We really don't even have to think about the IPDSPrint software. The product just works!
Reducing Costs, Adding Functionality
It was too expensive to run the printers needed to produce mission-critical documents.
Johnston Group, a group benefits administrator in Canada for some 30,000 small- to mid-sized firms printed a variety of reports, invoices, statements, and checks, plus a moderately complex customized employee benefit booklet for its customers and their employees.
The older IPDS devices the company used were reliable, productive machines but their operating costs were too high in a time when every cost element was carefully scrutinized.
Johnston Group acquired new print engines, but didn't want to change from IPDS to a different datastream.
"The new printers could not run IPDS natively," explains Ed Zeghers, Senior IT Manager at Johnston Group. "Jobs would come from our IBM servers as IPDS so we needed something to bridge that gap. We had been using some conversion software on the servers, but it placed an extra load on servers we wanted to avoid."
IPDSPrint from Rochester Software Associates was recommended as the solution that would drive both the printers, letting them use IPDS while delivering the superior print quality and paper handling that is expected from their customers and employees.
And, IPDSPrint would significantly reduce the total cost of printing.
"While there were IPDS-native printers available they were much more expensive so our options were limited. We needed something that could provide the IPDS functionality and the large print volumes we required," says Zeghers.
The employee benefit booklets were a particular challenge. These included tipped-on ID cards that needed specialized paper handling by the printers and the data was managed using IPDSPrint.
"IPDSPrint enabled us to bring all the pages together into one document and finish them on a single machine," notes Zeghers.
Transparent Effort, Visible Savings
We save about 50% per page over the older IPDS printers we were using which had very high cost consumables. The new machines also have much greater functionality, all of which is supported by IPDSPrint.
A key advantage of IPDSPrint is that the software can actually reside on the print engine, with no additional hardware required.
The IPDS data stream to PostScript transformation is completely removed from the servers and done entirely on the print engines.
"It's totally transparent to the servers. With IPDSPrint we can take full advantage of the printers' functionality and don’t have to invest in other print engines. The printers are less expensive to run and with IPDSPrint they operate as if they're IPDS printers.," says Zeghers.
"We save about 50% per page over the older IPDS printers we were using which had very high cost consumables. The new machines also have much greater functionality, all of which is supported by IPDSPrint."
"Using IPDSPrint is also transparent to application development. We don't have to do any of the things we did before, such as embedding special code in the printouts and datastreams to ensure jobs would print correctly. That's another savings."
Easy Integration, Excellent Support
Anytime software on servers and printers is changed there is the chance that the integration will be more complex and take longer than planned.
Johnston Group continued printing to its IPDS printers when it tested IPDSPrint for use with its new printers.
This approach let them test and then integrate the new systems in parallel with daily operations.
"We were able to simply redirect those to the new printers that were running IPDSPrint,” recalls Zeghers.
“We allowed only our own IT department to have access so we could test it the way we needed to and learned it was the solution we really needed.”
“In addition, Rochester Software Associates has been very responsive whenever we've called them. They really understand how we are using their technology and have made recommendations about other ways we could use IPDSPrint."
Since the installation, Johnston Group has found IPDSPrint to be a virtually seamless solution for their applications.
"We very rarely even have to look at it. If there's a hardware problem on the printer we fix it, but we really don't even have to think about the IPDSPrint software. The product just works!"