So, your organization wants to move your print and scan management processes to the Cloud? Great! How do you architect and execute a modern Cloud Print and Scan solution? There are a couple questions we need to ask before starting, namely: Who will run the service? How will it be built?
First, we need to identify who is going to be running the service. In other words, you need to know who will tailor the software to meet your unique business requirements and keep it running.
You need someone to design and implement the solution. We can’t just ship an LRS customer our install package and wish them good luck. That wouldn’t get them very far; there are so many knobs and dials that can be turned and an endless possibility of workflows that differ from environment to environment. It’s very difficult for someone unfamiliar with the nitty-gritty details of output management to go from start to finish alone. That is why our team of systems engineers exists: to help build things right the first time and ensure the solution, as implemented, is exactly what you need it to be.
Next, once the solution is up and running, someone will then need to continue the management of it. Will it be the customer? Will it be our managed services team? Maybe the customer’s MPS provider? Regardless of the answer, we need to identify who will control that infrastructure once it is in place.
Finally, who will support the service on an ongoing basis? The day-to-day management of print queues, deploying new devices, and figuring out why Jim can’t see his printer in the Personal Print Manager screen are all things that will need care and feeding by someone. Once these three questions have been answered, we finally know who will be running the service.
Now that we’ve identified ownership, what will this thing look like from an architectural perspective? Where will the servers be? What services are running on what boxes? Truthfully, I have no idea… at least not yet. That is why it is important that we identify exactly what are you trying to accomplish with our solution.
As LRS systems engineers, our job is to guide you through this process. But first, we need to get an idea of what types of printing you are doing today, what document volumes and formats your applications generate, and what you want the future state of your environment to be. This is where our Technical Discovery Workshops come into play. These help us get an idea of all document processes going on in your environment and make sure all key players are involved from the get-go.
Countless questions need to be answered to ensure you build the correct output architecture to meet your needs. How many print devices will be handled? What authentication mechanism is preferred (e.g., Active Directory, Azure AD, or some other OIDC provider)? What platforms and operating systems do you use? The list goes on and on, but by the end of the workshops, we have a better idea of what the architecture will need to look like and we can start identifying the steps necessary to migrate from where you are today to where you need to go. Identifying the hurdles before you reach them will make things go more smoothly when it comes time to jump them.
So, you’ve got a great plan, right? Okay, now it’s time to execute. The necessary servers must be built according to our earlier discoveries, ensuring all prerequisites have been fleshed out: HTTPS certificates obtained, load balancers configured, necessary ports opened, service accounts built and permissioned.
Once all that is in place, it’s time to start laying down software. Configuring each piece to fit perfectly into your own puzzle takes time and expertise. Luckily, the flexibility of the LRS platform makes it possible to tune the solutions to almost any scenario. “Tuning” could mean a customized scan workflow, a script leveraging our APIs for system changes, or just some checkbox in the settings to achieve some specific behavior.
Finally, once the solution is fully built, there’s the step of migration, which is a whole beast on its own to tackle. One thing is certain, though: by answering these questions, you will find success in moving to a fully-tailored cloud solution that is capable of handling the modern requirements your company will face in the challenging world of enterprise print and scanning.