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 user 2009-07-17 at 2:52:34 pm Views: 43
  • #22461–printer-maker—1380
    Users need to save money and resources by printing less, but printer vendors want to sell more printers. There’s no conflict, says Graham Long of Samsung: it’s up to vendors to face the inevitable and lead the way.Any vendor selling sustainable printing faces a credibility issue. Companies get greener by using less power and less resources. In the printing arena, that means having fewer printers, and printing less. And obviously enough, printer vendors have always made more money by selling more printers and more consumables.Graham Long, vice president of Samsung’s European printing operation faces this one head on. “It’s not in our interest for customers to print less,” he admits, “but it’s our business to make a profit from what the customers want.”

    Printing is one fifth of your budget
    Printers may be cheap to buy, but they are costly to run, thanks to their consumables, so in an average organisation with more than 500 people, around one fifth of the IT budget goes on printing, Samsung believes. Cutting that budget is a big opportunity, and if customers want to print less, then Samsung wants be the one help them do that, says Long.”Broadly speaking, if you implement all the controls we offer, you are looking at cost savings of around fifteen to twenty percent,” he says.Samsung made laser printer engines for OEM partners since 1991, and only recently produced its own brand printers as well. This means it hasn’t got the old vendors’ addiction to selling more ink at any cost, and is more prepared to offer greener options, he says. “We don’t have the baggage the other vendors have,” he says.It’s already number two in Europe, by unit volume, for laser printers, and number one for A4 colour multi-function printers. It is not in the inkjet space, where vendors’ cartridge recycling schemes are open to criticism.”It’s about buying a solution now,” says Long. “Within the printing environment there are many software applications that allow users to gain control of their infrastructure.” These solutions operate a high-level management control, he says. So the accounting department may not need colour printing – though obviously many companies might want red ink at the moment.”You can put all these controls in, and companies are also implementing follow-me printing,” he says. “This eliminates waste.” A popular option from companies including Lexmark and HP, follow-me printing means documents are not printed until the user is present, so they don’t get left abandoned in print trays.”Before a person might have wanted a printer on their desk,” he says. “Now you look at the office, and say this whole group needs one multi-function printer, and three black-and-white single function devices.”Users need to save money and resources by printing less, but printer vendors want to sell more printers. There’s no conflict, says Graham Long of Samsung: it’s up to vendors to face the inevitable and lead the way.he big change is that now, printers are on the network, and include the copier and fax function (for those that still use fax) they are under the control of the IT department, and the costs are more visible: “Before, facilities owned a part of it – the copier – and IT owned a part of it – the printer,” says Long. “Now the IT department is in charge of the decisions, and that allows organisations to realise how much they are actually spending. If you have two relatively small amounts of money being spent, that doesn’t appear on the radar. If you bolt them together, everyone goes ‘Crikey!

    Taming uncontrolled printing
    “Over the last year, we’ve seen a trend,” he says. “Organisations have previously looked to save money through consolidation and rationalisation of their servers, their PCs and their storage. Now they are looking at print. And it’s an area that has grown within the organisation without any methodology.”"Historically, in most organisations, if someone wants to buy a single function device on their desk, they have gone out and bought it,” he says. This ad hoc strategy – or lack of strategy – has produced a nightmarish collection of consumables for multiple brands of printers: “With multiple manufacturers, you don’t get the best deal on each of the separate printers you buy.”All of which drives users to what Samsung wants – big contracts which effectively provide printing as a service from one vendor: “Put it together, and you get the economies of scale.” This high level approach includes aspects such as archiving documents, away from the office building.

    What’s in the printers?
    Despite this focus on software and control, Long is keen to say his printers are greener than other peoples’, of course. Samsung claims to have more printers certified to the stringent German Blue Angel environmental label than any other vendor on the planet, and also meets the US Energy Star requirements. As the company makes things from the component level up, it can keep leadership here, says Long: “We own the manufacturing process, start to finish.”.The differences here are likely to be small in a machine as standard as an inkjet, but they centre on keeping the device turned off as long as possible, and giving it a sleep mode that uses very little power. Samsung’s printers also print on both sides of the paper – although like other vendors, Long is well aware that this feature is only as good as the extent to which it is enforced amongst users.The company also operates the obligatory recycling scheme for its toner cartridges, under the acronym STAR (Samsung Takeback And Return). It also has a web tool called AnyWeb Print – like the one from HP – that clips content from web pages, to minimise the amount of printing.Overall, the big wins in printing are higher up the stack, he says. It’s management and control that will save both resources and money, and Samsung wants to be up with the leaders in that field.