Outside of restricting who can see and use which printers, basic usage tracking capabilities, and other vanilla print management features, Microsoft Universal Print does not do much else— especially compared to the full-blown print management solutions that we’ve evaluated in the past." - Keypoint Intelligence
For organizations eager to extend their existing cloud services, the arrival of Universal Print was a much anticipated and more-than-welcome technology delivery.
IT administrators often move to the cloud in the vein of simplifying infrastructure. Yet, in the midst of moving their technology environment to the cloud, they deal with the requirements of a local print server, and the monotonous tasks of installing print drivers. In short, print requirements, for many organizations, were a ball and chain around their cloud migration efforts.
Microsoft’s Universal Print removes that encumbrance. It simplifies print in unprecedented ways.
Universal Print is a Microsoft 365 subscription-based service that organizations use to centralize print utilization via the cloud. But what does implementing Microsoft Universal Print mean for your business? How can you layout a deployment plan with a breadth of confidence for both end-users and administrators? And can it substitute a full-bore Print Management solution like uniFLOW or Papercut?
It's advantageous and a productive first step. But it's just the beginning.
4 Things You Should Know About Microsoft Universal Print and your business:
1. It furthers the cloud migration journey.
For those organizations committed to Microsoft 365, the benefits are simple. No local print server required. No printer driver management required. And no software to install on the client PC. Essentially, it’s a universally available, cloud-based print infrastructure that fosters the transition of print from onsite to the cloud.
2. It can make life simpler for administrators ... and end-users.
Once IT configures and registers printers in Azure Active Directory, they can publish the printers and assign printer access to the appropriate user groups. Users can then easily discover the nearest printer that they have access to, add the printer, and print immediately.
IT can, with relative capability, manage print and receive reports on printer usage.
3. It is compatible with most major brand devices.
According to Microsoft, “Canon is a pioneer of Universal Print-ready devices with the imageRUNNER ADVANCE DX and imageRUNNER ADVANCE Generation 3 portfolio of multifunction printers.” Other manufacturers like Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Lexmark, Ricoh, Toshiba, and Xerox have already or are currently delivering updates to existing devices, or are bringing new printers to market with native Universal Print integration.
4. It’s a great start – but not a replacement - for effective print management.
For administrators seeking robust print management capabilities, Universal Print is a great start and nothing more.
Keypoint Intelligence describes it like this: “Outside of restricting who can see and use which printers, basic usage tracking capabilities, and other vanilla print management features, Microsoft Universal Print does not do much else—especially compared to the full-blown print management solutions that we’ve evaluated in the past."
uniFLOW Online, based on Microsoft sophisticated Azure™ cloud technology, further extends Universal Print. The connection creates a holistic cloud solution that combines powerful features with straightforward administration. Enabling uniFLOW online adds:
- Secure printing: Print jobs submitted using the uniFLOW SmartClient or Direct Secure Print stay within the local company network. All print jobs stay in a user’s personal secure print queue until the user authenticates at a device and releases them.
- With My Print Anywhere, print jobs follow users from device to device, allowing the release of print jobs on any printer within their location. Full accounting (print, copy, fax, scan), prices, cost centers, and reporting
- Support for other client operating systems such as Mac and ChromeOS
- Mobile Printing and Mobile Printing for guests
Likewise, Papercut Print Management software can add the following capabilities.
- Set up rules to print in B&W or duplex, and use watermarking/digital signatures to improve document handling.
- Run reports for actionable insights, and charge by user or group to see exactly where your budget's going.
- Cut waste and boost security by releasing jobs only once authorized, and allow pickup at any printer.
- Enjoy embedded scanning for all major MFD brands with features like OCR and image correction – all with a few taps.
Are you considering the cloud as a valuable resource for your Print Management strategy? Have questions or need resources regarding Microsoft Universal Print? From printers to the processes behind the print — we've got print covered and controlled. Click below to get the conversation started!