Balanced deployment key to managed print success

Managed print services that take a blanket approach to deployment will inevitably fail, according to an HP expert.

Balanced deployment key to managed print success

Speaking at a PC Pro breakfast briefing, Mark Sanderson, a managed print specialist from HP, told delegates it’s important for both suppliers and customers to remember that “every business is different”.

Even when there is some commonality in terms of sector or business size, what has worked for one organisation won’t necessarily work for another.

“A lot of people try to complicate managed print by talking about certain ‘types’ of problems, but every business everywhere is different,” said Sanderson.

Philip Van Enis, group IT director of Bidwells Property Company, agreed.

Talking about the implementation of managed print at his own organisation, he told delegates that, although his first choice of suppliers seemed to be the best for the company’s needs, the reality didn’t bear this out.

“We ran a tender with one of the biggest suppliers on the market and initially they were really good – we thought we were onto a real winner, but it turned out to be a nightmare,” he said.

“When we undertook a testing programme with [them], it gradually became apparent that their solution wasn’t going to be up to the job,” Van Enis said.

“This wasn’t necessarily about the physicality of the machines themselves, but it was much more about the underlying software that ran their systems,” he explained.

Van Enis said the software was unable to cope with the variety of different file types produced by the company, particularly those created by engineering and 3D imaging software.

Ultimately, Bidwells opted for its third choice of supplier because it was able to meet these needs, while also achieving most of the initial aims of the project. These included the automation of toner ordering, reducing the number of printers from 194 to 59, and reducing the amount of printing carried out by one third.

“Vendors will tell you their product is the best in the world, and it may well be,” but companies must nevertheless consider whether it is right for them, he concluded.

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