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They say that hindsight is 2020. If so, I’m happy to see the year 2020 quickly disappearing in the rearview mirror. As I write this, my local government (Illinois) is marking the one-year anniversary of our governor issuing a disaster proclamation for the COVID-19 virus. The triggering event? The 11th known case in the state of Illinois. Eight months later, nearly 600,000 Illinoisans had been infected, including me and several members of my family.

A year later, I’m excited about the idea that things are slowly getting back to normal, as is my workday routine. As I outlined in a Blog article last September, my own work-from-home experience was a real eye-opener. Thanks to solutions like Office 365, Teams, and OneNote, I was able to access nearly all of the applications I needed over the Internet. For some of our internally-developed applications, I needed to launch a VPN session before starting my work (and dealing with the occasional VPN session timeout). But printing was never easy during my work-from-home pilgrimage. And more than once, I actually drove over to the office (after hours, I promise) to take advantage of the color and duplexing features of the printers at LRS headquarters.

For me, the work-from-home experiment was a qualified success; I learned that I *can* stay productive while working from home, but preferred the social – and convenience – aspects of an office filled with co-workers, support staff, and IT infrastructure. However, some companies and employees had a different take-away. Recently, organizations like Facebook, Twitter, Square, and many more have announced that they will allow employees to telecommute indefinitely.

Which brings me back to printing. In the wake of this strange year, some LRS customers have also concluded that they will no longer require employees to physically work from corporate-owned offices. In addition to home offices, there has been a steady trend toward using flexible shared office space (aka “co-working” facilities) like those from WeWork, IWG, ServCorp, and other providers. Some organizations consider these to be perfect locations for teams collaborating on short-term projects or even longer-term assignments in cities where establishing a dedicated office may not be justified.

Such facilities usually have one or more printers. But will your Chief Security Officer or your IT administration team let users print sensitive business documents across the public Internet to a device that they’ve never seen, don’t manage, and cannot monitor? A co-working facility isn’t behind your corporate firewall. To the folks in your security team, that represents an unjustified risk.

Luckily, for every printing problem, there is a solution. The goal of our newly-announced LRS Internet Printing software is to support the same print and scan features of our current output management solutions, while letting you use the public Internet instead of your on-premise corporate network. With the help of proven encryption and user authentication protocols as well as some clever new LRS software components, your users can print and scan documents from a remote office, a home office, or even from the seat of a speeding bullet train. All without sacrificing the security of your documents… or keeping your IT staff up at night.

Secure printing and scanning from locations outside your corporate network? A pandemic, natural disaster, or changing work patterns sometimes makes it necessary. And when they do, Internet Printing from LRS makes it possible.

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