Paper bastion

ENSA@WORK 2004: in search of cost reduction, enterprises have been giving increasing attention to print systems.
One of the components of the strategy of adaptive enterprise actively discussed at the Munich Conference ENSA@WORK 2004, organized by Hewlett-Packard, is print management.

According to the analytical Gartner Company, print, copying and similar methods of information representation are among those corporate costs that are difficult to monitor; and in most enterprises those costs can be reduced by 10-30%. According to Gartner, print costs account for about 1-3% of the enterprise budget.

The strategic importance of print systems to IT is also suggested by other figures reported by HP: 55% of the network traffic and 40-60% calls to the technical support services are exactly associated with printer operations. In the meantime a number of companies optimize their IT infrastructure and methods for its management, neglecting the print problems. They do not know exactly how many devices they installed, do not use methods for remote administration for elimination of failures, and in 48% cases they do not take into account on constant basis the cost of the printouts made, and in 31% cases, the amount of indirect IT expenses associated with print (installation, management, operation of the support service).

To save the costs realistically, HP puts forward the Total Print Management (TPM) concept, whose implementation includes both hardware and software and also special services. For hardware support, HP printers are offered, and as software, the management tool HP Web JetAdmin. Those tools ensure management of all the enterprise printers irrespective whether they are connected to the PC directly or networked. The software implements the support of all the printers from the HP lineup, and also the possibility to work with Active Directory.

In the course of ENSA@WORK it was stated that the EMEA Region, uniting the countries of Europe, Near East and Africa took interest in the TPM application. The Ford Motors Corporation became the first HP client in that region. The Ford Motors launched a pilot project in Great Britain and subsequently intends to distribute it throughout the entire Europe and employ new management principles for the management of 15 thousand printing devices servicing 150 thousand users.

The major methods for reduction of print costs are the inventory of printing devices, their unification and more rational distribution, automation of management of the printer fleet, and using remote access tools. But the most important method is the implementation of internal print policies to regulate the use of the printers. In fact, Ford developed a particular set of regulations. That set of regulations prescribes that the users are to send the documents for print only in case they cannot be read on the screen or are to be sent beyond the company; it is recommended that a preview should be practiced to make sure that the document page fits in the paper page, and in case the presentation is output in PowerPoint several slides are, if possible, to be placed on a single page. The color print should be mentioned separately. Being by 350% more expensive than the monochrome print, it should be used only in case the color helps the perception of the document. One can see from those measures how print economy depends on reasonable and responsible actions of the users.

After the merger with the Compaq, the updating of the print systems was conducted by HP. The number of printing devices (printers and copiers) was reduced from 4385 to 2004 and the number of their manufacturers, from a dozen to a single one. That increased the monthly load on a single device from 4625 to 9008pages (i.e., almost twofold), but the total annual cost of print declines from $15.2 million to 8.3 million per year.

A special service offered to HP clients under TPM is the pay-per-use service. In that case, the company installs printers in the client's offices and charges depending on the intensity of their use. In this case, both a fixed pay per year may be charged, varying with the amount of the expendables used, and the pay determined by the number of printed pages. HP fully assumes work on providing expendable, maintenance and support of the users and also management of print infrastructure, maintenance and support of the users and also the management of print infrastructure.

In the EMEA region, printing services are provided by a special organization — Imaging&Printing Services Organisation EMEA. The IPSO Company launched a new service 18 months ago. Its head, Isabel Rui-Buisson states that currently about 70% of the companies consider the possibility of such print outsourcing. She believes that cooperation starts with some small areas to be extended to the entire organization. Among the current IPSO clients are the Alcatel Company and the retail chain Carrefour.

In promoting the pay-per-use service HP intends to focus on medium-sized and big business as large print volumes render reduction of costs feasible in that exactly area. In fact, the proportion of hardcopy information does not decrease, but conversely, continues to increase. Otherwise, the problem in question would have resolved on its own. The above determined the concern of the administration of a number of enterprises with the problem of print costs: in fact, unless one starts managing those costs they would continue to further increase uncontrollably.

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