Managed print masterpiece at National Gallery

18 August 2017

Founded in 1842, the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square had a printing estate that had developed over time. As such, a lot of the hardware was old which meant that devices often malfunctioned. Their age also meant that it was a struggle to get the correct consumables. Printing is a large part of the gallery’s business, but with its existing system making it very difficult for staff to print, scan or photocopy, a partner was needed that could solve all the problems while ensuring only minimal disruption.

Based in Buckinghamshire, IT infrastructure specialist Softcat offers a number of services including, amongst others, networking, security and printing. It suggested solving the gallery’s issues with its Managed Print service. 

The first stage of this was for Softcat to perform an audit on the current printing estate to assess exactly how the current system was being used. It found that the gallery was printing over 100,000 pages a month, which was a lot more than originally thought. It therefore became clear that a system was needed that would enable more accurate monitoring of printer usage. The costs of the current printing system were also analysed.

Softcat came up with a tailored managed solution and implemented a ‘follow-me’ printing system to make the entire architecture more secure.

Staff can now login to any printer and retrieve the documents they send to print. Documents are now much less likely to get stuck in the system and can only be retrieved by the person who printed them. 

As part of the solution, the gallery’s internal systems team now receives SafeCom reports which provide accurate information on printing, allowing them to start building a print strategy for the future.

The new system is said to be easier for staff to use and the new devices are also easier for the technicians to manage. Softcat says the helpdesk now receives far less calls about printer issues – previously 30 per cent of all calls were printer related.

Furthermore, Softcat provided a project manager onsite to manage and install all the devices and continues to provide support going forward with every aspect of the solution, from the consumables to the devices.