When an offshore drilling company’s security became an issue with highly sensitive documents, the company needed a reliable solution that would protect unattended print jobs as well as integrate with their existing systems. Along with Sharp multifunction printers (MFPs), Sharp incorporated Secure Print Release with new USB card readers to make it easy for authorized walk-up users to authenticate to the machines and securely release their print jobs.
Business Environment Challenges
A large offshore drilling company was nearing the end of their lease for high-speed, color MFPs. They reached out to their local Sharp dealer, TLC Office Systems to help them understand the technical requirements and learn about potential solutions. Secure Print Release was on the top of their mind after the CFO discovered extremely sensitive financial documents were left lying unattended in one of their MFP’s output trays. This sparked an immediate inquiry to the IT security team to find the best and most cost-effective solution to prevent this from happening in the future.
Streamlining tasks was also on their list of needs. The passport division of the company is responsible for scanning multiple pages of passports as a single scan operation, which is a very manual process. The company needed a better way of doing their work quickly and efficiently.
After a lengthy bidding process, TLC Office Systems proposed a multifaceted approach, which included a complete refresh of the company’s MFPs, along with advanced software tools for workflow productivity and IT security features.
A total of 23 Sharp MX-5071 color MFPs were installed to replace the existing fleet of 70 MFPs. The Sharp color Advanced Series MFPs were chosen for their compact design, lighter weight and innovative features, making them better suited for offshore rigs and ships. Additionally, their ability to integrate with Microsoft® Active Directory®, makes them a trusted device on the network and enables administrators to manage them the same way they manage other devices.
To streamline scanning efforts, the Sharp MFPs have been configured with one-touch program keys that define specific settings and simplify ease of use. The devices can also create searchable PDFs and editable files, such as .DOCX on the fly, which eliminates steps users previously had to perform at their desktops, post scan. The ability for multi-crop and business card scanning were both bonuses for the end users and also the administrative assistants. Time-saving features such as the bypass tray pop-up icon on the display made it simple and fast to change media types on the control panel.
The dealer also configured the Sharp MFPs with Active Directory (AD), which offers strong user authentication and dynamic single sign-on access to the customer’s Microsoft Exchange® Online account, as well as shared network folders. Additionally, the dealer setup access to Microsoft OneDrive® and SharePoint® on all the MFPs with single sign-on access. Secure Print Release was also setup. Also, AD Group Policy was configured, enabling administrators to centrally manage and control MFP access, as well as select security and energy save settings. All of this functionality was added without additional software cost.
The company’s IT team greatly appreciated Sharp Remote Device Manager (SRDM), which allows administrators to centrally view the status of all the MFPs and take quick action if there is low toner, a misfeed or other condition. SRDM also allows administrators to centrally manage MFP admin passwords, as well as remotely access the device to troubleshoot or help users setup jobs by walking them through it. SRDM is an invaluable tool for the IT department in managing their Sharp MFP fleet. Lastly, USB card readers were installed and matched to the employees ID badges to simplify walk-up user authentication and access the Secure Print Release feature.
TLC Office Systems was awarded the contract for another five years because the offshore drilling company views Sharp products as reliable and easy to use. The company loves the fact that their 10,000+ employees, many coming over from different countries, can simply swipe their badge and securely scan or print a document without having to type in a code.
The company was so impressed with solutions provided by Sharp, that they are deploying a fleet of MX-B476W desktop monochrome document systems for their locations worldwide. At each location, there are approximately 20 officers with their own offices, in tight spaces, which is why the need for a compact model such as the MX-B476W is so great. They can also be mostly configured before being shipped, minimizing the setup activity at time of delivery.