LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – Aug. 10, 2021 – With most educational institutions welcoming students back to campus, it’s time to re-evaluate technology investments to ensure the most return on investment for all capital expenses and reducing operating expenses. Printing for both administrative as well as student requirements is a critical part of any school’s workflow, which makes it equally important to ensure printing technology and maintenance is as cost-effective as possible without sacrificing quality. Today, Epson shares insight from dealers regarding three areas any education facility should examine in regards to their networked printer system – cost-effective color printing, easy management and accountability with printing across offices and campus buildings, and ease of service and support of all printers.
Cost-Effective Color Printing
In the last few years, inkjet technology has evolved, delivering comparable print quality and speed as laser technology, but at a fraction of the operational cost. Epson produces a range of inkjet printers for both small workgroups and larger production areas. Epson PrecisionCore Heat-Free Technology™ enables Epson inkjet printers to deliver the same sharp image quality with fast, professional quality printing across all its models. Terry Wilcox, vice president and owner of Seminole Office Solutions in Longwood, Florida has been installing Epson inkjet printers in large Florida School Districts since 2018.
“Traditionally, the cost to support inkjet was way too high,” Willcox explained. However, Epson inkjet models were fast, with WorkForce® Enterprise printers offering up to 100 pages per minute,1 along with a very attractive cost-per-page. The WorkForce Pro HC models leveraging a Replaceable Ink Pack System delivered up to 84,000 ISO pages before changing the large-capacity ink packs.2
“We had a bid coming up for student printing at a local college, and so we looked at Epson printers, the small and the large,” said Wilcox. “We were able to put a package together at a price that was not possible using laser technology.”
Print Security and Accountability
The convenience of being able to print a file to the printer closest to you without compromising document output security is invaluable to students and faculty who may be running from building to building between classes. Ensuring that all networked printers are able to easily identify a user and route files quickly to the appropriate printing station is a benefit, not only for the user but for the administration.
“Follow Me Printing” is a system that a local Florida college has implemented that allows a student to upload a document to the college network, then travel to any available printer, log in using his or her student ID, pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay or PayPal, and print the job. To make this possible, Wilcox had to ensure that all 60 devices were compatible with PaperCutTM print management software and be tied to the payment kiosks as well as the college’s barcode-based student IDs.
Willcox says he could have used any one of several laser MFPs, but he chose an Epson WorkForce Enterprise MFP network printer which he determined was the best value. PaperCut compatible and offering full color printing at 75 ISO pages per minute,3 it met all the requirements and would be easier to maintain than traditional toner-based devices.
Easy Monitoring and Management
Installing a high quality printing network is certainly an achievement for any educational facility’s IT department. Maintaining that printer network as cost-effectively as possible is another matter altogether. Choosing devices compatible with software solutions that provide the IT team with easy monitoring and management capabilities can save the school countless dollars in operational expenses, both in printer downtime and service calls.
Epson offers a suite of printing solutions and services that help organizations optimize printing through effective document capture and workflow management, fleet management, print security, mobile, print and scan functionality. Epson Print Admin Software provides management features for Epson-only printer fleets. This embedded solution is easy to integrate and offers device authentication, usage reports and tracking, secure printing and automatic cost scheduling for simplified billing.
Epson Remote Services (ERS) is a cloud-based solution that allows the school’s system integrator to manage and maintain all networked devices offsite at no additional charge. The onsite IT team can work closely with the dealer to monitor all devices on one dashboard, including the need for supplies, maintenance box, replaceable parts and more. In addition, Epson Remote Services allows the dealer service team to quickly pinpoint and diagnose any issues to make field visits more efficient.
Source Business Solutions (SBS) is based in Irmo, South Carolina and provides system integration services that combine leading-edge business strategy and IT knowledge to keep businesses ahead. SBS implemented over 20 Epson WorkForce Enterprise printers in a North Carolina school district. The school district is nearly five hours away from SBS, so the use of Epson Remote Services to monitor all Epson devices was critically important.
SBS reviews the ERS reports daily and found there was an increase in printer jams for a particular device. After investigating further, SBS found that Epson had released a service update that required a new printer part for the device in question, and ordered the part for overnight delivery. ERS saved the school district all costs associated with an SBS service technician to travel to the site, diagnose the problem, order the part, and stay overnight before returning back to the office. Without ERS, the printer could have been inoperable for two-to-three days depending on when the part arrived. With ERS, the school’s printer was back up and running in one day.
“If we learned anything this past year, it’s that organizations must integrate cost-effective, futureproof solutions with robust service and support capabilities to ensure operability anytime, anywhere,” said Joe Contreras, commercial marketing executive, Office Solutions, Epson America. “Today’s business inkjet printers/MFPs offer a number of advantages over legacy laser devices that can translate into lower operating expenses or increased profit, without sacrificing security, productivity and reliability. And, in tandem with a dealer that is innovative and nimble, educational institutions will be best positioned for success.”