Managed print customers stick with the basics

Vast majority of companies continue away from advanced functionality on newer printers

Despite the advantages often touted with managed print services (MPS) and close relationships with account managers, most companies fail to utilise the advanced functionality of the hardware they lease.

An IDC-conducted survey of 42 MPS customers serviced by HP found that while 91 per cent had activated their scan to mail functionality and 86 per cent had included duplex as a standard function for all printing, less than 40 per cent of users had activated N-up printing for further paper reduction. The N-up functionality on printers allows users to print up to four pages on the one A4 sheet.

A similar proportion of companies failed to utilise PIN-based printing as well, often used to stop confidential documents from printing while the user is away from the device. Swipe cards offer an alternative solution though one customer told Computerworld Australia that they had opted with multi-tray bins over PIN-based printing to save headaches in potential internal cultural change.

The IDC survey also found that less than ten per cent of companies proactively reduced paper wastage by using software to eliminate trailing pages during printing.

The survey of companies was conducted alongside HP’s annual Eco Solutions Printing Awards, which saw legal firm Allens Arthur Robinson, NSW TAFE and energy provider Synergy take out the top honours for best practice in sustainability around their printing activities. The three organisations were chosen from the 42 shortlisted companies and 11 finalists, and assessed on their dedication to sustainability in green IT.

While IDC research director of green IT & sustainability practice group, Philip Carter, commended all companies involved for various levels of sustainability practice, he said companies remained reluctant to disclose the performance of their measures in accordance with set goals.

“Only 20 per cent are disclosing their external performance against green goals so you can see a bit of disconnect there,” he said.

A separate survey of 200 IT and end-line companies found a larger proportion of Australian companies saw senior management lead the way in green IT sustainability measures as opposed to similar practice in other countries.