Central print solution halves support costs

Krämer IT Solutions

When IT consulting firms want to set up workstation-as-a-service projects in a terminal server environment, it is hardly economically possible anymore without a central print solution. The Saarland-based company Krämer IT Solutions had this experience.

Anyone looking for complete support in IT matters in Saarland, Germany, will quickly find Krämer IT Solutions. Founded in 1992, the IT consulting firm with headquarters in Eppelborn has nearly 100 employees today. The clientele extends across all industries and sizes of companies, from daycare centers to large freight forwarding companies. Companies can choose whether they want to operate their IT in-house and have it maintained by the IT consultants or hand over the hosting completely to Krämer’s own data center.

Even in small companies, the trend is increasingly toward the cloud, as Jan Dominik Lorenz observes. He is responsible for server, software and network support at Krämer. The fact that Microsoft has discontinued its Small Business Server and at the same time Saarland has invested heavily in expanding broadband in recent years is not bad news for the growing interest in data center services.

Terminal server projects without ThinPrint are not economical

Whether in the cloud or on-premises – numerous customers of Krämer IT now prefer the IT concept of leaner workstations in a terminal server environment, virtualized via Microsoft HyperV. However, printing is always the Achilles’ heel. Krämer IT has been using ThinPrint’s print solution for several years to ensure that its customers can continue printing without any problems even in a terminal server environment. Without it, you would have to install hundreds of printer drivers on the terminal servers because every printer is carried along via RDP as a redirected printer. Jan Dominik Lorenz says, “The administrative effort would be immense and setting up centrally managed local workstation environments would not be economically viable for us.” For the IT consulting firm, the print solution is therefore a must for implementing such workstation-as-a-service projects – ThinPrint as the economical choice!

60 percent less support costs

Krämer IT Solutions can prove this with hard numbers: related to the clients, implementing the solution leads to a reduction in support requests of nearly 30 percent. If you look at just the topic of printing, the support requests have dropped by almost 60 percent. Time that the IT consulting firm saves and can therefore use to provide other services for the customer.

Since 2011, the IT consulting firm has relied on the print solution. The first customer for whom Krämer IT set up a local terminal server farm was the logistics provider Adolf Peiffer GmbH. The numerous branches of the freight forwarding company operate in full terminal mode, i.e., all applications and data are obtained from the central server. When the printers are carried along as usual via RDP, this regularly leads to printing problems because the server lacks certain drivers.

Optimize maintenance agreements

Home office users who buy new printers for which the server then has no driver are particularly affected by this typical problem. At Adolf Peiffer, such cases represented a large part of the support volume. Because even as fast as the Krämer support team is, it can still take half an hour before the sought-after printer is found and its driver installed. “In light of that, ThinPrint was the non plus ultra solution,” says Jan Dominik Lorenz. Krämer IT installed the ThinPrint Engine on the terminal servers, the ThinPrint Client on the Windows computers. It routes the local printers directly to the server, where the Engine takes over the print job. This benefits both Krämer IT and the companies: the customers no longer have to contact support because of printing problems, and the IT consulting firm lowers maintenance costs and can thereby significantly optimize its maintenance agreements. Thus, the freight forwarding company is now only serviced in the 2nd level; Adolf Peiffer can solve most cases itself.

The fact that ThinPrint compresses the print data so much is especially beneficial for companies like Adolf Peiffer. Some of its field offices are still not blessed with too much bandwidth. With connections of only 20 Mbit in places, a low volume of data makes itself noticeable. Colleagues in the Leipzig branch no longer have to wait five minutes before the printer finally spits out the 100-page job.

Like the freight forwarding company, 28 on-premises companies with a total of just under 600 employees are currently using the print solution of their IT consulting firm. The solution works similarly in a data center operation. Krämer IT’s largest SaaS customer is a statewide daycare center with a total of 200 locations. In the past, every daycare center had its data on its own notebooks. Kramer IT’s task was to set up a central solution, i.e., to accomplish the complete system migration from local data storage to a secure data center environment.

Even simple, low-cost printers are recognized

Anyone who wants to work on the computer in a daycare center now connects with the full terminal at Krämer IT and initiates his print jobs from there: mandalas that children search for on Google, weekly meal plans, handouts for the parent evenings, scarlet fever warnings or announcements of upcoming field trips – the variety of content and format is wide. The IT consulting firm now operates around 20 terminal servers for the daycare centers, each equipped with the ThinPrint Engine; the ThinPrint Client is installed on the local notebooks. “The variety of printers in this environment is considerable,” marvels Jan Dominik Lorenz, “especially 50 € no-name devices are often used. Without ThinPrint, we would have to install all the software on the terminal server – and the wear and tear is major, new printers are constantly being added.” The customers’ reaction: once the Engine is set up, you can forget the printer.

Highest flexibility in procurement

No matter which new printer the daycare center puts in the office, the ThinPrint Engine recognizes it automatically. This is contrary to the purchasing behavior of the target group. Because, like almost everywhere in the education system, financial resources are tight in the daycare sector too, especially when it comes to hardware. So if they need a new notebook or a new printer is once again, they gladly snap up bargains at Media Markt, Saturn & Co. And it is likely that little attention is paid to high-priced devices with top of the line software or compatibility. It makes no difference to ThinPrint because the solution supports almost all models available on the market.

Krämer IT uses the ThinPrint Engine also for companies without a terminal server environment because printers can be assigned very easily with the software’s matrix function – a clever alternative to the group policies.