Pharmaceutical Wholesaler Benefits from the Rx for Fast, High-Availability Printing

JACOBY GM PHARMA

The pharmaceutical wholesaler Jacoby GM Pharma manages Citrix printing processes at its six sites with ThinPrint Engine and ThinPrint Hubs.

JACOBY GM PHARMA is an Austrian pharmaceutical wholesaler headquartered in Hallein, Salzburg. It has an additional 5 other locations throughout Austria. The 380 employees generated a turnover of approximately €370 million in 2017.

The entire IT environment at Jacoby GM Pharma is virtualized using Citrix solutions and is organized via the company’s own data center. When the company introduced Citrix many years ago, one weak point became apparent which was that the print output was slow.

“For example, when colleagues prepared a parcel for shipment, they had to wait 3 to 5 seconds for the printed label,” recalls Bernd Hirschlinger, a member of the IT department. “3 to 5 seconds doesn’t sound very much, but it matters with our large number of parcels. With ThinPrint, the waiting time was reduced to almost 0 seconds and data compression of documents is often 70 or 80%.”

At the end of 2012, the Citrix printing environment was set up with the ThinPrint Engine and all Citrix printing processes were transferred to a central print server in the company’s data center.

Initially, bandwidth and ThinPrint’s print data compression technology was an important factor for using ThinPrint, but then the solution was also used for printing in the data center, where there was plenty of bandwidth, Bernd Hirschlinger said.

“Management is simply better with ThinPrint.”

In spring 2016, ThinPrint Hubs were introduced to all branch offices. The device, launched by ThinPrint in 2016, complements the ThinPrint Engine. It connects printers in branch offices in an easy plug-&-play manner and without any IT know-how required on site. At Jacoby GM Pharma, two ThinPrint Hubs are used at each site to ensure high availability. If one ThinPrint Hub encounters an issue, the other simply takes over. However, this has not been necessary so far.

Bernd Hirschlinger said: “We’ve been using the ThinPrint Hubs for three years now and they have never once failed”.

The printers at Jacoby GM Pharma are rolled out automatically. “The administration of the print environment by the ThinPrint solution really is perfect,” says Bernd Hirschlinger, adding that management has been outsourced to a server. At the company, approximately 91,000 print jobs a month run via the ThinPrint solution. In addition to documents from the accounting department and normal Office documents, labels and freight documents are also printed. The controlling department uses the solution’s tracking component to evaluate printer utilization and print behavior.

Something that is still printed without a ThinPrint solution is the print volume from an ERP application developed in-house. Previously, this was streamed directly to the printers. But ThinPrint is also useful here, as in the future PDF documents will be created from the ERP application, which will also be printed via ThinPrint.

For the IT department at Jacoby GM Pharma, downtime is an unfamiliar concept. The technicians are currently moving the entire infrastructure to Windows Server 2016. Next year, they also plan to introduce user-authenticated printing, available with ThinPrint’s Personal Printing and a vein scanner. Mobile printing, possibly in combination with user-authenticated printing, is also on Bernd Hirschlinger’s to-do list.

And there is another task that the IT staff want to tackle – print server high availability.  According to Bernd Hirschlinger, since Windows Server 2012, and with Windows Server 2016, there have been no more print clusters that guarantee high availability even when printing. Here too, ThinPrint offers a solution with server clustering and dynamic resource distribution.

Hirschlinger continued “We are going to implement high availability. Many people say that you can do it, but you don’t have to. Our IT department takes the approach that we want to do it and we will do it.”