If you use Color Multi-Function Workgroup Printers you most probably got a shock when you had to pay over $200 for the yellow toner cartridge or $230 for the black toner. If you have a thousand of the beasts, that is quickly a quarter to half a million in a quarter. The new multi-function network printers have good graphical and color output but at a cost. Workgroup printing has reduced the cost of support but the new capabilities have come at a significant toner cost.

If you are sharing a workgroup printer with others then you are well aware of the loss of your document privacy. When you were printing on your desktop, the documents remained confidential, now they can be seen by anyone scanning them at the printer.

If those issues sound familiar and are also your issues, you may consider a printer output management solution. Such solutions usually contain two elements, a central server software or an appliance, usually a PC / Server with the software pre-installed, and a device next to the printer to let the print queue know you are there, ready to pick up your print output.

Depending on the size of your operation you may immediately see the benefit in toner and paper saving and can make a quick decision to employ such technology, or you may want to first find out how big your problem is, and use an accounting and print cost survey software.

To use a survey software usually does not tell the whole story and cannot take into account issues like the losses in productivity for re-prints due to printed output thrown away by your colleagues or confidential documents being read by the party you didn’t want to see the documents.

Once you have decided you will converge or have converged to multi-function workgroup printer and copier devices, and you want to manage color printing, faxing, emailing or copying for certain users, an output management system that includes user authentication will be the best option.

There are many output management offerings in the market, almost any printer manufacturer has its own system and if you only have one or two printers of the same make and you generally keep them for 3 years or more, that is the most cost effective solution for those printer manufacturers where the software comes free with the printer. The printer supplied authentication systems usually only work with PIN codes and sometimes those are cumbersome to enter, depending on the device’s front panel capabilities, functionality and ergonomics.

If you have to pay extra for the software, you may consider an independent vendor so that when you change your printer you do not have to re-train your users how to use another way of authentication. Only an independent output management solution will provide flexible, scalable, enterprise-wide output delivery, monitoring, and management via a unified infrastructure.

Some vendors provide very good ergonomic authentication readers, ranging from robust keypads, proximity card, barcode, swipe card and combination readers. The better systems will integrate with your access control systems and be able to use your existing ID badges to authenticate at the device or even combine the ID badge with the users fingerprint for more secure authentication.

The top-end of the output management systems will allow entering cost codes, client matter id, user enrollment from the front panel as well as getting job-queue feedback and management from the built-in display on the printer or on an additional display unit supplied with the authentication system. This makes the output management solution capable to be used in applications of the legal profession requiring accounting of print output production and association with Client Matter Codes.

Once you have many users dependent on the availability of workgroup printers, you may want to plan for redundancy, let the print follow you to the printer where you happen to be and authenticate. This Follow-Me type system allows you to pick up your print from any available printer in your organization and overcomes the odd hiccup if a printer is out of toner or out of paper.

Some printer makes allow output management of independent vendors to run embedded on their printers and the best are different in as far that independent software can run on the printer and independent authentication readers can be plugged directly into the printer, requiring no external authentication devices. The more capable embedded solutions allow fax, email and scanning to be controlled by user, making this the most cost keluaran hk effective way to implement a hardcopy-output and output-device management solution.

You want to look out for the database technology used by the independent software vendor and make sure it is transparent, like MS-SQL or Oracle and their free versions MS SQL 2005 Express or Oracle Database 10g Express Edition. SQL or Oracle are really the only practical databases for larger output management implementations as it also allows the sharing and integration into other enterprise applications. MSDE has a 2GB size limitation and is only practical for small or well maintained applications. A full blown SQL or Oracle license gives you all the tools and convenience, downside is that it only runs on a Server so you have to consider the higher cost of a server license.


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