Printing is an integral and necessary function of every educational institution. From the smallest K-12 schools to the largest multi-campus universities, educators and administrators need a solution that enables them to bypass print problems so they can dedicate their full attention to teaching their students. This is unfortunately not feasible when educators have to spend their limited bandwidth fixing printers and searching for their teaching materials.
Teachers are not in the printing business. And we shouldn’t expect them to be. As the back-to-school year rapidly approaches, schools and universities should delegate these technical tasks to qualified print specialists so teachers can focus on what they do best: educate the future leaders of tomorrow.
Educational institutions that proactively utilize a managed print service (MPS) reduce printing costs, maximize productivity, and ensure data security and regulatory compliance. But most importantly, taking advantage of a MPS program provides a reliable and accessible print environment for all students and faculty.
4 Benefits of Managed Print Services (MPS) for Education
Implementing managed print services for educational facilities such as K-12 schools and multi-campus universities leads to several positive impacts on students, teachers, and IT staff. Managed print services and print management software like PaperCut helps educational institutions reduce print costs, improve ease of use, enable accessible printing, and bolster data security.
1. Reduce Costs
One of the more convenient benefits of a print management service for education facilities is it replaces fluctuating printing costs with predictable fixed monthly billing. The increased visibility into printing costs allows educational institutions to improve their budgeting process and avoid overspending on the wrong items due to a lack of strategic planning.
For example, instead of blindly spending the remainder of the school budget on toner, an MPS provider will carefully monitor print environments, keep tabs on usage, and analyze detailed and actionable reports to provide strategic recommendations for new equipment and resources based on intelligent real-time reporting.
Schools can further decrease printer-related costs by implementing print policies and rules-based routing. These features allow administrators to track and control printing based on a student, class, or department scale. Print policies can encourage environmentally friendly printing options like double-sided or grayscale printing, or implement firmer behavioral restrictions like print quotas and prohibiting printing outside school hours to further reduce costs.
2. Improve Ease of Use
A good print management solution will provide teachers, students, and IT staff with innovative technology, including award-winning multifunction printers (MFPs), without sacrificing usability. Because, what’s the point of having the most advanced technology if no one can use it?
An experienced MPS provider will connect education equipment - including printers, scanners, and multifunction devices - to one common interface via user-friendly software for maximized ease of use. Fleets of robust MFPs can be remotely monitored from an easy-to-read web-based admin dashboard. The user-friendly dashboard provided by print management software platforms like PaperCut enables educational institutions to see a real-time view of their printing environment. The easy to use dashboard provides insights such as:
- General system activity
- Printer error notifications
- Toner levels
- Trend information
- Real-time statistics
- Environmental impact report
3. Enable Convenient and Accessible Printing
K-12 schools and higher education institutions need user-friendly equipment that not only produces quality materials but enables teachers and faculty to quickly and reliably prepare and locate materials for their lessons.
With a mobile printing solution, education facilities can enable printing using the network or send print jobs remotely over the internet. Educators can print teaching materials while enjoying their morning cup of joe without needing to access a computer.
And since fleet management is handled by qualified print specialists, teachers can remain confident that the printers have the toner and ink necessary to print their materials, ensuring teachers and faculty have their teaching materials ready at the sound of the bell.
4. Bolster Data Security and Ensure FERPA Compliance
Educational institutions are responsible for securing proprietary course materials and protecting sensitive student information to adhere to FERPA regulations. Managed print services include security features such as end-to-end encryption and watermarks to provide administrators and educators the confidence that they are keeping their students’ data secure and maintaining compliance.
Educational institutions can further bolster their data security with secure print release. Secure print release increases document security and prevents uncollected print jobs from falling into the wrong hands. With the secure print release feature, every print job is first put in a holding state until a faculty member manually releases it at the physical location of the printing device. Print jobs can be released manually using:
- PIN codes
- QR codes
- Access control cards
- Employee credentials
Getting Started with Managed Print Services for Your Educational Institution
A managed print service for educational institutions should be an all-inclusive, cost-effective solution tailored to meet the specific needs of your organization. A simple one-size-fits-all approach to print management will not suffice as classrooms, school districts, and colleges all have various and unique print-related challenges.
Educational institutions should partner with qualified print specialists to implement a reliable suite of managed print services (MPS) tailored to their type of institution to ensure all their print needs are met before the new school year starts.