Why Output Management expands your MPS strategy in a sensible manner (part 1 of 2)

by Tobias Habermann

managed-print-services-1“Managed print services (MPS) means to be all measures and products (hardware, software, consumables and services) that serve the goal of achieving an individual and optimally coordinated printing and document processing.” (BITKOM, 2012) With reference to this definition, I want to go into detail in this blog contribution in the sense of software in the managed print services concept and demonstrate that this component can clearly achieve more than “only”, for example, the control of the hardware or monitoring.  (Part 1 of 2)

Quite frankly, the subject of printing is not really “sexy” at first sight. We have made the experience that printer procurement / optimisation is often viewed as a necessary evil. The people who are responsible are forced to deal with this, as the printing costs explode, Green IT is to be promoted or just reaches the end of the life cycle of the lease of the printer fleet.

The “horizontal” optimisation of the printer fleet

If an institution wants to introduce a (new) managed print service concept, this usually follows the principle of “planning – implementing – checking – improving”. The analysis of the actual situation thereby occupies an important value. Normally, one thereby starts with the analysis of the hardware: how many and which devices are used in which locations, how is the print behaviour of the users and so on. An output infrastructure is adapted to this based on the defined actual situation, which is based on economic parameters. Finally, the set-up of the chosen hardware takes place with the corresponding software. In addition, the service levels and the management of consumables are defined and a continuous monitoring is implemented for monitoring the defined goals. This process is absolutely purposeful and legitimate to optimise the printer fleet and to manage these with the necessary services and consumables. However, only the “last mile” is thereby optimised for printing. I would like to steer your view from the “horizontal” optimisation of the printer fleet to a “vertical” optimisation. Thus, take up a completely different observation perspective!

The “vertical” optimisation of the printer fleetmultifunktionsdrucker

This perspective does not start with the printer fleet, but in your application level. This is where the actual document and information process begins. The employees want to start from the used application into the distribution process in an easy and safe manner. A central Output Management System (OMS) acts as a link between the applications and your output infrastructure hereby. This enables analogue and electronic distribution of documents or information. You will surely think that this is nothing new. But I would like to span the range to the MPS concepts and show how useful output management systems can complement these or which typical problems we encounter in our projects, which can be solved with output management systems and thus give some customers an “aha experience”.

1. Hardness neutrality

Your users want to output forms and accompanying documents from a SAP system. After actuating the button, the Output Management receives these data, prepare them in a hardware neutral manner and distributes them identically and comprehensibly to a heterogeneous print infrastructure. If these documents are enriched with further information (stamps, barcodes, top and end sheets…) – not a problem, the system generates these.

Your users want to distribute documents from Windows analogously and “do no longer see the wood due to the many printer drivers”. A certified Windows driver operates in the OMS, which covers almost all types of equipment and properties. The employees work with only one driver, which always offers the same pre-defined properties to choose from. Admins never again deal with driver conflicts and system incompatibilities. With the same principle, they also integrate the entire engineering world (CAD/PLM) into the desired output processes.

drucker_doppeltThereby, you not only create safe, simple and comprehensible document processes from all applications, but also become independent from the printer manufacturers in the long term, because your processes are already standardised between the application and the output management. New printers are connected as “Plug & Play”. You do not have to re-touch forms and documents and set them up for the respective printers. For your MPS concept, this means that you can easily integrate the devices of several providers into your planning and can opt for the service provider with the best service concept.

 

In the next contribution please read which use Output Management systems can bring you in the areas of “Administration + Monitoring“, “Security in the printing process” and “Mobile work environment”!

You can also find more information in our White Paper regarding the subject Corporate Output Management.

 

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