The Here and Now, the Future, and the Long, Long Ago…
Wednesday, January 06, 2021
by James Masters
The start of any year usually involves taking stock of the past and looking forward into the future. Last year was anything but typical. But with regard to LRS products, it followed a long pattern of evolution.
Recently, my colleagues and I have been collecting, analyzing, and cataloguing stories about how LRS customers use our solutions in the real world. It is interesting to see how closely the events of the day track to the launch of new LRS products. For example, accessibility for remote workers is currently a top priority for the entire world, and security is a key concern. This need to securely access data from remote locations is addressed by LRS Affiliate Printing software. Interestingly, that solution was on our roadmap long before the pandemic hit but was launched in time to address an important market requirement when the world needed it most.
Another common phrase in our recent batch of customer stories is ‘zero touch printing.’ The name says it all, and if ever there was a time to address this market requirement, that time is now — a fact confirmed by attendees in our recent webinar sessions about the solution. Though interest in zero touch and remote accessibility aren’t tied to the ongoing pandemic, these solutions certainly address the ways the pandemic has changed the world. This is not the first time we have closely aligned with changing market needs, however. Throughout the years, our software enhancements and portfolio expansions have been developed to address emerging customer needs and expectations.
Customers have always been the driving force behind our product development. In fact, the original VPS software was developed in response to a challenge at one of our consulting clients. My colleague wrote about our history in this Blog, recalling the “hows and whys” of our forty-year existence. As proud as we are of our solutions, we are even more gratified that in those forty years so many organizations have made our software the backbone of their document infrastructures. Most leveraged their initial investment by deploying subsequent LRS solutions as they became available. This was not always as straightforward as one might expect.
How LRS came to be an integral part of large IT infrastructures
Looking through the large database of field reports, one immediately notices how many start with the words ‘the company is a long time VPS customer.’ Most have been satisfied customers for multiple decades. The irony is that even though LRS software had been in place and running successfully, many of these customers initially looked at other solutions for managing output from applications such as SAP or EMR systems like the Epic or Cerner solutions. Similar efforts were undertaken in the search for reliable Windows printing. All while the answers were right underneath the customers’ noses.
Then again, it might not be that odd. LRS software normally runs quietly in the background, managing output from enterprise applications or digital archives without any issues. The only time our solutions normally attract any attention is when they come up for license renewal. So knowing that, it is not too surprising to read that LRS was initially overlooked by customers looking for print management for either SAP, Epic, Cerner or other applications, including Windows printing solutions. These front-line customers were often advised by a number of vendors and wholeheartedly adopted the components included in the winning bid. This was true even if they already had most of the LRS output management components installed, tested, and ready to use.
For that reason, it is very intriguing to read how and why those organizations ended up implementing additional LRS software solutions and what benefits they realized. There are detailed stories about print server consolidation, cost reduction, data security, centralized control, simplification, and overall improved IT service. What’s more, in most cases, the LRS story started years ago with VPS software running on the customer’s mainframe (which may or may not exist today). While most customers took a rather long time to decide on a solution, there are also some that never considered anyone else and looked to their LRS contacts for guidance on how to standardize and streamline their enterprises.
Regardless of how our customers arrive at their current document environment, we remain committed to addressing their current and future needs. This is as true for existing customers as it is for those organizations still searching for ways to improve their document processes. Take for example our latest addition to the LRS product family, the MFPsecure®/Scan for Mobile solution. It combines two key trends we see in the workplace of the future — digitization and end user mobility — with assured document security. For LRS customers, it is one more example of how our solutions evolve to meet new challenges.
If you feel that your organization could benefit from this or any of our solutions, feel free to contact us whether you are a current customer or new to the world of enterprise output management. One obvious take-away from everything above: when it comes to holistic output management solutions, LRS likely has what you are looking for… or soon will!