Hassle-free printing with MS Terminal Services

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QuikPlan Limited implements ThinPrints RDP Engine to support printing under MS Terminal Services.

QuikPlan develops simple-to-use automated planning and administration software. Founded in 2004, the Worcester based company has enjoyed rapid success and its solution is currently used by customers all over the UK for planning visits as well as the automatic generation of time sheets, travel expenses, reports, invoices and other documents.

The Challenge to find a hassle-free printing solution for MS Terminal Services

The QuikPlan solution is hosted on a dedicated Windows 2003 Server with a leading hosting provider, UKFast Limited. QuikPlans customers access the application and their data remotely from their own PCs or laptops. Customers thereby benefit from the use of a powerful server as well as remote access and QuikPlan is able to offer remote administration. The only problem was printing. Before a customer could print reports and other documents, the printer driver for their printer needed to be installed on the server. Even if the relevant printer driver was available (which it sometimes wasnt), this was a hassle for both the customer and QuikPlan. Administrative overheads were further increased by having to make sure that the print jobs from the multi-user system reached the correct printer. The amount of time I was spending on print management was detrimental to both my company and my customers, said Nick Patrick, managing director, QuikPlan (pictured right). With as many as 30 customers connected at any one time and printing up to 400 page reports, QuikPlan needed to find a hassle-free solution to its print management problems.

The Solution ThinPrints RDP Engine makes print management easy

With the help of Avnet UK, QuikPlan implemented the Remote Desktop Printing Engine (RDP Engine) from the print management specialists, ThinPrint. The RDP Engine is specially designed to optimize printing in MS Terminal Services environments. The RDP Engine installs on the server in seconds and is immediately available for use with any network, desktop or home workstation printer. This is possible thanks to the patent pending 'driver free printing' technology that eliminates the need to install print drivers on the server. All QuikPlans customers need to do is run a self-installing application on their client computer that requires no setting up or configuration. Once installed, they can go ahead and print immediately without having to wait for QuikPlan staff to find and install the relevant print drivers. Connecting new printers is therefore also hassle-free. Moreover, since print jobs are automatically redirected to the customers default printer, the administrative burden of mapping print jobs to printers is eliminated.

QuikPlan also benefits from another feature of the RDP Engine. The high compression of the print data (up to 98 per cent) prevents print jobs from monopolising bandwidth. No small matter considering the number of remote users connected and printing at any one time.

Since introducing the ThinPrint solution, both QuikPlan and its customers now benefit from a hassle-free printing environment. I tried most of the other demos of this type of software, and ThinPrint was the only one that did the job, said Patrick. It means that I am now able to provide the level of service and support that my customers expect.

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