The Beginner's Guide to Follow Me Printing

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When you started using a computer, one of the first things you probably learned was how to print. Most of us hit Control + P or File > Print and run to the nearest device to grab our documents before someone else mistakenly takes them or messes up your pages.

Guess what? There is a better way.

Follow Me printing (or Find Me printing, depending on your software) is the smartest way to manage your printing environment. It not only makes your life easier but could save your business a lot of money.

What is Follow Me Printing?

Follow Me printing is a network print queue that does not automatically route pages to a specific printer. A print job is held and does not print until you authorize its release at the network printer of your choice.

Sometimes referred to as cloud printing, Follow Me printing works because end users submit jobs to a common network queue and pages don’t release until they’re ready to collect them. Users must authenticate themselves at the device with a PIN number, username, password, magnetic swipe card or RF proximity card. Different individual access rights can also be granted. Documents are only released when physically standing in front of the device with proper authentication.

This means less waste, fewer lost documents and less chance of someone intercepting your confidential information. 

Follow Me Printing Use Case 

To see why the Follow Me approach is so important, consider the case of Wisconsin Lutheran College, which had no print management solution in place before working with Gordon Flesch Company. That meant some documents were sent multiple times, piling up on devices and leading to waste and frustrated users. The school wanted a solution to provide print and copy services to students, track and manage usage, and recover the costs as part of each student’s tuition.

The Gordon Flesch Company team was able to integrate uniFLOW print management software with the school’s student ID badges and the campus Microsoft Active Directory. Each student’s individual printing and scanning activities were linked to their personal account. The Follow Me swipe-to-release function cut paper usage in half almost immediately.

Suddenly, there were no more backed up devices, and the school saw huge savings. It also meant students’ accounts would be debited only when documents were released, saving them money as well. 

A Must-Have for Print Security 

If you’ve ever had to print to a shared device, you know how difficult it is to ensure documents don’t end up in someone else’s hands. Most of us do the print-and-sprint strategy; you press Control + P and run to grab your sensitive information before anyone sees it.

Keeping student, patient or client information confidential helps ensure compliance with numerous regulations like the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Since Follow Me printing requires authentication at the device, printing and sprinting becomes a thing of the past. Providing secure access to devices ensures that confidential documents don’t end up in the wrong hands

How to Set Up a Follow Me Printer 

Depending on the type of devices, you may be able to leverage built-in security functions to set up Follow Me features on individual machines. Larger organizations may need a more advanced solution where documents are stored in a central server until someone releases the job. The network will recognize your location and move jobs from the database storage to the device you use.

An easier solution is to leverage the experts at Gordon Flesch Company. We’ve implemented Follow Me printing for hundreds of organizations across the Midwest. Talk to us today if you would like to find out if this highly effective technology is right for you. And don’t forget to access our helpful Guide to Print Security below. 

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