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Printoscope is an advanced network solution for:

* Monitoring the quantity and cost of printouts produced by local and network printing devices

* Safe printing, which enables to introduce access authorization for printouts created by individual persons

* Authorization of access to printing/copying devices by means of codes and PIN codes or card readers in many different standards

* Archiving printed documents along with the possibility to view their content according to clearly specified authorization

* Management of the printing process, among other things, by introducing a mechanism for follow-me printing, which enables to receive a given work on a selected device under a specified group

* The provision of copying and printing functionalities in the prepaid system, providing the opportunity to manage printouts and funds on an account via a dedicated website

* A detailed reporting of information gathered by cross combinations that can be used for further analysis and optimization of customers’ printing systems


Printoscope system comprises several cooperating modules which fulfill different functions:

- Printoscope Cost Control (PCC) – monitoring, collection, administration and presentation of data

- Printoscope Terminal Server (PTS) – the authorization for access to printing devices and follow-me-printing

- Printoscope Printouts Repository (PPR) – archiving and previewing the printouts content

- Printoscope Pre Paid (PPP) – prepaid copying and printing system

Monitoring

Printoscope system collects all information about documents that are printed in the company. The administrator defines the cost of copying, color and black and white printout, and the cost of the paper to be used during printing for each printing device. At the stage of Printoscope system configuration the administrator maps company’s organizational structure and assigns employees according to it. As a result, Printoscope allows to specify the costs generated by a given organizational unit. For companies which operate a system of cost settlement these data can be used to charge a given organizational unit. By contrast, in companies not engaged in such records it enables the head of the cell to control these costs.

Printoscope provides information about printers that are overloaded, underloaded or generating the highest costs, which allows the optimization of printing costs generated by a given device. In addition, it allows better planning of supplies purchasing.

Individuals and departments may have set monthly costs or printouts number limits. When an employee exceeds a given limit, Printoscope automatically sends a notice about this fact to specified individuals. This mechanism allows an accurate planning of the printing costs for the entire company. Printoscope also provides information about employees who generate costs different from the average, allowing to detect a potential fraud in the company.

Obtaining information about the status of multifunction devices is one of the functionalities of the Printoscope Cost Control module. It is performed by the SNMP scanner. It allows to search the network for devices that can communicate by means of SNMP. The SNMP scanner can also monitor the status of selected network devices by reading the contents of counters stored by the device as well as automatically and periodically register device counters in the database.

Printoscope system allows to monitor printouts created on the LAN network and devices directly connected to the computer.  It supports most popular operating systems such as MS Windows, Novell NetWare 4 – 6, printouts from the CUPS and LP print systems (on systems from the UNIX, Linux, Solaris and AIX families). Monitoring printouts in operating systems other than those listed above is possible but requires additional testing and analysis.

Thanks to Printoscope Desktop Authorization (PDA) the Printoscope system enables the users identification in environments where there is no domain controller and the uniqueness of logins is not provided. PDA allows you to organize the printing environment, gives unambiguous identification of the printing user and ensures an appropriate classification of costs.


Data confidentiality and safety

Authorized access to printing and copying functions is possible by means of Printoscope software integrated with the device control panel or through Printoscope Terminals (PT) – physical devices placed directly on the printers or multifunction devices (MFP). In order to access the device, the user has to confirm his/her identity by means of a proximity card or by entering a PIN code on the device control panel or the keyboard of the terminal. Thanks to this solution, by means of printouts monitoring the printouts will be calculated accurately and they will not fall into wrong hands.

Both the software built into the machine and Printoscope Terminal may cooperate with any external identifying/authorizing device. Printoscope integrates with proximity card readers of the following standards: UNIQUE, MIFARE, HITAG, INDALA, HID, ATS GE Security’s, Cotag. It is also possible to connect another type of reader, both in the version to be built inside or outside the device by means of a dedicated connector. These may also be magnetic card readers or other external authorizing devices.

Confidentiality is achieved through an appropriate flow of information. The user who creates a printout on his computer sends its contents to the Printoscope Terminal Server and not directly to the printing device. Then he/she makes for any system-operated printer, confirms his/her identity with a proximity card and by means of the panel or PT selects the printout he/she created on his computer before. After this operation, the printout content is directed from the Printoscope Terminal Server to the selected printing device and the document is printed.

Follow-me printing

One of the important elements improving printing comfort is to apply the follow-me printing mechanism. It allows the employees to perform all printouts on a single, specially configured system print queue, and to collect them at any of all the company’s printers. Follow-me printing system can be used as an independent solution, but can also be integrated with the Printoscope Cost Control (PCC).

Facilities

The dedicated graphic tool enables the management of printers, queues and users configuration and conferring special powers upon them. Modifying the configuration is available only for an authorized user. Graphical administrator interface allows to manage printouts queues. Selected printouts can be reviewed and cancelled.

Archiving and monitoring of the printouts content

Printoscope Printouts Repository module enables to archive and view the content of printed documents. Printouts created by the users are archived in the repositories in the same form as they were originally sent to the printing device (RAW files). The system controls many repositories which are accessed from the Printoscope Management Console of the Printoscope Cost Control module.

Printouts deduplication reduces the size of the stored repositories by eliminating repeated data. Printouts are stored in an encrypted form. The PPR module uses the AES and RSA encryption algorithms, which ensure the safety of potentially confidential contents of the printouts. The content of printouts can be viewed only by direct managers of printout executors assigned according to clearly specified authorization. Monitoring printouts by means of the PPR module gives a 100% control over the printed information.

Prepaid printing and copying provision

Thanks to the Printoscope Pre Paid module, the system allows to use the copying and printing functionalities in a prepaid system. Users can access copying devices directly by means of proximity cards and send their work for later printing via dedicated website. A user can add printouts to his/her system account and control available funds via web interface. The user can view and modify the list of works waiting to be printed, access the top-ups history, the printing history and a current balance of his/her account directly from a web browser. The module enables the parameterization of the printouts before printing and allows to assess printing costs of the documents in advance.

Reporting and Analysis

A reporting mechanism, designed for people involved in the analysis and costs settlement, is an integral part of the PCC module. There is a set of dozens of predefined reports which allow to obtain data for a selected period of time. You can highlight the reports associated with the users, printers, printouts types and formats or organizational units, which enables a quick access to the required information. The generated report can be printed or saved to a file (export to html, csv, pdf, xls) for the subsequent use of data in another system. In addition to the tabular presentation of data, selected reports can be provided in a graphical form. In case of a company-paid service, the Solutio4Office Company commits itself to prepare any additional reports without charging additional fees!

Thanks to the Printoscope system you can monitor the printing process in full, which will increase safety and reduce costs.