Tulia Independent School District is leveraging the directprint.io serverless print management solution to simplify how end-users access printers, and reduce print-related support calls
Tulia Independent School District (Tulia ISD) comprises three schools – Tulia High School, Tulia Junior High and Tulia Elementary School, which cater for students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district has a strong commitment to academic excellence, with teachers and staff dedicated to providing pupils with the best possible learning experience.
Tulia ISD was using an on-premise print management solution running on a virtual print server. Managing the print environment was time-intensive. In addition to dealing with individual users’ print-related queries and tickets, the IT team also had to remediate server crashes and printing errors, manage security patches and updates, and keep on top of regular maintenance – all of which took time.
“Many of our end-users travel to and work across all three campuses. They don’t have a dedicated desk in one location and need access to printers wherever they are. As a team, we were constantly having to deal with calls asking us to install printers. We were keen to explore an alternative solution that would provide end-users with seamless access to printers, regardless of location.” explained Bryan Barcroft, Systems Administrator, Tulia ISD
Last year, Bryan attended the CITE (California IT in Education) annual conference where he met with directprint.io and began to explore the advantages of a serverless print management solution.
“I particularly liked the fact that the directprint.io cloud print management solution enables end-users to self-serve via the QuickCodes feature. That was probably the most important thing for us, as it would dramatically improve the end-users’ experience, and significantly reduce the time we have to spend troubleshooting printer availability issues,” Bryan said.
directprint.io was deployed across the district to manage approximately 125 printing devices used by the schools’ 1,200 students and 250 staff.
Bryan said that one of the immediate benefits of migrating print to the cloud was that it removed dependence on a print server. “Straightaway that was one less device we had to manage and maintain, which made things more manageable for us.”
directprint.io is a vendor-neutral solution built around a universal print driver which includes advanced finishing options for over 5,000 printer makes and models – making it ideal for Tulia ISD as it operates a mixed fleet of printers and multifunctional devices.
The printer on-boarding process was seamless. directprint.io features a printer discovery wizard which detects a printer’s IP address and automatically adds it to the printer map as well as Device Radar, which uses multicast DNS (mDNS) and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) protocols to search for, identify and automatically onboard all printers on a customer’s network.
Easy access to printers
directprint.io is designed to enable printing from Chromebooks and directory sync capabilities with Google Workspace ensures simple printer deployment – users are allocated printers based on their login.
Bryan said that the end-user experience has been really good. “Before, our end-users had a lengthy list of printers that they had to select from and now they just see the devices that are available to them. Before, we’d get a call every time someone couldn’t access a printer, but now, once the device is set up on directprint.io, it’s set up for everyone. The number of print-related calls we receive now is significantly lower, so it is definitely working well for us.”
He continued: “For me, the biggest benefit has been the QuickCodes feature. It’s been really easy to assign specific users to specific printers, automatically. For example, I can automatically add all of the printers at the elementary school with just one QuickCode, making printer allocation frictionless.
“What’s more the directprint.io team agreed to do some further customization to the QuickCodes system to enable our end-users to self-serve. They created a dedicated portal for us where end-users can view the list of available printers, regardless of their location, access the QuickCode for an individual device and simply click to print. That is saving us as an IT team a huge amount of time.”
The directprint.io platform also provides complete visibility of all print activity on the network from a single pane of glass. Bryan said that although the individual schools don’t require detailed data over usage, the insight is invaluable for the IT team.
“The reports we can pull of are really useful, particularly when troubleshooting a problem or pre-empting potential issues, for example, we monitor toner levels to ensure proactive supplies replenishment and if we receive a support call, we can check if it’s something as simple as the printer is out of paper,” he explained.
If you’d like to find out more about how directprint.io can help your school, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be more than happy to arrange a demo appointment.