In 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.