Massey University’s legacy printing environment was increasingly unable to cope with the demand of printed pages per week on their high-speed printers. Frustrated by the limitations of the system, student and staff users were disenchanted with the whole laboratory experience. The technical staff charged with keeping the system running gained no satisfaction from fixing the continual parade of repetitive problems.
“The original out spooling system was developed in-house and was just not scalable enough to meet the increasing printing needs of a computer-oriented student population.”
Printing was very slow, people spent too much time waiting, and work was often lost. The system was complex to manage, print queue setup was difficult requiring a systems programmer, and queues stopped working for no apparent reason.
Massey University set up a team to identify alternative print management solutions. This team investigated a number of possible systems, mostly Unix based, but quickly realized that these few contenders wouldn’t meet requirements.
The team began to look at TCP/IP systems and discovered Pharos Uniprint. A review of the software demonstrated that the product had the scope and depth to meet the demands of the University’s unique environment.
“It was clear that Uniprint would meet our future growth needs.”
The Healthy Solution
Massey University implemented the Pharos Uniprint system at the end of January and had the project completed in time for a system live date in mid-February as the students returned for first semester classes.
“We had a few of the normal implementation hiccups but we were supported by a first class service and support team at Pharos so the issues were never serious.”
Because Uniprint links to the existing onsite student database, the system provided an easy transition for the 37,000 students, and before long the product’s functionality earned the support of the student body.
By outputting documents at rapid speeds, Uniprint prevents bottlenecks and enables students to pick up documents without long periods of waiting and without the fear of losing documents, advantages that are especially important during peak assignment pressure. Furthermore, Uniprint provides proactive feedback to the student about the cost of the print job and this allows them to reconcile their printing use with other services they access.
Such was the success of the installation, Massey University extended the use of Pharos Uniprint by integrating cost recovery and tracking for the staff throughout the campuses.
“This will help us understand how staff use the printing services and will allow us to better allocate both resources and costs to each of the departments.”
Massey also introduced the Pharos Off-the-Glass solution to incorporate copier use into a single Pharos turnkey solution. Such an integrated approach enables the University to provide administration, reports and accounts for their entire document output system. An additional benefit was that the Pharos solution works with all print equipment manufacturers, so when they transitioned years later from one manufaturer brand to another; the Pharos solution remained consistent.