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Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc.

Personal Print Manager: the Help Desk Helper

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Be honest - does this scene sound familiar?

Hello! This is the help desk!

I need to print. There are no printers on my workstation

Cool. Okay, go to the Control Panel and select Devices and Printers

What control panel? All I have is this keyboard and a mouse

It’s an app. Go to your Start menu and type “control panel” and you will find it

Ah! There it is. Devices and printers, good. Now what?

What is the name of the printer you would like to add?

It’s the one on the third floor by Benny’s desk

Hmm. Which building? Oh, never mind. Go to the printer and see what its name is.

<A long wait occurs. The help desk technician fires up Candy Crush Saga during the wait.>

The printer has a label that says Pr7fHz89q

Hmmm. That doesn’t seem like a printer name. But maybe. Type that into the Control Panel search field.

<Another long wait with the sounds of Candy Crush pinging in the background>

It is not finding anything.

Arghhhhh!


Or how about this one?


Help desk. How can I help?

I need to print. There are no printers on my workstation

Cool. Okay, go to the Control Panel and select Devices and Printers

What control panel? All I have is this keyboard and a mouse

Just go to the Start menu and type Control Panel

What’s a Start menu?

It’s that little window shaped thing in the lower left corner of your screen.

Window? There’s no stinking window. This is a Mac!

Arghhhhh!


Scenes like these are commonplace in many organizations. The more companies are moving toward self service and even BYOD scenarios, the more apparent situations like these become.

Defining printers has always been a challenge. People have to know specific things about a printer to build it correctly. Drivers, names, servers, locations, etc. can be daunting. Apple and Microsoft have made device discovery easier, but the process is far from perfect. Unless printers and desktop machines share the same subnet, discovery is difficult without some administrative help. This is especially true when Windows, Mac and Linux workstations all need to be able to access the same printers.

The existence of multiple operating systems within an organization further complicate the problem. Methods and rules around printer assignment differ between all of these platforms, and drivers are different (or even non-existent) on some of these platforms. Both Apple and Microsoft are moving away from drivers, complicating the world of desktop printing for things like tray pulls and other finishing options.

Making this even more complex is the world of user credentials. If users bring their own devices, then they likely have their own non-corporate user ID to access these devices. How can an administrator restrict or control their printing? How will the ubiquitous pull printing schemes ever get the proper user ID assigned to the job?

Enter LRS. Here’s how it should go:

Help Desk, how can I help?

I need to print and there are no printers on my machine.

No problem. See that blue icon on your desktop that has a graphic of a printer on it? Click on that.

Okay done. Oh, I see there is a “find printers” there. Ah.
There’s a list of names. How do I find the name?

See the location button on the left?        

Ah. I’m on the third floor of the Alpha building. I see that. Oh there’s a map!
There’s my desk, and the printer is showing on the map! Do I just click on that?

Yup. That’s all it is.

Cool. Looks like it’s downloading a driver, whatever that is. Does that make me a passenger?
Wow, it’s done! Can I print?

Go for it.

Okay, I select print. There’s the printer - Off I go! Oh crud. That’s the wrong document

Notice that the jobs are displayed in the Print helper? Just cancel it.

Wow! That’s pretty simple.

Yes, it is.

The LRS Personal Print Manager provides the user several things:

  • Control over the printers assigned
  • Control over print jobs
  • Control over LRS Secure Scan details
  • Control over LRS MFPsecure printing parameters like how long to keep the job before retrieving from the printer and which delegate(s) can retrieve the job from the print queue on behalf of the user
  • The ability to query the user for company credentials when the machine is not in company control

All of these functions are presented in a simple user interface that looks the same on macOS, Windows, and Linux desktops. There is no need to understand for the user or Help Desk to learn the underlying print infrastructure of the operating system. All of this is handled by the LRS Personal Print Manager component.

The Personal Print Manager is the newest addition to the ever-expanding world of LRS print tools and is just part of the LRS solution you already have. If you are an existing customer, this component is distributed with the latest release of our product. Simply upgrade your LRS environment to the latest fix level and it will be available for your use.

If you are not yet an LRS customer, give us a call. This is just one small example of the long list of tools that we can provide to make your output management easier to manage, more efficient, and more productive.

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