The Future of Print Management in Higher Education 

In recent years, shifting print trends have forced universities to rethink their approach to print management. 

Although print volumes have declined, print is still a basic necessity for students and staff. However, managing print creates conflicting priorities for IT. On one hand, it’s often an afterthought, excluded from robust security protocols. On the other hand, it consumes significant resources and requires ongoing maintenance to function smoothly. 

What can universities do to make sure students can easily print when they need to? How can campuses keep the system running securely 24/7 without bogging down IT? 

The answer, as with many IT challenges today, lies in the cloud. 

Delivering a Seamless Student Experience  

Given the challenges around attracting and retaining students today, providing them with the best experience possible has become a core focus for universities. From a print perspective, this means creating an environment where printing is simple and solves students’ biggest challenges around printing. 

Moving print infrastructure to the cloud provides 24/7 reliability of print services, allowing students to: 

  • Easily connect to the nearest printer from anywhere on campus with any device, without having to download new drivers 
  • Avoid sending jobs to devices needing support, which the system automatically takes offline 
  • Access self-serve support for tasks like changing passcodes and connecting to printers without having to submit a help desk ticket 

Reducing the IT Print Burden 

Print continues to be a persistent challenge for IT departments, requiring significant resources for server maintenance, driver management, and resolving individual printer issues. 

A cloud-based printing solution designed specifically for higher education can cut the time IT departments spend on print in half and deliver significant cost savings from: 

  • Eliminating print servers, saving an average of $7,500 annually per server 
  • Reducing labor hours spent on driver management, server upgrades, and IT help desk tickets 
  • Automatically scanning the network for error codes to find devices that need toner, color or servicing, taking them offline and sending jobs to other nearby printers 

As institutions’ network models evolve towards decentralization or software-based networking, print historically either doesn’t work in those scenarios or has to be the exception case. That’s no longer true with cloud-based printing, as tools like end-to-end encryption bring print in line with security frameworks such as zero-trust. 

Analytics-Driven Efficiency 

Print in higher education is undergoing a shift towards greater efficiency, where IT will have complete visibility into printer performance and status – irrespective of device manufacturer – via web dashboards without having to visit individual devices. All of this will be driven by robust analytics that enable IT teams to: 

  • Get detailed data for drilling down and finding patterns of waste among different devices, users, and groups 
  • Improve device utilization and load balancing, for example by identifying underutilized printers that might be more useful elsewhere 
  • Identify which printers are likely to fail and should be flagged for service or replacement 

Making the Mindset Shift Around Cost Recovery 

Cloud print management is forcing a mindset shift around the traditional cost recovery model in universities. For decades, universities have treated upfront billing for print costs as a revenue stream. 

When they run the numbers, however, they often make an eye-opening discovery: 

The amount they spend on labor, IT and accounting resources to manage the process of reconciling student print accounts far surpasses the costs they recover. 

With the cloud, universities can automatically collect data from print jobs and send it directly to the accounting or bursar’s office. This allows them to recover costs based on what students actually use—which universities need to track regardless—and charge print jobs to specific departments or grants. 

The Future is Here 

As IT infrastructure continues its shift to the cloud, print management in higher education is ripe for transformation. A robust PrintOps platform like Pharos Cloud Education Edition provides the tools universities need to: 

  • Deliver a seamless student experience that makes print easy 
  • Eliminate onsite print infrastructure and server management 
  • Manage fewer drivers by deploying the IPP Everywhere driver 
  • Reduce printing costs through quotas, chargeback, and secure release, plus advanced analytics to find cost-saving opportunities 
  • Create a print environment that supports zero-trust security principles 

Much of how universities used to think about print is starting to go by the wayside. Addressing the challenges of users, administrators, and IT demands a new way of thinking, and print infrastructure aligned with the university’s overall migration strategy. 

What’s New with the Pharos Cloud 3.7 Release

What’s New with the Pharos Cloud 3.7 Release

April 19, 2024

Join Jim Lancer, Director of Product Management, as he shares our vision for Pharos Cloud and demonstrates key enhancements with the latest release. Attend this session to learn how you can take advantage of the latest updates, including:

  • New User Management functionality enabling admins to maintain users, registrations, and groups
  • Direct Print updates that enhance efficiency and administrative control
  • Pharos IPP driver experience improved to display only features that are available on a printer
  • Multi-language theming and User Portal enhancements improve the user experience
  • And more!

New Pharos Cloud 3.6 Release Enhances Security, IT Efficiency, and User Experience

Pharos is excited to announce a new release of Pharos Cloud, the cloud-native print management and optimization platform proven to meet the scalability, security, and reliability requirements of large, global enterprises. ​Pharos Cloud migrates print infrastructure to the cloud to drive IT productivity, enhance security, and enable employees with intuitive ways to print wherever they work. All Pharos Cloud releases are designed with these key tenets in mind, and the Pharos Cloud 3.6 release is no exception. Key updates include:    

Direct Print enhancements 

Pharos Direct Print has been updated with several enhancements to enhance security and administrative experience: 

  • A new Direct Print dashboard enables administrators to visualize key Direct Print metrics to provide insights needed to optimize direct printing. ​ 
  • Encrypted communications for Windows drivers enable organizations to support zero trust security principles 
  • Print queue-level permissions enhance administrative control over employee direct printing 
  • Ability to define multiple IP ranges per location improves the location-based printing experience ​  

Secure Scanning enhancements 

This release builds on Pharos Cloud’s secure scanning capabilities by adding: 

  • Delegated permissions for scanning to O365, which enhances security by providing individual users with the ability to control who accesses their SharePoint or OneDrive 
  • SharePoint as a new scan destination to expand user workflows—previously supported destinations include email, Network Folder, and OneDrive 
  • 11 new languages improve the end user scanning experience for global organizations 

Support for cloud-connected printer models to drive IT productivity  

This release expands Pharos Cloud’s manufacturer support for cloud-connected printer models to support Ricoh and Konica Minolta devices that can communicate directly with the Internet. Cloud-connected printers enable organizations to move the Pharos Cloud Site Service to the cloud—driving IT efficiency, and increasing scalability, redundancy, and uptime. 

For a complete list of new features in the Pharos Cloud 3.6 release, please refer to the release notes. 

The Print Security Landscape, 2023 Report by Quocirca

The Print Security Landscape, 2023 report by Quocirca

Quocirca’s Global Print Security Landscape 2023 report highlights continuous security challenges for organisations, with 61% experiencing at least one print-related data breach in the past year. By delving into this report, readers can gain comprehensive insights into the evolving landscape of print security, including understanding the discrepancies between key stakeholders’ perspectives, which is instrumental in developing effective strategies to strengthen their own organization’s print security and mitigate potential risks.

Access the Report

What’s New with the Pharos Cloud 3.6 Release

What’s New with the Pharos Cloud 3.6 Release

Watch the webinar recording as Jim Lancer, Head of Product Management, and Brad Nelson, Solution Architect, share our vision for Pharos Cloud and demonstrate key enhancements with the latest Pharos Cloud release. Watch this session to learn how you can take advantage of the latest updates, including:

  • Direct Print updates that enhance security and administrative control
  • Secure scanning updates that enhance security and user experience
  • New manufacturer support for cloud-connected printers to eliminate on-premises components
  • And more!

A New Horizon for Pharos: Navigating the Future of Innovation

Exciting changes are underway at Pharos. Starting this week, I’m stepping into the role of CEO, a move that comes at a critical moment for our industry.

Kevin Pickhardt—a visionary leader who has helped guide Pharos into an era of innovation and top-tier enterprise solutions—is transitioning into the role of Executive Chairman. In this capacity, he’ll remain involved with Pharos, focused on deepening our strategic partnerships, nurturing customer relationships, and exploring new enterprise opportunities. 

Gavin Drake has also joined the Pharos leadership team as our Chief Marketing Officer. Gavin comes to us with over 25 years of B2B software marketing experience, including CMO roles at two other Spotlight Equity portfolio companies. He brings with him a proven track record of scaling global operations and creating growth opportunities.

Leading the shift toward a digital workplace

Since introducing the Pharos Cloud platform in 2013, Pharos has evolved beyond traditional print management solutions to become a leader in cloud technology, user experience, and cybersecurity. We’re not just adapting to the next big thing—we’re driving it. And I’m honored to help complete our evolution and be at the forefront of this transformation. 

There is a growing urgency for global businesses to modernize their IT infrastructure in order to complete their transition to a digital workplace. This transition isn’t just a trend, it’s a business imperative. While more employees are returning to the office, it’s a different office than the one they left three years ago, and our systems and tools must adapt. 

Legacy systems can be a significant roadblock to agility, scalability, competitive advantage—and even security. According to leading IT market research and advisory firm IDC, 41% of organizations state that improved enterprise security is the top objective of IT modernization**. 

In an era where speed, security, and digital employee experience (DEX) are crucial, an organization’s IT infrastructure—including its print infrastructure—shouldn’t hold it back.  Even so, print infrastructure is often overlooked, despite its inherent cybersecurity risks and impact on the employee experience. In fact, we estimate that less than 15% of enterprises have modernized their IT print infrastructure and moved it to the cloud. 

Those who have migrated to the cloud are reaping its benefits: streamlined administration, reducedor reallocatedIT spend, data-driven decision-making, and a more secure environment. As we continue to invest in our solution, I am confident Pharos will become the first choice not only for enterprises but for every organization looking to modernize their IT infrastructure with secure, effortless cloud print management.

Elevating the customer experience

Our commitment isn’t just to groundbreaking technology; it’s to an exceptional customer experience—both in the product itself and in the services that support our customers. Earlier this year we refined our Professional Services offerings to make the deployment of our solutions easier, faster, and more efficient for customers to access than ever before. We’ve launched a new Customer Success team, and have reinforced our global support organization to offer 24/7 support to more customers. 

Changes like these are the driving force behind our recent double-digit new bookings growth and our successful expansion into some of the world’s largest companies, including top financial institutions and tech giants.

Charting the path forward

Over the next few months, my focus will shift toward aligning our internal strategies, followed by a U.S-based tour to connect directly with our valued customers and partners.

To paraphrase my predecessor, Kevin, “These leadership shifts align perfectly with our dual objectives: capitalizing on the network and strategic advantages we’ve built over the years, and stepping boldly into an exciting future.” I couldn’t agree more.

Stay tuned for more significant developments as we continue to shape the future of cloud print technology!

New Pharos Cloud 3.5 release enhances IT efficiency

Pharos is excited to announce the new release of Pharos Cloud, the cloud-native print management and optimization platform proven to meet the scalability, security, and high-uptime requirements of large, global enterprises. ​Pharos Cloud is designed to support the complexity of large enterprises and migrates print infrastructure to the cloud to drive IT productivity, enhance security, and enable employees with convenient and intuitive printing wherever they work—and the Pharos Cloud 3.5 release is no exception. Key updates with this release include:    

Enable user self-service with a new End User Portal 

The new release introduces an End User Portal to help reduce the burden on IT staff. From the portal, users can easily generate passcodes for Secure Release and manage their Secure Release print jobs (upload, delete, change settings). By empowering users to manage their printing online, IT staff can focus on more critical tasks.  

IPv6 support for Pharos Insights and Direct Print 

Due to the proliferation of connected devices, many large enterprises are running out of IPv4 addresses. This release adds IPv6 support for Direct Print and Pharos Insights, allowing for more unique IP addresses required by global organizations.  

Enhanced usability and setup for Secure Scanning 

The Secure Scanning capability of Pharos Secure Release has been enhanced with the 3.5 release to improve administrative and end user experience. Administrators can now unlock the scan-to-email “TO:” field to allow users scan to an email address associated with an email address other than themselves, such as a fax provider. In addition, Administrators now have the ability to configure Scan-to-Network Folder directly from the Administrator web console.  

Truly “universal” print driver built on IPP Everywhere™ for Secure Release 

Previously available with Pharos Direct Print, Pharos is enabling our truly “universal” print driver built on the IPP Everywhere™ standard for Pharos Secure Release. Traditionally, most “universal” print drivers offer only basic functionality with users often experiencing variations in performance and compatibility issues depending on the manufacturer. Based on the open standard developed by the Printer Working Group, Pharos’ print driver is more capable than traditional “universal” print drivers by providing a consistent experience and behavior across most printer manufacturers and devices available in the market today and allowing users to access and utilize a wider range of printer capabilities that have been defined within the IPP standard (i.e., paper size selection, stapling, N-up, etc.).  

Simplify driver deployment with location-based printing for macOS  

Back in January, Pharos simplified driver deployment and made it easier for employees to print to nearby printers by introducing location-based printing with Windows Print Scouts. This capability enabled administrators to automatically add or remove print queues based on the network location of the workstation. This latest release adds location-based printing capability to macOS—eliminating the need for Mac users to map to printers. 

New release naming convention  

With this 3.5.0 release, Pharos is also introducing a new naming convention for our Pharos Cloud releases to help you track different versions going forward. Previously, releases were simply identified by the month of the release (i.e., July Pharos Cloud release). With our new naming convention:  

  • The first digit represents the generation of our cloud platform where:  
    • Generation 1 represents our platform when it was only cloud-based analytics
    • Generation 2 represents our platform with the addition of secure print workflows 
    • Generation 3 represents the current generation of our platform since the introduction of Direct Print last spring (March 2022) 
  • The second digit represents the release increment within the generation—this is the 5th Pharos Cloud release since the introduction of Pharos Direct Print last March    
  • The last digit (if needed) provides flexibility to communicate a hot fix or patch 

For a complete list of new features in the Pharos Cloud 3.5 release, please refer to the release notes. 

What’s New in July with the Pharos Cloud 3.5 Release

Pharos Cloud 3.5 Release

Watch the webinar recording as Pharos Product Manager Swati Agarwal demonstrates what’s new in the latest Pharos Cloud release. We encourage you to watch this session to learn about Pharos Cloud enhancements that will help your organization drive IT efficiency and end user experience, including:

  • An End User Portal enabling user self-service
  • IPv6 support for Direct Print and Pharos Insights
  • Improved usability and setup for Secure scanning
  • Pharos’ truly “universal” print driver built on the IPP Everywhere™ standard for Secure Release
  • Simplified driver deployment for macOS with location-based printing
  • And more!

Pharos Insights Technical Overview

Pharos Insights Technical Overview

Printing is often a large, uncontrolled expense for organizations, especially those taking a decentralized approach to print. When individual offices, departments, or divisions are responsible for managing their own print—purchasing devices as they see fit, and managing supplies and maintenance—IT often doesn’t know what print devices are out there, much less understand the true cost of printing across the enterprise.

Pharos Insights is an analytics platform built on Pharos Cloud, a cloud-native print management and optimization platform designed to reduce the complexity of managing print for large enterprises. It provides the clarity and actionable intelligence needed by organizations to optimize their print environment and identify opportunities to reduce costs. Download the Pharos Insights Technical Overview to learn how it works.

Read the Technical Overview

Pharos Secure Release Technical Overview

Pharos Secure Release: Technical Overview

Pharos Secure Release enables a print workflow that enhances document security, reduces overall print costs, and lowers environmental impact by requiring users to authenticate at the device to release submitted print jobs.

With Pharos Secure Release, employees submit print jobs from a workstation or mobile device on any network (company, home, public, cellular, etc.) to a single cloud-based print queue and release the print jobs at any Pharos-secured print device on the company network by authenticating at the device.

A cloud-based secure print workflow reduces waste and data leakage through print by preventing documents from being left abandoned at the printer or picked up before the user can retrieve them.

Download the Pharos Secure Release Technical Overview to learn how it works.

Read the Technical Overview