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Some of our recent blog articles have discussed the new circumstances we are all facing nowadays. For example, my colleague wrote about working from home and the many new roles he had to play as a result. He also wrote about the experience of sharing a workspace with his family — a.k.a. his new co-workers — including a lively terrier. This made him think about the facilities that are available at work and in particular how smooth printing works in our office. How that is something to be appreciated rather than taken for granted.

Before his article, one of my earlier blog posts talked about how a lot of us have been taking stock of our personal lives but not as much of our professional ones. We wrote about the ‘new normal’ and yes, I am aware that we are all quite done with everything COVID, but apparently COVID is not done with us. So it is perhaps inevitable that we find ourselves linking what we know today with what we can expect tomorrow in a corona sort of way.

That brings me a new topic: whilst cooking, it occurred to me how convenient it is that I can have my groceries delivered to my house. I also thought back to those crazy weeks in March and April when the supermarkets were overcrowded, and when online orders could not be processed. I remember the luxurious feeling of being able to place my order again without having to set foot in a store…. a place that was undoubtedly filled with people who would be so focused on shopping that they would not take distance into account. So yes, I like that I can order online, receive my order at home, and not think twice about washing my hands and having to sanitize my clothes. I also appreciated the fact that I got everything from a single place. And for those of you who have read my articles before, you know the next stop on my train of thought was… my work.

In this particular case, my mind went to a web page I recently created about front to end print management and how it makes sense to have a single solution in place to cater to your every (document output) need. The page cites a survey result that revealed more than 60% of all organizations have multiple print management systems in place. Can you imagine what that means? It means an administrative nightmare. Each system has its own management interface, each monitoring a set of devices. Printing from Windows, or SAP, or EMRs in healthcare. How can be printing ever be smooth and reliable when there are multiple systems in place?

The answer is simple: it cannot! At least that’s what our customers tell us after they switch to our solutions. So why do so many organizations choose this complex environment? Usually it originates with Windows printing that needs to be tracked. Application printing often gets left behind. There is an abundance of print management solutions that track Windows printing, so it makes sense that the complexity (read: drama) starts there. Different office locations purchase individual point solutions at different times, resulting in a variety of contracts and solutions. In the case of global enterprises, having different contracts in different countries for different devices is less of an exception than the rule. All of these scenarios make it impossible to have a centralized overview and single point of control to control printing. Further adding to the complexity are acquisitions and contracts that merge into the organization alongside staff and hardware.

We have shared numerous articles on large enterprises using Windows print servers for application printing and how those just add more layers of complexity. They add more hardware and more software to manage these environments. Which is ironic, when, much like with grocery shopping, they could greatly simplify things by finding that one place that caters to all their needs. The problem is that humans are programmed to make an impossible situation work if at all possible. It may make no sense, but our tendency is to stick with what we have and make it work. Until it doesn’t.

That is where we come in, because LRS brings simplicity to the table. We offer a holistic solution with a single layer that controls all aspects of document output. How does that sound to you? It’s easy. But don’t take our word for it, listen to what LRS customers have to say.

Now that I’ve got that sorted, I can get back to cooking. As it turns out, I forgot one key ingredient for my dinner tonight, so I will be heading to the shops after all. Like most people, I sometimes get so focused on one thing that I lose sight of the big picture (in this case, resulting in an incomplete shopping list). It’s a minor inconvenience with regard to tonight’s meal, but when large enterprises fail to see the overall picture, it can lead to serious complications — unnecessary ones at that. Hopefully, this article provided some food for thought and will help you maintain a broader perspective when it comes to output management. Now I’ve got to skip before the store closes but if you want to discuss this with a professional, please remember that an LRS colleague is always around to talk shop!  

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