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October 20, 2010 Posted by | Software Tips, Solutions | Leave a comment

Equitrac: A new version of its Equitrac Express

EQUITRAC RELEASES UPDATED VERSION OF PRINT MANAGEMENT SOLUTION FOR THE
EDUCATION AND ENTERPRISE MARKETS

New Features and Functionality Help Organizations Reduce Document Costs,
Increase Document Security and Eliminate Waste

PLANTATION, FL – AUG 23, 2010 – Equitrac, a global provider of intelligent
print management and cost recovery software, today announced the
availability of Equitrac Express(r) and Equitrac Office(r) version 4.2. With
this update, Equitrac strengthens its solution for education providers and
commercial enterprises, such as financial services and healthcare
organizations, who are looking to reduce document costs, increase document
security, and eliminate waste through print management.

“The new version expands the tracking, security and management
functionality of Equitrac Office,” said Gaetan Spake, vice president of
product management, Equitrac Corporation. “The new features also provide
more precise tracking and reporting of print activity so that customers can
get the most out of Equitrac’s print management solutions.”

New features enhance both the end-user’s and the IT administrator’s
experiences with Equitrac products:

Printing and Print Tracking
* Print Job re-queuing protects privacy, reduces waste and saves money by
ensuring that jobs will only print while a user is signed into Equitrac.
Thus, if a user releases multiple print jobs but they do not print due to a
printer problem, the unprinted jobs are sent back to the secure queue when
the user logs out. This avoids jobs being printed once the error clears but
the user is no longer at the MFP.
* Batch print tracking streamlines workflows by enabling users to batch
print a series of jobs and only be prompted for a billing code once.
* Equitrac’s Follow-You Printing(r) now displays and releases print jobs
held by an LRS (Levi, Ray and Shoup) VPSX PersonalQ print queue. Integration
with LRS VPSX provides enterprise-wide, non-Windows print tracking,
expanding the reach of Equitrac print management solutions in markets such
as healthcare and financial services that print from UNIX-based and
mainframe applications.

User and Device Reporting
* Equitrac has extended its reporting capabilities with reports based on
user location, device location and custom device group. Users can now run
both detailed and summary reports that can be organized by user, user
location, account type, device type, device location, and/or custom group.
Administrators can group their devices by any criteria they choose and
report activity accordingly.

Integration and Management
* New features simplify and enhance account synchronization with Active
Directory and LDAP, including filtering, connection testing and flexible
account type support.
* New server components and updates can be deployed across the enterprise
without administrator intervention.
* Flexible configurations, improved tracking and costing, more efficient
workflows, and increased billing capabilities are now available for
additional embedded devices, including:
o Ricoh PCC4 Single Sign-On for EFI SendMe and IKON DocSend
o Kyocera Mita “release all” button
o Billing code fields and copy page size features for Konica Minolta and
Océ devices
o Access to color copying can now be controlled by Windows group membership
for Konica Minolta, Xerox, Kyocera Mita, Oce and Sharp devices

Pay-for-Print:
Specific to Equitrac Express, new features for education organizations
include:
* Offline campus card authentication keeps campuses working even when their
campus card server is offline for scheduled or unscheduled maintenance.
Equitrac’s campus card caching permits users to continue to charge printing
and copying to their campus card accounts up to a pre-set offline limit.
Those offline charges are updated once the campus card server is back on
line.
* Administrators can now assign user balances and color quotas by Windows
group, such as grade level or school
* Integration with ParentPay allows Equitrac to accept student campus card
balances managed by ParentPay.
* Sagio value card users can now login to devices secured by an Equitrac
end point and pay for the transaction either from the value card or an
Equitrac account.

Equitrac Office or Equitrac Express users currently under a maintenance
contract are eligible to upgrade at no cost. For more information on
Equitrac Office or Equitrac Express, email sales@equitrac.com.

August 24, 2010 Posted by | Software Tips, Solutions | Leave a comment

MPS: Just one piece of the puzzle

Managed Print Services is just one piece of the services puzzle that companies are looking for when it comes to not only printer and copier technology, but all technology in their environments. 

Here is what HP is offering:  HP Multivendor Support Services

June 25, 2010 Posted by | Info for IT Directors, Software Tips, Solutions | Leave a comment

MPS Process: Define- Measure – Analyze – Improve – Control

Here is a great a presentation on Managed Print Services.  I could not have said it better, which is why I am just going to give you the link.  Enjoy.

A Successful Managed Print Services Strategy – By: Larry Levine of Document Systems

Check out Document Systems

 

Cheers,

MPG

June 22, 2010 Posted by | Reviews, Sales Tips Of The Day, Solutions | 1 Comment

MPS News: “Toshiba Partners With Preo to Offer Customers Even Greater Print Management Tools”

 

June 17, 2010 Posted by | Software Tips, Solutions | Leave a comment

Articlce: MPS Rewards vs. Risks By: Lou Slawetsky

This article comes from Lou Slawetsky, CEO, Industry Analysts Inc.  www.industryanalysts.com

                        MPS REWARDS VS. RISKS

December 2009

 

It’s the greatest thing to hit the dealer channel since the invention of moveable type! Able to leap tall quotas in a single bound! Faster than a speeding digital press! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s Managed Print Services!  I’ve given up. Every trade magazine contains at least two different articles concerning Managed Print Service (MPS) strategies. Every industry trade show has become totally focused on these strategies.  OK, I get it. MPS is good. But, with all of that emphasis, one would think that:

            1. We have been able to develop a common definition for MPS strategies upon which most can agree.

            2. Either the vendors, dealers or analyst community have done some  rudimentary risk assessment.

After all, MPS strategies can’t be without some risk to some group. Well, I’m disappointed to report that neither of these issues has been addressed. We have no common definition. Furthermore, we continue to promote this strategy as though it were risk free. Unfortunately, this is not the case. So, how do we define an MPS strategy? It can be as simple as supplying service and supplies to an existing fleet of printers and MFPs – not much different than the Fleet Management programs of a few years ago. Of course, this is harder than it sounds. How will you train your service reps? Where will you obtain parts? And, perhaps most important, how will you provide service for multiple brands of MFP products? You can’t simply target Hewlett-Packard or Lexmark printers, despite the fact that they constitute the majority of the installed printer base. Incidentally, this fact seems to have eluded one vendor who began their support with Brother supplies and service. We like Brother too, but would hardly call them the top target for departmental printers. In any event, you can’t ignore the sheer volume of pages produced by MFP products – especially those of your competitors. Leave service and supplies to your competition and you risk the entire account – even the printers you’re attempting to control. Some take the MPS strategy to the next level and encompass asset consolidation, load balancing and hardware “mapping” to determine alternate locations for printers and MFPs that might be more efficient. Finally, you might include a complete document workflow assessment to determine the flow of information through the organization in an attempt to increase productivity.

 Each of these steps takes considerable time – time which dealers are rarely compensated for. In fact, some of these steps actually reduce print volume. Are you ready for that result? What about risk for the vendors? I wonder how much thought they have given to the fact that they are promoting non-OEM supplies and parts for their own MPS programs. Clearly, there is a mixed message here. While they actively discourage the use of non-OEM sources for their own products, it appears to be OK for competitive systems. Without these sources, it becomes difficult for the dealer to earn the margins they require to continue this strategy. So, it’s OK for these products, but not for ours? That makes no sense. I understand that your margins are dependent upon a source of lower priced parts and supplies. You have to remain competitive. But, doesn’t your primary vendor risk your switching your allegiance to non-OEM sources for their products as well? There’s obviously an impact for them. Is there a hidden cost for you (rebates, quotas, discounts, etc.)? How about risk for the dealer? Do you really knowhow much it will cost to maintain the fleet of printers and MFP products, none of which you initially sold? I would suggest a visit to our website www.IndustryAnalysts.com) to access our new cost per page calculators for printers and MFP products. It’s free and, at the very least, gives you a starting point for your cost calculations. Have you adjusted your compensation plans to provide sales reps with an incentive to sell pages rather than boxes? That’s the goal of any MPS program. Why not pay them accordingly?

And, speaking of boxes, how will your primary vendor respond when you begin to refresh the printer fleet with rebuilt printers of the same brands – an approach that many dealers tell us yields the greatest margins. Will this impact your rebates? How might your vendor respond? Some vendors require that you forward meter readings to their secure servers so that they can generate invoices for you. Who owns the customer information when this happens? Vendors, including the largest, are moving steadily in that direction. Are you any more comfortable sharing customer data with them today than you were 10 years ago? Finally, we note that there is risk to the customer as well. Most MFP contracts are for multiple years. A three year term is typical. A five year term is not unheard of. What about technology changes over the course of the contract? How would you like to have had a printer fleet under management when Microsoft launched Vista and made much of the installed printer base obsolete? What would that have cost you? So, where are we? Definition is critical to the sale in that you and your customer must be talking about the same thing. To have them buy something other than what you might be selling is a recipe for disaster. Further, you simply cannot ignore the risks  associated with this strategy. Having said that, MPS represents huge potential for dealer revenue and margin streams but approach this market with a well thought out plan. The time to strategize is before you begin. Do not play this one by ear. Yes, the potential rewards are significant. So are the risks. Understand them both.

http://industryanalysts.com/Articles/2009/MPS_Rewards_VS_Risk.pdf

March 12, 2010 Posted by | Solutions | Leave a comment