Between the anticipation when Punxatawney Phil sees his shadow (or doesn’t) and the colorful festivities of Mardi Gras, February has a lot going on. However, nothing takes the cake quite like Valentine’s Day. It has it all: love, flowers, chocolate, and reserving a table at a restaurant where you can’t pronounce the names of the food—try ordering some vichyssoise next time you go to a French restaurant. The National Retail Federation says that we spend an average of $161 a year on showering our loved ones with gifts and surprises. I hope you’ve got your wallets ready.
You may wonder, “What does this have to do with printing?”
A lot. But without the chocolates, flowers, and fancy restaurants.
Your Relationship With Your Print Solution
If you’re an IT professional, you’ve most likely spent a lot of time dealing with your organization’s print environment. You’ve formed an everlasting love-hate relationship with it. You’ve spent resources learning how to perfect your craft, making you the excellent IT specialist you are today.
Relationships take work and commitment, but in the relationship between you and your print solution, you’re usually the one footing the bill.
Today, we’re going to cover the four printing architectures, discuss what each one says about your personality, and the possible dynamics of your relationship with your print environment.
Print Servers (Centralized)
Must-have traits: patience, risk-taker, resilience
Your spirit animal: Bear (Calm and strong during the toughest times.)
A little more about you: You’re even-keel in the face of a crisis. You’ll eat the gas station sushi without considering the consequences. You’re often tackling issues but always come back better than before.
What does your relationship with a centralized print server look like?
Every printer in your organization relies on a single print server. Not only do your end users and printers rely on it…so do you. It’s the breadwinner of your print environment. When your print server fails, company-wide printing does too. Productivity comes to a complete halt and everyone looks to you for answers. Your print server is high maintenance and requires regular upkeep to ensure print goes smoothly. But you’re willing to take the risk because at least you can see what is going on in your print environment.
Most of the calls to the helpdesk are because of slow print jobs and failed printer installations. Scripts and GPOs are a headache, and you’re probably still reeling after the whole PrintNightmare scare. Despite all the hardships, you always remain patient with your print server and end users.
In the back of your mind, you know there is a better solution out there but you’re finding it hard to break up with something you’ve spent so many years with.
Print Servers (Decentralized)
Must-have traits: high-roller, over-achiever, workaholic
Your spirit animal: Lion (Always in attack mode and striving to stay courageous in times of turmoil.)
A little more about you: You aren’t scared of the future and are worried about how you can get it done now. When people ask you to run a mile, you run a marathon instead. Work is your life, and you have the answer to all IT problems (or are expected to, at least).
What does your relationship with decentralized print servers look like?
Decentralized print server architecture means you have multiple servers to cover printing for all your organization’s remote locations. If your company has 100 offices, you’ve probably got close to 100 print servers to manage. Print servers aren’t cheap to license and maintain, but that doesn’t stop you. You’re not scared to fork over money on new hardware to maintain your print environment.
Every time a new print server gets added to your environment, your workload increases, and you’re stuck putting out fires for different locations every time WAN traffic gets congested. It’s hard to keep up with all the deployments necessary to allow your users to install printers. Plus, for every office your company adds, you have to get print servers up and running for new users —usually on a short timeline.
It’s not an easy job. But, with a lion as your spirit animal, you’re more than capable of overcoming stressful GPO deployments and frequent off-site visits to address printing issues. However, you realize that more print servers mean more problems and you’re considering shutting the relationship down.
Unmanaged Direct IP
Must-have traits: adventurous, alert, helpful
Your spirit animal: Wolf (React based on instinct and thrive with their communication skills.)
A little more about you: You don’t like staying still and are always looking for something to do. When issues arise, you pride yourself on being able to be there before things go south. You love educating others, especially when discussing a topic you’re interested in.
What does your relationship with unmanaged direct IP printing look like?
When something is unmanaged, you can expect to live adventurously every day you go to work. Whether it is another printer installation (and there are a lot of those) or a “my printer’s out of ink” request, you’re always on the move answering helpdesk calls and lending a helping hand to your end users. You love educating end users on how to install printers, but you don’t like that most of your helpdesk calls involve installing printers for new hires or hybrid employees.
Here’s where things get a bit murky for you.
You want to help your company save money and identify areas of improvement, but you’re unable to track print activity and have almost no idea how much is being spent on printing. To ensure huge problems don’t occur, you have to regularly walk around and check the status of your printers and rely on your instincts or end users to tell you something needs to be fixed—leading to high amounts of stress.
All you want is more control and insight. But at what cost?
Centralized Direct IP
Must-have traits: innovative, adept, precise
Your spirit animal: Horse (Willing to explore new areas and seek places where they can roam freely.)
A little more about you: You often create new recipes instead of eating the same thing twice. You master new things with ease. You always want the exact answer and like to avoid beating around the bush.
What does your relationship with centralized direct IP printing look like?
In this relationship, the communication between you and your print environment is rock-solid. In a centralized direct IP setting, you’re alerted before issues happen, and you can easily track print jobs and accurately calculate the cost of printing in your organization. Deployments are easier without GPOs and scripts. You feel secure and safe from all the cyber attackers trying to steal your data.
Any time new users join your network, you just tick a box and users receive access to any authorized network printers. You’re able to adopt new security standards and have set your print environment up for future success—free from security vulnerabilities.
Most of all, your end users become your best friends since they can self-install their own printers without asking you for help.
Everything is consistent—just the way you like it.
Looking to fall in love all over again?
No relationship is perfect. Breaking up with your current printing infrastructure is hard and we know it. But when you’re giving to your print environment and not getting anything in return, it might be time to cut ties.
PrinterLogic is available and prepared to help you move on.
Our centralized, direct IP printing platform will help you renew the love you lost with print servers and unmanaged, direct IP print environments. Here’s how we do it:
- Eliminate your print servers (You never liked them anyway.)
- Remove scripts and GPOs (It’ll be like they never existed.)
- Move you to our cloud-native platform (Seriously. You’ll be on cloud nine.)
Ready for your first date with PrinterLogic?
Click here for a free 30-day trial!