In commercial environments, the focus of our installations typically change from looking to recover the cost of usage from an account (be that student, staff, client, matter, etc.) to providing services to end users, and helping the organization control the costs of usage.

Of recent times, we’ve helped a number of organizations through a process to rationalize their fleet of devices; using less devices to service the same number of users. Naturally this is attractive to sites that are able to get a better per page or click rate by using larger devices to service their users, as well as higher levels of reliability and support than previously achievable using multiple desktop/convenience style printers. Naturally, when the number of devices are reduced we need to consider how to ensure users receive their jobs securely at the device as well as deliver a positive end user experience.

Secure document release

The first service we look to promote to sites is the ability for users to be able to securely release their documents from shared devices. This can be controlled by the use of a card (ID, building access, etc.), the entry of a PIN or using network credentials whilst standing at the device. This ensures the owner of the job is at the device when the document is released.

Find/Follow me print

Extending the secure document release concept, Find/Follow me print allows the user to release their job from any MFD or printer (there are some pre-requisites for this, though that’s the ideal we are trying to achieve). As a service, this makes the life of staff easier as a resource in use no longer needs to delay an employee waiting for their prints or to copy… they simply walk to the next device  where they can release any unclaimed print jobs.

Suggested and enforced behaviors

EEMS also approaches installations in commercial environments with savings in mind for the organization, which often starts with real time recommendations for more cost effective job options to end users. Our most popular example of this is allowing A4/mono/duplex jobs to simply print, whereas users that choose any other combination of options are alerted to the cost impact of their job and asked to reconsider their feature choice. This may not be suitable for all staff, so we can be selective with who receives these messages. In the unlikely and rare event this interaction doesn’t have the desired effect of changing behavior, we can enforce wise choices on users if need be.

Visibility of usage

Whilst the scope of our commercial installation tends not to focus on recovering the cost of jobs against users, certainly the ability to oversee the usage of devices, and the impact of users (and groups of users) still remains important. We recommend at first a high level set of reports that compares the usage of resources against AD Groups, such as Admin, Support Staff, Workshop Staff, Finance etc. to provide information as to the departments that use resources heavily. This information tends to feed back into ‘suggested and enforced behaviors’, once we know this level of detail, to see if we can reduce the cost of departmental/group usage.

Of course, we are more than happy to demonstrate or discuss any of these features or implementation choices in person.

Keywords: •Cost Recovery •Expense Management •Print Accountability •Copy Accountability •Find Me Print •Follow Me Print •Copy Control •Print Control •Business Rules •Environmental Impact •Green Printing Initiatives