**Originally published on April 26, 2016**
Enterprise print management is tough enough when you have a single location. In distributed environments, print management can be downright overwhelming because it calls for remote administration (a challenge in and of itself, even in this age of cloud computing) and a dedicated IT crew with print management tools and expertise for each site.
Why do enterprises add print servers?
The simple answer is WAN traffic becomes limited with a high number of users and heavy loads of print jobs, but typically organizations deploy additional print servers as a way to cope with print management in multi-location environments. Adding print servers to an environment sounds like a good idea initially. Printing speeds might increase and the single point of failure is gone since you have other servers to lean on in case of emergencies.
However, the more servers you add, the more resources you need to control them. Not only are you spending money on server licensing and maintenance, but you’re also stuck footing the bill for the resources and manpower to manage them.
Another issue is their inherent lack of robustness makes them high-maintenance solutions—a far cry from the reliable “set it and forget it” solution that multi-location environments demand.
So, after you’ve done all the work to build a server metropolis, how do you start reining them in?
How To Enhance Print Management in Multi-Location Environments
Eliminate Your Print Servers
It sounds harder than it really is. You’ve spent so much money and time on these servers, getting rid of them feels like a waste. However, by eliminating print servers you minimize risks to the availability of your enterprise print services. You greatly reduce your chances of a print-related breach. You don’t have to worry about draining resources on servicing or replacing your server fleet. Even in the event of a WAN outage or a host server failure, local sites can continue printing as usual.
Get Centralized Management
A single web-based console offers access to a consistent, intuitive interface from which you can manage every printer and driver within the organization. Make individual profile changes or schedule automatic mass deployments with a few clicks—all without having to get bogged down in group policy objects (GPOs) or scripts. This is an indispensable print management tool for multi-location enterprises.
Optimize Your WAN
Many enterprise print management solutions will send print jobs across the WAN, consuming precious bandwidth and causing network congestion. By moving to direct IP printing, print jobs are sent directly from endpoint devices to printers, accelerating print times and overall network performance.
Use Self-Service Printing
Although it may seem like tensions are always high, end users are not your enemies. In fact, when it comes to print management, they can become your comrades. Empower them with Self-Service Printing that enables them to perform one-click printer installations—no matter where they happen to be. It’s a must-have for traveling employees that move between offices. This saves end users from having to call the service desk, while saving your support staff countless hours of walkthroughs and troubleshooting.
Expand Your Printing Functionality
Features like Mobile Printing, Secure Release Printing, and Advanced Reporting provide you with additional print management tools that are becoming essential for enterprise productivity. With them, you can easily accommodate your mobile/BYOD users with full-featured printing capabilities, comprehensively monitor consumables usage to target printing costs across the enterprise, and implement secure printing methods that are so straightforward, employees will have no issues utilizing them.
Utilize Automatic Deployments for Mobile Employees
Employees are constantly on the go. Whether users are moving from floor to floor within an office or moving to various offices around the globe, they need access to printers. Usually, this requires a quick call to the service desk to get resolved and results in tedious manual labor for admins. Automatic deployments allow you to determine who has access to which printers and those printers are installed instantly on users’ workstations based on their IP addresses. This greatly decreases the number of deployment-related helpdesk calls and enhances the printing experience for the end user.
Start Simplifying Multi-Location Print Management
PrinterLogic is an enterprise print management solution that gives you the print management tools you actually need to get a handle on print environments that span multiple locations. Unlike print servers, it was designed from the ground up to meet the needs of modern enterprise print environments and seamlessly bridge the physical distance between sites.
It increases the transparency of print management enterprise-wide, streamlines overall administration, squashes the common driver and deployment conflicts that bring print servers to their knees, empowers end users to lighten the burden on IT, and reduces the amount of oversight required to keep large-scale print environments cost-efficient and running smoothly.
Multi-location print environments can pose all kinds of hurdles that aren’t easily overcome with traditional print management solutions. PrinterLogic is different. It unifies distributed organizations and gives you complete control of your print environment from a single user interface, bringing power and simplicity to enterprise print management.