Data Collection with PrintAvant15 May, 2009 By: Editorial Staff imageSource
Data Collection with PrintAvant
A software company that was drawing much attention at this year’s ITEX show was PrintAvant. PrintAvant is a division of MicroWorks, Inc., headquartered in Boise, ID. The software’s purpose is to offer a simple and economical way for remote monitoring of printers, copiers and
MFPs. PrintAvant applications provide data collection and reporting.
Joel Gyllenskog, president of MicroWorks, Inc., knows something about collecting printer data. Fifteen years ago he was the chairman of the Printer Working Group. This committee was composed of dozens of representatives from companies that produced printers. After two years
of meetings the committee published the Printer MIB. The Printer MIB provides the backbone for printer management using SNMP. Almost all network printers and most digital copiers support SNMP.
Several software products exist for monitoring and reporting printer utilization. Most of these run on external servers and require outside access to the local network.
Joel said, “In discussions with potential clients, we discovered many of them are concerned about security and are unwilling to poke holes in their firewalls. This is especially critical for banks and government agencies.
Dealers are also concerned about the security of data collected about their customers. Our dealers consider their customer base to be their greatest asset. They do not want other companies to have access to their customer’s information. That includes the companies that
supply the software.” PrintAvant addresses these key security issues.
The PrintAvant Collector runs on a server or PC on the customer’s LAN. Any device that can be reached for printing can be reached to collect status and counts. When an organization decides to manage their own printing, that information is loaded by PrintAvant Administrator
into a data base on a local server. From there reports are generated showing printer usage and status.
For dealers that wish to monitor their customers’ usage, the information is sent to the PrintAvant Administrator running on the dealer’s server. The data is not exposed to potentially prying eyes.
All around our communities more organizations are struggling and cutting back on expenses. Every business, every agency, every group is looking for ways to save money. A moderate size organization can easily spend more than a million dollars a year on printing costs.
Knowing where that money is being spent is the first step in controlling printing costs.
PrintAvant shows how many black and white pages and how many color pages are printed on each device. A single report shows the pages by month for each device over the past 6 months. Many products in this area charge users a fee for each device monitored or for each page
PrintAvant does not charge ongoing fees either by device or by page. Consequently it appeals to customers with limited budgets.