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Cut Your Print Costs By Shifting Print Management To The Cloud

1st October 2021

With all the security and financial benefits it offers, print infrastructure is surprisingly one of the last elements of IT to be moved to the cloud.

In addition to improving the efficiency of running and maintaining a standard on-premise print infrastructure, a cloud-based solution offers tremendous potential to lower recurring costs, both economic and ecological.

Quocirca research found that the average cost of provisioning a server is $3,800 NZD, and the additional annual operating costs are $3,000 NZD. Therefore, each organisation has a yearly provisional capital outlay of nearly $12,000 NZD for their servers. This is followed by operating costs of $8,900 NZD per annum just to run print jobs locally. For larger organisations that operate thousands of printers, these costs mount quickly.

The Intricacies of on-premise print management

Procurement and maintenance costs

The management of a traditional and mixed print infrastructure is complex and costly.  There is an undeniable range of benefits to deploying dedicated print servers, including centralised print management, automated driver updates, increased availability for the rest of your network, control over a user’s printer profile as well as integrated reporting. On-premise print servers, however, are expensive to install and manage. They also require continuous attention from your IT department for maintenance.

Print management tasks comprise the initial acquisition of the assets themselves, as well as the ongoing maintenance of printer drivers and related software.

With a usual assorted-fleet print infrastructure, several print queues are often created for each multifunction printer (MFP), each with its own printer drivers, which makes maintenance and support more complicated. Even though the outage of a print server can cause disruptions and be expensive, most companies do not implement high-availability server redundancy.

Adaptation to remote working

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the working model for many companies. Traditional print management methodologies are not designed, nor are they efficient when a large portion of your workforce is working remotely. Because more and more people are working remotely, home printers have proliferated in such a way that it has created the need for solutions that allow submitting print jobs to office printers remotely, as well as the desire for more exhaustive analytics on printing across the home and office environment. Businesses that operate a wide and varied range of printer devices across hybrid work environments are also facing increased security threats.

The Intricacies of on-premise print management

In a cloud-based print infrastructure, networked printers are still located at the customer's site, but print servers reside in the cloud and are managed by a 3rd-party service provider. This unifies print management tools under one roof, giving the user the ability to remotely manage users, devices, and policies. This negates the need for individual driver installations and ongoing IT maintenance. Most cloud print management solutions offer secure printing, remote job submission as well as mobile printing out of the box.

Global print queues, for example, can eliminate the need for coordinating multiple print drivers and queues. A cloud-based print management system can also provide greater access control, security and compliance; as firmware updates, fleet management and reporting are all conducted by an external provider.

It is possible to operate a cloud print management system on a private, hybrid network or public cloud. If your organisation has very few workstations or printers, you may prefer the serverless model. Additionally, it can be of interest to businesses looking to consolidate servers, reduce printing costs, and reduce IT administrative burdens. For companies with more stringent security requirements and those who are not ready to completely eliminate their print servers, adopting a hybrid solution under a unique management platform simplifies administration while still offering consolidation and cost-saving solutions.

Smoothly Transition with Canon’s uniFLOW Online

uniFLOW Online is a secure cloud print and scan management solution for businesses of all sizes to manage their entire environment. The solution improves document security, control over budgets and costs and increases employee productivity, while reducing internal IT requirements. It has been designed to meet the needs of businesses that do not want to invest in; or manage local servers but still need to control their full printing and scanning process.

The software is particularly attractive for IT managers who require easy integration and a strong level of control within networked environments.

uniFLOW Online has been developed on the Microsoft Azure™ cloud platform which provides superior enterprise platform security, scalability and resilience for businesses.

Cloud services are rated to become the most disruptive technology in the upcoming years. By switching your print management to uniFLOW online you’ll swiftly increase device and document security, gain better control over your print costs, improve your office productivity and reduce your impact on the environment.

The uniFLOW universal driver is key

For IT departments the uniFLOW Universal Driver removes obstacles and saves time and effort to implement the roll out, management and maintenance of a well-run output management solution irrespective of the devices used within the business. Users also benefit as there is just one driver to learn and utilise for all their print jobs.

There’s more to UniFLOW online than just helping you reduce your print costs

The latest release takes the first step to creating a brand new experience for end-users using the Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE DX devices connected to uniFLOW Online. The new look and feel is designed to optimise the user experience with user accessibility in mind. The release is also increasing office productivity by making scan to and print from Microsoft Teams® available to users. In addition, it’s possible for students in educational establishments to top-up or recharge their accounts through PayPal.

Document security is paramount for businesses to avoid data breaches, theft of intellectual property or confidential documents falling into the wrong hands. uniFLOW online helps businesses with:

  •    Secure release of personal print jobs across multiple devices
  •    Restricted access to device functionality for specific users, groups or departments
  •    Automatic deletion of secure print jobs when a device error occurs

International recognition

uniFLOW Online was awarded 2021 Outstanding Cloud Output Management Solution by Keypoint Intelligence, the world’s leading authority on document imaging devices and software solutions. In achieving 2021 Outstanding Cloud Output Management Solution, Keypoint Intelligence said of uniFLOW Online: “Canon uniFLOW Online has solidified its position as the leading cloud output management platform, delivering more features—including secure printing, cost tracking, mobile printing, and scan workflows—and better usability than Keypoint Intelligence has seen in most leading online print management packages. The latest version offers Microsoft Universal Print integration and improved scan workflow, security, device and print management, and mobile capabilities.”

Canon Australia’s Ted Matsumoto, General Manager of B2B Product Marketing said Canon’s Australian business was honoured to be recognised for its ongoing dedication to document imaging software innovation.

“BLI Awards from Keypoint Intelligence are one of the most respected and prestigious accolades in our industry and we’re thrilled to be recognised. To take home top honours for our Governance Solution three years in a row is a great achievement for our business as it not only acknowledges the quality of Canon’s technology, but the commitment of our team to provide the best information management solutions for our customers. In a year where agility and flexibility were paramount to businesses, our solutions were able to keep information accessible, secure and efficient, making life that little bit easier for Australians when they needed it most.”

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