The prediction of the paperless office has turned out to be a myth so far. Despite having fully computerized and networked offices, most organizations still produce a volume of hardcopy output on a daily basis. With so much printing and imaging to do, an organization needs efficient and effective printer management services, better known as managed print services, to minimize cost, streamline management, and increase productivity.
Setting up a unified network to integrate the various printing devices such as printers, copiers, fax machines and multifunction devices with the computers into one big system requires human and financial resources that many organizations do not have. In view of this, printer manufacturers have come up with the concept of managed print services to help businesses cut ownership cost, decrease energy consumption and increase productivity. This is a long term contract between the organization and the manufacturer that covers every aspect of the system. Comprehensive managed print services are designed to include: assessing requirement, system analysis and design, system implementation, staff training, system operation, repair and maintenance, and upgrades and optimization.
The main objective of managed print services is to minimize the costs associated with hardcopy printout and increase overall productivity. To this end, manufacturers will provide experts who will work very closely with the organization and assist in the following:
- Assess requirement: Assess the specific requirements of the organization such as the type, make and number of hardware to be purchased, type and size of network to be set up, software to be installed and manpower to be hired.
- System Analysis and Design: Analysis and design of a system tailored to the specific requirements of the organization. This is a highly specialized job that costs a lot of money if independent system analysts are hired.
- Implement the System: Acquire the required hardware, software and accessories and install the system according to the design.
- Train human resources: Train staff to use the hardware and software with focus on printing devices.
- System Operation: Operating the system smoothly without any glitches to minimize cost and maximize productivity. Manufacturers may provide system administrators or operators as part of the contract.
- Repair and maintenance: Repair and maintenance of both hardware and software components of the system. This is the sole responsibility of the manufacturer throughout the contact period.
- Upgrade and Optimization: Upgrade and optimize the system as required throughout the life of the contract is the responsibility of the manufacturer.
Managed print services require some highly specialized software:
- Print Management software: One or more programs that manage the volume and nature of print and also authenticate users.
- Device Management software: One or more programs that monitor and manage the print devices.
- Discovery and Design Software: One or more programs that are used to analyze and plan for the changes required in the system.
- Scan Routing software: One or more programs that that route scans to various destinations such as print servers, fax servers, network folders, emails or workflows.
Now the question is, “Are managed printer services perfect for your business?” The answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ if you have large printing and imaging needs, and if you want to cut the cost of ownership and increase productivity.