Kopikat moves IT Blanchardstown towards a cashless campus

23 Nov 2012

Fiona Harrison, sales manager, Kopikat, and Dave Curran, IT manager, IT Blanchardstown

The Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) is adopting a campus-wide cashless print management system from business and print equipment provider Kopikat, which will facilitate the use of smart cards for students.

The new solution will enable students to log onto an online payment service where they can top up their smart cards using a credit or debit card. They can then charge their print jobs to the smart card, removing the need for any cash to be held by the college for printing.

ITB had been concerned about holding cash on campus, so it tendered for an integrated software solution to manage its print system and replace the old printing cards with a new web-based payment system using smart card technology.

Kopikat won the tender and provided a Ricoh Equitrac office print management and cost-recovery solution. This is to facilitate students’ use of smart cards, in addition to helping the college meet sustainability objectives and reduce printing costs.

The solution can also help students save money as they become more aware of their printing usage and costs. Instead of printing entire documents, they are now only printing the sections they need, which also helps reduce environmental waste.

“Since implementing the new system, we have seen immediate benefits through reduced cost of printing and a more streamlined management of our entire print network,” said Dave Curran, IT manager at IT Blanchardstown,

“We are so pleased with the success of the new cashless print system that we are looking to extend the smart cards to include other services, such estate management, the canteen, shop, and potentially time and attendance.”

‘Follow You’ printing feature

The new solution contains a ‘Follow You’ mechanism, which allows students and academic staff to securely print documents at the device closest to them.

Security has been a major factor in the decision to implement this system, not only to remove cash from the college but also to ensure the confidentiality of documents.

Documents cannot be released for printing until an individual swipes his or her card at a printer. For academic staff, this is particularly beneficial in order to ensure the privacy of material, such as exam papers.

Documents that are abandoned in the print queue are automatically deleted after a certain amount of time. Quotas are also in place for colour copying and a focus on duplex-only print settings further supports the college’s sustainability goals.

Fiona Harrison, sales manager, Kopikat, said third-level students print an enormous amount of material for their classes and this can lead to very high costs for them and the college.

“The new solution in place at ITB is having a significant effect on their bottom line and reducing the costs of the entire printing process. It is also saving valuable time for students, lecturers and staff, particularly during busy periods, such as exams.”

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic