EDUCATION CASE STUDY

ALP Schools

directprint.io worked with ALP Schools to make Chromebook printing more reliable, secure and accountable, across all five locations

Print Management in education, specifically K-12

Customer profile

ALP (Alternative Learning Project) Schools is a chain of independent special needs schools that create flexible, individualized programs of learning support for young people who have struggled in mainstream education due to their special educational needs.

Challenge

ALP Schools operates five individual schools across the UK. Managing the printer estate across all sites was challenging. With a distance of some 130 miles between locations, physically being onsite to deal with print-related issues wasn’t always possible. The organization was looking to benefit from a centralized, cloud-based printer management solution, but didn’t want to lose the reliability of local network Chromebook printing. “We’d previously tried using cloud print and another third-party print solution but were becoming increasingly frustrated with having to maintain the servers onsite. It was time to move to a more reliable solution,” Graham Gosden, Head of IT at ALP Schools, explained.

Solution

directprint.io is a vendor-agnostic print management software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that easily integrates into customers’ current print environments. Its unique and seamless integration with Google Workspace and Chrome OS is designed to provide IT admins with frictionless deployment and robust, secure, local printing with an option to add cloud print capabilities.

Results

directprint.io’s unique cloud-managed, local network print solution was deployed across all five schools. Each individual school is benefitting from the efficiency of local printing while experiencing the convenience and power of cloud administration. The IT team retains full visibility and control over all sites via directprint.io’s comprehensive admin control panel and importantly, the platform provides the ability to scale and flex as the organization’s needs change.

Eliminate print servers

With directprint.io, ALP Schools was able to eliminate costly on-premise print servers. “All of our students have varied special educational needs so we must cover the costs of additional staffing and extracurricular activities. By removing the servers, not only did we eliminate a huge cost, but it also meant we had less equipment on each site,” Graham said.

Universal print driver

directprint.io’s secure, serverless, technology solves the complexity of deployment, management and analysis of print. The solution’s universal print driver enables zero-touch deployment at scale, simplifies end-user provisioning and ongoing management. “The main difference and benefit of directprint.io is that you don’t need a print server to process a print job – all print jobs are automatically directed straight to the printer using the unique universal driver. This was a huge plus for us, especially as we have sites distributed across the breadth of England. Removing our servers also helped to reduce support calls about lost print jobs,” he added.

Streamline printer management

IT admins can streamline printer management, reduce the time spent troubleshooting printer issues, and refocus their attention elsewhere. directprint.io helps customers deploy, secure, control, and track printing, while real-time data from a cloud-based dashboard, provides actionable insights that allow customers to take control of their print environment, from a single pane of glass. “With directprint.io, you have a great deal of control via the admin control panel. As an admin, I can force install printers remotely which makes the installation process much quicker” Graham explained.
 

Secure documents and data

directprint.io is packed full of features that offer greater control, compliance, traceability, and transparency, enabling smart and secure serverless printing. ALP Schools is benefiting from secure pin release on printers to protect confidential information. As Graham explains: “Secure print has been great for when staff needs to print confidential documents/progress reports – prints no longer end up in the wrong hands!”

Ease of use

directprint.io is easy to deploy and easy to use. From a central point, IT admins can configure default settings, apply print policies, control access, add users, and more, while end-users benefit from simple, secure, predictable printing. “All of our students and teachers find the solution easy to use,” Graham said. “They only see the printers they need to so there are rarely any complications. It’s also great for admins because we can manage the system via the control panel and set certain print policies for different students/years to reduce costs.”

Get started today

If you’d like to find out more about how directprint.io can help your organization book a demo now. 

“directprint.io’s solution has been brilliant and suited our organization’s needs far more than any other print management system. The ongoing support the team have delivered has been second to none; directprint.io has gone above and beyond to ensure we have all the required features to help our students receive the best education possible.”

Graham Gosden, Head of IT, ALP Schools
print management education
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