Replacing Hp Openspool With Om Plus

By: Nicole Summerfield

The customer associated with this case study is a leading specialized publisher and services provider located in the state of Wisconsin in the United States. They offer a wide spectrum of ready-made and custom safety and regulatory compliance products to customers throughout North America in industries such as transportation, manufacturing, utility, construction, food processing, and food service. They help their customers comply with DOT, OSHA, EPA, FDA, and USDA requirements. The company's diverse product line includes technical publications; computer software; video-based, online, and CD-ROM training programs; specialized forms; and supplies. Additionally, they provide safety consulting, on-site training and a variety of transportation services, including licensing, permitting, fuel tax reporting and driver log auditing.

Business Problem - The customer had implemented a Print Spooler and print management system based on OpenSpool from HP. HP has discontinued OpenSpool and has announced plans to discontinue support very soon. This situation created the problem of needing to replace a discontinued Print Spooler product. Additionally, the customer had a desire to move more functions related to print administration from the IT department to the end users to reduce the workload on the IT staff. Doing so would streamline operations and administration within the organization with respect to their print operations, improving efficiency and increasing productivity. HP presented Dazel as an alternative to OpenSpool for the customer to consider. Dazel was not a fit at this customer due to its high price and the extensive effort to implement it within their environment. Their testing also indicated that Dazel would be difficult for their end users to use due to its complexity and therefore defeat main objective, moving print administration from the IT department out to the end users in their company.

Key Technical Challenge - The solution that the customer would choose needed to provide the same Print Spooler functionality as their OpenSpool implementation and more. The new solution needed to support the proprietary "-o"* commands that HP had built into OpenSpool. The new solution also needed to be easy to install to reduce the risk during the conversion and finally, it needed to be intuitive and easy for the end users to utilize with little or no training.

Technical Environment

Four HP-UX 11i servers

SAP and several in house developed applications

Interoperating with Jetform-electronic forms from Adobe

100 print queues, multiple printer manufacturers and models around the campus

120 + end users

See diagram

Technical Solution

After the customer evaluated several leading advanced print spooling solutions, they selected Plus Technologies' print spooler solution, OM Plus. At the conclusion of their evaluation, the customer provided the following information about how they found OM Plus to be the best solution for replacing OpenSpool vs. the other solutions evaluated:

It was easier to install and use

It had better forms management

It had better text and PCL viewing capability

It had superior tech support

It was easier to set up a printer in OM Plus

It had better security and user privilege management

It had OpenSpool "-o" command line compatibility

It offered a robust print job Archive solution

Plus Technologies provided the best value and was the most responsive vendor

Implementation

Installing, configuring, testing and training were completed in a matter of just two days. A Plus Technologies engineer was on-site to assist the customer with installation of the OM Plus software and to provide configuration assistance. Since OM Plus supports all of the unique HP OpenSpool "-o" command line parameters the customer could implement OM Plus seamlessly across their enterprise without having to make any changes to the printing environment.

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