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May 15, 2009

Doxense opens for business with print cost controller

Watchdoc cuts print costs by 20%

By CBR Staff Writer

French print management software company, Doxense has added to its international subsidiary companies by setting up for business in the UK, on the back of claims that its software can help cut printing costs by as much as 20%.

The Watchdoc software sits on a print server to monitor, track and report on the usage of the enterprise print estate. 

The information it polls can be used to build up an accurate view of printing costs, so that fine-grain policies can be set up to optimise usage. Over time it can help change user behaviour. 

The aim is to target inefficiency and wasted print, and ultimately to drive down costs. 

Vincent Lemaire, General Manager for Doxense International told us that 300 enterprise across European public and commercial sectors already use the software. 

Demand is growing for several reasons, he said. The move away from the traditional laser jet to large multi-purpose departmental multi-functional printers has led to more waste. Lemaire explained, “It does make economic sense to consolidate printers, but costs can quickly escalate because everyone can print in colour. It is eight or ten times more expensive to print in colour than in black and white. We also know that around 18% of all printed pages are never read.”

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Watchdoc counts all printouts made from every printer on the network and can be set up to manage print workflows to traffic print queues to the printer best suited to the job, according to working rules prescribed about the use of network peripherals. 

It also provides printing history, with various statistics and measures that help businesses understand the economical and environmental impact of their print habit.

UK Country Manager Lee Schofield explained that Watchdoc will audit the network to identify the volume users of print or copying, so that they can be targeted for optimisation. 

“Software agents are deployed on each PC, and the system will build up a picture of the cost per print server, the cost per network print queue managed, the cost per local attached printer, and so on. It will also clock the use of each user on the network, to see who is printing what from which application.”

From there it is possible to better optimise the management of print, and work towards changing the behaviour of print users by providing them with accurate information, such as the proportion of pages printed on both sides in duplex. “We find that this alone can lead to reductions in print volumes of around 5%” claimed Lemaire. 

Schofield suggested that an organisation with around 1,000 people on the printer network can expect to produce about 7.8 million pages over the course of a year. Of these up to 20% will never be read, and 20% will be printed in colour. “Using Watchdoc to increase duplex printing, reduce the number of wasted prints, and change user behaviours to control the amount of colour printing, we can expect to provide savings of 20%,” he said.

With headquarters in Lille, the 80-strong privately owned group operates as part of the larger Archimed Group. 

It first produced the Watchdoc software in 1998 and launched an update version in 2005, which the company claims is now deployed across businesses with as few as 100 users and as many as 3,500. 

Schofield reckons that a business with more than 400 users on a print network can expect to see a return on investment in the software in less than six months.

The software also allows prints to be charged back to cost centres, and monitors the status of all managed printers for paper, toner, ink, power mode, and so on.  

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