Customer Stories

HIGHER EDUCATION

Cambridge University enables hybrid printing for students and staff with PaperCut MF and Mobility Print

Cutting to the chase

Problem

Covid-19 leads to printing difficulties during hybrid working


Solution

PaperCut MF’s Delegated Print Release Configuration and Mobility Print


Outcome

Students and staff asking for PaperCut university-wide

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.' "

Kelvin Morgan
Computer Officer, University of Cambridge

Problem

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.”

Solution

PaperCut MF’s Delegated Print Release Configuration and Mobility Print

Kelvin and Dean used PaperCut MF to underpin their centralized service, which offers participation via subscription. With PaperCut, they can manage print, photocopying, and scanning for their entire student body.

To support self-isolating students, they set up PaperCut MF's Delegated Print feature: “Rather than having the job held on a queue, we could set it up so another student could release the print job and collect it on the student's behalf. With that, PaperCut helped considerably during lockdown.”

Mobility Print solved the additional pain point of Google Cloud Print's deprecation. Kelvin and Dean could support students between Colleges who weren't able to connect to the University's data network: “They have a requirement to print from outside the network. We find some Colleges run NATs (Network Address Translations)—which causes problems as well—so Mobility Print helps with that.”

“What we really like about Mobility Print is that it's simple for the user, especially installing it. It is just so easy and it has the extra benefit of being native as well,” says Kelvin. “There is no learning curve once they've got it installed. It just works.”

Outcome

Students and staff asking for PaperCut university-wide

Cambridge's printing service grows from strength to strength with help from PaperCut, and is in high demand: “We have students coming up to us saying that they want to use the service,” says Kelvin.

“Managed print as a service can be both time-consuming and difficult to get right,” says Kelvin. “PaperCut goes the extra mile to help make it work really well and efficiently. This track record has given Colleges and departments the confidence to subscribe to the University's managed print service, this frees up local IT support staff time to focus on other tasks.”

Not only is Cambridge's centralized printing service in demand with the student body, its track record now means Kelvin and Dean are looking at offering it to Cambridge's 11,000 members of staff: “It's now fully established and mature and we can take on the rest of the University for this service. We can move beyond the undergraduates.”

“If it wasn't for PaperCut we wouldn't be in the place we are in now,” says Kelvin.