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Pcounter

Print Management, Print Auditing and Print Accounting for Novell NetWare, NDPS, Microsoft Windows Active Directory

Controlling the Cost of Computer Printing
Pcounter tracks, controls and accounts for printing on Novell NetWare, NDPS, Windows Windows XP and Microsoft Windows networks.

Pcounter is a unique print management, print accounting and print auditing software system that eliminates waste and abuse of network print resources. Using Pcounter for print metering and print quota management results in dramatic cost savings - return on investment is measured in days.

Key Features:

  • Detailed print audit trail and reporting of Who printed What, When, Where and How much
  • Counts pages sent to any PCL, Postscript, HPGL, Epson ESC/P & ESC/P2, printer or network device.
  • Supports CANON Bubble Jet printers and Ricoh RPCS print drivers.
  • Plotter accounting provided based on area used.
  • Accurate assessment and reporting of total print volumes.
  • Automatically updates user account balances with costs of each print job
  • Real-time enforcement of "print quota" for any network user
  • Optional restrictions based on paper size, page count, copy count, job size, job type and document name/type (e.g. HTML).
  • Charge-back and cost recovery facilities for projects, departmental and client billing.
  • Centralized print queue management enables viewing and modification of print queues, printers and releasing of print jobs.
  • Automation options for allocating print quota and collecting cash via vending devices
    Release Station add-on option for viewing and releasing print jobs on input of user's password
  • Supported on all Novell NetWare, Microsoft Windows and Active Directory platforms
    Supports printing from any network PC to any PCL, Postscript, HPGL, Epson ESC/P or ESC/P2 device.
  • Easy implementation: seamless integration with on underlying O/S - no user setup or configurations required.
  • Customization options available for integration with card based payment and/or copier control systems.

The True Cost of Printing:
The explosive growth of computer networks, lack of user accountability and the relatively low cost of printer hardware are factors that have led to print costs being overlooked and often unknown. The true cost of printing has become a "black-hole" of expense that needs to be brought back under budgetary control.

The NEED for Print Accounting:
There are two main reasons why computer users are often unaware of the print cost problem?


 

  1. The cost is unknown, usually because they have no means of accounting for it.
  2. They have no responsibility for the budget, which pays for the consumable items.

As a first step, Pcounter provides an efficient low cost method of accurately accounting for all print usage. Once the scale of the problem has been assessed, Pcounter can be used to enforce disciplines that eliminate abuse, reduce waste and save costs.

Configuration Options:

  • Set page cost per paper size on each device - plotter accounting can be configured to charge based on area used.
  • Restriction & Redirection based on cost, paper size, page count, copy count, job type, job size and document name/type (e.g. HTML!).
  • Pcounter's "RULES" allow jobs over to be stopped from printing (paused or deleted), put to the back of the queue, rescheduled for later, or redirected to another printer based on the above criteria.
  • Reject unsupported paper sizes and job types before they reach any printer.
  • Setup optional customized banner pages.
  • Choose actions to trigger when low balance limit is reached (Delete the job, hold or print it anyway).
  • Set and customize optional job notification messages.

Configuring Prices and Paper Sizes:
Costs per page per paper size can be set per device or for all devices by default. Plotter accounting is supported on an "area used" basis - per square foot or per square meter.

Quota Management:
Pcounter allows quotas/limits to be given to individual users and then prevent printing when a user's quota allocation has been used. Balances are automatically updated with the cost of each print job. Users can be given unlimited credit (for pure auditing purposes) or a "low balance limit" below which certain actions can be triggered. Jobs can be deleted, put on hold, or printed with a warning.

Client-billing/Charge-back:
Pcounter can force users to allocate every print job to a predefined client code/project/job number for charge-back and/or internal accounting purposes.

Pcounter: Automating Administration
NetPrint Money Loader: A wall mounted vending unit, housed in a high security steel cabinet, with mini-VGA and mini keyboard. Inside is a biscuit PC with onboard network card, high quality coin and note acceptors and lockable coin and note boxes. Users identify themselves to the unit using their standard network user name and password. Money can then be deposited that directly updates their Pcounter print credit account in real time, with full audit trail. Low cost lease options are now available to make this an extremely cost-effective option for any organization implementing charging for printing.

ACCOUNT.EXE batch update:
This is a Win32 command line program, provided with Pcounter, for managing user account balances. You can type in commands or use it for batch processing of many accounts at once, to process deposits, credits, set balances or query balances.

Pcounter Station: Secure Release with API for Card System Integration
Pcounter Station is an additional piece of software which runs on a dedicated Windows PC. It is designed to be used in controlled or pay-to-print environments. After users send print jobs from other workstations, they can approach the station, select the jobs they wish to send to the printer, and submit some form of payment through devices such as card readers or cash machines. Pcounter Station locks down the PC so that users cannot exit, and the Pcounter Station software is the only application which is shown on the computer’s display. End users and third party software companies can integrate their own applications with Pcounter Station via a DLL interface supplied with the software.

Copier Accounting Integration:
Pcounter handles management and accounting of network printing and supports most of the networked multifunction print and copy devices available from printer manufacturers. Pcounter does not directly provide accounting for "walkup" copying, however there are interfaces available to allow integration with other systems that handle traditional copier accounting, either via a network based device attached to the copier or smart cards that are used for copy payment. If you are interested in this subject please contact us to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Audit Trail and Reporting:
All print jobs are logged which provides a detailed audit trail of who printed what, where, when and how much. Additional extensive reports are also available showing total print volumes (pages & jobs) and costs; cross-referenced by user, group, printer/queue, client-codes and paper size. Reports can be viewed on screen, printed, output as text, HTML or sent by E-mail.

 

Pcounter Power Point Presentation (approx. 900kb)
Click to run Power Point Presentation in your browser or right-click and "Save As" to download to your local drive.

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