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UK schools need updated printer fleets

June 15, 2016

Meridian_Print_FleetMPS provider Annodata stated that the benefits of bring your own device (BYOD) “can’t be achieved without updated print estates”.

The company stated that there is a “rising BYOD trend in schools, with a growing number adopting this initiative”, welcoming this trend because “such schemes open up new opportunities for increased productivity and enhanced learning”. The research from RM Education found that 29 percent of UK secondary schools have allowed pupils to bring their own devices to school as part of BYOD schemes, with those considering it increasing from 22 percent to 26 percent in two years.

Despite this, Annodata “warned that BYOD initiatives to be matched with appropriate document management and print estates if the benefits are to be fully realised”, with Marketing Director Joe Doyle noting that benefits require print estates being “brought up to date, given the central role the printed page maintains in today’s education sector”.

He added: “BYOD and mobile devices have the potential to significantly increase engagement and make it easier for students to transfer work, collaborate and ultimately learn. But in our experience many of these mobility drives are being hamstrung by a lack of mobile printing. It’s all very well equipping students and staff with new devices, but unless documents can be accessed efficiently, when and where they need them, any productivity gains to be had from mobility and BYOD schemes will be lessened.

“Print is still an essential part of the IT estate, so it’s important that it keeps pace with the growing transformation that’s taking place in schools, like the trend towards BYOD. Students want to print from their tablets or mobile phones onto university or college printers/MFDs, but there’s been reluctance from IT directors to want to allow those devices on their network.

“An increased number of personal devices can result in security and data protection risks, as they can cause increased complexity when it comes to determining which devices are accessing which systems and data. However, that’s where a number of clever software solutions come in, allowing staff and students to print easily and securely from their mobile devices.

“A number of schools are at the start of their digital journey and the potential for the education sector to adopt new digital processes and technology is clearly there. But, as many of these institutions don’t have large IT teams, they need the help of suppliers for the appropriate guidance. Ensure a provider is chosen that has invested in their processes, infrastructure and support network.

“By working with the correct cloud print provider, a simple yet essential process can be migrated to a future-proof and scalable platform, and provided back to the client as a true managed service from start to finish. Furthermore, the right provider can offer the ability to build sophisticated student billing infrastructures, so that costs relating to mobile printing by students can be re-charged to the student (if appropriate) to prevent spiralling costs.”

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