Opportunities for Improvement

There are several areas with opportunities for improvement that are being investigated.

The current printing model is extremely complex.

How complex? If you chart it out, it looks something like the image below.

Complex diagram showing components of current printing system

Why does this complexity matter?

Having a setup like this one has side effects that can make your printing experience less enjoyable.

  • Having a wide variety of printers makes them harder to support, meaning when one stops working, it can take longer to get going again. That leaves fewer printers to be shared among everyone trying to print.
  • Having a wide variety of printing rates at different departments means you might get surprised by the cost of a print job when you try printing at a new location.
  •  Numerous charging options require you to manage more accounts, and can be distracting when all you want to do is print your documents.
  • Finally, complex systems require more resources to support them, which means fewer resources for supporting other things you might need.

Here are some of the areas that are being evaluated and why:

Unit Client/ Desktop Applications Support complexity
Number of different client operating systems supported
  • 3 different client packages: Windows, Mac, Linux (Red Hat and Debian)
    Apple logo Debian logo  RedHat logo Windows logo
  • 1 supported out of the box, 2 require custom programming
Unit Printer Model Variety Support complexity
Number of different printer model variations in use and needing to be managed. Support level varies by department and can involve multiple vendors.
  • 71 different printer models from many manufacturers, including Konica, HP, Oce, Dell, Epson, Ricoh, and Xerox
User Printing Rates by Department Student experience/inequity and support complexity
Number of unique rate combinations per department required to maintain
  • 50 different unit/department rate combinations
Charging Options Student experience/inequity
Some departments offer allocations, some do not
  • 4 different charging options
  • Students may have 5 or more accounts to manage, including Bursar, personal (cash), and multiple course or department accounts