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A Canadian school district finds PaperCut is the solution to a long list of needs

York region logo

Cutting to the chase

Problem

Tens of thousands of students with different devices made printing a nightmare.


Solution

PaperCut lets any student print from whatever device they have.


Outcome

Versatile printing, automatic updates, and comprehensive reporting made easy.

The York Region District School Board (YRDSB) in Ontario, Canada serves nine municipalities in one of the most diverse regions in Canada. It oversees more than 200 elementary and secondary schools, catering to more than 130,000 students in total.

The YRDSB aims to advance student achievement and well-being through public education that motivates learners, fosters inclusion, inspires innovation, and builds community.

“All these mobile devices we’d invested tons of money in we couldn’t use. Along comes Mobility Print, and bada-boom: our problems are gone.”"

- Rob Cover,

Assistant Manager of School Technology Operations, York Region District School Board, Ontario, Canada

Problem

Rob Cover is the Assistant Manager of School Technology Operations at YRDSB and heads up the team responsible for implementing all things tech for this sprawling district.

Prior to the installation of PaperCut, the schools were having significant printing issues. The biggest problem was that there was a wide range of different devices being used by the students and different brands of printers being used by the schools.

“It was a ‘Wild West’ show with everybody buying their own printer – it was just absolutely nuts,” Rob reveals. “We tried like hell to manage mobile printing for devices like Chromebooks. With our old system, services would fall off a domain, we’d lose printers, we’d have to re-establish printers… It was a hard job keeping that going.”

Providing identical devices to all students was not a feasible solution. “We can’t afford to buy laptops for all the kids,” explains Rob, “so we’re leveraging iPads, Android tablets, Chromebooks, and everything else they’ve already brought in themselves.”

In addition to the connection issues, there were also problems with keeping track of printing costs. Some of the more tech-savvy students had worked out how to bypass the print quota system altogether, putting further strain on the district’s print infrastructure budget.

“They’d figure out a way to print directly to a printer… They’d circumvent any kind of charging mechanism,” Rob says.

Clearly, a solution needed to be found.

Solution

The answer was PaperCut Mobility Print. It allows users to print from a variety of devices, including Chromebooks, iPads, iPhones, Macs, Windows, and Android operating systems.

Once implemented, users are sent to a self-setup page where they can find the shared network printers themselves, which really reduces the workload for the IT team. And the Cloud Print feature harnesses the internet to allow users to print remotely and outside the network from Windows, Chromebook and Mac devices.

But easy connectivity was only the first benefit PaperCut provided. Mobility Print also makes managing the system fast and easy. “Once we went to rollout, it was literally 25 minutes – run a script and done. Simple. I’d say that 90% of printer-related issues we had before no longer exist because of PaperCut,” raves Rob. “I really like the fact that it automatically updates. So, once you put that Mobility Print client on the secondary server, it updates itself – I don’t have to go and manage it.

Outcome

The simplicity of adding a user to the PaperCut system never gets old for Rob. “Every time I can demonstrate Mobility Print to them, I go up to them and say, ‘Hey, have you got your iPad? Let’s go right now’. They love it.”

And, with the ease of use, comes the added benefit of greater visibility and reporting. “The software’s great in that I can deliver all kinds of sophisticated reporting to local schools. We send an executive summary of printer use to each school’s principal to highlight any misuse or problem users.”

It’s also made it possible for Rob and the district to implement a charge-back system in the secondary schools, so printing stays on budget.

It would be hard to find a more satisfied customer than Rob, “I can’t stress how well PaperCut has matched – it’s the best decision we’ve made. Before it was all kinds of headaches, but my gosh, it’s made my life so much easier.”