The New Era of Smart Printing
Thought Leadership Paper | Samsung
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Digital content, personalized learning, classrooms
filled with tablet-toting students using mobile devices
supplied by the school or through bring-your-own-de-
vice (BYOD) initiatives — it’s clear that the latest tech-
nology innovations are continuing to reshape the K-12
educational landscape. But what do all these changes
mean for printers, the long-time fixtures in classrooms
and administrative offices? As content transitions from
being paper-based to being created and consumed
on digital devices, will printers go the way of dial-up
modems and floppy drives? Don’t bet on it.
Schools aren’t pulling the plugs on their printers;
they’re using these essential devices in new and innova-
tive ways. For example, as students create more digital
content, they still need high-speed, color-capable output
devices to produce visually compelling presentations
for class discussions. It’s the same with the assign-
ments that originate on mobile devices, whether they are
tablets, notebooks or streamlined Web clients. But these
traditional uses are only the beginning as increasingly so-
phisticated, versatile printing hardware enables new ways
of distributing content in the digital classroom.
Technology-savvy schools are now taking advan-
tage of networked and multi-function printers (MFPs),
which can print, scan, copy and fax information
as black and white or color output. Because these
devices connect directly to school networks, they be-
come communication hubs that enable students and
teachers to scan essays and artwork and distribute
the digital files to a website or email list without even
producing a paper document.
As 1:1 computing and BYOD initiatives continue
to proliferate, more students will be equipped with
smartphones, tablets, netbooks and laptops — and
the ability to print from these mobile devices will grow
in importance. Additionally, administrators who face
stringent regulatory requirements will increasingly rely
on workgroup printers and MFPs to create, capture,
store and distribute information for federal special
needs funding and other state and local government
The good news for cash-strapped schools is that
technical innovation and sophistication doesn’t mean
the latest hardware is a budget buster. Prices have
been steadily falling in recent years so that many high-
volume workgroup models now fall well below $1,000.
And when schools replace older, single-purpose print-
ers, scanners and fax machines with more efficient
multi-function units, they will reap additional benefits
from reduced hardware costs, increased productivity
and lower energy bills.
The bottom line: Output devices aren’t becoming
less relevant for digital classrooms, they’re becoming
more versatile, more available, more convenient and
more resourceful than ever before.
But to get the most out of these advanced prod-
ucts, schools must develop a digital content strategy
that takes advantage of the latest device innovations
and related solutions.
Printers Keep Evolving
One thing is clear — despite the digital revolution
now occurring in K-12 classrooms across the country,
schools need printers and MFPs more than ever. MFPs
come packed with network connections, processors,
hard drives and touchscreen panels, putting these de-
vices squarely in the category of specialized computers.
The bottom line: Output devices
aren’t becoming less relevant for
digital classrooms, they’re becoming
more versatile, more available, more
convenient and more resourceful than
Printers are advancing into multi-purpose communications hubs
that can facilitate learning while reducing costs and increasing
school and staff efficiency. Find out how your school can take
advantage of this printer evolution.
In the classroom, teachers can use the latest devices to
create hard copies of lesson plans and assignments for
students, especially for those who rely on digital content
but cannot bring a device home. In addition, teach-
ers can produce presentations that make use of color
to grab the attention of pupils and facilitate learning.
Beyond these traditional uses, networked printers and
MFPs complement the growing world of tablets, Web-
based applications and Internet resources. Following
are some print solutions and strategies that are sup-
porting schools in their digital revolutions.
Document management and digital content
In schools, the ongoing need for networked printers
and MFPs is solidifying around a host of new ap-
plications that are creating a foundation for a larger
transformation in how education organizations create
and manage documents. At the core of these changes
is document management software, which, when com-
bined with the scanning capabilities of MFPs, enables
schools to turn hard copy documents into digital con-
tent. This means schools can gather all of the required
information about students — ranging from grades and
teacher evaluations to medical histories — into central
electronic repositories. The information then can be
stored securely, located easily and distributed efficient-
ly via networks, workflow systems and the Internet.
According to AIIM, an industry association devoted
to digital content trends and best practices, key docu-
ment management features include:
• Document check-in and check-out
• Security and access control
• Version control
• Audit trails
• Annotation and stamps
A recent report by AIIM concluded that the lat-
est technologies for scanning, imaging and character
recognition are improving the processes organiza-
tions use to turn information in hard copy documents
into digital content. AIIM surveyed a cross section of
organizations, including ones in education, and found
cost-saving and productivity benefits when content is
in digital form and doesn’t require manual data entry
processes for keying-in data.1
The majority of the sur-
vey respondents said they saw a gain in productivity
of 33 percent or more, according to the report. “These
could generally be considered hard-dollar savings, and
they commence as soon as deployment is complete,
and continue for the life of the process,” the AIIM
How does this translate for schools? One compelling
example is the ability to automate testing and grading.
This comes about when school districts combine the
scanning capabilities of MFPs with the right software
that enables instructors to create and print tests and
For schools and offices looking for a printing
solution that’s fast, efficient, ergonomic and eco-
friendly, Samsung’s cutting-edge line of A4 color and
monochrome MFPs and printers may be the answer.
Catered especially to school districts, the A4 line
provides the performance districts need to maximize
value and keep pace with the evolving educational
A4 devices provide fast, reliable and economical
performance. For even faster performance, some models
come equipped with a dual CPU, which ensures all
jobs are processed quickly, minimizing downtime and
An often overlooked component of printing solutions, an
ergonomic, space-efficient design is critical. Samsung
MFPs and printers are lighter and more compact than many
competitive models, and their physical design increases
ease of use. Select models also produce sound no louder
than normal conversation.
Samsung MFPs and printers are ENERGY STAR® qualified;
Samsung’s S.T.A.R. Program can recycle all toner cartridges
and reuse the materials for future products. It’s all part of
Samsung’s commitment to making education greener.
Many of the above features are also available on Samsung’s
A3 line of MFPs and printers.
Tailored MFP and
barcoded master answer sheets. The scanners in MFPs
automatically match student responses to the masters
and compile the scores. This eliminates the expense of
commercial test forms and specialized scanners and
gives instructors nearly instant feedback on student
performance. The MFP and software combination can
then send test scores directly to the school’s student
information system to update each pupil’s education
record and allow instructors to analyze the results to
identify areas for improvement. Gap analysis like this is
especially important as instructors prepare for standard-
ized tests and other regulatory requirements.
Another important aspect of document manage-
ment is the related area of content lifecycle manage-
ment: the ability to organize and store data according
to its age, educational relevance, regulatory impor-
tance and other retention policies of the school dis-
trict. Lifecycle management systems can automatically
move digital records to the most appropriate destina-
tion, whether that’s a hard drive on a networked printer
or MFP, a file server, a database housed on a storage
area network or a public cloud archival site. School
districts should look for systems that manage data
unobtrusively so teachers and administrators have the
information they need whenever they need it and don’t
encounter any productivity delays.
Managed print services and cost control
Managed print services (MPS) are another game-
changer for school district printing resources. MPS is
a print optimization system that provides visibility into
the entire printing environment. This allows districts and
schools to account for every penny they spend and
manage how the print resources are used. With this
outsourcing approach, school administrators contract
with an outside specialist to take control of the printing
and imaging equipment, including such tasks as ink and
toner replacement, routine maintenance and repairs.
Depending on a district’s needs, a managed print
contract may entail managing all the output devices
used by the school system and include a document
management solution. Schools may also opt for more
modest agreements that provide expertise for optimiz-
ing the environment, identifying cost-saving oppor-
tunities, and performing supplies replenishment and
MPS directly addresses a problem with printers that
has plagued many schools for years — for a variety
of reasons the devices have largely run unmonitored.
Some IT managers have had no idea how many
printers a school accumulated over time and whether
the current hardware footprint was an appropriate
number for the needs of administrators, instructors
and students. One reason why printing environments
are difficult to manage without outside help is that
it’s not always clear which department should take
responsibility for printers and associated imaging
equipment, such as scanners and fax machines. An IT
manager may be involved with hardware purchases,
while an administrative assistant may be the one to
replenish toner stocks. The result is that no one is
tracking total costs and school districts miss out on
chances to cut costs through volume discounts on
devices and supplies. At the same time, equipment
breakdowns and repairs may require making an
appointment with a repair person and lead to
disruptive downtime while schools wait for the problem
to be corrected.
This can all be addressed with the help of a
managed print professional that can provide supplies
Cost Cutting is Key
When IT decision-makers in
a cross-section of industries
evaluated a dozen reasons
for considering MPS, more
than 70 percent said
cost reduction was “very
important,” topping the list
of responses, according to
replenishment, maintenance and preventive care all for
a set monthly cost that remains predictable throughout
the school year.
Finding an optimal ratio of devices to users is
essential for managing costs, according to the Photizo
Group, an industry association devoted to the MPS
segment. It states that some organizations maintain
one printer for an average of every 2.2 employees,3
which can rack up unnecessary costs for hardware,
ink or toner, and energy, totaling about $750 per
employee, per year.4
An evaluation by a managed print
specialist often finds ways to use workgroup printers
and MFPs to centralize printing resources and serve
perhaps six employees per device. The savings from
a successful managed print program may average 30
percent, Photizo adds.5
Better management of printers and MFPs has ripple
effects that go beyond direct budget considerations.
With proper oversight, school districts can be sure
these networked devices don’t open up new security
risks through careless use of the resources. For
example, a student health record or Family Educational
Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) report left unattended
in an MFP output tray could lead to embarrassment
or legal problems if accessed by someone who isn’t
authorized to see the information. And while scan-to-
email capabilities on MFPs can be effective ways to
distribute information, they could also facilitate security
breaches if access controls aren’t in place.
Challenges like these help explain why
organizations are turning to MPS. The Photizo
Group reports that millions of organizations across
all market segments have adopted managed
print services in recent years. In 2011, the North
American market alone reached $17.5 billion, or 20
percent higher than the previous year, Photizo says.6
Similar growth rates are likely for at least the next
three years, it adds.
The Samsung Mobile Print App enables users to print and
scan documents directly from their smartphone or tablet.
Documents can be printed on any WiFi-enabled Samsung
MFP or printer on an available secured network. Need to sign
and return a document quickly? Users can print it, sign it and
scan it back on to their smartphone immediately. The Sam-
sung Mobile Print App saves time, making work more efficient.
Printer fleet management:
Samsung’s CounThru managed print solution helps monitor
and manage your fleet through a remote system. Doing so
helps reduce costs through consolidation and optimization of
the print environment, improve productivity, and manage the
environment with tracking and reporting tools. Meanwhile,
Samsung’s managed print service partnerships provide access
to leading system analysis, affordable equipment leasing
programs, sales tools and supplies.
By capturing paper and electronic documents and intelligently
sending them to their correct destinations, SmarThru
Workflow streamlines and simplifies the workflow process.
Workflow customization is achieved thanks to the Web-based
Workform application. For added support, Samsung maintains
partnerships with Perceptive Software and Intellinetics.
Say goodbye to hours of grading multiple-choice exams
one at a time, by hand. Samsung partners with Gravic, Inc.,
creator of Remark grading software, to automate grading
and help educators better manage their time and energy.
Remark eliminates the need for special forms and scanners,
decreasing costs while producing fast and accurate results.
Pay only for what you use. In an era of shrinking educational
budgets, Samsung is partnering with PaperCut and Pharaos
to offer pay-for-print solutions that can help schools and
offices realize significant cost savings.
maintain one printer
for an average of
every 2.2 employees,
which can rack up
for hardware, ink or
toner, and energy,
totaling about $750
per employee, per year.
A Long-Term Strategy
How should districts and schools take the first
steps to update their printing environments as digital
content grows and mobile devices become the norm?
Start by focusing on these five key steps:
1) Develop a plan to use the optimized print
environment as a foundation for a district-wide
electronic document management system.
Reducing the time spent filing and retrieving paper
documents will increase staff productivity, provide
better management of sensitive information, and
enable automated workflows that route reports and
other assets efficiently to their required destinations.
The new environment will make additional cost-saving
and productivity-boosting innovations possible,
including automated test scoring and reporting.
2) Understand the current print environment.
School districts can contract with managed print
providers who can offload much of the responsibility
for this effort from the district. No matter who does
the work, the audit entails a count of all the printers,
MFPs, scanners and fax machines running throughout
the school system. Specialized software programs can
send monitors across the network to locate and record
all attached devices. But since most organizations also
rely on a number of standalone, desktop models, audi-
tors need to physically walk through offices and class-
rooms to get a complete picture of the environment. In
addition to a baseline headcount, auditors should also
gather information about the age, output volumes and
rated duty cycles of each unit.
3) Compare the number of printers and MFPs to
how many students and staff members use the
units. If the ratio of devices to users isn’t at least four or
five to one, look for opportunities to reduce the amount
of hardware in operation using centrally located work-
group printers and MFPs. Note that a consolidation and
modernization of the print environment doesn’t have to
What to Look For in
High prices for these flexible machines used to make
them tools primarily for organizations with deep pockets.
But today that’s no longer the case. For example, some
color MFPs list for less than $700. Price points like these
mean schools not only can afford what was once high-
end technology, they can create a foundation for reducing
the amount of hardware that must be managed and the
associated maintenance costs. To assure that networked
MFPs keep sensitive information secure, look for models
that enable the following safeguards:
Encryption software embedded in MFPs keeps information
safe from unauthorized viewers when it is stored on
internal hard drives or sent across the network. Authorized
users can use touchpads on the MFPs to enter the proper
identification to decrypt the information.
Sensitive documents sitting in output trays invite security
breaches. To guard against this risk, MFPs should store
a print job until the intended recipient enters a security
code, scans an ID card or uses both types of controls
MFPs should offer a range of configuration settings to
enable school administrators to easily tailor the devices
for district security policies. For example, in some
workgroups the scan-to-email capability may offer a safe
and convenient way to distribute general information. But
in offices that routinely handle private student records or
HR files, the same convenience could open up security
risks. Authorized administrators should have the controls
to easily make the necessary adjustments to each machine
from a central location.
Audit trail software:
In addition to controlling how MFPs handle information,
schools should also have tools for creating usage reports
and records that track when devices printed or distributed
The consolidation and modernization of
the print environment doesn’t have to be
an expensive rip-and-replace undertaking.
A high-volume MFP that runs well below
its monthly duty cycle in the athletic office
may fulfill the workgroup needs of the
superintendent’s office without requiring
the school to purchase a new unit.
be an expensive rip-and-replace undertaking. For exam-
ple, a high-volume MFP that runs well below its monthly
duty cycle in the athletic office may fulfill the workgroup
needs of the superintendent’s office without requiring the
school to purchase a new unit.
4) Explore further consolidation possibilities.
Consider decommissioning standalone scanners and
fax machines in favor of networked MFPs. Fewer hard-
ware devices means lower capital expenses for replace-
ment units, as well as lower ongoing costs to keep
individual units powered up and filled with supplies.
5) Transition to a world of digital content. Printers
and MFPs can connect with tablets, laptops and other
mobile devices with wireless receivers on the output
hardware or via routers installed on school LANs.
Conclusion: Growing Importance
The rise of digital content, mobile devices and
personalized learning strategies doesn’t diminish the
role of printers in modern K-12 classrooms, but it
does require schools to rethink how to get the most
out of these output devices. In some cases, that
may mean targeting future hardware investments at
MFPs, while simultaneously reducing costs through
Ultimately, these devices can become flexible
communications hubs for document management
systems that efficiently distribute information, help
schools comply with government regulations and
reduce the burdens of managing paper-based content.
In short, printing resources aren’t becoming irrelevant
in the digital content world, they’re moving to the head
of the class.