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The Beginner's Guide to Follow Me Printing

Kelly Glaser
03/03/2021
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When you learned to use 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 printer to grab our printouts before someone else takes the wrong papers or messes up your pages.

Guess what? There is a better way.

Today, I will explain why Follow Me printing (or Find Me printing, depending on your software) is the smartest way to manage your print jobs. It will not only make your life easier but could save your business a lot of money.

What’s Easier Than Ctrl+P?

Follow Me printing is a network print queue that does not automatically route pages to a specific printer. Print jobs are held and do not print until you release the job at any one of the printers connected to the network.

Also known as cloud printing, it works because end users submit print jobs to a common network queue and pages don’t print until you are ready to collect them. Printing only happens when you authenticate yourself at the printer with a PIN number, username, password, magnetic swipe card or RF proximity card to release the print job when physically standing in front of the device.

This means less waste, less lost documents and less chance someone will intercept your confidential documents at the printer.

Why Should I Wait for My Print?

To see why Follow Me printing is such a powerful technology, consider the case of Wisconsin Lutheran College, which had no print management solution in place before working with GFC. That meant some print jobs were sent multiple times, piling up on printers 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 team was able to integrate uniFLOW managed print software, the school’s student ID badges and the campus Microsoft Active Directory. Suddenly, all printing and scanning functions were integrated with every student’s personal account. The Follow Me printing swipe to release function cut paper usage in half almost immediately.

Suddenly, there were no more backed up printers, there were no lines of people waiting for printers and the school saw a huge savings. It also meant students’ accounts would be debited only when prints were released, saving them money as well.

No More Print and Sprint

If you have ever had to print a confidential document or sensitive document to a shared printer, you know it is almost impossible to make sure it is secure. Most of us do the print and sprint strategy, which means you press the print key and run to grab it from the printer before anyone sees it. Even if you do get there in time, there is often a nosy co-worker looking over your shoulder.

Follow Me printing provides you with your own personal secure print queue that requires authentication at the printer, making printing and sprinting a thing of the past. Users can print from any device with the technology installed and are required to identify themselves to retrieve their documents. Different access rights can be granted for various functions depending on job role or other variables. By ensuring secure access to devices, confidential documents are kept out of the wrong hands.

Follow Me printing is a simple technology to deploy. Depending on the type of printers you use and the size of your organization, you may be able to use the built-in security functions to set it up on an individual machine. If you are a larger organization, you may need a more advanced print server solution. In this model, documents are stored in a central server, waiting for you to release the job. In this type of system, the networked service recognizes your location and moves your print jobs from the database storage the printer you are using.

The print experts at GFC have implemented Follow Me printing for hundreds of organizations across the Midwest. Talk to us today if you would like to find out if this simple but effective print technology is right for you.

Intro to Managed Print Services Guide CTA

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