its printer fleet by roughly 75%.
“It’s very easy now for an administrator to maintain and work on a printer without having to walk around and restart computers and log in as an administrator. Everything’s done right through the admin page for PrinterLogic. The solution’s native support for SNMP alerts has also been beneficial in this regard,” said Golden. “We’re now able to be proactive when there's a problem—for instance, if there's low toner, we can get out there to rectify the situation before [users] contact the helpdesk.”
At the same time, the organization was able to shrink its entire fleet to just 50 printers. “From an IT perspective, the big benefit [of PrinterLogic] is to manage the entire printer infrastructure from a single web page. From a high-end financial perspective, it significantly lowers the cost of printer hardware as well as man-hours spent fixing printer issues,” concluded Golden.
Since fully implementing PrinterLogic, it’s estimated that in under 72 hours, the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office experienced a 95% reduction in calls to the service desk regarding print-related problems. That has enabled the IT staff to address any issues that arise outside of the print environment much faster.
“We’re probably looking at a savings of 50 man-hours a month,” said Golden, noting that each of those hours impacts both IT and end-user productivity. “Rolling out a new printer now takes five minutes instead of potentially a two- or three-week timeframe.”
The success of the new print management solution coupled with its cost and time savings have encouraged the entire organization to consider enhancing the revitalized print environment with PrinterLogic's Mobile Printing and Pull Printing modules, which will serve the growing number of temporary BYOD users and the detectives who work with confidential documents.
“PrinterLogic is a major factor anytime we look at new facilities or new printers now. It will cut down on printers and allow us to maintain and manage an expanded print environment from the admin side of things.”
But the single most valuable aspect of PrinterLogic is that “it actually works,” said Golden. “Anyone who uses print servers understands what I mean by that. PrinterLogic cuts down on maintenance and is almost transparent to the end-user.”