Founded in 1209 — the fourth-oldest university in the world — the University of Cambridge consists of more than 20,000 students and 11,000 staff members across 31 Colleges and 150 departments.
When it comes to print, that's a lot of devices and end-users to support. This was especially the case when the UK's COVID-19 lockdowns meant Cambridge's Colleges entered a hybrid working model, with students and staff divided between working remotely and on-site.
With Google Cloud Print's deprecation looming, Kelvin Morgan, computer officer, and Dean Feltham, print technician, also needed a robust BYOD print enablement tool to support their Colleges' independent network infrastructures. All while continuing to support their students via their centralized printing subscription service.
If it wasn't for PaperCut we wouldn't be in the position we are in now. 10 years ago, our print service was facing a number of challenges and needed to evolve. Now it's a service where people come to us and say, 'we really need to join this service. We've heard what it can provide.' "
Computer Officer, University of Cambridge
Covid-19 leads to printing difficulties during hybrid working
The University of Cambridge's printing environment supports more than 20,000 students. “We manage 27 Colleges,” says Kelvin, “even though they are members of the University, each College manages their own IT infrastructure including their networking.”
An additional caveat to network access is student accommodation: “Colleges also provide different types of accommodation for the students that will be either in college or out of college.” This can make printing difficult as, says Kelvin, “they have all sorts of arrangements and may not necessarily have a connection to the University's data network.”
Cambridge offers a centralized subscription printing service which became an even more gargantuan task when COVID-19 closures saw students and staff transition to a hybrid working model: “When we had people self-isolating, and they needed to hand in an assignment on time, there were some challenges.”