Print Management or Output Management?
Thursday, April 20, 2017
by Nicolas Thirouin
In our field, a common question is: “What’s the difference between ‘Print Management’ and ‘Output Management?’ Aren’t these really the same thing?”
In reality, they’re not. When asked to explain the difference, I suggest customers think of Output Management as a single software layer to manage document output generated from any application, on any platform and deliver it to any physical or virtual location.
By contrast, Print Management solutions typically only manage user generated Windows documents and provide basic functions including:
- Pull Printing
- Mobile Printing
- Printer Driver Management
- Direct IP Printing & Print Server Consolidation
- Virtual Desktop (VDI) and Virtual Application printing
- Self-service Printer Portal
- Auditing & Reporting
Output Management goes beyond Print Management by connecting your ‘Windows world’ with the rest of your enterprise systems. LRS Output Management includes the same Pull Printing, Mobile Printing, Print Driver Management, Direct IP Printing & Print Server Consolidation, Self-service Printer Portal and Auditing & Reporting functions, but extends the solution outside the Windows workplace. These additional capabilities include:
A common response is: “but we already have products that do those things.” While that may be the case, the environment likely consists of different products from different suppliers that are each doing a subset of these functions. I would also bet that those individual point solutions are not covering all the operations that could be managed by a single coherent Output Management solution.
What about the customer who says they don’t want to invest in a complete Output Management solution starting on day one? Well, that’s easy — they don’t have to. With the LRS Output Management modular approach, you can address one requirement at a time while knowing there is a seamless upgrade path available. You can start with Print Management functions today and supplement them with additional modules in the future to cover both the centralised, line of business applications and the distributed, digital workplace.
Think of the individual IT towers that exist across these environments, like your Workplace or end user computing environment and mobile worker support. Then add your SAP & other ERP systems as well as your legacy applications that may still be supporting a critical part of your business. Guess what? They are all generating document output that needs to be printed.
With organisations focused on transforming their business IT to adapt to rapidly changing markets, being able to standardise their IT infrastructure is a key part of that process. Having a single Output Management software platform from one software supplier instead of multiple point solutions from different suppliers supports those strategies and initiatives. It also provides significant cost savings in the process.
As highlighted in one of our other recent blogs (“You don’t know what you don’t know!”), there are a lot of untapped opportunities for creating additional value and additional cost saving as part of a Managed Print Service (MPS) by taking the same holistic approach and going beyond Print Management.
Easy, huh? Well, LRS makes it easy. With over 35 years of experience of managing output in both mainframe and open systems environments, LRS understands the complexities of Print Management and Output Management and the role documents play in critical business processes with many of the world’s largest manufacturers, banks, insurance companies, retailers, logistics companies, and healthcare providers realizing the benefits of our Output Management solutions.
So now you know the difference between Print Management & Output Management. What’s next? Call us or visit www.lrsoutputmanagement.com for more information about how we can help.