Managed.IT - issue 65

13 Transforming processes As an example of how organisations are using Vasion to transform their processes, Hill references John Boner Neighbourhood Centers in Indianapolis, which as part of the Energy Assistance Program helps deliver grants to 15,000 low-income households in Marion County. It wanted to be able to deploy its employees throughout the county so that applicants could complete and sign forms in their neighbourhoods rather than having to go to a central location. To enable this, John Boner implemented a distributed document management system from Vasion that gives employees the ability to work on documents remotely on any device. This was so successful that in 2020, John Boner explained to the Mayor’s Office how the tools it uses for the delivery of the Energy Assistance Program could be used to deliver a Rental Assistance Program for residents who had seen their income slashed because of the pandemic. John Boner got the green light and asked Vasion to design and implement a solution in just six weeks. The process it came up with combined the automatic capture of data from printed forms and e-Forms filled in and e-signed on a mobile phone; workflow capabilities to route applications to the administrators responsible for application processing and signoff; and content management for document storage and retrieval. The productivity benefit of being able to change so quickly from a paper-based process with wet signatures to a digital form with e-signature during a time of Covid restrictions was vital to the success of the programme, which ultimately provided 14,000 families with rental assistance so that they could stay in their homes. Printer management Another key benefit of Vasion's platform is the opportunity it gives organisations to modernise their printing infrastructure and gain visibility of and control over both office print devices and production printers through what Hill calls ‘the next generation of print management’. Vasion’s cloud-enabled, serverless print management solution now used by 11,500 customers across 2,000,000 devices, automates printer driver management for every printer in an organisation, ensuring that employees can print to any printer in any location without having to call the helpdesk or manually download drivers. “With our cloud infrastructure, when I walk into an office, the software says do you want to print to such and such a printer? I click yes and the relevant print driver is automatically installed on my laptop or smartphone. I’m logged into the system. It knows who I am and what I’ve printed and that’s all stored in a central administrative console,” explains Hill. “For security reasons, we don’t send a print job from my laptop up to the cloud and back down again. All we do is send the metadata to the cloud, a little package of information. The print job stays local and only goes across the network in my office.” He says that this solution has four main benefits: n It enables organisations to manage all their print devices, in all their locations, including singlefunction and multi-function printers from any manufacturer; n Its automatic print driver management massively reduces printer-related support calls, boosting productivity, reducing the workload of the IT department and saving costs; n It removes the need for expensive on-premises print servers, saving money and energy, eliminating a potential security risk and reducing the IT support overhead; and n It enables organisations to use all the features of their print devices, because unlike print management solutions that use the same universal print driver for every device, which involves some loss of functionality, it uses each device’s native print driver. Because of its serverless architecture and ability to cover all printers, Vasion has traditionally been adopted by organisations with numerous branch offices that may not be covered by a central managed print service. “We've observed that less than 30% of the printing devices organisations have are under an MPS contract and that’s because the on-premises software they use doesn't extend to all their environments. One well known retailer, for example, had software to manage the 60 devices in its head office but nothing for the 4,500 devices in its 3,500 stores. Typically, an MPS provider won't want to manage devices in stores because each satellite location will require a server for on-premise printer management software; getting engineers to remote locations is challenging and costly; and small devices are unsuitable for a business model that is based on the number of pages going through a print device.” He adds that many customers that started out using Vasion for their remote locations are now using it to look after the printers in their central locations as well, because they want a single platform that can manage everything, from small, single function printers to production devices. The future is digital While printer management is still a huge opportunity for Vasion, Hill believes that in the future other elements within the platform will come to the fore as customers continue with their digital transformation. “From the start, our message has been ‘eliminate the print server’. In the future it could become ‘eliminate the printer’. Why do you need all these printers? You have a form? Well, why don't we give you an e-form rather than a printed form? We're going to move much more in that direction as we continue to develop and expand the platform.” To find out more about the Vasion platform and how it can help you transform your processes, please visit or call (+44) 0203 9003233. COVER STORY