Five tips to streamline mobile printing in a managed print environment

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Introducing iPads, iPhones or other mobile/tablet devices and into your network environments opens up a whole set of network management questions. Many organizations find that fitting these devices into their existing printing infrastructure is challenging.

Today’s corporate and education print environment is no longer a “bunch of printers”. Printing is supported and coordinated by print management software such as PaperCut. Print management solutions offer features such as:

  • Print accounting, tracking and print quotas
  • Fine-Me Printing and secure print release
  • Client-side popups to support:
    • Allocating print costs to accounts/projects/departments
    • Print policies such as enforcing duplex on large documents

Supporting many of these advanced print management features that rely on rich client interaction is difficult, or sometimes even impossible, on mobile devices. Here are five tips to help you plan printing from mobile devices:

Tip 1: Consider which devices will be exposed to mobile users

Users are accepting of a simple set of print options on their mobile devices. System administrators can take advantage of this by choosing to share only primary printers to mobile devices. For example, rather than share every printer in the organization, choose a set of key printers such as “the main printer per floor”. A short list of shared printers will reduce your administration overhead.

Tip 2: A new set of queues can help

Your existing print queues may have a complicated print policies such as popups to discourage printing emails, discourage use of color in large documents, or enforce duplex printing. It may not be possible on mobile devices to conform to these rules. A simple way around this is to set up a new set of queues (pointing to the same physical printers) with a simplified set of policy/rules. These new print queues, combined with the reporting in your print management software, will also allow you to also track the proportion of printing originating from mobile devices.

Tip 3: Minimise print job cost allocation

Many education sites and professional organizations (lawyers, accountants, engineering firms, etc.) require their staff to allocate print job costs to departments, projects or clients via popup client software. Supporting cost allocation on mobile devices can be difficult, a burden or impossible. Consider changing your print management software’s settings on the print queues set up for mobile devices so costs are automatically allocate a logical account rather than requiring popups (e.g. this printer is in the Chemistry department staff room so we’ll auto allocate to the Chemistry department account). Because most printing from mobile devices is casual, this change is unlikely to substantially affect your job based account-level reporting.

Tip 4: Leverage printer naming conventions

Mobile users “roam” - that’s why they are called mobile devices. The concept of a logical default printer does not exist. You’ll need a good naming convention to support users selecting the right device/queue. The introduction of mobile printing may be just the opportunity you need to re-assess your printer queue naming conventions. Don’t forget to check the name’s length and make sure it displays nicely on iPhones.

Tip 5: Plan carefully and you can still use find-me printing

Find-me printing (also referred as Follow Me printing or Secure Print Release) is a feature where a user prints to a single global queue and can release their job from any device. Job release is often down via authentication card swipe or embedded software installed on the MFD. Solutions such as Collobos’ Presto option which support user authentication, if configured correctly, can fit well into a Find-Me print setup. Take the time to test your setup and maintain the benefits of find-me printing.

Also see: iPad/iPhone Printing


Categories: Apple iPad Printing


Keywords: iPad, iPhone, byo, phone, airprint, print accounting

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Article last modified on January 14, 2016, at 07:14 PM
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