What is Print Management Software?
Print Management Software (PMS) are those software systems which provide management control of all data printed throughout your organisation, with specific tools to control your print costs, print reliability and print security.
Traditionally network server based, the most modern print management suites offer ‘cloud printing’, where all printer drivers and control functions are in the cloud, ensuring minimal IT support overheads and greatly enhanced end-user functionality.
The optimum Print Management Software (PMS) configuration must serve as unified printing interface regardless of the source, and so includes a single administrative control point for all devices and print sources, including smartphones, tablets, ERP and other Line of Business Apps, email, network folders, FTP folder, and even legacy mainframes.
In this article we explore the key benefits of Print Management Software, deployments, from the perspective of why both SME and large corporations are deploying the technology.
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In this digital age, it’s easy to forget the sheer volume of print produced across every business sector. For example, a recent study by Microsoft revealed that the average school prints one million pages per year, ranging from communications with parents, to learning support materials, as well as documents for general administration.
The legal and courts sectors remain prolific users of print, too, whether in their conveyancing departments, estate planning, litigation, or in the creation of public records and notices to cite but a few examples.
Reduce your Print Waste
Wherever there are high numbers of staff whose roles involve routine printing, the opportunities for wastage are omnipresent.
Indeed, it is estimated that of all office-based print produced in any given year, roughly 15% is consigned directly to the recycling bin. A typical culprit for such wastage is the volumes of documents simply forgotten and left unclaimed at the print station.
The Three Most Effective Steps to Reduce Office Print Cost
At its most elementary, print management software can force all print jobs to be in duplex (double-sided) mode unless the user manually changes their print settings for each job. This is ideal for forcing specific users, or groups of users, to proof their documents for the lowest cost before committing to the final print.
Your print management software can also force documents to be sent to the most economical printer – generally a multifunctional printer – and then to dictate that if the document is an invoice, that it’s printed on 80gsm paper, whereas a client letter might be sent to a paper tray with 180gsm paper.
Limiting the use of colour printing, forcing lower resolutions unless stipulated, and directing print jobs to the most economical printer according to the size of the print job, all add to the cost saving equation which, fundamentally, is the core purpose of investing in print management software.
Mobile printing, serverless printing, print from anywhere, and cloud printing are all variations of the same process: by switching to a cloud-based print management solution, the multiple print servers spread throughout an organisation may be greatly reduced eliminated altogether.
Given that every local print server consumes energy, required maintenance and software, and continual management of the software print drivers too, cloud printing has huge appeal where there are many office printers, many locations, and many users.
The Mobile Workforce will End In-house Print Servers
In the large the organisation, the more likely it is that the users will want to submit a print job to the nearest office printer, and that’s not always where their own desk is located. This is never so true as it is in the transportation and logistics industry, where many documents sent to the printer – perhaps by a driver on the road – are able to then be intercepted and redirected to the target recipient by email.
So powerful is cloud-based print management software, that some print industry experts see the trend indicating that in-house print servers will cease to be used after 2025.
At the most sophisticated level of the print management software industry, the systems form part of your regulatory compliance and data protection framework.
Surveys correlate with the regulatory disclosures by the Information Commissioner’s Office to suggest that every business suffered a data breach in 2020, and print is the most common format of the breached data.
Survey result of businesses in the past year:
90% had at least one security breach
The Case for Automatic Redaction
Your Data Protection Officer or Compliance Officer can enforce protection of personal data by configuring the print management software to redact data automatically, or otherwise restrict documents from being printed altogether.
In terms of enforcing compliance with the GDPR, advanced print management is essential.
By ensuring your staff must use secure print release and authentication with follow-you printing, which simultaneously creating a chain of custody for printed documents, your organisation minimises the risk of data breaches or outright data theft, while enhancing your security, regulatory and privacy obligations.
Many estimates suggest that printer faults are responsible for 40% of all internal IT helpdesk support calls. Whether the problem is with the user’s lack of familiarity with the device, or the machine itself is unavailable, or perhaps has a mechanical error, print failures are high on the list of employee frustrations.
Print management software can alleviate many of these problems, first by ensuring that the printer is always updated with the optimal print driver software and firmware updates.
Consumables can be administered by software too, ensuring that there’s always an adequate toner and paper supply – even by automatically alerting the IT team or managed print service provider that there’s a fault.
Fewer Staff Resources
By moving to cloud printing, your IT Support team will need fewer staff resources, since print driver updates are an external task, fully automated.
The benefits of print management software then become amplified for those IT administrators responsible for providing ‘anytime, anywhere’ access to printing, and yet are challenged to maintain control over costs and security.
Those same IT administrators discover print management software simplifies their roles when administering ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) coupled with the increased mobility of office workers which, together, brings problems related to the growth of data passing over the network
Our experience with print management software means that we offer all major brands, including Kofax, PaperCut, Xerox, UniPrint, and PrinterLogic.
Choosing the most suitable solution hinges upon many factors, not least of all are the size of your business, the diversity of your print fleet, the demands and locations of your users, and your network security protocols.
When implemented carefully, it’s not uncommon to realise savings of 40% on your print operation, and even more if combined with a Managed Print Services agreement. And because print management software is focussed on security and audits, you can see the saving accumulate every day.
Our Goals for your Print Management Suite
- Dramatically reduces your print related help desk calls by up to 75%
- Help you to save 20% to 40% on print costs
- On-demand, secure printing from any device and anywhere
- Achieve the best workflow efficiency through reliable and fast printing via all computing platforms
- Improve workflow optimization
- Accomplish printer-vendor independency for your business environment
Humperdinck Jackman – Marketing Director
Humperdinck has a 30-year career spanning Document Management Systems (DMS), data protection, Artificial Intelligence, Data Protection and Robotic Process Automation. With many articles published in print internationally, he believes the advances in office technology are such that we’re entering the 4th Industrial Revolution. Now Director of Marketing and Consulting Services at Advanced UK, he’s as active with clients as he is in endeavouring to write original blog articles.