The main attraction

Posted on Apr 2 2017 - 11:05am by Editorial Content
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How AMC Networks International is using Equitrac to cut print costs by as much as 30%

Fear The Walking Dead: Image Frank Ockenfels 3 AMC

Kim Dickens as Madison Clark, Cliff Curtis as Travis Manawa , Lorenzo James Henrie as Chris Manawa, Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia Clark, Rube Blades as Daniel Salazar, Frank Dillane as Nick Clark, Mercedes Mason as Ofelia Salazar and Colman Domingo as Victor Strand in Fear the Walking Dead, Season 2, 2016, gallery, Photo credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Dedicated to producing quality programming and content for more than 30 years, AMC Networks Inc. owns and operates several of the most popular and award winning brands in cable television, including AMC, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv and IFC Films. It also runs AMC Networks International (AMCNI), its global division, and BBC America, through a joint venture with BBC Worldwide.

In the UK, AMC Network International (AMCNI-UK) employs 200 people in North West London. Like many organisations, AMCNI-UK is using the Equitrac Offce Suite from Nuance Communications to monitor and control printed output and ease the transition from paperbased to digital document work?ows.

A new vision for print

AMCNI-UK employees print a variety of generic office documents, including letters, presentations and training materials. In a bid to reduce the spiralling cost of unmanaged printing and the amount of time spent managing a large number of small printers, Nigel Proctor, IT Manager at AMCNIUK, identified the need for a new document imaging strategy that would enable staff to benefit from advances in printing and document workflow and give insight into and control over print volumes.

“We had a mix of print devices, from mono and colour printers to MFPs and about 20 desktop-based inkjet printers. This unmanaged print model wasn’t sustainable. Beyond that, we wanted to encourage a broader, best-of-breed approach to IT, print and business solutions across Europe,” he said.

“With that in mind, we wanted to optimise the deployment of MFPs and remove smaller desktop printers. We also wanted to maximise the document work?ow efficiency and cost benefits that a modern MFP offers through capabilities like swipe cards, OCR and scanner functionality. Additionally, we needed an intelligent print management solution that would give us features like Follow-You Printing, Secure Print and reports that would shine a spotlight on who is printing what and when, print volumes and costs.”

Cutting costs with Equitrac

AMCNI-UK’s print supplier assessed the company’s print challenges and future needs and proposed a print strategy designed to deliver cost savings of approximately 30%. This included the replacement of existing devices with 10 multifunction printers (MFPs) integrated with Nuance Equitrac, which Nigel had experience of in previous jobs.

“I had used Equitrac in previous companies, and it had always impressed me, so I was happy to consider deploying it again,” he said.

As well as monitoring device usage, Equitrac applies print rules stipulating that all print jobs default to mono, resulting in considerable savings on the cost of colour printing, and to duplex, saving money on paper.

Further savings come from Equitrac’s secure print and FollowYou print functionality, which eliminates unnecessary printing and improves productivity. “If a printer breaks down, staff can just walk to another device and retrieve their print job from that. They don’t have to waste time waiting for a device to be fixed,” explained Nigel.

He adds that another Equitrac feature, mobile printing, has proved popular with staff located in other offices. “Mobile print functionality is a real boon to visitors to AMCNI’s London office. It makes it really easy for executives from other offices or guests to print to any device,” he said.

A warm reception

Although the new deployment requires employees to work in a different way, Nigel says Equitrac’s ease of use has helped overcome any teething difficulties. “Equitrac’s interface is very intuitive, so the training was very easy and straightforward,” he said. “The MFP supplier’s experience in large scale deployments meant that the deployment was non-disruptive and the process was quite seamless.”

He added: “We were really happy to see that the secure print function could be integrated into the existing door swipe entry cards used by staff.”

The new managed print model based on MFPs and Equitrac software has proved to be so successful that AMCNI now plans to extend it to its other offices across Europe.

Challenge:

Escalating print costs
No visibility into print costs
Diverse, complex and unmanaged print fleet Strategy

Strategy:
To deploy Nuance Equitrac
To integrate it with modern Multifunction Printers
To introduce FollowYou and Mobile Print functionality to aid security and boost print flexibility

Results
On track to make print savings of approximately 20%-30%
Rapid Return on Investment
Managed Print model’s success to be replicated across other AMC Networks offices in Europe

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