Itec has enhanced its Itec Sentry remote multifunctional and printer device management solution with a range of industry-first features that will help clients to reduce and control costs in their printing environments while enjoying better service levels from their print and copy infrastructure.
Features added to the Sentry platform in the third phase of development include support for all brands of MFPs and printers, not just those supplied under the Itec brand; tighter integration of Sentry with the Itec enterprise resource planning (ERP) software; and a new fleet optimisation tool that helps companies to audit, understand and optimise their printing and copying for better performance and lower costs.
Itec Sentry is a powerful entire device fault management solution that automates common device maintenance processes as well as fault reporting across the print infrastructure. The software notifies Itec about any problems, so that running out of toner or paper or experiencing a device breakdown won’t cause clients hours of lost productivity.
Sentry is available as a value-added solution from all Itec dealers at a nominal monthly cost.
“The latest enhancements to the Sentry solution extend its advantages to other platforms besides those supplied by Itec. Now, we are able to give clients a complete view of their printing performance across all device brands in their environment – something that sets us apart from most of the competition,” says John Buchanan, national technical manager at Itec.
Itec has improved the integration of Sentry with the Itec ERP backbone to speed up fault reporting and ensure that technicians have accurate information about most problems a device is experiencing so that they arrive at the client’s site with the correct spares first time around. Furthermore, the integration facilitates accurate and automated meter reading collection with no human intervention required.
“We are able to offer even better SLAs to clients who use Sentry because the solution now automatically logs faults and opens job cards through the ERP system, getting information to our technicians in a much shorter period of time,” adds Buchanan.
The new Sentry fleet optimisation tool helps clients to understand their printer utilisation and true cost of printing in heterogeneous printer environments so that Itec can help them to optimise their productivity and minimise their costs.
This information is vendor-neutral and helps clients to make informed decisions when purchasing printing and copying products and services. For example, it can guide clients towards understanding which devices have high per page costs or where there may be opportunities to save money by consolidating machines.
The solution provides transparent billing and monitoring information on an on-going basis so that clients always have a clear view of costs and performance of their MFPs and printers. Clients with multiple branches can even gain a single view of printing costs and services nationwide, thanks to Sentry.
Sentry is a central pillar of Itec’s strategy to help clients move towards managed print services (MPS), says Ryan Miles, chief operating officer at Itec. In a managed print service model, a service provider takes full responsibility for a company’s entire print infrastructure, including all services, support, and supplies.
“South African companies are increasingly looking towards MPS to take charge of spiralling document output costs,” adds Miles. “MPS, underpinned by sophisticated, multiplatform management tools such as Itec Sentry, allows companies to reduce running costs in their office automation environments by up to 30% through proactive support, tighter SLA management and optimisation of the fleet.”
Itec Sentry has access to device performance only and no access to any images or hard drive data, ensuring privacy of client data. The Sentry solution securely communicates with Itec using a range of possible communications media – it uses cellular links, HTTP, e-mail or fax, depending on the client’s security requirements.
Future enhancements to the Sentry platform will use the latest mobile technologies to alert field service technicians of faults and to dispatch the nearest technician to a customer site when a device needs attention.