In this digital day and age, the need for individuals to own printers is becoming less important. Having a bulky printer in your house or apartment is just unnecessary because they are not used very often. The printer sucks energy. Even if it is a Multi-functioning printer, how often do you Scan, Copy or Fax? When you don’t use the printer then there is a problem of the ink cartridges drying up. You will need to go buy new ink cartridges just to make a few prints. That is a lot of time, expense and hassle.
It would be nice to have a place to go to that has a printer that the public could use. There are many things that need printed like Resumes, business plans, tickets, directions, articles, coupons, brochures and pictures on photo paper, to name a few.
Some businesses already offer public printing or will begin this practice in the near future. Why don’t more do it? It’s the hassle of managing access, billing and security. That’s where ezeep comes into the picture.
We have customers that manage apartment homes and use the ezeep service to offer public printing as a benefit to living at their complex. When you are renting in the apartment complex then you can go to the leasing office and use the printer. Sometimes they have a business center that will give you access to a PC and a printer. There is usually a limit to how much you can print for free. There are options to pay-per-page after the free prints are used.
In higher education, we have customers that allow their students to print for free. The students don’t print all the time, but some papers have to be turned in by hard copy to their professor. Study notes are sometimes needed and sharing them are often used on paper.
Our customers in the coworking industry are already sharing a printer to their regular customers. When someone comes in for a day pass then an easy sign up to use the printer is needed. Since they have this printer already then why not make some money by sharing the printer to the public. Putting a sign on their door, saying that there is public printing available, brings in neighbors and passing traffic. Charging a nominal fee for the prints that are needed adds income to their business. New streams of income are always being sought after in the shared workspaces industry.
Ezeep easily manages printing in these and other scenarios and it is also easy for the user. You enter your email address on a website to sign up, print your document either via one of the ezeep apps or the ezeep web portal, walk up to the printer and release your job by either an access card or a link in an email we send you.
The following steps describe how to set up your ezeep account to share your printers easily and securely.
Self-Sign-Up Link and Default Policy
First, set up self-sign-up for your ezeep account by doing the following:
Everyone will be able to sign up for printing at your printer(s) by using this link: https://accounts.ezeep.com/join/... You need to think of something to replace the … with. We call it an organization ID. This can be a word, an abbreviation – basically anything with lower-case letters and/or numbers.
Send an email to email@example.com and ask us to create a self-sign-up link for the organization ID you thought up in step 1.
Log in to your ezeep account as administrator for the next steps.
Create a new group and use your organization ID from step 1 as the name
Create a new policy, name it anything you like, and configure it as follows:
GROUP tab: select the group you created in the previous step
PRINTERS tab: select the printer(s) you want to make available
SETTINGS tab: configure your color, quota and price options. Since this printer will be available to people you might not know well, we recommend setting a per-page price or at the very least a free pages limit.
PULL PRINTING tab: Leave it as is for now. We get to it in the next part
After our service team has created your organization ID, you will receive an email. You can now try it out by going to https://accounts.ezeep.com/join/[organizationID] and enter your email address to sign yourself up.
Security and Privacy with Pull Printing
Everything that is being sent to your shared printer will print immediately. This is a bit of a privacy and security issue. Therefore, configuring pull printing for your public printer is the second step you should do.
As an administrator in your ezeep portal perform the following steps:
Go to your policies and select the policy you created for public printing.
Open the PULL PRINTING tab and select RELEASE BY EMAIL and check the option “Print first and later select the printer via web portal”.
Go to the Printers page in the ezeep admin portal
You will see a printer with the name “Personal Printer”. This is the printer your users will see. You can rename it to anything you like e.g. ACME printing. Set the supported paper formats and duplex option.
Click on PERSONAL PRINTING SETTINGS and assign a Printer ID to each printer you would like to share with the public. This ID must be a number and it must be unique. The Printer Password is only needed when authentication cards are in use.
Print or write down the Printer IDs and place them near the printer they belong to so that your users know which printer ID they need to use to release a print job.