Canisius to get new printers

By Robert Creenan
Griffin Reporter

No longer will the student population face off with quirky printers as they rush to hand in last-minute assignments. While most will continue to turn in these hot-off-the-press papers, none need to worry about runny ink lines or the failure of their all-nighter research assignments to print all together. Thanks to student pressure channeled through the efforts of Joe Lesh, Undergraduate Student Association Senator and Liaison to ITS, students will be able to continue the bad habit of last minute work with better efficiency than ever before.

Over the course of this school year, every single on-campus printer will be replaced with brand new Xerox and HP printers. The process will be carried out in two phases, the first with all the faculty offices getting replaced by the end of November and all the student and public spaces being replaced over winter break.

Lesh says that the new printers will be an upgrade. “They’ll be faster, have more capacity, and more will be color-capable,” Lesh said. “The main difference is that it will have a cloud-based server from Followme printing, where students can upload their print jobs onto the campus server instead of specific printers, and then they could print that from anywhere on campus over a 3-day period. You also have to install the program onto your personal computer or any other device for it to work there.”

Followme states that their services allow their users to be on the move, print securely from any mobile device or tablet and remove any geographic boundaries. They work with IT businesses all around world, like Xerox, Ricoh, Lexmark, Oki, and Toshiba and also provide printing services like business intelligence, central management, and security.

“Right now,” Lesh said, “the only color printers on campus right now are in the library. Now more of the printers across campus will be color capable, though there will still be some black and white only ones.”

These printers are Multifunctional Devices, or MFD’s, a significant improvement over what we have now. All the printers we have now can only serve one function, whether that be photocopying, printing, or faxing. Now all the printers can perform various tasks with greater  efficiently, except the faculty printers which will be able to fax documents. Students will also no longer be charged extra for sending a color print job through a black and white printer.

The upgrade comes at a time where the school’s five-year printer lease with Comdoc, our printer supplier, is coming to an end, so a new contract was negotiated with new terms. Scott Clark, Director of ITS, said that since we’re getting an overhaul printer upgrade, we will be more efficient with the number of printers we have available. Of the 213 printers we have on campus currently, 82 will be removed. “We have data on printer usage across campus,” Clark stated. “So we could examine which areas are being overutilized or underutilized. Our previous contract had us overburdened with printers because we were worried about failures and paper jams. This new system takes care of that since if the printer you’re using in an office or lab is down, you can use another one nearby.”

“We can also move printers around to spaces we feel they will be best utilized,” Clark also said, as some of the social spaces he plans to put printers include the four main floors of Old Main and the first three floors of Lyons Hall. “Or we can just return them to Comdoc since they would be too much of a liability to us. These cost between $30,000-$50,000 each to purchase. So that’s why we prefer to lease them.”

ITS has made it a point that they are going to be more responsive with any issues that arrive with printers this time around. “Our previous lease had us being more reactionary to any issues that arise with the printers,” Clark said. “Once in the commuter lounge, there was a paper jam, and we didn’t respond to it for a week because nobody told us about it. That’s why we were putting up signage around the printers. Now we can remotely monitor what the toner and paper levels are and hopefully that will make us proactive to issues. We can’t fix something if we don’t know it’s broken.”

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