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Print Management vs. Output Management: What’s the Difference?

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    Man writes the word "Output" on glass

    What Is Print Management?

    Print management is the process of managing and controlling the printing within a company. This includes regulating who can print, what they can print when they can print, and how much they can print. Print management solutions typically come in the form of software that is installed on each individual computer within a company.

    Print management solutions typically handle user-generated documents from standard devices like desktops and laptops. While these documents may differ in nature, the end product is the same: a printed, hard copy of the document in question.

    What Is Output Management?

    Output management is similar to print management, but with one key difference: output management also takes into account digital documents and not just printed ones. Output management solutions are designed to manage both digital and printed documents, giving businesses a complete overview of their entire document workflow. In other words, output management can do a lot more than just managing printer tasks.

    An output manager sits between all enterprise applications and systems, and all available physical or visual output channels. This allows them to capture output from an ERP, CRM, or other business system and send it to a printer, fax server, network storage, email recipient, or cloud-based printing solution.

    Why Output Management Is A More Complete Solution Than Print Management

    One of the biggest advantages of print management solutions is they can help simplify an organization’s printing infrastructure by allowing the implementation of centralized, multi-function peripherals (MFPs). This reduces print device sprawl and makes hardware support much easier and more efficient. But that’s where print management solutions begin to reach their limits.

    Furthermore, output management relieves enterprise applications of the need to transform the output into a standardized format that can be sent to any output channel, physical or virtual.

    Output Management Is A One-Stop Shop

    With output management, all outputs are connected and synchronized in a single, centralized database. As an organization implements more outputs, these can be added to the database quickly and efficiently. All enterprise applications, including SAP, Windows®, Microsoft Office, terminal servers, PLM, and CAD, as well as hardware devices like smartphones and tablets, can then utilize any of the outputs.

    The ultimate goal of output management is to ensure the right information is available to the right people at the right time and in the correct format. Output management facilitates all of this and more.

    Output Management Is Scalable

    The other advantage of output management is that it is scalable. As a business grows, an output management solution can easily be scaled up to accommodate the increased document volume. Moreover, as new enterprise applications and output channels are added, the output management solution can be programmed to incorporate them, meaning it provides a seamless upgrade path that matches an organization’s growth.

    Output Management > Print Management

    As you can see, output management is far more comprehensive than print management. By providing a way to print, send or store information from an array of enterprise applications, output management helps boost the efficiency of an organization’s document management.

    Seal Systems can work with you to implement a full-feature output management system that links every application with every output channel. Contact us today to discuss your needs with one of our output management specialists.