According to the coworking data experts at Deskmag, printing is more important than coffee for coworking space users. Eighty percent of the 2011 survey respondents want to print easily. At 80%, printing is even more important than a meeting room (76%), a cafe (61%) or a kitchen (50%).
In a recent coworking technology session at the Global Coworking Unconference Conference in Denver, operators expressed that printing is one of their major pain points. Here we delve into why printing solutions don’t come easy in shared and flexible workspace environments, and more importantly, how you can overcome these obstacles.
Challenges of Printing in Coworking Spaces
Complicated installation – Traditional printing requires complex set up of hardware, printer servers and cabling. Unless you have the IT ability or a side job of being a printer maintenance person (what are the chances?) this can be quite a costly process. Vital time like this is spent far better elsewhere such as managing your workspace growth or increasing member engagement.
Time and money spent on printer support and management – Installation is one thing, but ongoing printer maintenance and management can really add up in terms of support and the expense of extra resources. With so many things to juggle already, this can be an extra burden to add to a busy coworking manager’s to-do list. With the number of members that want to have access to printing, you want peace of mind that it’s going to work without any problems and that you won’t need to have an expensive technician visit your coworking space every week. The perfect scenario for technology in coworking spaces is that it works so seamlessly that it goes unnoticed!
Complicated set up for printing from various devices – Members are more demanding than ever before and in the competitive coworking market, it’s essential to go the extra mile for customer satisfaction. The increasing segment of corporate coworking occupiers has high expectations for seamless, enterprise-grade technology. Especially for something as simple as printing. This means providing members with the flexibility of printing from the convenience of their phone or other smart devices. With traditional printing, the ability to print from any device can be a nightmare to set up and users often encounter multiple configuration complications. This can lead to frustrated customers and more support questions which further distract you from more pressing operational responsibilities in your workspace.
The Solution: Cloud-based Printing for Coworking Spaces
Cloud printing can be described as a service that allows users to print from any device on the network. Cloud printing connects digital devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets, and workstations with printer stations.
In comparison, traditional printing is done through cables and commonly encounters issues with software drivers, compatibility, and device connectivity.
Benefits of Cloud Printing
Quick installation – The need for printer drivers is eliminated as the printer receives the digital information via the cloud. Printers are quickly connected and instantly ready for use, making your life easier and, more importantly, offering a seamless experience for your members.
Minimal support required – Users start printing right away without any installation of printer drivers or other software. This drastically reduces the admin associated with print infrastructure and print users by removing time-intensive tasks. Cloud software upgrades occur frequently and happen automatically in real-time, without requiring any interference or assistance from you!
Control printing flexibly – With cloud printing, operators can set up rules, limits and prices for users and groups. This can be amended and updated easily with a few clicks of a button. You can also view print statistics and gain insight into member printing behaviour with reports and dashboards. This data-driven information allows you to tailor printing packages and propositions to your workspace members. You can even incentivise members with free prints to encourage more printing and ultimately increase customer satisfaction.
Multi-site printing – You can give members the option of print roaming across your flexible workspace portfolio, allowing them to print from wherever they are. Operators can configure member’s accounts to be able to print at as many locations as they like with the ability to share print allocation among these sites. This flexibility is especially appealing to larger corporate customers and ensures a seamless member experience.
Save time, money and frustration – Cloud printing offers a convenient and simple solution for everyone. Printers are connected to the devices of your staff, members and guests automatically and instantly. You no longer have to worry about software, drivers or cables and the associated costs. The cost to install and maintain cloud printing is a fraction of the cost than investing in your own IT infrastructure.
Most importantly, happy coworkers and employees – Seamless, reliable printing across the network, regardless of the hardware being used and the location.
The essensys Solution
We’ve integrated our coworking management platform with ezeep, the world’s market-leading print management software for coworking spaces, business centers and virtual offices. This integration is managed within a single platform, making printing easy and intuitive and less of a hassle for you and your members.
This new integration handles the seamless transfer and update of user accounts from essensys to ezeep as well as all print data from ezeep to essensys. This way you can manage users and bill from a single enterprise-grade platform, whilst members print with ease.
Printing no longer needs to be a challenge for flexible workspaces thanks to the essensys and ezeep solution. See it in action today with a free product demo.