Xerox aims to help enterprises curb remote printing costs with new tools, services

The company adds features to its Mobile Print app and bundles security and audit tools

Xerox is offering managed service tools for enterprises that want to reduce the costs of remote printing.

Xerox has added features to its Mobile Print app and bundled more security and audit tools so the app can be easily incorporated within existing managed print services in enterprises, the company said Monday. From PCs or mobile devices, users will be able to print documents at remote locations, but the cost and volume of the printing will be monitored by managed-print service administrators.

The features and tools are part of Xerox's "next-generation managed printing services strategy," said Mike Feldman, president of Large Enterprise Operations at Xerox. The strategy revolves around improving print security, reducing costs, and better utilizing printing and imaging devices in an infrastructure.

Enterprises will be able to track, report and manage documents printed at public locations such as UPS stores, Feldman said. It's more expensive to print documents at public locations, but companies will be able to better assess costs and negotiate better contracts on such services, Feldman said.

Xerox already had a mobile print strategy, but now is also weaving in more audit and security features so cloud printing fits easily into managed print services infrastructures at enterprises. Enhancements to the Mobile Print app include the ability to securely print from SD cards and using maps to find authorized printers globally, Feldman said. System administrators will be able to track the type of document being printed and enable secure printing.

Remote printing services have been available through companies like Hewlett-Packard and Google, but Xerox is extending it to enterprise print services, Feldman said.

Xerox is also offering "production assessment" services so that using a set of tools customers can analyze paper volume and types of equipment, and get recommendations on how to cut costs and improve utilization of printers and copiers.

Customers can also test printing and imaging infrastructure to meet specific security policies through a new Print Security Audit tool. The tool checks the security of connected devices, printers and documents in a managed print infrastructure. For example, the tool can send alerts to ensure passwords on connected devices are changed every 90 days. The security tool also can be used for cloud printing services.

Xerox for the first time is also offering to take over the management of print services from enterprises, Feldman said. The company manages entire IT operations for many companies, but Feldman said it can manage only print services for companies that want to manage IT internally. The printer server management service is available in western European countries immediately and will be available in the U.S. by the end of next year's first quarter.

All of the other products and services are immediately available in the U.S., Canada, western Europe and some other emerging markets.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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