PrintOps & DEX

How PrintOps Can Improve the Digital Employee Experience

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Learn how to improve the digital employee experience (DEX) with PrintOps, an agile, cloud-native, user-focused approach to print.

Digital employee experience (DEX) is becoming an increasingly important driver of business performance, with VMWare research showing 60% higher DEX scores among medium and high growth companies.

At its core, DEX is focused on ensuring reliable access to the digital resources employees need to do their jobs, which is essential to both productivity and employee satisfaction.

One blind spot, however, is print, which is often left out of conversations centered on digital employee experience, and treated as legacy technology where frustration must simply be accepted.

The emergence of PrintOps has turned this assumption on its head, representing a step change in printing technology with an approach that will fundamentally change the user relationship with print. A cloud-native, user-focused, and data-driven PrintOps platform allows organizations to integrate print into their digital transformation and sustainability efforts while supporting today’s mobile workforce, and in the future, reducing printer downtime to streamline the employee experience.

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Advancing Digital Transformation and Sustainability Goals

When print comes up in the context of DEX, two key areas of focus are digital transformation and sustainability. How can organizations make print part of their digital transformation strategy? Moreover, how can they do it in a way that also helps them achieve their sustainability goals?

PrintOps is the answer to both questions. Moving print to the cloud allows companies to eliminate onsite print infrastructure, bringing print in line with the organization’s broader modernization efforts. A robust PrintOps platform also helps reduce application sprawl by centralizing print data and insights, which is a notable gap in most DEX tools today.

Digital transformation in print via PrintOps also holds the key to improving sustainability efforts by empowering organizations with tools to:

  • Change wasteful printing habits through policy enforcement such as requiring double-sided or black-and-white printing, and encouraging employees to print only when it is essential
  • Eliminate waste and abandoned prints with secure print workflows that release print jobs only after a user has authenticated at a printer
  • Analyze print data at the user and device level to identify opportunities for digitization and fleet optimization
  • Track the environmental impact of print and set targets for metrics like double-sided printing volume and monthly pages printed per user

Supporting the Mobile Workforce

More than half of employees work in a hybrid environment, according to Gallup data, and they cite access to work resources and equipment as one of their foremost challenges.

Especially for today’s mobile workforce, there’s no question that print remains as big an aggravation as ever. Imagine, for instance, how often hybrid or traveling workers must jump through hoops to map to printers when they visit the office or the difficulty they face printing from their mobile device. Ultimately, many are forced to submit a help desk ticket or find other workarounds, creating lengthy disruptions in what should be a simple task.

PrintOps platforms are dynamic and can automatically add or remove print queues onto workstations based on their location and permissions. When employees need to print, they simply press file, print, and select the nearby printer—no more having to figure out how to manually map to nearby printers first.

No headaches, no help desk tickets, just an uncomplicated print experience that works.

Streamlining the User Experience

Think for a moment about the car radio. For its first 50 years, the technology barely changed. The last decade or so, however, has seen an explosion of new capabilities that have revolutionized the user experience. Imagine the frustration of being limited to a handful of stations playing the same top 40 hits, with no way to personalize your listening experience. Fast forward to today, where we have satellite radio and smartphone integration like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These advancements allow us to instantly access song titles, artists, album artwork, lyrics, and curate playlists based on our preferences.

The same transformation is underway in print today, where print is becoming centered on user needs rather than vendor-specific printer requirements and limitations.

Where users once struggled with adding nearby printers and dealing with different inconsistent printing experiences based on various printer vendors, PrintOps platforms simplify the entire process. Not only can print queues be automatically added to user workstations based on their location and permissions, but secure print workflows can also eliminate the need to map to printers. Employees can submit print jobs from any network (including their mobile device) to a shared print queue—and release them at any secured printer that’s convenient by simply authenticating at the device. Print drivers built off the IPP Everywhere standard also reduce the complexity by providing a consistent experience across a multi-vendor print fleet. Furthermore, well-designed IPP drivers check printers for available features and display only those that are available on a selected printer (i.e. color, stapling, booklets) to minimize confusion. In essence, PrintOps provides a seamless, intuitive experience that enhances productivity rather than hinders it.

By enabling a platform like PrintOps, when companies experience print issues in the future, users potentially won’t even need to submit help desk tickets. Imagine a scenario where a PrintOps platform detects a malfunctioning printer and automatically submits a ticket with details and the location of the problem. As cloud-native technology, PrintOps is poised for rapid innovation, with AI tools on the horizon to provide smarter self-service experiences that understand what the user is trying to do.

Reducing Printer Downtime

Printer downtime is a top frustration for users, who often don’t know a printer is down until they’ve walked up to retrieve their job. Employees at many organizations are on the front lines when it comes to identifying printer issues, which negatively impacts the employee experience.

As PrintOps platforms leverage advanced analytics and integrations, IT will be able to proactively find problems and fix them before they disrupt an employee’s day. For example, device telemetry will tell IT when a device is due for maintenance or replenishment so they can service it before the printer goes down. When printers do need to be taken offline, future PrintOps systems may even be able to automatically route jobs to another available printer, reducing help desk tickets and disruptions to employees.

In other words, users will be able to assume that print just works and will be there when they need it.

Many companies have already eliminated unnecessary printing from their workflows, so when an employee needs to print something, it’s typically for good reason. Employees think of printing much like the internet or Wi-Fi —it should just work seamlessly, and you shouldn’t have to think about it until you have a problem. Consequently, when printing does become a roadblock, it becomes priority number one.

With PrintOps, enterprises can ensure that print technology aligns with their DEX goals, transforming legacy infrastructure from a source of frustration to a tool that enhances the employee experience. The result is fewer print-related hassles, fewer help desk tickets and a simplified print environment focused on improving overall employee satisfaction.

Download your free IDC industry report, Pharos Introduces PrintOps: A Modern Approach to Printing

Sources: Josh Orum and Jim Lancer interviews. VMWare, Endpoint Computing’s Next Chapter: Employee Experience. Gallup, Hybrid Work .

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