The green side of managed print services

Summary:Managed print services are a great example of a good technology management practice that happens to have a green component. The latest example: A managed print services relationship between CA Technologies and Canon Business Solutions has helped the software company save more than 19 million pages of paper and 2.

Managed print services are a great example of a good technology management practice that happens to have a green component. The latest example: A managed print services relationship between CA Technologies and Canon Business Solutions has helped the software company save more than 19 million pages of paper and 2.5 million liters of water in roughly 20 months.

Under the relationship, CA has eliminated about one-third of the network-attached printer fleet that is previously managed, bringing the number of those devices to around 200.

Brett Prochazka, senior principal of facilities services for CA (note the non-IT title), says that green considerations were definitely a part of his company's original request for proposals. One major consideration was how to make things easy for CA employees. "If you make things difficult for an employee, they won't participate," he says.

According to Prochazka, one major factor in CA's ability to cut out all that paper waste was a feature Canon offers called "follow-me printing." So, when you sent a print job to a network-attached multifunction device, it won't actually physically print out until the person walks up to a machine, and swipes an ID card. (By the way, that's ANY machine; so you could print something in New York, get on a plane for a meeting in another corporate office, and print out your presentation when you arrive in that second location.) About 70 percent of jobs on a monthly basis default to two-sided or duplex printing.

When I asked about energy efficiency, the CA and Canon executives that I interviewed late last week didn't have specific metrics. But by eliminating close to 100 devices, CA has cut out a lot of older equipment that wasn't governed by the specs of the Energy Star program. The newer devices that CA is now using have sophisticated energy management features that use less energy in standby, and ensuring that energy management features remain turned on was an important component of the managed services contract, says Kristen Merry Von Manowski, enterprise advisor for business strategy with Canon Business solutions. "It is very easy to turn of Energy Star features," she says. "You really need to get the behavior of the end users in line with corporate strategy."

Topics: Printers, IT Employment, Outsourcing

About

Heather Clancy is an award-winning business journalist specializing in transformative technology and innovation. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. In a past corporate life, Heather was editor of Computer Reseller News. She started her journalism lif... Full Bio

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