A virtual appliance that streamlines complex printing environments and secures mobile enterprise printing has been introduced by Novell South Africa.
Novell iPrint uses the industry standard internet printing protocol (IPP) to provide instant global access to printing resources via a web browser. Users are able to to find a printer on a graphical office map, download drivers and create the printer on their Mac, Windows or Linux workstations.
“They can send documents to the printer from any application on the desktop,” says Novell Partner Executive Stephan van der Merwe. “The appliance delivers true self-service and users can add printers whenever they wish without an administration login.”
The Novell iPrint solution does not require any new hardware and employees can use their existing internet connections to print documents to remote printers. Auditing capabilities are included and the software works with a variety of third party accounting programmes, enabling the company to charge departments for their printing and apply “green” initiatives to reduce waste.
“iPrint simplifies the printing process, reducing the need to use the help desk and as a small virtual appliance it also saves time for IT staff as it can be uploaded into the system in minutes. Printing usually needs drivers to convert documents into printer-ready language and some vendors use use cloud services to convert documents from mobile devices.
“However, the mobile capabilities of iPrint do not require the sending of documents through the cloud or use specific hardware. Avoiding the cloud means iPrint is significantly more secure than other options. The current infrastructure can be used so that vendor lock-in is avoided and iPrint has its own rendering and conversion capabilities to receive print jobs from a variety of mobile sources.”
For Apple users who usually need an Air-Print enabled printer, Novell iPrint is able to make a company’s current printers Air-Print capable and visible to users of iPhones, iPads and other Apple devices without even having to install an app.
“Users of iOS and Android mobile devices can download apps that allow them to print to any of their company’s printers from wherever they may be as they can use the ‘open in’ or ‘share with’ capabilities in the phone or tablet to print from their mobile applications to an iPrint printer,” adds van der Merwe.
All of the basic print screen specificationscan be adjusted through a simple user friendly touch-screen interface.
Where email is concerned, users are able to print from any email enabled device by sending the email to iPrint. Administrators can set up a single email address for the organisation’s printing or one for each printer as well as set up white lists and other controls to increase the security of the mobile emali-based printing, ensuring that iPrint processes only relevant print jobs.
“Novell iPrint integrates its data store with the user’s identity directory . Working with lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) sources such as eDirectory and Active Directory, iPrint is able to authenticate users to increase the security of of printing operations. It is also able to autheticate users through the next generation of identity services, including social identities, Apple ID or a Google profile. So, no matter what mobile device an employee is using, iPrint authentication will keep the organisation’s information secure.”