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MPS and Print Management Insights

August 15th, 2022 by Kevin Box

Print Management Insights - Powered by Function4

Insights in the Managed Print Services and Print Management Software Space

Over the last two plus years, the Print Management industry has been hit hard by a global pandemic, supply chain issues, and a lack of hardware inventory due to chip shortages. All the above has drastically shifted the Print Management Industry with new market leaders and innovative applications. Below is a brief Q & A to help give insight into the importance of both Managed Print Services and Print Management Software.

Q. What technologies does Function4 have experience with?

A. Our expertise is within the Print Management market space. We help our clients save time and money and optimize their end-user productivity and experience by leveraging our Managed Printer Services Platform suite of products and services called MPS Express.

Q. Who are the Key Stakeholders with Managed Print Services, and what does each care about?

A. The Key Stakeholders surrounding Managed Print Services are topline executives such as Owners, CEO's, CFO, COO's, etc., who care about operational efficiencies and Return on Investment (ROI). Stakeholders also include mid-line Directors and Managers who care about optimizing operational efficiencies while balancing end-user productivity by reducing extraneous processes and systems that can influence bottom-line performance at the departmental level. And lastly, the most essential stakeholder is the end-user, who must work on the frontlines to satisfy the Mission, Vision, and Goals of the organization.

Q. How has COVID impacted the Print Management Space?

A. Before COVID, organizations were moving towards a hybrid print model by centralizing their fleet among work groups and allowing some key employees to have local printing at their desks or cube. COVID scattered the modern workforce to remote working sites and home-based offices. This caused a greater demand for individuals to have personal printing at their home office and propelled the need for the organization to create more security layers and put additional processes in place to help protect data in disparate locations.

Q. How has this changed the competitive landscape of the Print Market?

A. Manufactures have been hit with supply chain bottlenecks to global supply chain routes caused by COVID due in part to a shrinking workforce and unprecedented demand for goods and services. The COVID lockdown created a huge demand for new technologies causing shortages in computer chips and the production of new hardware. This caused a mad dash for organizations to ramp up to meet this demand. Those organizations that kept up are now gaining market share over past leaders, which has shifted the competitive landscape to the advantage of companies that were adequately prepared to handle this new demand.

Q. What is Managed Print Services in a nutshell?

A. Managed Print Services (MPS) is developing a proactive and streamlined approach to managing a printer/copier fleet through a third-party service provider. Most organizations are reactive in terms of servicing their printer fleet and ordering toner. Having an MPS program in place that uses best practices to manage the fleet and streamlines this process with a more proactive service structure.

Q. Why is it important for an organization to have MPS?

A. Having an MPS agreement in place with a leading service provider will help the organization alleviate the need to have its Information Technology Department spend time fixing copiers and printers which is typically outside of its core responsibilities.

Q. How does Print Management software help an organization best manage the fleet?

A. Print Management software is a holistic approach to managing the printer and copier fleet. It gives managers the ability to see performance in real-time and enact policies to help maximize the ROI of the fleet while optimizing performance. This can help save time, money and drastically improve the organization's Total Cost of Ownership and Carbon Footprint on its copier and printer fleet.

Print Management software also helps deliver a robust approach to maintaining service by clustering at the print spooler, application server, and database (for cluster-aware databases), as well as automatic fail-over protection against single points of failure.

Q. How does Printer Management Software help cut waste and reduce an organization's Carbon Footprint?

A. Print Management software fosters responsible printing and cuts paper, toner, and power usage costs by using quotas and print policies to help drive behavior. At-a-glance reporting on CO2 and carbon emission shows the impact of CO2 volumes on the environment typically by showing the number of trees saved.

Q. Why are Print Policies important across the organization?

A. Print Management software works by having printing requests intercepted at the print server to control jobs according to policies that encourage and enforce good behavior. Job filtering is used to implement policies and improve device utilization.

For example, you might route large jobs to dedicated high-speed printers, display popups to ask users to confirm single-sided output, automatically delete print jobs with incorrect paper sizes, or to suggest an alternative printer when a device is offline.

Q. How does Print Management Software help solve Mobile and BYOD Printing?

A. Print Management software allows users to print from their mobile device or whatever "bring your own device" (BYOD) they have. No matter the operating system, their location, the file format, or the brand of printer, Print Management software can solve all these while integrating into the print charging, accounting, and quota process.

Q. How does Print Management software help ensure document and device security?

A. Print Management software protects confidential documents and slashes the volume of unclaimed printouts by ensuring users release print jobs at the point of printing. With "follow me" printing, users send print jobs to a virtual queue and then release the document for printing on a specific device. Secure print release requires user authentication before printing, ensuring that only authorized users can print and collect sensitive documents.

Print Management can also be configured to require print approval, ensuring that managers or systems administrators authorize the printing of any job.

Lastly, Print Management software will protect your network from an increasing array of external threats by adding another layer to your network info structure.

Q. Why is real-time monitoring and report usage of the fleet important?

A. Real-time monitoring and reports address all areas of print/copy/fax/scan management, ranging from detailed page logs to summaries by user, department, device, or environmental impact. Print Management software offers many reports out of the box, in PDF, HTML, or Microsoft Excel (.csv) format.

You can access reports from any web browser or schedule them to be automatically generated and emailed. You can set up reports to use your own header and create reports with custom data by specifying date ranges, filtering, and sorting by the data available.

Q. How quickly can Print Management software be Implemented?

A. The Installation wizard installs the server software and then automatically detects printers and MFPs on your network. You can create users and groups automatically from directory services, including Active Directory, Open Directory, and Novell eDirectory of LDAP; the install wizards also help you define user access rights, page costs, and quotas. Client software is optional and can be run directly off a server share, avoiding the need to install/deploy locally.

Now with universal drivers, the leading Print Management software applications integrate with printers and MFPs from all major vendors.

Q. Is Print Management software easy to manage?

A. Yes! Print Management software provides browser-based administration access from any network location, providing advanced administration and configuration options in an intuitive user interface. Users have access to a set of web tools to track their own activity in real-time, query their account balances, view transactions, and transfer credit to other users.

Q. Can Print Management software integrate with our intranet & other systems

A. Yes! A customizable web interface ensures you can easily integrate with your intranet site, and a fully documented API and scripting interface allow you to integrate Print Management software with other IT systems.

Q. Is Print Management software scalable?

A. Yes! Modern software design and architecture provides scalability for networks of all sizes, from five to hundreds of thousands of users.

Posted in: Managed Print Services

Function4 serves Houston, Beaumont, Paris, and the surrounding areas.