When SmartPrint engages in an MPS assessment with a prospective client our team has a thorough approach to assess the current state and build a future state that incorporates best practices in several different areas. One of the areas that can make a significant impact but doesn’t always get enough attention is our recommendations for print infrastructure best practices. Many organizations want to tackle print infrastructure changes in future project phases, but we believe it is important to tackle them as part of a full MPS implementation, or MPS partner change. I’ve put together the top 4 print infrastructure changes that are easy to accomplish, but also provide improvements for your users and your IT support team. Keep in mind that each solution below can be managed for you and can be included as part of our SmartPrint 360 program.
1. Eliminate your print servers
This is a very simple transition that is frankly a no-brainer. You can easily migrate your existing printer objects to a cloud application that enables you to eliminate all print servers. You can centrally manage all print devices, settings and drivers, and deploy new print devices and updates to the whole organization without building scripts or using GPOs. The solution enables managed direct IP printing that is 100% local to your network so your users will have an always-up print environment, even if internet connectivity goes down.
- Up to a 95% reduction in printer-related helpdesk calls
- User convenience with simple self-serve abilities
- Flexibility for mobile users with access to install printers themselves
- Eliminate the costs and time to manage and maintain print servers
- Secure your print environment with a Zero Trust compliant solution that will authenticate all users prior to printing
2. Implement Print Security Software
First off, I’ll clarify that the print security software that we recommend is HP Security Manager. Clearly, this is a solution that you would implement if you have a fleet of HP print devices. Keep in mind that approximately 70 of mid-market and enterprise businesses in Canada use HP print devices in their businesses. As cyber-criminals increasingly target print infrastructures to gain access to networks, implementing print security software cannot be ignored. HP’s Wolf Security software enables you to lock down your print infrastructure by forcing and automating a security configuration across all of your HP print devices. If a new device is implemented, or an existing device goes offline and reboots, the devices look to the security software for their configuration. This ensures that your configuration policies are always in effect.
- Automated policy management
- Certificate management for compliance
- Fleet security reporting to show areas of risk
- Most move from 25% security compliance to 97% security compliance just by implementing the tool
3. Implement simple scan to OneDrive software
Most organizations have their print devices set up to use the scan-to-email function so that users can get scans back to their PCs. I’ll let you in on a little secret, scan-to-email is extremely inefficient, it requires too many steps while also causing your email system storage to increase rapidly. Your current scan-to-email workflow has approximately 13 steps the user must work through to complete a scan. This can be reduced to 3 steps; this is clearly another no-brainer that saves time and confusion for your users.
- Reduce the users' time at the print device by more than 75% per scan
- Stop clogging the email system with multiple versions of large files
- Secure the document environment by not enabling scanned documents to leave your network via a print device
4. Move your fax service to a cloud-based software as a service
Yes, fax is still a thing. Although fax volumes are coming down in many businesses it is still a required utility for most verticals including healthcare, legal, finance and banking, manufacturing, distribution and construction companies. If you are still using fax lines or fax server software, it’s definitely time to make a change. There’s no question that fax is a service where the volume will slowly dwindle over several years. Making a change to a cloud fax service will simplify the service so that no one will have to deal with it again until it’s time to turn the service off. The fax wind-down has been a very slow burn and who knows when it will become extinct.
- Implement a bulletproof cloud fax service that includes support, while increasing security and compliance
- Pay for the actual fax volume you use with a simple monthly subscription, as volume decreases over time so do your costs
- The transition can be seamless to your users
- The solutions can scale to support the large enterprise
- Reduce costs by eliminating fax boards, fax server software licenses and/or analog phone lines
If you would like more information, be sure and reach out. SmartPrint can provide a free print infrastructure assessment and share the potential options for each area mentioned above to see if there is a fit for your organization.
Without central control of your print fleet, security settings are extremely difficult to manage, and entry points for cybercrime are more easily overlooked. It becomes even more complex supporting work-from-home employees and integrating equipment to workflow automation systems. Your IT team could be focused on configuration settings and authentication rather than working on other valuable IT projects or support. Encryption and authentication can be accomplished universally with an integrated automated security management tool. We’ve had great success with HP Security Manager, ask one of our experts to share best practices in this area.