Annodata provides an A* print management solution to Exeter College
About Exeter College
Exeter College is one of the UK’s leading centres for further education, providing apprenticeships, A-levels and International Baccalaureate to around 16,000 students, with facilities both in the city centre and two specialist training centres on the outskirts of Exeter.
With over 1,000 teaching and administrative staff, the Exeter College IT team had to manage a vast and complex print estate. With a range of multi-functional devices (MFDs) and a basic print management software, managing this print estate was immensely time-consuming for the team, and there were growing frustrations among staff due to failing devices hindering their ability to print the documents they needed.
When the original supplier withdrew maintenance support for the devices that the College was using, ICT Manager David Batho decided to approach the market to find an alternative solution. David explains the challenges they were facing: “As a relatively small team we need to ensure that our systems work with optimum efficiency, and this was not the case with our print estate.
Many of our staff work across multiple departments, but they were unable to assign different budget codes to print jobs, which resulted in inaccurate billing and departments being charged for printing not related to their activities. This was causing real frustration for staff, and when combined with the issues with failing devices, it was clear that the time had come for an overhaul of our print solution. “We went to market to find a company that would not only provide us with the devices and management software that we needed, but would work with us in partnership to deliver the solution quickly and efficiently, with comprehensive after-sales support.
The window for deploying the new devices and installing the print management was very short, as the College wanted to minimise printer downtime and avoid disruption to staff, so it was critical to us that the partner we selected would work with us to a quick and simple deployment.”
I have rarely been involved in an IT project that was carried out so quickly, efficiently and successfully.
David Batho, ICT Manager
After approaching the market, David selected Annodata to provide the new devices and print management solution to the College. David explains: “When we went out to the market to upgrade our print estate we were in discussion with a number of companies, but it quickly became clear that only Annodata could provide us with both the technology that we required and the exceptional service and support that was critical to this project. The commitment the Annodata team made to explaining its solution to us in detail and how it would meet our needs, as well as outlining a comprehensive plan for rapid deployment really made them stand out from the crowd.”
Annodata specified 77 Kyocera MFDs with a MyQ print management solution, to replace the existing PCounter printing system. Th e advanced Kyocera MFDs, combined with the functionality of the print management software, formed a comprehensive print estate, giving the IT team full visibility over printing activity at the College.
The ‘Follow-Me’ element of the print management solution introduced a two-stage confirmation process to ensure that staff can cancel a print job more easily, and that they only print the documents they need, reducing the amount of wasted printing and improving the College’s carbon footprint. “With the requirement for downtime to be kept to an absolute minimum, working with the Annodata and Kyocera teams we were able to install and bring online 57 devices, out of a total of 77, within nine hours, across 10 sites. Given our target for the day was 47 devices, this was a hugely successful installation.
The rest of the devices were installed the following morning and we were able to bring the whole print estate online quickly and efficiently. With Annodata’s asset numbering strategy devised to ensure a smooth delivery, we were able to upgrade the majority of our print estate with an absolute minimum of fuss. I have rarely been involved in an IT project that was carried out so quickly, efficiently and successfully.
David explains some of the results that the college has seen since the implementation of the new print estate: “We very quickly saw a much more detailed and accurate picture of the printing that was occurring across the college. This has made it much easier for us to bill departments for their printing, reducing the time we spend on monthly billing from about six hours to less than an hour.
This is, of course, fantastic for us as a team, but it is also much better for the departments, as they can have much improved visibility over what they are printing, whether they are printing black and white or colour, and other important data. With this data, department heads are able to put in print policies to eliminate unnecessary printing and waste, which is a really positive step for the College’s environmental credentials.”
Crucial to the accuracy of the billing has been the ability to assign multiple budget codes for staff through the MyQ print management software. Th is is a significant improvement over the existing solution because it enables David and his team to ensure much greater accuracy of print billing, ensuring that departments aren’t being charged for printing that they are not responsible for.
David concludes: “A really fundamental change for us has been how reliable the Kyocera devices are. Printers have an almost unique ability in the working environment to confuse and irritate staff, but not only are the Kyocera MFDs that Annodata supplied very reliable, they are also really easy to use. With Kyocera staff on site during the installation to train the staff and troubleshoot any issues, it has been an absolutely seamless transition to the new print estate. Th e staff and department heads are happy, it is much easier for my team to manage and has delivered significant environmental benefits to the College.”
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Exeter College case study
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