When evaluating LPCR solutions, there are many factors and options to consider. Packages range from basic to incredibly robust–and costs tend to reflect the level of sophistication and configuration offered. Below is a selection of some of the key areas to be considered.
Reliability: This is important because of the mission critical nature of printing on a campus. How often does the system experience a problem and if the system goes down how quickly can you get support to answer your call ?
Accuracy: The system must accurately count every page, for every user, in every department, and match the online card systems accounts as well or the students will inundate you with refund requests.
Supported printers: Will the system support all the printers you run on campus (e.g. those running PCL; Postscript)?
Supported operating systems: Will the system support all the operating systems that you run on campus (e.g. Windows 95/98/ME; Windows NT/2000/XP; Mac OS 9.x; Mac OS X; Unix; VMS; OS/2; Novell; DOS; Linux)?
Supported card readers: Does the system support your current campus card vendor’s technology? Will it support others if you are considering a change to your card program?
Variable rate charging: Does the solution offer configurable options to adjust pricing by time of day, job characteristics, user type, warm-up of color printer?
Reporting: Does the system provide adequate reporting capabilities to meet your needs?
Security: Does the system offer security features that provide the level of protection for print jobs that matches your campus needs (e.g. authentication, password protection)? Is the system security sufficient to prevent users from circumventing or hacking it?
Administrative tools: Does the system provide appropriate tools to enable system administration to the degree of granularity necessary for your environment? Can these functions be conducted remotely?
System compatibility: Does the vendor provide timely support and upgrades to ensure compatibility with future printers, copiers, computers, online systems, operating systems, and networking protocols?