Running a business is all about tracking expenses and optimizing your workflows. Printing is a hidden cost that quickly eats away at your budget. Print and document costs can drain as high as 15% of a business’s annual revenue.
But uncontrolled printing isn’t just a financial issue. It also impacts productivity and security. If left unaddressed your printing infrastructure can dramatically deteriorate your bottom line and reputation.
You, therefore, need a tool that helps your business manage, monitor, and optimize your printing environment. A tool that gives you real-time visibility and control over your print jobs, devices, and users. A tool that helps you reduce printing costs, increase efficiency, improve security, and reduce waste. You need printer monitoring software.
What is printer monitoring software?
Printer monitoring software is a software application that runs on a server or a cloud platform and connects to your existing printing infrastructure. It collects data from your print jobs, devices, and users, and analyzes it to provide you with insights and reports.
Printer monitoring features
- Real-time tracking of print jobs: See who’s printing what, when, where, and how much it costs. You can also pause, cancel, or redirect print jobs as needed.
- Device monitoring: Monitor the status and performance of your printers, copiers, scanners, and fax machines. Track toner levels, paper supply, error messages, and maintenance alerts. You can also remotely configure or troubleshoot devices as needed.
- Usage reporting: Generate reports on various aspects of your printing environment, such as print volumes, costs, trends, behaviors, environmental impact, and more. You can also customize or schedule reports as needed.
- User authentication: Secure your printing devices by requiring users to authenticate themselves before they can print. You can use various methods of authentication including 2FA or MFA, such as PIN codes, passwords, swipe cards, or biometrics.
- Print release: Prevent unauthorized access to printed documents by holding print jobs in a secure queue until the user releases them on the device. This also reduces paper waste by deleting uncollected print jobs.
Benefits of printer monitoring software
- Reduce print costs: Track and analyze print costs to identify areas for savings. Reduce unnecessary or wasteful printing by enforcing print quotas or policies like automatic duplex and greyscale printing immediately cuts down color ink and paper usage. You can also optimize your device usage by routing print jobs to the most cost-effective device or consolidating devices.
- Increase efficiency: Monitor and optimize printing workflows and improve business productivity and performance. Reduce downtime by proactively managing your device maintenance and supplies. Speed up printing by using secure print release or job routing features.
- Harden security: Secure your printing devices and documents, protect confidential information, and comply with regulations. Prevent data breaches by using user authentication or encryption features. Prevent document theft or loss with print release or watermarking features.
- Reduce waste: Reduce your carbon footprint and save resources. Decrease paper consumption by defaulting to duplex or grayscale.
How printer monitoring software works
Printer monitoring software can integrate with various hardware manufacturers of printers, copiers, scanners, and fax machines. It can also support different printing protocols, such as SNMP, IPP, WMI, and more.
Printer monitoring software can run on a local server or a cloud platform, depending on your organization’s preference and needs. You can access the printer monitoring software interface from any web browser or mobile device, and view the status and performance of your printing devices and users.
Choosing the right printer monitoring software
There are many printer monitoring software options available on the market, but not all of them may suit your needs and preferences. Factors to consider include:
- Scalability: Determine how the software scales up and down with your business growth and printing needs. Measure how many printers, devices, and users you need to monitor, and how much data you need to store and analyze.
- Ease of use: Find a solution that makes system administrators and end-users happy. It should be easy to install, configure, and use, with a user-friendly interface.
- Integration: You don’t want to refresh your entire fleet due to a software purchase. Ensure the solution integrates with your existing printing infrastructure and supports various printer brands and printing protocols. This includes other systems like network management, security, or accounting systems.
- Features: Shop around for the printing features you need, like automated print rules, job routing, user authentication, print release, and usage reporting. But look at the details of each feature, and do take advantage of demos and free trials.
UK law firm saves 3,000 pages a month with print monitoring software
Porter Dodson Solicitors & Advisors is a Top 200 mid-sized law firm with multiple offices throughout Somerset and Dorset in the United Kingdom. Like all law firms, printing is a key component of their business operations. But their printing environment presented several challenges:
- High printing costs due to desk-based printers
- Lack of visibility and monitoring over local printing devices
- Security risks over uncollected or mixed-up printed output
- Waste of paper and toner due to unclaimed print jobs
“In the legal world printing is such a big cost.” - Ben Jenner-Hurford, IT infrastructure lead at Porter Dodson Solicitors & Advisors
Porter Dodson implemented PaperCut as its printer monitoring solution to:
- Track and analyze printing usage and costs
- Enforce print policies to reduce wasteful printing
- Secure printing devices and documents with Find-me printing
By using PaperCut, Porter Dodson achieved the following outcomes:
- Saving 2,000 - 3,000 pages per month
- Visibility and actionable data of print output
- Increased compliance and safety due to Find-me printing
“PaperCut delivers on what it promises and has been very easy to administer and use.” - Ben Jenner-Hurford, IT infrastructure lead at Porter Dodson Solicitors & Advisors
Find the full Porter Dodson customer story here.READ MORE
Money-saving, workflow-optimizing visibility and control
Printer monitoring software helps your organization manage, monitor, and optimize your printing environment.
Without print monitoring software, you have no visibility into your printing environment. With print monitoring software, you can reduce printing costs, increase efficiency, improve security, and reduce waste.
Ultimately, print monitoring software allows you to take back control of your printing, ensuring your business document output is healthy.