In this week’s blog we’re talking about PaperCut MF, the software application that enables you to take control of the print activity in your business or school, and ultimately cut costs! The easy-to-install software lets you track, control and secure print release directly from your printer’s panel. It’s been designed specifically to eliminate waste and make employees more accountable for their own printing and achieves that through a range of innovative features. 

First things first, how does it work? PaperCut MF features embedded software that runs on your copier/MFP to track all of your printing, copying, scanning and faxing. System administrators then have “out of the box” browser-based access to all of the captured information and data via a familiar web interface, which offers centralised management of every user and device within your organisation.

One feature of the interface that our customers consider to be extremely intuitive is the dashboard tab, which provides an easy-to-read single page view of their printing environment. It presents real-time information, including system activity and status updates, along with trends and statistics from past activity such as number of pages printed and environmental impact measures. This information enables schools and businesses to analyse their activity and make any necessary changes to their printing policy. 

The built-in reporting tool can be as simple or as advanced as you need it to be. It offers more than 80 one-click reports, which can be viewed online, printed or exported and those reports address all areas ranging from detailed page logs to summaries by user, department, device or environmental impact. Administrators can also create adhoc reports by applying specific filters, and if required reports can be emailed to individual employees. 

Your company’s printing policy can be defined and fine-tuned through an advanced scripting feature on PaperCut too, which helps eliminate waste and change user behaviour by:

  • Automatically routing large jobs to any detected high volume printers
  • Discouraging the unnecessary printing of emails via pop-up print policy warnings
  • Printing jobs using grayscale and duplex by default
  • Discouraging or disabling colour printing by user group
  • Suggesting a more cost-effective device, based on the requirements of a print job
  • Defining action by job attribute, user/user group, time of day, device feature/type

Let’s take a look at some of PaperCut’s other key features and the benefits that they offer…

Secure Print Release

User authentication is another feature that our customers feel makes a significant difference, as it only allows authorised users to access devices. At its simplest level, users can authenticate by entering a network username and password via an onscreen keyboard, but this can be taken a step further and businesses can implement ID card authentication, if required. Card types include magnetic stripe, proximity (HID, Mifare & Legic) and bar codes, and PaperCut supports many brands of USB card readers including RFIdeas, Elatec and OmniKey. PaperCut also has a Find-Me printing feature which enables users to print to a global virtual queue. Jobs are paused and only printed when the user releases the job at any compatible multifunctional device/printer. Not only does this provide improved document security and convenience, it also minimises waste by reducing printing output by up to 20% in busy office environments.

Mobile and BYOD Printing 

PaperCut includes a range of solutions to allow users to print from any BYOD or mobile device, which is a huge benefit for organisations with remote workers. Regardless of operating system, location, file format or brand of printer, PaperCut supports it. It removes the complexities for businesses with employees that work across different platforms and devices, and there is an ever-growing number of those!

Print Archiving

These features are particularly useful for businesses that are trying to ensure their employees are printing as responsibly as possible. PaperCut’s Print Archiving lets approved administrators browse and review all print activity within their environment, which has helped many of our customers identify situations where printing isn’t essential and therefore enabled them to make cutbacks. 

Document Watermarking

Watermarking allows you to automatically add a username or other metadata to the bottom of every page – your company name, for example – to indicate the document owner. It could also be a unique digital signature which allows you to track the origin of a document, enhancing security where confidential documents are concerned. 

Cross-Platform Support

PaperCut MF provides genuine cross-platform support and can operate in most standard networking environments. These include those that use Active Directory, Novell eDirectory, RM or LDAP for authentication, with options to utilise Windows, Novell Open Enterprise (OES), Mac and Linux print servers and full pop-up messaging support on Windows, Mac, Linux and Unix. 

So, that’s why you need PaperCut, in summary! If you want to find out more about the benefits, have a chat with our team who can provide examples of the cost savings our customers have made as a result of installing the software.