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What Exactly is Pull Printing?

Originally published on December 14, 2016.

Depending on the implementation, pull printing goes by many names, including release printing, personal printing, secure pull printing, and secure release printing, to name a few. Regardless of the exact term you use, it refers to the same money- and time-saving strategy that Gartner says, “allows for a print job to be sent to a pull-printing server, which delivers the print job to the printer. This frees up the user’s computer for other tasks and reduces network traffic.” No matter what you call it, pull printing solutions all operate on the same principle and return the same benefits.

Print security has gotten a lot of attention lately as a legitimate security solution. Security threats from printing are particularly insidious, as they usually come from internal sources such as employees. Yet, companies still haven’t embraced pull printing simply because of up-front investment costs. Here’s why pull printing is absolutely worth implementing.


Pull Printing Is as Easy as Regular Printing

Pull printing solutions are comprised of a simple two-step process:

  1. A user initiates a print job from any workstation just as usual.

  2. Once physically present on the desired printer, the user can execute the print job using various authentication methods.

With these two steps in mind, it should be quite clear what the many practical pull printing benefits might be. 

Take a corporate setting, for instance. 

Let’s say that Tina, an HR manager, needs to print a document with a new hire’s personal information on it. Instead of Tina clicking “print” and leaving the print job unprotected in the print tray, she can simply release the print job when she is ready. The job sits in the queue until she releases it via one of the various authentication methods from any printer in her organization’s network—regardless of which floor or building it’s located in. 

Based on this example, you can also see how easily pull printing solutions would be applicable in healthcare or legal environments where confidential documents are handled regularly. 


Why You Should Use Pull Printing

It’s easy to see the convenience of pull printing, but there are extra benefits that are worth mentioning, too.

Cut Costs by Reducing Waste 

Many sources say unclaimed documents account for about 17% of all print jobs. All that excess waste created from printing the wrong documents virtually disappears since print jobs are more intentional. Along with making print jobs more intentional, pull printing solutions such as Secure Release Printing with PrinterLogic focus on reducing waste to promote sustainability. With most pull printing solutions, users can delete their queued print jobs if they no longer need them. 

Flexible Printing for End Users

End users gain immediate benefits from pull printing. They can prepare the documents they need to print and pick them up in bulk later and release print jobs at various locations throughout the organization. Users don’t even have to open the file on their computer in order to print. 

Less Stress for IT Teams 

Pull printing doesn’t restrict employees to just one or two printers. Employees can release jobs from any network printer that allows for pull printing. Fewer interruptions from frustrated employees about printers make for a happy IT team. 

Increased Security

When print jobs are left unclaimed on the printer tray, anyone can walk by and pick them up. Sometimes it’s an honest mistake; other times, it’s an intentional way to access and misuse company information. Because pull printing requires identity verification before printing, the whole company is safer. Pull printing also eliminates security risks by helping your organization handle critical customer and employee data with confidence.

More Preparation for the Future

As hybrid and remote work becomes more popular, pull printing is a strategy for future-proofing your business. Mobile printing options allow employees to print from anywhere. As employees travel to different locations, they also have the option of printing to their nearest printer. It’s a business-first, flexible way of approaching printing that will help your business stay modern. 


How We Help You

At PrinterLogic, our pull printing solution—referred to as Secure Release Printing—is featured in our cloud-native SaaS solution, which eliminates your print servers and gives admins complete insight into print activity across your organization. Secure Release Printing offers four different but equally versatile methods to authenticate and release print jobs:

  1. Badge or card reader: Using either an integrated card reader or an external one plugged into the printer’s USB port, users can swipe their ID card to release the print job. The card reader is also compatible with U.S. federal employee CAC and PIV identification. 
  2. Embedded control panel: PrinterLogic’s app with universal printer support is installed directly on the printer itself. Users can then log in using the LCD control panel to authenticate.
  3. Web browser: Any mobile device (e.g., Chromebook, iPad, Android tablet) can be used to release jobs via its built-in web browser. This can even be a mobile device set up in kiosk mode alongside the printer.
  4. Mobile App release: Users of iOS and Android devices can quickly and securely release print jobs via our Print Release App–available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Unlike other pull printing solutions, Secure Release Printing from PrinterLogic is completely printer-agnostic, making it incredibly easy to equip your entire print environment with this convenient and secure functionality. You and your end users can now enjoy the security benefits and increased savings without reconstructing your entire printing infrastructure. 

To see how pull printing could cut cuts and increase your company’s security, schedule a demo today.