Perth's South Fremantle Senior High School is one of 768 schools in the Western Australian state education system, serving more than 600 students and 100 staff.
The school teaches students from years 8 to 12, covering everyday subjects like mathematics and history, as well as focusing on specialist areas such as maritime studies. This curriculum requires substantial printing and copying for a wide range of users, including a need for producing newsletters for parents and businesses, absentee notes and, of course, student papers and projects.
Addressing the problem
Fremantle's business manager, Tony Radaich, and its IT staff were responsible for monitoring the output of approximately 14 multifunction and photocopy devices. School officials wanted to monitor these machines so they could on-forward the costs to different departments.
To do this, the IT staff had previously been using IT equipment and software provided by a local company to monitor photocopying and had purchased a special software program to monitor print use on all their devices.
Until Canon came along, we didn't know any other solution because there are very few companies in the marketplace that offer this sort of monitoring. - Tony Radaich, Business Manager, South Fremantle Senior High School
That program monitored the number and cost of documents printed across South Fremantle's network and was executed through a log-in charge system. At the beginning of each school year, students purchase an amount of credit. When required, students are debited for their photocopying and printing via the software.
With these combined programs, the IT staff would be required to directly retrieve the print monitoring information from their machines, then log onto both software programs, where they would run the relevant reports. Radaich would then enter these costs into his own spreadsheet and manually direct these costs back to the departments.
The uniFLOW software provides a wide range of detailed reports for the school to accurately measure print device usage and costs by user, workgroup or school dapartment. With uniFLOW's Remote Printer Server module ...administrators can account for print jobs in remote locations, resulting in complete control across all machines, wherever they are located in the school.
The photocopying software also needed to have its own network and only allowed for photocopy monitoring, while the printing software had to be used for printing and could not distinguish between colour and black & white printers in some instances.
This entire process proved to be timeconsuming and limiting for Radaich, forcing him to look at other monitoring options that met their current demands.
Canon uniFLOW implementation
Radaich and the South Fremantle staff began speaking with a Canon representative to review their processes and explore new ways to gather print intelligence and control costs. Canon invited Radaich for a demonstration of the company's uniFLOW software and its new multifunctional device (MFD) range.
The uniFLOW software, Radaich learned, provides a wide range of detailed reports for the school to accurately measure print device usage and costs by user, workgroup or school department. With uniFLOW's Remote Printer Server module, Radaich and other administrators can account for print jobs in remote locations, resulting in complete control across all machines, wherever they are located in the school. The Load Balancing module on uniFLOW allows for print jobs across several different machines, while the Secure Printing Module ensures sensitive document printing through an appropriate ID method.
The school then decided to deploy a Canon solution to replace the previous configuration, largely because of uniFLOW's additional functionality. The Canon solution enabled the customer to monitor their fleet much closer than was previously possible.
Canon's staff worked to ensure that the software and hardware was delivered on time and was able to employ the uniFLOW software interface with the school's existing fleet of machines, even though they weren't Canon devices. To do this, Canon professional services representative Andy Lubke helped develop a connector that allowed uniFLOW to communicate with the machines, an Australian-first.
Throughout the process, Radaich and Lubke had been in regular contact to test the system and ensure it overcame any issues of integration with non-Canon devices.
Complete accountability across the network
"uniFLOW allows Tony to sit in his office and look at [the entire system] from his computer," said Lubke. "The system also runs a report and puts it into the format that he needs immediately."
With a school this large, there's so much paper used that if you didn't monitor it, I believe there would be a lot of money going down the drain because people would be printing at no cost.
According to Radaich, the new software is quicker and more efficient for verifying print or copy jobs, which allows for easier management of the process. The information contained on each swipe card is collated by uniFLOW, charging the user's name or department for each print or copy, which places greater responsibility on the user.
This updated system further reduces paper and energy waste, which benefits the environment and limits the school's paper costs. "As much as we don't want to waste paper, we're in one of those industries that involves quite a bit of printing and copying," said Radaich. "With a school this large, there's so much paper used that if you didn't monitor it, I believe there would be a lot of money going down the drain because people would be printing at no cost."
Radaich and the South Fremantle staff have also been very pleased with the new Canon MFDs and are looking at plans to incorporate more Canon devices in the school in the future.