Output Management vs. Print Management;
What’s the Difference?

When it comes to guaranteed delivery of your critical documents, words matter. The terms “print management” and “output management” — though often used interchangeably — are really quite different. 

While there are other distinctions between the two, the main differences are in the document origin and final destination. Print management systems mostly capture user-generated documents from devices like desktops, laptops, smartphones, etc. These documents may be destined for a regular printer or a multi-function peripheral (MFP), but the end product is the same: a hardcopy document printed on a network device. 

Print management software eliminates many of the problems related to the simple printing functions built into Windows and other operating systems. A well-designed print management solution lets you eliminate redundant print servers while offering improved error handing, print driver installations/updates, job accounting, and other printing-related functions.

Function

Print Management

Output Management

Pull printing  ✔  
Mobile printing  ✔  
Virtual desktop (VDI) & application printing  ✔  
Rules-based printing  ✔  
MFP workflows  ✔  
Printer driver management  ✔  
Centralized management & control  ✔  
Self-service printer portal  ✔  
Print server elimination  ✔  
Device status monitoring  ✔  
Delivery to printers & MFPs  ✔  
Electronic document delivery (ex: email, web)    
Multi-channel delivery    
Integration with business applications (e.g. SAP)    
Integration with workflow management tools    
Document bundling, decollation, sequencing, etc.    
Application modernization    
Support for data transforms, watermarks, formatting    
Multi-platform support including mainframe    

Beyond Print Management

Enterprise Output Management (EOM) software does everything print management tools do and more. EOM solutions are middleware that automates the production, distribution, formatting, and management of output streams from any enterprise or desktop application to any physical or visual output channel. Meaning it can capture output from your ERP, CRM, EMR, and other line-of-business applications and send it to a printer, a web-based document archive, email recipient, fax server, or other destination. EOM solutions also integrate with scheduling and workflow management systems to help you automate IT administrative tasks. 

As middleware, EOM solutions relieve your desktop and enterprise applications from the burden of document delivery, formatting, and tracking. This can increase the performance and stability of your critical IT systems and improve regulatory compliance. 

For example, imagine a new rule requires certain documents to carry government-mandated warning language (regarding hazardous materials handling, patient confidentiality, etc.) based on the document contents. EOM software can interrogate the incoming data streams from your application and insert the appropriate language, graphical watermark, or other legally required notification. All without modifying your business applications or end user behavior. 

Functionality today, flexibility tomorrow.

Both print management and output management solutions can help you establish a reliable print network in your current environment. But only a scalable Enterprise Output Management solution provides a seamless upgrade path as your business needs evolve and grow. 

LRS workplace printing solutions offer a simple, affordable way to address your immediate print management needs. The VPSX/Workplace and VPSX/DirectPrint products help you eliminate unnecessary print servers, manage print devices and drivers, and support pull printing, mobile printing, and document auditing functions. These products offer a smooth transition to the full VPSX/Enterprise Output Management solution when your needs change. 

To learn more about print management and EOM solutions, contact your LRS document professionals.