Facing budget scrutiny, USDA adds managed print services

With its budget under review, the U.S. Department of Agriculture hires Lexmark for managed print services in a five-year deal worth $50 million.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded printing giant Lexmark this morning with a five-year, $50 million contract for agency-wide managed print services.

The USDA wants to save money -- what government organization doesn't? -- by streamlining its business processes. Enter Lexmark.

The deal comes with all the usual software and service goodies, including Lexmark's "Print Release" cloud-based management service, which allows employees to print from a mobile device, IT managers to track all the printing going on within the enterprise and the company to automatically purge forgotten print jobs.

That's good news for whoever at the USDA manages paper inventory.

As outgoing U.S. senator Herb Kohl said of the USDA earlier this month, "We...must make sure tax dollars are spent wisely. We must do more with less." (More reportage on this can be found here.)

Since IT tends to drive the most value within an organization, dollar for dollar, the Lexmark deal seems to a be a good way to save some money without making deeper cuts into the department's various programs.