Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA), a Bidvest company, has successfully installed a sophisticated print management and cost recovery platform, to manage print environments and reduce costs, as well as increase document security, workflow and mobility at the University of Limpopo (UL).
The agreement between Konica Minolta South Africa and UL was born out of the need to overhaul the existing printing facilities and management system in order to provide a cashless printing facility, which would be available around the clock on a self service basis; and which would offer students different pricing options for printing, scanning, and copying on the same device. UL also specified that the new system needed to meet exacting security and accurate billing standards, and still offer students full flexibility.
“We wanted to implement a highly secure system that still allowed our students the ability to print from anywhere, at any time and from any device, including student laptops, iPads and smartphones, but which still provided full privacy on the documents that are printed. It also needed to be reliable and accurate when billing the students and offer multiple payment options. To do this, we opted for a system that requires an additional PIN code before is activated, as a further security measure,” explains Mr DK Mohuba, executive director of marketing and communication and spokesperson of UL.
Mohuba continues: “We wanted to enable our students, helping them to become more productive, by addressing some of the issues that we knew were holding them back. For example, we were looking for a system that would help to eliminate the long queues which our students were experiencing when they needed to load credit onto their accounts, make copies of class notes and case studies and print assignments. We knew that the university would have to make a significant investment in state-of-the-art technology and software, but we were cognisant of the fact that our students needed to be presented with cost effective options.”
Konica Minolta South Africa had also won the tender to supply UL with its printers (MFPs) in academic and support areas, as well as copying and printing facilities in libraries, student centres, and computer laboratories, which are available to its staff, students and visitors to the university’s campuses.
Monochrome models, capable of printing between 22 and 120 pages per minute, were installed, along with colour devices that are capable of printing between 36 and 70 pages per minute. Mohammed Vachiat, product manager at Konica Minolta South Africa, says: “The majority of devices installed on the network have an ‘ID and print’ function, which allows for confidential printing. Essentially, documents will only be printed once a verification PIN has been entered, which releases the specific print job.
“As part of the installation we also implemented Pcounter at UL. Pcounter is a scalable, network based print and copy management software, which allows organisations to take control of their print accounting quickly and easily. It has long been an intelligent choice for print and copy management, as it helps to save costs through accurate print accounting, enhance security, increase flexibility and productivity resulting in improved performance, while lowering waste and carbon footprints,” continues Vachiat.
According to Mohuba, Konica Minolta South Africa has successfully provided managed print services that are flexible, innovative and act as an enabler to enhance the learning environment. The company has also positioned technical staff on site to assist students and faculty members on a daily basis, ensuring proper usage and understanding of the systems thus reducing wastage.
“Konica Minolta South Africa both appreciated and realised our need for a vendor partner who would not just place devices at our campus, but one that would also focus on the intangible side of our academic environment, such as supporting us in being a pre-eminent South African university that epitomises excellence and global competitiveness,” he says.
“Of significance too is Konica Minolta South Africa’s client centric service approach, which has taken our needs seriously. The extent to which top management was involved in the roll-out at our institution certainly reinforces this,” he concludes.