Saving Print Costs Across all Platforms

Saving Print Costs Across all Platforms_engThere are many ways to get things done right. When applying this truth to Beta Systems, it means that no matter on which platform our customers are running their applications – be it the mainframe or a server landscape – Beta Systems solutions will help them optimize their print output in either case.

Municipal IT service provider Kommunale Informationsverarbeitung Reutlingen-Ulm serves as a perfect example of this. The municipal regional data center obtains software from the Datenzentrale Baden-Wuerttemberg IT provider, which it installs and adapts to its IT infrastructure. It then makes the functions of the specialist procedures available to the 364 municipalities and district administrations in the 13 eastern Baden-Wuerttemberg counties it serves, while also handling all data management tasks, such as printing and enveloping bulk mailings.

Reducing Print Output from 9 to 3 Million Pages

Even back when the mainframe was the key IT tool, Beta 93 and Beta Web Enabler helped the IT service provider to reduce printing volumes from 9.5 to 3.2 million host-based single-sheet prints, and endless prints from 18 down to 7 million.

A strict and exclusive focus on the mainframe is no longer the accepted standard in public IT landscapes. This is why Datenzentrale Baden-Wuerttemberg delivers most of their tools as Java applications designed for operation on Unix/Linux or Microsoft servers, while traditional Cobol and Assembler applications are on the decline. For the same reason, KIRU has been successively reducing their mainframe applications since 2012.

The mainframe was phased out after 18 December 2015, and today 60 percent of the systems are run on Windows, the remainder on Linux.

Migrating the Output Management System during Ongoing Operations

Owing to the good performance of Beta 93 on the mainframe, the operator opted for the Beta UX output management solution, which is the Unix/Linux version of the former application. The migration process from Beta 93 to Beta UX was carried out in parallel to ongoing operations over a two-year period. The lists and reports generated by all new applications executed on the client/server platform are transferred to the new output management system: an impressive 60 million output documents in 2015.

Beta UX greatly supports technical workflows in the data center as it separates lists, bundles them and optimizes printing stacks.

In February 2016, just before the upcoming state election, Beta UX received four million ballot notices within just a few days, both as a list and a report in AFP format. The output management system packaged the notices for approx. 40 clients, creating bundles of 2.5 gigabytes each.

Web Enabler Visualizes Information

The communal staff was able to use the Beta Web Enabler to view the printouts and check them for errors. This kind of check is not performed for every print run, but it is generally rather limited to special runs, such as election notices or tax liability assessments.

The Beta Web Enabler visualization tool thus enables KIRU’s user groups to easily view contents that only they are allowed to see in keeping with all relevant security and privacy regulations. Beta UX allows KIRU to map the authorization scheme of any department. 2,500 individual users have been set up to access the output management system via Beta Web Enabler, allowing for concurrent viewing of lists. On the other end of the scale, there are small municipalities with a staff of only three persons, each of which is authorized to view almost all applications using the Web Enabler.

Reducing Printing Costs: No more Misprints Thanks to Pre-Print Checking

This level of production monitoring by the customer helps to avoid misprints since the notices are only passed on to the printing and enveloping line at the Ulm data center site after the information has been verified based on the dual control principle. In practical terms this means that previously, notices were printed right away and then sent to the customer. If a processor made a mistake when entering the fees, KIRU had to scrap the entire batch. Now that the processors can use the Web Enabler to access the specialist procedure output, the service provider benefits from extensive savings in terms of printing and paper costs – the number of sheets of paper that no longer need to be printed or sent by mail ranges in the millions each year.

The cost savings resulting from reduced printing allow the service provider to keep their service fees stable, to the benefit of their customers. In addition to optimizing data center print management operations at KIRU, the Beta Systems products also offer functions that allow municipalities to implement eGovernment, thus enabling modern access to their documents.

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Bernhard Prüger
I was born in Vienna, living and working with my family for many years in the German capital Berlin. As business data processing specialist I am attracted by the fascination of IT. As a Product Marketing Specialist at Beta Systems I'm responsible for the data center product portfolio. So far, I helped companies in the start up of inbound marketing and the implementation of Go-to-market strategies.

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