FollowMe Printing brings you security and cost savings
Security plays a very important role in the electronic processing of your data. Data can be protected for a variety of reasons. Not only personal data require special protection during processing by legal measures, also your internal business data must be protected against unauthorized access. Security concepts in your IT generally ensure that only authorized persons have access to certain data and information. However, when documents are printed, this information leaves the secure area of IT and is available in a readable form on paper for everyone. If the printer is not directly next to the workstation so that your employee has direct access to the printed documents, there is a security gap.
Who hasn't experienced the piles of unfiltered printouts in the output trays of centralized printers and copiers?
This is where FollowMe technology is used. Print jobs are held centrally on the print server until your employee goes to a printer to collect his designated print jobs. The print requests are therefore only printed if this process is initiated by an authorized employee directly at the printer, whom can immediately receive the printout.
With FollowMe printing you gain security
Regardless of whether it is a printer from HP, Canon, Epson, OKI, Kyocera, Ricoh, Brother, Xerox, Lexmark or Samsung. The term pull printing has become established as a further synonym. Pull, thus "drawing" clearly illustrates the pulling of a print job on the printer, in contrast to push printing i.e. the conventional printing process, whereby the printing is "pushed" to the printer. Your employees must authenticate themselves. There are different ways to do this.
On the one hand, your employee can log on to the printer just as he does on his computer in a domain. He uses his login name and password. Since most printers and copiers do not have a full-fledged, but at best a virtual keyboard on the control panel, the input of complex passwords is usually difficult and associated with error inputs.
Therefore, other ways to authenticate are necessary. Here, the use of magnetic cards, which can be read with a magnetic card reader and the use of RFID technologies, is enforced. RFID (radio-frequency identification) is a technology which, in contrast to the use of magnetic cards, enables contact-less identification.
For this purpose, each of your employees receives a transponder with which they can identify themselves with a reader connected to the printer and attached to the printer. A transponder can look different. This can be, for example, a small "button" worn on the key collar. Transponder cards that you may already use in the company for time recording or access control can be used here, so you do not have to carry or make additional purchases.
In order to increase security, identification using a magnetic card or RFID transponder can be supplemented by an additional PIN to be entered at the control panel of the printer so that possession of a transponder alone is not sufficient to gain access to print jobs.
FollowMe printing saves costs
As soon as your employee has registered, he gets access to his print jobs. Depending on the device model, the print jobs can be displayed in the printer's display and a selection can be made to print them. Here you have the opportunity to delete print jobs, since they may not be up-to-date anymore or have turned out to be faulty after sending the print job. You need to know that a significant number of printed pages will land immediately in the recycle bin, which you can avoid with FollowMe Print. Alternatively, all FollowMe print jobs can be printed automatically after logging in.
FollowMe printing - also possible with the smart-phone
Recently, a further possibility for identification with respect to parked print jobs at the printer has been developed: a bar-code attached to the printer can be read using a smart-phone app. Thus, the location of the printer itself is communicated first. The user's print jobs are then displayed on the display of the smart-phone app and can be printed or deleted. The use of this technology eliminates the need to equip printers with RFID readers, however each of your employees must have an appropriately equipped smart-phone.
FollowMe Print saves you from trouble with defective printers
FollowMe printing not only provides greater security with regard to the information contained in the printed documents, but also allows redundancy in the availability of the devices for print output. If a copier or printer is currently being used or interrupted, the print job can be easily picked up from another printer or copier. The authentication on the multifunction device or copier can also be used to control the use of further functions of these devices.
Scanned documents, which are to be sent by e-mail or stored on the data server, can be automatically sent to your own e-mail address or stored on the home drive. Deliveries to false email recipients or incorrect file directories are thus avoided safely.
FollowMe-Print gives you transparency within the company
When authentication is used for both FollowMe printing and copying, all printing processes can be captured cost-effectively, giving you transparency in the organization.
FollowMe-Print also saves your printing costs elsewhere
The use of the color copying function can be restricted, so you can keep your costs under control, even further. Moreover, the costs incurred can be attributed to the right of access to the cost centres by assigning the printed pages to the cost centres of your employees.
Depending on the usage concept, FollowMe solutions not only offer higher security standards with regard to the information that is printed, copied or scanned, but also leads to savings in paper, toner and ink as well as energy. As briefly described before, print jobs can be deleted before they are outputted, during ammenments to original document sources or for when additional content is still to be added to the respective document. Print jobs can be automatically deleted after a defined time interval of, for example, three days, if they have not been picked up by the employee at the printer.
You can also save money by applying rules that can be set up in FollowMe printing systems. For example, a printing rule could be that emails are printed in duplex printing and monochrome in eco-mode. Larger print jobs can also be redirected to low-cost printers or copiers or when staff are trying to print these jobs on a small workstation.
FollowMe solutions are developed and offered by printer manufacturers, as well as by independent software companies. The solutions of the printer manufacturers can only be used with their own printers and copiers / MFPs. The software by independent companies generally supports printers and copiers / MFPs from different manufacturers, e.g. HP, Canon, Epson, OKI, Kyocera, Ricoh, Brother, Xerox, Lexmark and Samsung, so these solutions can be used in mixed printer environments.
In principle, there is the possibility for printers, copiers and MFPs by each manufacturer to be integrated into a FollowMe print solution.
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