Document Routing | Business Process & Staff Improvement

By: Nicole Summerfield

The customer associated with this case study is a major city in the Northeastern part of the United States. This is a single example of the use of OM Plus advanced print spooler software from Plus Technologies to perform Intelligent Document Delivery as a means to improve a business process and increase staff productivity.

Business Problem - The staff at the city was faced with the need to improve the delivery of enterprise reports and significantly cut the turn around time from printing to delivery to the end user. They utilized a centralized pool of large, expensive to maintain and support Xerox production printers in their data center for their enterprise printing. Once the jobs were printed, they were then physically delivered to the requesting end user. This process could take hours or in some cases more than a day. Productivity improvement was impossible without more timely delivery of the enterprise reports end users required to perform their jobs. The city needed to develop a master plan to migrate away from large, centralized print assets to a de-centralized network printer architecture so the enterprise reports could be printed close to the requesting end user. The city also needed a plan to support this new environment upon completion of the migration in the most cost effective manner possible.

Key Technical Challenge - The city was faced with a very real challenge regarding their plan to de-centralize printing. When they analyzed the thousands of print jobs that were being printed on their centralized production printers, they determined that most of the jobs were under a couple of hundred pages. The planned network printers could effectively handle these jobs. However, approximately ten to twenty percent of their enterprise application print jobs (this varied dramatically by time of the fiscal quarter) were over 200 pages and would prove to be problematic if they were printed on the network printers. Problems that would arise included:

When a job was larger than the paper input tray of a printer, the job may not completely print until more paper was added (unbeknownst to the user who requested the job and picked it up thinking it was complete) and their information would not be accurate due to lack of pages.

Printers would be monopolized by large jobs creating a bottleneck for end users trying to print, putting the user back at the same point they were before de-centralization, lack of productivity while they waited for the delivery of their print jobs.

Bandwidth on network segments could be over saturated by printing large jobs, causing throughput problems for other users and applications.

The cost per page associated with network printers was higher than the large production printers. This is cost increase was offset by the improved delivery times of small print jobs, however, the cost to print very large jobs on the network printers could not be justified.

Having identified this series of challenges regarding large print jobs, the city decided they would require that large print jobs be printed on a centralized production printer. The staff knew they needed "business rules" at the print spooler to determine the appropriate printer rather than relying on end users to make the correct determination.



Technical Environment

Heterogeneous Mainframe, Windows, UNIX and Linux environment with packaged and homegrown enterprise applications.

Lexmark and other network printers

Technical Solution

OM Plus is implemented on a Windows server, configured as the enterprise wide print server with redundancy.

OM Plus receives print jobs from their source application and determines the number of pages in the print job.

Based on number of pages in the job, OM Plus delivers it to the requested network printer or re-routes it to the large production printer to take advantage of its lower cost per page.

For any job that is re-routed, an email is sent to the user notifying them that their job has been re-routed.

No changes to applications needed.

Other Features

As a bi-product of installing OM Plus, the customer also gained access to all the other features of OM Plus that are designed to help them control and manage their print jobs and printers.



These features streamlined operations and reduced the costs related to administration and support of their enterprise wide network printer architecture. Costs they anticipated when going to a de-centralized printing model were avoided through central management and control through the OM Plus central administration screen.

Implementation



On site services including installation, system configuration, testing and user training was provided by service engineers from Plus Technologies.

The entire implementation was completed and in production within two weeks of the order.

Results

Printing is new de-centralized.

Intelligent document routing allows for the utilization of lower cost per page centralized printers as business rules dictate.

Reduced print delivery times for the vast majority of print jobs greatly improving staff productivity.

OM Plus job and printer administration features eliminate de-centralized printing support.

Customer Quote

"We faced a significant challenge and risk in migrating our print from a centralized model to a de-centralized model. That risk was significantly reduced through the use of OM Plus because it allows us to do selective, intelligent centralization by job size and manage our entire print architecture from a single screen."

-Director Information Technology Services

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