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9 reasons why print management solutions are essential in education

9 reasons why print management solutions are essential in education

Schools have unique printing problems. 

Unlike standard workplaces, schools often have two networks from which users need to print. There’s a campus network for students and a faculty network for teachers and school personnel. Print devices typically sit on one or the other, or may be spread across both, depending on whether students need to use them.

Across both those networks, there are so many users. And many of those rarely print. And when students print, it’s almost always last minute. There’s often stress. They should have figured out how to print before they had a desperate need, but teens aren’t exactly known for their highly developed forward-planning skills! 

Ruling over this printing dominion without a print management solution is a scary order for IT teams.

Here are the 9 essential reasons why schools need print management software.

1. BYOD printing

The modern technological age completely changed the working world. And that goes tenfold for schools. Not only do schools have to cater to users on two different networks, but they must also support nearly every operating system and device type available. 

Printers aren’t like computers. They have limited computing power and in order to support all types of BYOD devices, they need a little help. That’s where print management software comes in. PaperCut has been delivering cross-platform support for 15+ years and growing. We’re driven to ensure your users can print no matter what device they’re using: Windows, Mac, Chromebook, Apple, Android - you name it.

Solutions like PaperCut’s Mobility Print and Print Deploy enable BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) printing for all operating systems and devices when paired with PaperCut MF. 

2. Visibility

Print management software instantly provides you with visibility. It removes the mystery for your sysadmins and gives them instant access to data so they can make informed decisions about where your print environment needs to be improved. 

Something as simple as the ability to print and log your print environment is the first step to transforming your school’s printing from a mess to a masterpiece. How? Print management software means your sysadmins control and oversee their print environment from a centralized source. This is particularly handy for schools with multiple campuses and devices. Print management software lets your sysadmins and IT managers manage their printing from the administration console of their choice. They don’t need to physically attend to the printers unless it’s necessary.

3. Ease of use

Printing used to be a direct connection between one computer and one printer. Schools have multiple printers. Students, teachers, and staff come to school with an assortment of different devices and different operating systems. But they all expect pressing “Print” to be just as simple as pressing “Save” or pressing the “+” on TikTok.

Print management software provides the simplicity that users expect and sysadmins love: printing with as few clicks or as little assistance from IT teams as possible. One of the key features that deliver a seamless printing experience is Find-Me printing. This sends user print jobs to a single virtual print queue which is then released from whichever printer they’re closest to. Allowing teachers, students, and staff to print anywhere, whenever they’re ready.

All are delivered via consistent MFD-embedded software so no matter what device your school’s users are using in your fleet, the printing experience is exactly the same. 

4. Save money 

Left unchecked, if printing is left as a free-for-all, it chews through your consumables. Unforgotten or uncollected print jobs, indiscriminate color documents, and double-sided printouts, these all can cost your school precious paper, ink, and toner.  

But none of this is intentional. It’s an absent-minded slip-up that we all make. It’s similar to leaving a light on in a bedroom, or not realizing the bathroom tap is dripping ever so slightly. 

Print management software provides your school with the ability to set printing policies to act as a boundary between the user and any unintentional waste. You can automate settings like greyscale (black and white) or duplex (print double-sided).  

Then our print quotas for students eliminate gung-ho printing, ensuring students value how much they can print and therefore don’t overdo it and print things that can remain digital.

5. Recover costs

Beyond saving money, schools don’t want to operate at a loss on paper, ink, toner, electricity use, and all consumables related to printing. 

Print management software integrates with payment gateway and kiosk providers so that users directly cover the costs associated with their printing and copying in your school. Doesn’t matter if your students are paying with cash, card, Paypal, Blackboard, or any other payment service. 

Print management print charging and cost allocation tools mean your printing costs are directly paid for, rather than constantly bleeding your operational budgets dry.

6. Data and document security 

Schools house a lot of sensitive information. Teachers and staff need to protect themselves and their students when they press print. While print security is a vital part of your overall attack surface area, print management software primarily shields your school from data spills and leaks. 

One of the biggest and simplest security wins for your school’s print environment is a Secure Print Release queue. With this feature, your documents don’t automatically print. They await authorization and confirmation at the MFD by the user. This cuts out the potential for forgotten or duplicated documents creating alarming security consequences.

Then there’s a whole system of features and tools that protect your data and document security across all three stages of the print lifecycle: secure information before, during, and after you press print.

7. Student and school safety

This sounds like security but it’s a whole different ballpark. COVID-19 shone a light on processes related to keeping schools safe. Your print environment is actually an important part of looking after the physical and mental well-being of your students, teacher, and staff. Print management software delivers contactless printing so your school doesn’t need to touch multiple surfaces in order to collect their printed documents. 

Administrators can configure PaperCut’s security features like Secure Print Release or ease-of-use features like Find-Me printing so that users can release their job with a swipe badge. 

8. Reduce waste and carbon footprint

Sustainability is top of mind for many schools and universities. Your print environment is another possibly wasteful area that can impact the planet. The print policies and print charging mentioned above also have sustainability advantages. 

PaperCut’s entire mission is to eliminate waste in printing environments. All of our features don’t just mean smarter printing, but they guarantee thoughtful printing. Print management software ensures all your print jobs aren’t wasteful. Meaning you’re not just saving money, but you’re also saving the planet. 

“The introduction of PaperCut slashed student paper waste by tenfold.” - Chris Hill, IT Manager, Colchester Royal Grammar School, UK

9. Frees up time for IT teams

We’ve spoken a lot about print users in schools. Teachers, students, and staff expect their printing to be instant. Ensuring so saves time for the unsung heroes of the professional working world: sysadmins and IT managers.

Print management software automates a lot of the time-consuming components of maintaining a print environment. The simpler your print system, the happier your users, and the happier your IT teams.

Deploying drivers and print queues is one of those manual jobs that sysadmins are endlessly wishing to automate. Wish no more with PaperCut MF/NG feature, Print Deploy. Automatically and instantly push print queues and drivers to every user in any location for Mac, Windows, Chromebooks, Linux, and a long list of platforms. Dispatch printers to users at the click of a button and cut your ticket numbers in half.

A+ printing for your school 

What’s truly essential for your school printing is if you’re new to print management software, give it a go and see if it’s the right fit.

Give our DIY solution PaperCut NG a free trial for 40 days.

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