You know that familiar saying that goes “Guests, like fish, smell after three days?” The inventive guy who coined it—Benjamin Franklin, as it happens—clearly had the unrelenting demands of hospitality in mind, but the sentiment behind it could just as easily apply to enterprise print environments.
No, guest printing has never been particularly pleasant for anyone. Guests either have to go through the long, complicated, and often frustrating process of installing printers and their related drivers on their personal machines while the IT staff scrambles to make sure they have the necessary access, or they have to find some way to transfer their files to an authorized workstation for someone else to print. Mobile devices add even more difficulties to the mix. All these roadblocks demonstrate why guest printing problems are widespread.
PrinterLogic changes all that with two options for guests:
- Email Printing — enables an end user to forward an email (from a smartphone, tablet, or laptop) to a printer that has been explicitly designated for printing from email.
- Off-Network Printing — a secure, Zero Trust solution for guests that allows them to send print jobs to a printer located behind the company firewall without a VPN or special firewall rules.
Guest Printing Is Simple and Secure
Here’s what makes guest printing with PrinterLogic simple:
- Guests, contractors, and freelancers can print from any mobile device, anywhere, anytime via email-to-print functionality.
- It integrates rapidly and seamlessly into any print environment running PrinterLogic.
- Thanks to PrinterLogic’s built-in capabilities, any network printer can handle guest print jobs.
- It’s secure. You retain complete control over which users, printers, and jobs are authorized.
With a guest printing solution like PrinterLogic, all your guests—among them contractors, freelancers, consultants, and even remote or BYOD employees—can print any file type with the same simplicity as sending an email. From any device—on- or off-network.
It doesn’t matter whether your organization employs 10 or 10,000 employees, whether it’s distributed over two cities or two continents, or whether you’re running legacy devices or cutting-edge hardware. Plus, there are no print servers or proprietary third-party software or printers to install or add.
Does that sound far too simple to eliminate guest printing problems? The strength of guest printing with PrinterLogic actually lies in its simplicity. To print, all guests have to do is follow three easy steps:
- Obtain the dedicated email address for their desired printer.
- Email their files. These immediately enter the print queue like any other job.
- Pick up the printed documents at the printer.
It’s so straightforward, in fact, that it’s been repeatedly shown to cut down on the number of print-related service desk calls in real-world scenarios. That saves your guests time and energy, boosting their satisfaction and productivity, and it also saves your IT staff from having to field calls about installation woes and other guest printing problems.
Yet there isn’t a trade-off when it comes to oversight. Guest jobs can be audited according to criteria such as user, file type, and printer—just like jobs initiated from a workstation. Plus, you can set any number of limitations: monochrome-only printing, for example, or restricted access to certain paper trays.
Off-Network Printing Makes Hybrid Work Easy
Zero Trust Network Architecture (ZTNA) has become necessary in these days of hybrid work. While many companies may be looking at returning to offices, we all know hybrid and remote work is here to stay. And that means ZTNA needs to be in place now; it isn’t something IT teams can continue to push down the road.
Because of that, PrinterLogic created its Off-Network Printing feature. Here’s what you need to know about it:
- Print jobs are encrypted end-to-end so sensitive data is never exposed or at risk.
- Security is further enhanced with confidential data never at rest in the cloud, limiting risk factors common with traditional print solutions.
- It mimics regular printing—which means you don’t have to train guests or employees on how to use it.
- It’s supported on iOS and Android devices without the need to install client-side software.
What does all of that mean for you? Well first, it means fewer costs. Off-Network Printing reduces infrastructure and lessens the need for home printers. Second, it’s far more secure and gives your company more visibility into when confidential data is exposed. And third, it’s easy. No more dealing with workarounds or VPNs for printing.
So how does it work? Well, for your employees and guests, they basically get to print like normal. They can even utilize Secure Release Printing to hold the print job until they release it, keeping the printed information protected as well. On the back end, two components make it work:
- The External Gateway receives incoming print jobs from remote workstations, their user identity, and a trusted certificate over a safe TLS connection.
- The Internal Routing Service resides behind your firewall and maintains a constant outbound connection with the External Gateway to watch for print jobs.
When the External Gateway receives a print job, the Internal Routing Service opens a new connection for that job. It then downloads and delivers it to the designated printer. If the Secure Release Printing feature is used, the job then waits for the user to release it at the printer using credentials, a QR code, or a badge.
It’s that easy.
Guest Printing Should Not Be Hard
In today’s world, being able to keep business moving forward without unnecessary complications is vital to success. And printing is often something that IT teams hate dealing with. PrinterLogic makes it easy for your team to stop worrying about print and instead focus on keeping your company on the cutting edge of the next big thing. Check out PrinterLogic’s full serverless platform for additional capabilities that can help your business now and in the future.