Lexmark announced this morning that its enterprise-class Print Release service, which allows users to print documents from their workstation to a central holding queue, can now be hosted in the cloud through a software-as-a-service model.
Print Release works by pausing a printing job until the user is physically present at the device to pick it up; after a certain length of time, it purges the job.
The point is to introduce a layer of security -- that way Johnny Peeperson three cubes over doesn't see your department's financials -- as well as cut down on excess paper consumption.
A nice side effect is that it forces you to get in the habit of going to the printer for a job, ensuring that you won't leave that TPS report sitting in the tray as you're running to catch your next flight.
The cloud approach now allows IT administrators to scale Print Release without the need for additional infrastructure. (It also lets them track and manage documents across the enterprise.) Why so valuable? Because an increasingly mobile workforce makes it that much harder to ensure that printouts from a central printer land in the right hands.
(Unsurprisingly, Print Release can be used via Lexmark's Mobile Printing App for Apple iOS or Google Android. There's also a way for BlackBerry users to print.)
Enterprises will be able to choose between a traditional, on-premise deployment or a hosted service (via a subscription) basis. It makes the service more flexible as the company grows and contracts; it's also a nice way for Lexmark to ensure a steady stream of revenue, too.