Ingenica’s UniPrint Solves Both Open Text’s Printing Compatibility

Established in 1991 as a spin-off company from the University of Waterloo, Waterloo-based Open Text Corporation has grown into the largest Enterprise Content Management solutions provider in the world. With over 30 offices around the world, Open Text Corporation addresses the full spectrum of information lifecycle management with the broadest product suite in the market, and supports over 17 million seats in 13 thousand corporations, encompassing 31 countries, and 12 languages.

The Challenge: Simplifying Printer Management For A Global EnterpriseLike many other organizations with multiple locations, Open Text Corporation was facing increasing network-compatibility issues. This was especially true with its server-based printing, where multiple manufacturers’ devices were being utilized by its highly-dispersed global offices.”As printers had traditionally been purchased based on individual office needs or preferences, numerous different printers had been installed at Open Text’s dispersed locations,” said Mike Willson, senior IT administrator with Open Text Corporation. “As a result, there were some major compatibility issues.”Open Text’s Citrix server-based environment is composed of two legacy servers run on Microsoft’s Windows NT 4.0 and six servers running on Citrix MetaFrame XP on Windows 2003.

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With numerous applications residing on each of its eight Citrix boxes, the additional burden of hundreds of printer drivers was monopolizing valuable bandwidth – adversely affecting network performance and significantly reducing printing speed.”Identical print drivers would have to reside on both the server and an individual’s desktop or workstation in order for a document to be printed,” said Willson. “From an administrative perspective this is a nightmare, as every user’s printer driver, and there were hundreds, had to exist on the Citrix server for the document to be spooled and printed locally.”Solution: Fast Print Speeds From Any Manufacturers’ Printer…Even Via Dial Up!Open Text began looking for a way to reduce its bandwidth utilization and resolve its printer-compatibility concerns to enable all users to not only print documents more rapidly, especially over a dial-up connection, but to also give users the freedom to print documents to any available printer, irrespective of manufacturer. It was at this time that Willson began looking at a server-based printing solution from Ingenica (formerly UniPrint).

Open Text’s initial testing clearly showed that the simple-to-install UniPrint printing solution would make it very easy for users to print documents from any location to any accessible printer, irrespective of whether the manufacturer’s printer driver is installed on a network print server, or locally on the client workstation. Also, as UniPrint replaced all manufacturers’ printer drivers with a PDF generator, it eliminated Open Text’s printer compatibility issues while enabling the company to continue utilizing all existing printers. This meant that Open Text could not only reuse the existing printers at its present global locations, but could also be sure that any new offices would not incur compatibility issues.”In order to deal with printer-related network compatibility problems, UniPrint enables companies to convert a server-based application into a PDF (Portable Document Format) so it can be sent to any printer without the specific driver residing on the application server,” said Ken Weilerstein, a research director with Gartner Research. “This meant that previous investment in printers would not be wasted.

“Additionally, Open Text found that as UniPrint’s PDF files are substantially smaller than other printing formats, it would be able to reduce printer bandwidth utilization by up to 80 percent. This meant that traditionally large files, like those created by financial applications, could be compressed to a size that did not hog corporate bandwidth, which is especially important for remote users who may not always have high-speed access to the network.”Even in this era of high-speed everywhere, there are a lot of remote offices, especially banks, which still use dial-up in the corporate environment,” said Weilerstein.The UniPrint printing solution was installed in a matter of hours on Open Text’s eight servers to connect all the dispersed offices to the central farm. The solution replaced all manufacturers’ printer drivers with a single PDF generator to make it simple for all users, whether utilizing a managed PC workstation, thin client, or handheld, to print to any available printer.

The user simply has to connect to Open Text’s central farm, and UniPrint sends the requested documents back to the local printer. The solution proved equally simple for Open Text’s staff to install on their PCs.”It is very easy for Open Text’s users to a get the UniPrint driver applet onto their machine so they can print,” said Willson. “They log onto the Web site, it installs the UniPrint driver, and they are good to go.”With a one-time fee of US$1,500 per server with an optional annual support fee equal to 20 percent of the contract (about 90 percent of UniPrint’s customers choose to purchase support), UniPrint has proved extremely cost effective. In fact, by significantly reducing help-desk calls associated with printer-compatibility issues, UniPrint has actually provided an excellent return on investment.

Result: A Simple Solution For Open Text’s Many Printing ProblemsIngenica’s UniPrint enables Open Text’s globally-dispersed offices to quickly print documents from its central Citrix server on any make of printer, even over a dial-up connection. Willson has been very happy to find one cost-effective, simple-to-install solution that addresses all Open Text’s printing issues.”By eliminating the need for multiple printer drivers, UniPrint’s PDF format has not only reduced bandwidth utilization, resulting in less work for the server, improved application performance, and faster, more efficient printing, but has also made it simple for Open Text’s many dispersed offices to print from any available manufacturers’ device, or view documents on any available Web browser, by eliminating printer-compatibility issues,” concluded Willson. “UniPrint has enabled Open Text Corporation to continue utilizing all printers and provided a Return on Investment,” Willson continued. “Simply stated, UniPrint has made it easy for Open Text to solve all its server-based printing problems.”