Key Points

  • The word owned will be used frequently throughout this page, as in “this printer is owned by this department” or “these users are owned by this department” but in fact conventional ownership is not important.  What is important is that the department is responsible for charges against a device or incurred by a user.

    However “owns” is easier to type than “is responsible for charges against” and so “owns” it is.

  • Similarly, “the SFU ITServices implementation of Papercut” is a little unwieldy, and so SPC will be used instead.

  • The SPC will be available to any department who opts into Managed Print Services (MPS).  It is optional though; opting into the MPS does not imply using the SPC nor is it required that a department do so.  However, the SPC is pretty useful and it’s expected that most departments will take advantage of this option.

  • All accessible printers campus wide that are part of the SPC will be available for use by the staff and faculty of the departments participating in the SPC. (Accessible printers are those not behind locked doors, in restricted areas and so on.)

  • The SPC is about printing; photocopying is unaffected by this program.  Whatever a department has in place now to allow or limit or account for photocopying will remain in place.

  • Departmental budget authorities (typically Departmental Assistants) will receive monthly a complete report of all printing done on the printers their department “owns”, as an email attachment in CSV format.  In the body of the email will be a simple executive summary of printing by department.  Based upon these two pieces of information, the budget authority can decide what to do next.

For example, a department may see that their own department did $10,000 worth of printing that month on the department’s printers and another department did a dollar’s worth of printing.  The $10,000 figure correlates with typical printing patterns, the dollar is not worth worrying about and so the print cost reconciliation for the month is done; email deleted, what’s next.

In another example, a department may see that their own department did $10,000 worth of printing that month but historically, they only spend about $1,000 in a month.  In such a case, the detailed spreadsheet would likely be opened and examined.

In yet another example, a department printed their typical $10,000 that month and another department printed $1,000.  $1,000 is a significant figure and in such a case, the first department would in all likelihood issue a JV to the second. 

However, the exact action is up to the department getting the report; it is the function of SPC to supply the report and assure its accuracy, nothing more.  So, rather than issue a JV, the two affected departments may choose to consult on some other course of action; it is entirely up to the two departments to work it out as they see fit.

  • For this to work, all printing must be done to a network attached printer through a print queue on a server; direct IP printing will not be possible.  Non–networked attached printers (USB printers) cannot reasonably be monitored and will not be included in the project.

  • IT Services will maintain and manage suitable servers with queues appropriate for Windows, Mac and Linux machines.

The names of the queues will be in the form of OPS#####, to match the Konica Minolta asset ID tag placed on all KM managed devices.  This will make it very easy for users to determine the queue to use; they simply have to note the number on the tag of the printer they wish to print to.

  • To ensure that all printing is done through a queue, the firewalls on the printers must be enabled.  Network printers without firewalls should not be included as it’s too easy to “get in through the back door”.  Note that a firewall inside the printer is not a requirement but IS a risk for the department that owns such a printer.

  • It is understood that transitioning users from their current method of printing to print queues could be a significant effort for some units; IT Services will work together with departments to make this as easy as possible (with certain reasonable limits placed on the transition time).

  • Once set up and transitioned, the system is largely self serve.  Any changes (like a new or changed printer) will be handled through a form on a web page.

  • Departments will supply a list of unrestricted users they own in the form of a maillist.  Additions to or subtractions from the maillist will find their way into the system once a day, at roughly midnight.  Departments would of course be responsible for an individual’s printing charges up to that time.

Unrestricted users can print any amount on any printer that’s managed by SPC.  Their use is counted but not limited.  As such, the list will generally contain staff and faculty only.

  • Some departments will wish to allow the grad students and perhaps even their undergrads to print, but will not want to allow them unlimited printing.  To do so, the recognized budget authority for a department will supply an ID or a list of IDs or a maillist to a web page, along with an amount of “money”, the money representing some number of colour and/or black and white pages.  SPC will ensure that the user can print only up to the number of pages, and their printing will appear in the emailed reports.

Should such a restricted person require more pages, the department can make whatever internal financial arrangements they like and give that person more money.  Alternately, a faculty member can grant some money, entirely internal to the system (this transfer is logged).

A key point is the fact that restricted users will only be allowed to print on printers owned by the department.

So, unrestricted users are (largely) unrestricted in both location as well as cost, while restricted users are restricted both in number of pages as well as location.

  • Authentication of users is done using SFU Active Directory credentials through use of a small piece of software supplied by Papercut and downloadable from an SFU server.  There are several options for the software, from standalone executables requiring installation to standalone executables run off a network share to simple Java applets copied anywhere convenient. 

All users must run the small application or they will not be able to print.