Named after the inspirational Victorian engineer, Brunel University received its charter in 1966 and is located in Uxbridge, to the west of London. Well known for pioneering courses in science, engineering, technology and the social sciences, the university is synonymous with the provision of high quality academic programmes.
In 1995 it added courses in the arts, humanities, geography and earth sciences as well as education, social work, sport sciences, health and business studies to its portfolio. Brunel University recently completed a £250 million (a348m) campus redevelopment programme and, today, over 16,000 staff and students work there.
In today's highly competitive educational environment universities need to provide students with reliable and efficient services especially when student numbers dictate revenues. Service levels are particularly important when students are printing and copying information for their studies.
Poor reliability, inflexibility, insufficient manageability of their previous printing and copying brand along with rising costs and increasing paper waste contributed to an inefficient fleet of devices that lacked control and had a growing number of challenges.
"After students have completed their work on a PC and despatched it to a workstation ready for printing, they expect our devices to handle their documents regardless of the file type generated by the software. Unfortunately, our old printers could not fulfil this requirement," explains Janet Al-Karaghouli, Senior Retail Officer, Brunel University.
"Reliability was also a problem especially under heavy work loads. Virtually every afternoon, when print demand is at its peak, systems would fail. Not only was this inconvenient for the students, it did not reflect well on the university's reputation as a service provider."
Like most universities, Brunel issues students with a library card to use copying equipment. However, it does not permit them to print, copy or scan at a single machine. "After printing a document, students could not copy it. They had to go to the library and access a copier with their library card. This is inconvenient especially when the printer is distant from the library," adds Al-Karaghouli.
"We wanted a universal swipe card so they can print, copy or scan at a single location. Regrettably our existing fleet could not handle swipe cards. In addition, although the equipment had some features to aid confidential printing, they were out of date."
To address these problems, Brunel University asked a number of companies including HP and Preferred PartnerTM, the DTP Group, to tender solutions to replace its ageing printer and copier fleets.
Assessed the limitations of the current print and copy environment.
Consulted with several organisations about appropriate solutions.
Visited Imperial College, London to see the proposed HP and DTP solution.
Implemented the HP Managed Print Services, part of HP's Campus Advantage range for Universities.
A highly reliable and efficient print and copy environment that does not fail during periods of peak demand.
Printing devices can handle a wide variety of document file types.
SafeCom software and the use of a single swipe card provide a better confidential printing capability.
A scan-to-email capability allows students to send information directly to another location.
HP Web Jetadmin software proactively monitors all the Multifunction Printers (MFP) making the equipment easier to manage.
The university can now satisfy the service level expectations of its customers, the students.
The print and copy environment is less expensive to run and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is forecast to fall.
End-users can perform all their requirements at a single machine by using a single swipe card. This is more convenient and saves time.
A more efficient print and copy environment has led to increased print volumes, lower paper wastage and a fall in the amount of paper purchased.
Reference site clinches deal
Backed by its experience of resolving similar problems at other educational establishments, HP proposed a Managed Print Services (MPS) solution. The university does not pay for the hardware but simply pays a fee whenever a device is used.
The HP solution comprises a total of 22 HP LaserJet and HP Colour LaserJet Multifunction Printer (MFP) devices armed with SafeCom software which offers reliable confidential printing through a single swipe card. This is an element of the HP Campus Advantage Controlled Access Printing Solution for Universities and enables both students and administrative staff to gain better control of what is being printed alongside the freedom to print documents from any device they happen to walk up to.
Brunel University has deployed the new devices to nine locations including the library and several departments. All MFPs have printing, copying, faxing and scan-to email capabilities. The latter is especially useful when students need to send material to their home addresses. To reduce paper wastage, the A3 printing capability of the HP Colour LaserJet MFP devices is confined to the engineering department where demand for this size of document is highest.
HP Web Jetadmin, a special print and imaging management tool, proactively monitors the level of toner and, when appropriate, notifies the university's staff when a device requires a new toner or ink cartridge. In the past, refilling empty cartridges with toner was time consuming. Service support and hardware supplies form part of the package.
Brunel University now has a modern, efficient and highly reliable print and copy environment that offers its students excellent levels of service. It is flexible, simple to use and easy to manage. SafeCom software ensures confidential printing while duplex printing lowers the level of waste paper. Moreover, the HP Managed Print Services solution is forecast to lower the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and is amenable to a ‘pooled' print environment. Students can no longer send material to several printers thereby creating unnecessary copies.
"To print, scan, copy and even email from one location is wonderful. Our systems team and administration staff are also seeing the benefits - with the HP MPS solution there is far less maintenance and the HP Web Jetadmin software ensures devices are never short of toner. We are very likely to expand the system during our forthcoming vacation period," concludes Al-Karaghouli.