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In my previous Blog, I introduced two end users, Adam and Zach. Each is on a trip to his corporate headquarters for an important meeting, and both have information to share with their respective management teams.

When we last met Adam, he was headed off to his meeting after he printed his handouts for the meeting attendees. Unfortunately, he stopped in a café along the way and somehow misplaced his documents. Panic sets in: he’s going to have to reprint everything. Unlucky as he is, he also forgot the badge that he used to print earlier that morning. 

“To think this day started off so well...”

Luckily there is another way to print. Adam goes to the ABCmeds corporate portal, finds the ‘printer locator’ tool on the screen, and soon enough he discovers that the closest printer is in the corridor by the break room. Adam has never printed to this machine before, but the portal system guides him through an easy-to-follow installation process that pushes the latest and greatest print driver down to his laptop. Within minutes, all of the documents he needs are in his hand.

Once again, Adam is a very happy user. But he’s not yet in the clear.

Walking to the board room, Adam realises he forgot to print the agenda. Panicked, he calls his PA back in the London office and asks her to email the agenda. In seconds, it arrives on his iPhone – and he forwards the file to that same printer by the break room.

“Sure hope this works…”

In an instant, he hears the sound of pages hitting the output tray. Crisis averted.

“Just in time for the presentation.”

Adam makes a mental note to thank the IT folks who saved his day, and he walks to the board room a very happy user.

The trouble with Zach

Meanwhile, back in Atlanta, Zach is concerned about how his day is going to pan out. He really wished he had been able to print all his documents last night.

Zach arrives early at the XYZmart corporate HQ and finds the “hot desking” area. He logs into the first workstation he sees and imagines his luck may be changing for the better.  Unfortunately, Zach does not know where the local printer is and no one else seems to be in the office yet. He could email the documents to the receptionist at the front desk — he knows he saw a printer there somewhere — but many of the documents include highly confidential information, including sensitive revenue protections.

“She’s got a printer. But can I trust her?”

With his meeting starting in twenty minutes, Zach has no means to print his documents – his only option will be to present the documents via his laptop and then email them to the meeting attendees later in the day.  Zach just hopes the ‘beamer projector’ in the meeting room will work this time.  Last time, it certainly did not. If the projector fails and he has no handouts to provide the board members, he doesn’t really know what he’ll do.

“Hmmmm… will it work this time?”

Zach is not at all happy. And chances are, the people in his meeting will share his sentiment. No one will think to blame the people in Zach’s IT department for the dozens of C-level staff hours about to be wasted in this one conference room. In reality, they would all have been more productive if XYZmart had a more flexible and robust output management system in place. But they didn’t. So they’re not.

“Why can’t printing just work for once?”

Is it really fair to blame these print failures on Zach? Likewise, should Adam get credit for exploiting a document infrastructure he did nothing to create? Will the two IT departments be recognized for the strengths and weaknesses of their printing systems?

Find out in our next instalment…

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