Offering Managed Print without Standardizing on a Single Vendor

Managed print services represent a big opportunity for MSPs, and one company has created a technology to enable MSPs to provide the service without standardizing on a single printer manufacturer. The technology also protects against compliance risks posed by sensitive documents being forgotten at the printer. Here are the details.

Mike Vizard, Contributing Editor

November 25, 2014

2 Min Read
PrinterLogic President and COO Ryan Wedig
PrinterLogic President and COO Ryan Wedig

When it comes to managed services, the more mundane the task, the more likely it is an IT organization is going to be willing to relinquish responsibility for managing it. Arguably, one of the most mundane of all those tasks is the management of the printer.

But while the task itself is mundane, the management of those printers is cumbersome. Every remote office has its own instance of a print server running locally, which means an MSP must manage every instance of a print server that an organization has deployed in every branch office. In an ideal world, MSPs would be able to consolidate all those print servers in a single data center regardless of the number of branch offices that need to be supported and regardless of which manufacturers made the deployed printers.

Centralized print server management, without standardizing on one vendor

To achieve that goal PrinterLogic has created an enterprise printer management offering that some MSPs are using to centralize the management of printers. This eliminates the need for local print servers. The most recent release of the company’s PrinterLogic Printer Management software now takes that idea a step further by allowing MSPs to prevent end users from printing a document until they are actually physically standing at the printer.

PrinterLogic President and COO Ryan Wedig said being able to consolidate and then manage print jobs makes it cost effective for just about any MSP to provide a managed printer service. Previously, MSPs would have to agree to either deploy management software or resell managed print services that were tied to a specific printer manufacturer. PrinterLogic Printer Management software takes advantage of direct IP printer technology to eliminate all those dependencies, said Wedig.

Direct IP printer technology

As a Web application that makes use of direct IP printer technology, Wedig said PrinterLogic Printer Management software copies the print server software that resides in a branch office into a central repository. MSPs can then centrally manage all those print servers and even set up a self-service portal through which end users can set up any local printer, said Wedig.

Compliance, and forgetting sensitive documents at the printer

Thanks to rising compliance concerns, many organizations are trying to figure out how to centralize the management of printers that almost by definition violate any number of regulatory requirements. People always forget to pick up sensitive documents after they print them. While not everyone appreciates the inconvenience often associated with centralized control of printers, the organizations they work for most certainly want to avoid the fines and embarrassment that can arise when sensitive documents are left out for anyone to see.

Printer management may not be the coolest of all the IT management services that can be provided. But when done right it most certainly is an IT management task that most IT organizations would rather see someone else doing on their behalf.

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About the Author(s)

Mike Vizard

Contributing Editor, Penton Technology Group, Channel

Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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