NIH Benefits from Awarding CTI Contract for Print Management
December 2nd, 2016 - by CTI | Share on:
NIAID was coming from a multiple-brand environment with a fleet that was mostly comprised of personal printers and copiers. There was no standardized procedure for ordering supplies for the printers or monitoring costs associated with the printers. NIAID also lacked the security to prevent confidential information from being printed freely. CTI helped with the integration of Government-issued Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards on the new devices. The only scanning solution that NIAID used was Scan-to-Email, which only allowed documents of 10MB or less. As a result, this slowed down NIAID's email servers. NIAID was also in the process of moving into a new, modern facility.
CTI replaced the inefficient personal printers and copiers from the various manufacturers with one manufacturer. CTI placed one hundred six (106) new desktop A4 MFDs, thirty-three (33) standalone A3 MFDs, and eight (8) Light Production models. Once all of the devices were delivered and installed on the network, CTI's Network Analyst setup Xerox Secure Print on the devices. This allowed users to send their print jobs to the MFD of their choice and release the job at the MFD once they entered their four-digit PIN number at the device. Another feature that CTI added was rule based printing, allowing the customer to determine who should be permitted to print certain jobs from a select number of devices. Next, NIAID brought up the goal of eventually integrating the devices with PIV cards and a capability called "Follow-me printing," in which a user can print to a queue (versus choosing a specific device) and release that print job at any device in the entire facility. This capability was deployed using NSi Output Manager software.
NSi also enabled users to utilize more robust scanning capabilities; having done away with Scan-to-Email due to the tremendous inconvenience it caused NIAID in the past. With NSi Output Manager, users could now authenticate at the MFD using their PIV card and instantly gain access to their Home folder, located on their PCs. Users could scan directly to their Home folder, quickly and securely, just with a swipe of their PIV card. In addition to scanning directly to one's Home folder, users could scan directly to SharePoint, Linkpoint, and any other cloud-based program like Google Docs or Salesforce.
CTI also helped NIAID to take huge steps in their vulnerability reduction. The first thing that CTI did was to scan all of the devices looking specifically for security vulnerabilities. Once those issues were identified CTI provided patches for them. CTI also took great care in the hardening of the devices, and they continuously monitor the devices from a remote location to ensure that everything is working properly. Another method that CTI employed to reduce security risk was to put the devices on a different network (a VLAN network). Essentially creating a one-way flow of information from the PCs to the copiers/printers.
CTI also installed CentreWare Web to monitor usage on all machines. CentreWare was configured to track and generate reports on usage per user, send out alerts when the machine needs service or when paper or toner is low, and automatically order new toner without user intervention. Alerts are sent to the NIAID Help Desk when it is a low level trouble call, such as a paper jam. If the service alert is related to an error code or a non-user-replaceable part or consumable, the alert is sent to CTI's Service Department. Any low level trouble calls that are not dismissed by NIAID's Help Desk within 5 day are also automatically routed to CTI.
One important challenge that came up during the Phase-In period was that the new Xerox devices were not compatible with the latest version of NSi Output Manager. CTI reached out to the manufacturer to correct this problem, which resulted in Xerox developing a network patch that allowed the MFDs to use NSi without creating any security breaches. All MFDs now come standard with the new security patch, thanks to CTI's intervention.
NIAID is now able to perform robust, secure scanning capabilities. Streamlining the fleet to a single manufacturer allows for toners and parts to be properly stocked and interchangeably used among all the MFDs. CentreWare Web now provides proactive alerts and usage monitoring to reduce downtime and to automatically provide accurate meter reads to CTI, which removes the burden of submitting meter reads from the end users and also helps CTI with invoicing. The targeted alerts also reduced the amount of alerts that are sent out, but because they are targeted, the alert system is more effective. The use of the VLAN network assuaged the security fears of our customers, because by utilizing this method it makes hacking the devices, in order to get to the information on the PCs worthless, because the devices can only receive information from the PC, hackers cannot obtain information. The implementation of the rule based printing has saved the customer substantially by reminding the end users the most efficient ways to print their documents. Automatic usage monitoring also helps CTI suggest upgrades, downgrades or machine relocations if a particular device is experiencing usage levels that supersede or under-utilize its capabilities.
Cartridge Technologies, Inc. (CTI) is a woman-owned firm based out of Rockville, MD. It can be reached by phone at 301-417-8057, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by their website at www.CTIMD.com.