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Insurers Still Deal with the Printed Word
As much as the business world has turned into a digital atmosphere, the value of paper has lessened, but not disappeared. For a worldwide company such as Lockton, gaining control of the printing process has made their operations more efficient.
Lockton is the world's largest privately-owned insurance brokerage firm providing insurance, risk management and employee benefits solutions globally. With close to 5,000 associates worldwide, the company operates in 64 locations across 17 countries.
Lockton did not go searching for a printing solution, according to Simon Hodgson, senior support analyst of the technology division at Lockton.
“The issue initially came to our attention when we were trouble-shooting some performance issues within our EDI environment,” says Hodgson. “We had an interesting conversation with one of our Citrix partners and UniPrint came up. We resolved the unrelated issues and then we decided to take a look at some of the printing issues and began to look closely at UniPrint.”
Lockton decided the issue was worth an investigation, explains Hodgson, who had inherited control of the printing environment in Lockton`s London office. He described himself as “a bit of a novice with printing,” but he knew enough to tell what the brokerage was doing wasn`t adequate with what Lockton wanted in the brokerage`s virtual desktop environment so he arranged a demo on UniPrint`s Infinity universal printer driver.
One of the main drivers behind Lockton`s need for a universal printing technology was slow printing speeds for some of the broker`s regional offices, according to Hodgson.
“It was a bit of a headache,” he says. “One of the first reasons we started to look at UniPrint was because it helps to print faster. Another issue was the lack of central management within our environment.”
Another of UniPrint`s features is it helps manage the printing process. Previously, Lockton had numerous print servers and hundreds of print policies, explains Hodgson.
“Now you put it in one print console to manage the environment,” he says.
Hodgson reports Lockton is fully aware of the drive to go paperless over the last decade, but he doesn`t believe it is happening fast enough to handle Lockton`s needs.
“It`s a sensitive subject with users,” he says. “You realize how bespoke everyone`s printing needs are. It is probably the same as other businesses because everyone seems to be printing quite a lot.”
Hodgson did some research to look at other print management options, but reports he didn`t find them easy to configure and get running. People in the industry that Hodgson collaborates with on other projects mentioned UniPrint and Hodgson explains he has a lot of respect for their opinions.
Lockton wanted to attack slow print issues and Hodgson explains that was addressed in UniPrint`s proof of concept.
“You could see the administrative overhead was going to be a big game-changer,” says Hodgson. “You don`t have driver updates all the time or need to implement a new printer model. You could see the positive effects it would have on the company.
Lockton uses a wide range of printers and the UniPrint solution doesn`t force a single printing model on users, although moving forward Lockton is looking to standardize printers, according to Hodgson.
“We have a lot of brands—you name it,” he says. “You can imagine the management of all that compared to having a fleet of one brand in the office.
The solution solved the printing speed issue, but Hodgson points out the Infinity product empowers users and allows them to manage their printing issues, such as adding printers to their section.
“In the past they would have had to call a support team to do that, but users can go to the PrintPal option in the notification area and add the printer themselves rather than calling the service desk to do that,” he says.
Even though he had never managed the printing function before, Hodgson was surprised to see how easy UniPrint was to get up and running.
“It was a baptism by fire,” he says. “The great thing about the software is it was easy to get up and running. It was also easy to add printers and users. It helped since I was learning printing technology and deploying the software and it helped me get my head around it quicker with the software.”
Having the UniPrint solution will enable Lockton to study the printer environment and update and refresh it without looking at how to administer it and the work involved there.
“We can literally stick in a new device, publish it, and it is in the user section,” says Hodgson. “Before we had to manually sync drivers. It will help on that front to no end.”
Hodgson has been impressed by UniPrint`s performance, particularly since it is a small company—at least for the moment.
“The support and personal touch during the rollout has been good and the support staff has been excellent as we got this off the ground,” he says. “I`ve had nothing but a good experience with them.”