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IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: How to Optimize IT Operations and End User Productivity with Endpoint Print Management

August 20, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Henning Volkmer, President and CEO of ThinPrint Inc. and Cortado Inc.

In this interview we cover current trends in end-user computing, endpoint management, digital transformation and how they impact IT operations and user experience.

Henning Volkmer, CEO of ThinPrint, discusses how printing remains a crucial piece of IT services as the easiest to use human interface to digital applications.

  • Q: To start, let’s talk about printing being the easiest to use human interface to digital applications. What is the significance? And, is printing really worth the effort?

A: Printing is absolutely worth the effort. There is no better way to make information universally accessible and preserve it over time. Anyone who’s able to read knows how to interact with a printed document. In fact, data shows that a vast majority of people prefer printed books over eBooks.

It is the IT organization’s job to innovate to enable users to do their jobs as well and efficiently as possible. Giving them the opportunity to quickly, securely and reliably print a document when they need to is a critical part of our work. That doesn’t mean that we can’t try to reduce cost by eliminating wasteful printing, but we need to do that as part of a comprehensive print strategy that allows users to print when they need to.

  • Q: What are some of the most common print challenges you see among your customers?

A: We’re seeing four primary areas that our customers are looking for help with:

- High costs of equipment and supplies
- High cost of environment management
- Lack of reliability and performance
- Lack of support for innovative use

  • Q: How do you address these challenges?

A: At VMworld 2018 we’re introducing a new way of looking at enterprise printing: Endpoint Print Management.

Endpoint Print Management is the flexible provisioning and secure management of printing on different devices, referred to as endpoints, with a single solution. Classic desktops, laptops and servers, as well as mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, can all be considered endpoints. We want to show enterprises how printing can be more effectively centralized around these endpoints.

There is a strong upswing in the adoption of Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) systems. These systems benefit companies, IT administrators and end users by simplifying tasks, providing high-level security and offering enterprise-wide compliance. Endpoint Print Management is complementary to UEM. By adopting Endpoint Print Management, enterprises enable a higher level of business innovation on many levels.

For example, mobile printing solutions, like ThinPrint Mobile Print, can be seamlessly integrated with UEM partners, such as MobileIron, VMware Airwatch and Citrix, to simplify the assignment of printer profiles to mobile users. And, because corporate printing often deals with highly sensitive information, ThinPrint’s personal pull-print applications can also be distributed and securely managed with an existing UEM solution.

In addition, remote sites and branch offices present extra printing challenges due to dispersed geographic locations. These environments are time consuming and expensive for IT to manage. This is why it is important to have a solution, such as ThinPrint Hub, to provide a dedicated print endpoint at each location to connect printers at the site to the cloud, allowing for central management and connectivity.

Just like UEM systems, Endpoint Print Management is centrally managed to allow a Function-as-a-Service style deployment for both private and public cloud scenarios to provide users with the simplest and most comprehensive experience. It also allows IT to be in full control and maximize overall efficiency while minimizing time and cost spent to provide printing to users.

In many real-world scenarios there is a strong need for a hybrid solution, such as ThinPrint’s cloud service ezeep. In these situations it is often ideal for printing to be managed and routed in the cloud, while simply connecting to the existing print infrastructure. When an organization migrates all printing and its management to the cloud, it allows centralized administration for each endpoint to simplify the whole process.

  • Q: Can you give us a few real-world examples of customers using Endpoint Print Management to become more efficient?

A: A large, cutting-edge, global manufacturing organization decided to equip their sales organization with iPads that connect to a virtual desktop. The goal was to increase mobility, optimizing customer interaction and lowering maintenance needs. This customer implemented ThinPrint Mobile Print to allow its sales team to print to any AirPrint enabled printer out in the field to deliver necessary documents to their customers in real time.

Another example is a large-scale health network that eliminated VPNs between the main organization’s IT and several hundred affiliated doctors offices and clinics. Applications, including Epic electronic health records and healthcare management, are delivered via virtual desktop solutions, while many of the documents printed come from a data center, often at night as backup for the next day in case an Internet connection is not available at the clinic. ThinPrint Hub established a secure tunnel from the clinic to the data center to enable secure, encrypted, reliable delivery of all documents needed at the clinic.

  • Q: You’ve mentioned innovation as one of the key factors, what does the future hold in the world of printing?

A: ThinPrint’s Endpoint Print Management and its integration with Unified Endpoint Management is a new concept that is taking off in the industry. However, the innovation that is truly important is the kind that customers can experience for their businesses when they use solutions to connect new ideas to a critical, tried and true function. For example, changing, more dynamic workplaces are being connected to print services via the cloud, expensive, complex VPNs can be eliminated for remote sites and mobile application can offer the full range of features users expect.


volkmer 150x150 IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: How to Optimize IT Operations and End User Productivity with Endpoint Print Management

Henning Volkmer is the president and CEO of ThinPrint Inc. and Cortado Inc. He drives the execution of ThinPrint’s strategy as the leading provider of print management software and services for businesses across the Americas. Volkmer has been at the forefront of technology trends for the past seventeen years, helping to shape both the future of desktops, as well as printing. In addition to holding various positions within the Cortado group, Volkmer served as part of a project team focused on reducing costs in the network infrastructure division with what is now Nokia Networks. Under Volkmer’s direction, ThinPrint brand has increased its lead as the premier print management software, optimizing printing from traditional PCs, mobile devices, thin clients, virtual desktops, or from the cloud for over 25,000 companies across all industries and of all sizes.

Originally from Berlin, Volkmer currently resides in Denver.


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