Pioneer Technology

Managed services provider reduces support tickets, simplifies Citrix/EMR printing, and adds unique value to its offerings with PrinterLogic and PrinterCloud.

Pioneer Technology Case Study

Challenges

  • A distributed healthcare provider with a Citrix environment was forced to use multiple printing pools, which complicated printing and printer deployments.
  • Print-related issues accounted for an estimated 20% of support tickets, which impacted Pioneer Technology's ability to deliver first-rate customer service.
  • To retain a competitive edge, MSPs like Pioneer Technology are always scanning for next-generation solutions tailored to customers' needs.

Results

  • PrinterLogic enabled the MSP to consolidate several printing pools into one easy-to-manage system while improving EMR compatibility.
  • Printing and print-management problems were solved on both the front end and the back end, creating a smoother experience for Pioneer Technology and its customers.
  • PrinterCloud unites the advantages of PrinterLogic with the flexibility of a SaaS solution, allowing Pioneer Technology to advance its "cloud-first" philosophy.

Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Pioneer Technology is a fast-growing company with roots in the healthcare industry. Pioneer Technology operates today as an end-to-end managed services provider (MSP) for several organizations in the healthcare, banking and retail industries.

As an MSP, Pioneer Technology shares the IT challenges its customers face. One of the earliest of these was with its first client, a long-term post-acute care (LTPAC) provider that oversees approximately 40 nursing homes across the United States.

"They were a Citrix shop, and printing was a big headache," explains Cris Beagle, Director of Technical Services at Pioneer Technology. He recalls an introductory meeting with the LTPAC provider's regional heads not long after he was hired.

"We asked them, 'What are some of the issues you guys have?' Nine out of ten responses were, 'Printing.' Printing reports, printing things for doctors, getting things printed out to turn around and fax them. It was slow. Or it didn't work.”

“There were zero issues. It went right in and everything worked perfectly. We're going to take everybody else using print servers and move them over to PrinterCloud—just make it our standard operating procedure moving forward.”

This LTPAC provider was using five centralized print servers as its print-management backbone, but the organization's virtual environment and electronic medical records (EMR) solution called for a unique setup.

"Which print server you were on was a function of when you were added to the environment," Beagle explained, "so there was a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. Printers were sometimes triplicated in Active Directory when you looked them up. Sometimes printers wouldn't work depending on the drivers and the operating system that you had, so there were a lot of issues there. Add Citrix into the mix and it complicates everything even more."

To address the problems that stemmed from this arrangement, Beagle and his co-workers sought to consolidate the five separate print server pools. They began looking into PrinterLogic as a solution on the advice of another IT professional.

"I was awestruck right away," he says. "I dug into the documentation and read everything about PrinterLogic I could find. I thought to myself, this is literally the answer to our problems right here. We had just inherited this customer’s IT infrastructure, and we desperately needed to reduce their complexity, and our support costs. I took PrinterLogic to Adam [The president of Pioneer Technology] and said there was no way we could even think about moving forward without PrinterLogic."

Pioneer Technology implemented PrinterLogic so quickly and seamlessly for its first big client that the MSP is now using the solution for print management across its entire customer base.

Challenge #1—Consolidating a Fragmented Citrix/EMR Environment

Pioneer Technology’s customer used a combination of Citrix, American HealthTech (an EMR solution) and centralized print servers so that its medical professionals could access patient records and print important reports. This combo amounted to a lot of moving parts which routinely caused driver issues, printer mapping problems, and printing errors.

"There was a lot of fragmentation," says Beagle. "There were some facilities that were split between two different Citrix environments. Depending on which servers your computer was configured to connect, they were either mapping all the printers or just your default devices—so that caused a lot of confusion and frustration. Between the network printers and the locally mapped printers, our support personnel were forced to fight a losing battle with printing. Ultimately, in the end, the customer loses."

Furthermore, the print environment suffered from the usual issues that plague centralized print servers in distributed organizations. Even print jobs to local printers had to cross the WAN twice, making printing "incredibly slow."

“Printing's not an issue anymore. It's not even thought of as an issue. I tell people that PrinterLogic is going to reduce your printer issues and simplify your print environment. There's no way I would ever go back to a print server.”

Solution

PrinterLogic allowed Pioneer Technology to eliminate several of their client's print servers and consolidate the printing pools in Citrix—while improving compatibility with the EMR solution and a fleet of 330 printers. This reduced the number of variables in the print environment and streamlined the experience for the customer's end users.

"American HealthTech is still delivered via a terminal server environment, so even though we have deployed a native desktop, they still print through an RDS session. Even without the PrinterLogic software running in the terminal server environment, the printers map and print without trouble. There's never been an issue," Beagle says. PrinterLogic's direct-IP printing paradigm has accelerated everyday printing by keeping print jobs on the local network.

To deliver the right printers to the right users, even in a fluid and distributed organization, Pioneer Technology leverages PrinterLogic's dynamic deployment capabilities to ensure that the medical professionals automatically receive nearby printers no matter where they initiate their virtual session.

"We have configured PrinterLogic to deploy based upon IP scope," he says. "If you're in a specific IP scope, you get all the printers for that site. The feedback we receive from regional managers who are constantly traveling in-between sites is incredibly positive. Now printers are available when they need them, where they need them. It's easy for the customers, and it makes sense."

Challenge #2—Adding Value to Existing Services and Solutions

Owing to the success of PrinterLogic with the LTPAC provider, Pioneer Technology was confident its other customers would benefit from the same solution. On the front end, customers would enjoy seamless, hassle-free printing. On the back end, Pioneer Technology would have an easier time supporting print environments and could spend more time on other IT tasks. Together they would provide superior customer service and add value to Pioneer Technology's services.

Prior to implementing PrinterLogic, Beagle estimates that around 20% of the incoming support tickets were print-related. The firm’s service desk could not solve some issues because of rights management, and admins would have to visit a remote site in order to fix printer problems.

Solution

Thanks to its ease of use, centralized management and cost-effectiveness, PrinterLogic has become a vital piece of Pioneer Technology's portfolio of solutions, helping the firm rise above other MSPs.

"Our customers don't see PrinterLogic as a line item on their bill. It's included in our fully managed service," says Beagle. "For them, it's an added benefit of going with Pioneer Technology. We see that as our M.O.—there's no way I want to move forward with a fully managed customer without PrinterLogic. It's definitely a part of who we are."

PrinterLogic has become such an integral part of Pioneer Technology's offerings that the organization now onboards help-desk staff accordingly: "As soon as they get their hands on PrinterLogic, it's much easier to bring them up to speed and have them go in and do move/add/changes. They're relieved because they don't have to deal with GPOs, broken printers, or problems at customer sites. They just log into the console and move forward from there. If you can operate Facebook, you can operate PrinterLogic," he says.

That makes PrinterLogic "a win/win" from the MSP perspective. "Our service desk is able to be more agile, the customer benefits from a seamless printing environment, and we don't have to change our pricing model. There's no negative."

Challenge #3—Remaining on the Forefront of SaaS Technology

For an MSP to remain nimble and competitive, it must continually scan the field and identify next generation solutions for its service portfolio.

"When we go to our customers, we talk to them as if we were sitting in their seats," says Beagle, which is one important reason why Pioneer Technology currently advocates for cloud-based solutions.

"We try to limit what's there, try to reduce our footprint as much as we possibly can, simplify it, so it's truly cloud-first. From our perspective, it's what we honestly believe they should do, and it's a lifestyle improvement for us, knowing that we don't have to maintain another server in our hosted environment."

The criteria are no different for its preferred print-management solution. Although the on-premises version of PrinterLogic has an incredibly small footprint, Pioneer Technology still wanted a solution that harnessed the convenience and flexibility of the cloud.

“Our customers don't see PrinterLogic as a line item on their bill. It's included in our fully managed service…For them, it's an added benefit of going with Pioneer Technology. There’s no way I want to move forward with a fully managed customer without PrinterLogic.”

Solution

PrinterLogic's new SaaS solution, PrinterCloud, is enabling Pioneer Technology to replicate the success of its formative days. The MSP is already converting its first big client, the LTPAC provider, from the on-prem to the cloud version of PrinterLogic. Based on the encouraging results of that migration, the organization is planning to migrate other customers as well.

"There were zero issues. It went right in and everything worked perfectly," he says. "We're going to take everybody else using print servers and move them over to PrinterCloud—just make it our standard operating procedure moving forward."

PrinterCloud will allow Pioneer Technology to remain committed to its cloud-first philosophy while offering its customers the same sought-after features of the on-prem version, including the elimination of single points of failure, faster and more reliable printing, effortless driver management and precise automated deployments without the need for scripts and GPOs.

Conclusion and Savings Summary

So far, Pioneer Technology has calculated its ROI in terms of customer satisfaction and dramatic reductions in print-related support tickets.

"Today, our service desk averages about 750 tickets a month, and I'd be surprised if five of them were print-related. Those that remain are typically related to the physical device. To be honest, sometimes you kind of wonder if PrinterLogic is still running. There's no reason to go in and touch it unless it’s a move/add/change," says Beagle.

And regardless of whether Pioneer Technology’s print environment is managed by PrinterCloud, or the on-premises version of PrinterLogic, their customers have all but forgotten their pre-MSP days when printing posed so many problems.

"Printing's not an issue anymore. It's not even thought of as an issue," he says. "It doesn't matter if it's a commercial customer or if an MSP is purchasing it—the first thing I tell people is that PrinterLogic is going to reduce your printer issues and simplify your print environment. Everything you want to do with your printers, you can do it in PrinterLogic, and it's going to be a heck of a lot easier. There's no way I would ever go back to a print server. And, now that we've got the cloud version, it's game over."

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