Smarter Managed Print — The Elements of Great Managed Print Services

For most organizations, printing is an essential function and one that contributes not only to return on investment, but also productivity, workflow, and profitability.

Determining a print solution that meets your company’s needs as well as staff work requirements is crucial for success — not just from a productivity viewpoint, but also for the health of your bottom line.

Looking at the numbers from a cost/benefit perspective, researching your options for print management makes sense when you consider that:

  • 90% of companies don’t track the cost of printing
  • Printing can add up to more than 5% of total revenue
  • Twenty-three percent of help desk calls deal with printer issues
  • IT departments spend nearly 30% of their time responding to issues related to printers

In contrast to a do-it-yourself print environment, a managed print services program helps to mitigate these costs — and save your organization up to 30% overall on print expenses.

What are Managed Print Services (MPS)?

Managed print services (MPS) refers to a comprehensive print management program that assesses, then handles, all aspects of your printing needs — from printers and faxes to scanners and copiers — for considerable cost savings.

Included under the MPS service umbrella is technical support, troubleshooting, maintenance, repairs, supplies, and even security and managed access.

However, not all MPS are created equal. In a crowded market, savvy business owners need to do their research to ensure they’re getting the highest value from their MPS provider.

What Customers Should Look for in a Quality MPS Provider

Getting the most from your MPS provider means finding a partner who understands the industry-specific ins and outs of your print environment and can pinpoint ways that you can streamline your document process.

1. Proper Analysis

Each company will need an MPS solution that fits their specific needs and goals. A quality MPS provider will properly assess customers’ infrastructure and current print environments ahead of recommending a solution.

2. Proven Track Record

When researching providers, determine whether a provider has experience in your industry, what current or previous clients have to say about their level of service, and whether or not they have a reputation for delivering what they promise.

3. Integration

To maximize cost savings, you’ll want a provider that can integrate solutions with your current IT infrastructure and preserve as much of your current investment as possible. It’s also crucial to ensure solutions are available to manage mobile printing and cloud connection.

4. Scalability

Determine if your proposed MPS partner has the potential to meet your company’s needs as you grow, including how fast changes or upgrades can be made and how much they will cost.

5. Security

With 43% of hackers targeting small businesses, security is a priority. Ensure that your MPS provider has security solutions in place to thwart cybercriminals, including providing managed access to printers.

6. Sustainability

More consumers are choosing to do business with companies who have a strong corporate responsibility program. A good MPS provider will focus on ways to improve your company’s sustainability practices in a non-disruptive manner.

Get Next Level Managed Print Services with Pointman SecureTM

At PointManagement, we ensure the highest level MPS using our innovative Pointman SecureTM services. Built on a traditional MPS model, Pointman SecureTM offers exceptional flexibility, cost savings, and value.

We begin with a fleet assessment, then move our clients to a managed environment that offers repair and maintenance and automated ink and toner fulfillment, while providing freedom from the excessive costs of OEM inks and toners without sacrificing quality.

Then, we add our revolutionary Pointman SecureTM suite of tools, like exclusive “Follow Me” printing, where a user can automatically — and securely — print to the nearest printer from a mobile device.

To reduce waste by up to 12%, our replenishment system is designed to be error-free for additional savings. Each toner shipment is addressed to a specific printer and the box inside is also labeled to prevent it from being used in the wrong machine.

Pointman SecureTM relies on state-of-the-art predictive maintenance software that allows us to repair or replace failing parts and systems before they break to provide customers with optimal workflow continuity and minimize downtime.

Finally, we offer a comprehensive sustainability package through Print ReLeaf that neatly dovetails with our customers’ corporate responsibility programs. Print ReLeaf is a reforestation service that plants a tree for every 8.333 pages printed. Your progress is tracked in real time without any effort on your part and customers receive certified reforestation results to share as part of their sustainability efforts.

Ready to take your cost savings, productivity, and profitability to the next level? Contact a PointManagement MPS consultant today!

Secure Print: How to Protect the Information at the Printer

Data security is a trending topic these days among businesses of every size. Hackers and cybercriminals have gotten bolder than ever and no organizations are safe anymore. From government offices to hospitals and single-person startups, everyone is feeling the heat. Companies, no matter how large or small, need secure print, internet, and telecommunications infrastructure.

Despite the increased awareness and emphasis on security, there’s one blind spot which companies routinely overlook: the printers. Often situated as a central device in an office’s productivity ecosystem, all manner of sensitive and private information passes across them. Yet, employees rarely think twice about how they might be exposing the business’s most sensitive data.

Protecting information at the printer is every bit as important as protecting it on the network. Here’s why the office printer is a security risk, and how to eliminate that risk with the best practices for achieving a secure print environment.

The Printer Is a Security Risk. Here’s Why.

The printer is a security risk and one that shouldn’t be underestimated. However, it’s so commonly overlooked within offices that it inspired the FTC to issue a statement in 2017 reminding businesses to secure their digital printers and copiers. These devices represent a security risk because:

  • They have hard drives. When a computer or server sends a job to a printer, it first goes to the printer’s hard drive. It’s stored there until it’s printed. In some cases, printers come pre-configured to retain a copy of their print history. That equals sensitive company data simply sitting on a hard drive.
  • They have an internet connection. The highly connected, wirelessly integrated environment of modern offices helps businesses move faster and more smoothly. However, just like computers can talk to the printers, so can other connections – like a hacker snooping on a network.
  • Printer VPNs don’t exist. Virtual private networks (VPNs) mask the traffic to and from a computer. In theory, it should mask the traffic a computer sends to a printer. However, that doesn’t stop hackers from listening in to printer traffic as it scans or faxes to digital areas.
  • They don’t look like computers. The modern digital printer is essentially a computer, but since they don’t look or operate like one, it’s easy to forget about them.

Best Practices for Achieving a Secure Print Environment

Creating a secure print environment is one of the best things a company can do to keep its sensitive information safe. With so many different types of documents printed on a shared printer, these devices quickly become goldmines for cybercriminals seeking easy access to lucrative data. Achieve a secure print environment with these four best practices:

1. Use the Secure Print Configuration

The Secure Print configuration is found under Printer Properties in Microsoft Office on Windows, or under Output Methods in the Preset configurations on Mac. In most cases, this configuration requires users to enter a passcode before a document is printed. However, it can also be configured by the network administrator to include other security features as well.

2. Deploy Secure Printing Software

Secure printing software ensures that a print job is protected from start to finish. It may include similar functions as Secure Print, such as requiring a user to authenticate him or herself before a document gets printed. Likewise, this type of print management software can keep track of who prints what documents, from where, and when.

3. Reduce the Company’s Reliance on Printers

The easiest way to keep sensitive information off the printer is to not print it at all. Find ways to reduce the company’s reliance on printers by embracing digital solutions with robust security already in place.

4. Establish a Policy Against Abandoned Documents

Lost documents aren’t just annoying, they’re also a security risk. Even if a printer is configured not to save its job history, or a user needs to enter a passcode to print, sensitive information can still be at risk of exposure. It may end up on the wrong desk, in the wrong hands, or in the recycle bin instead of the shredder. Counter this by making sure users get into the habit of collecting their printed materials promptly.

5. Use Managed Print Services.

A managed print service provider is a smart move for companies struggling with security. Rather than trying to experiment with printer settings, contact an experienced professional who knows exactly what needs to be done to keep printers and documents safe.

Protect the Printers with Point Management

Printer security is a frequently overlooked but critical element of achieving data security in a company. With all sorts of sensitive information passing across a device shared by many, companies are at risk of having their information exposed to the wrong people. Protect private information by developing a secure print environment – it’s good for customers, employees, and business.

Point Management helps businesses develop their ideal productivity ecosystem. Contact us today to discuss the challenges in your print environment.