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Reduce Printer & Copier Costs with App for Print Management, Part 3: Installation

Print management softwareIn part one and two of this blog series, I provided an overview of the benefits of using print management software and what types of system requirements might be necessary. Today, I want hit the highlights of how to install a print management app.

But, let me first share this caveat. There are many printer manager programs out there, and I don’t work with all of them, of course. So, what I’ll share is the installation process for the app we trust and use most at Copeco. It will undoubtedly have a number of similarities with other printer manager apps, but your copier and printer dealer will know the best option for you.

Normally, installation of a print management app will first require adding a small piece of software to your network called a DCA (data collection agent). This is the heart of a good printer manager program. The DCA is responsible for polling your networked printers and copiers several times a day. It will gather statistics and current conditions of your equipment, including:

  • Meter readings
  • Toner levels
  • Service needs
  • General status

After each poll, the DCA will create a small text file with the information and transmit it to your dealer’s Web server via secure connection. Your dealer should, at that time, drop the data into a database, format it and send it to you in an understandable, actionable report.

Most of the time, the printer management app install takes about 20 minutes and can be done onsite or remotely via webinar. The nice part is that you can do the install when it’s most convenient for you.

And, this is the part my customers like best (aside from good data about their printers): most apps don’t require a reboot or interrupt any other services. Once installed, it’s a set-it-and-forget-it software that runs silently and in the background. I’ve never had any issues with our app crashing or interfering with other software.

If you’d like to know how much you’re spending on printing – and your business is located in Canton, North Canton, Green, Akron, Toledo area, Dover New Philadelphia or anywhere else in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania – contact us for more information.

Seminar Highlighted Top Document Scan Techniques

During this year’s inaugural Snacks & Solutions event yesterday, we hosted close to 20 office management professionals from Canton, North Canton, City of Green, Akron and other regions of Stark and Summit Counties who wanted to know more about going paperless. What a fun group! Not only did we share statistics about the economic and workflow benefits of creating electronic documents, but we also offered tips on how to scan documents using a multi-function copier or printer.

If you weren’t able to make our first Snacks & Solutions training seminar (you missed a delicious lunch!), I’ll share a few of the highlights.

Our expert speaker, Randy Hudson, touched on many of the biggest problems in today’s business world that are related to information and document storage and retrieval, including:

  • Information is difficult to find
  • Paper takes up so much space
  • How easy it is to lose important documents
  • Issues created by employee turnover
  • Departments having a difficult time sharing information
  • Long customer response times

Did you know that, on average, 80% a company’s information qualifies as “unstructured data” that resides outside of databases and is often hard to get? In addition, with 30% of documents being lost each year, there’s a tremendous cost associated with document mismanagement.

That’s why document imaging makes so much sense (and cents!). You can capture your data via scanning, optical character recognition (OCR) software, handy drag & drop features and intuitive indexing. When it’s stored and/or archived – whether online, near-line or even offline – retrieval is time- and cost-efficient with simple language queries and Boolean searches.

When we offer our next Snacks & Solutions on Thursday, April 19, Document Management will show guests how easy document and form conversion (going from a hard copy to an electronic file without retyping) can be with today’s advanced OCR technology. If you join us, you can learn how to:

  • Automatically file documents using OCR
  • Capture information directly off of the page as the document is scanned
  • Create an instantly searchable document that can be used by multiple people simultaneously
  • And much more!

I hope you’ll join us! To reserve your FREE seat, register here.

Reduce Printer & Copier Costs with App for Print Management, Part 2: System Requirements

Reduce printing and copying costs with print management appIn my last post about cutting costs related to your printers and copiers, I discussed the benefits of good print management software that will give you a macro view (total print volume across your company) and a micro view (print volume, toner level, error codes, etc. from each device in the network). If you aren’t sure why any of this matters, first read my post about how print audits improve efficiency of document production.

But, if you’re convinced that it’s time to get down to business and reduce expenses related to printing and copying, then let’s take the next step: system requirements for a printer manager app.

What You Need to Install Printing Management Software

Most apps that track and analyze printers and print volumes must be installed on a Windows-based server or PC, not a Mac. Now, some of you may be tempted to check out right now, but there’s good news. Most companies run a mixed environment, and good software will track a Mac. In fact, it should not make any difference what type or brand of printer or copier is driving the printing, as long as the device is connected to your network.

I always recommend installing print tracking software on servers because they stand the test of time in comparison to individual workstations and are powered 24/7. Plus, when the software is installed on a PC, it can be affected if the hard drive is reformatted, replaced or crashed. However, if you don’t have a server, a Windows PC will get the job done.

With the free software Copeco offers to its customer base in Canton, Akron, Toledo, and surrounding areas in Ohio, the server or PC must have the Microsoft .NET framework installed, be able to communicate with all printers and copiers on the network and pass secure Web traffic on port 443 (a.k.a. https). Local printers (those tethered to a single PC) must have a local agent installed at the host PC.

In my experience, about one out of every five businesses doesn’t have Microsoft .NET installed. That brings us to a fork in the road. Our software won’t run without it, so it must be installed, either by me or the customer. But, if you’re keeping up with Windows updates, this should not be a problem.

Another bit of good news: system requirements for most print management apps don’t change as often as some things do in the digital world. So, once you’ve got it, the software will do its job for years to come.

 

High Efficency for Higher Education

Summer is coming to an end and parents and students have begun to prepare for the classroom with purchases of notebooks, laptops and other school supplies. Similarly, schools and colleges, would benefit from shopping a bit to update their copiers, printers and other essential equipment in an effort to increase productivity while reducing cost.

In the paper-intensive world of education, educators and staff must manage a large volume of materials, from classroom handouts to administrative data. Yet many of these institutions usually operate with smaller budgets while still being expected to produce high-caliber work.

The need for reliable yet economical resources puts a premium on the equipment schools select for their copying and printing needs. Copiers are one of the most popular tools used daily by teachers, administrators and other institution officials.

The dedicated team at Copeco has been managing the equipment, repair and product costs for learning institutions for many years. With the development of digital technology, schools are offered a number of high quality services, from advanced document scanning and transmission of data to e-mail and desktop faxing, and our Sharp Digital Imaging products have been leading the way.  From small desktop units to large multifunction units with a 6,600 page capacity Copeco has the right solution for your organization’s needs.

As always, Copeco is dedicated to providing the highest quality product and service to our customers and we welcome you to review the line of Sharp digital imaging products we recommend for educational institutions by going to http://www.copeco.com/ind_products.php?ind=11 or contacting your Copeco sales representative.