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Printer maker Xerox Corp. announced the release of a software tool, Xerox Print Advisor, aimed at greening businesses through more efficient printing practices. Designed for the company’s ColorQube 9200 series multifunction printers (MFPs), the software tool is free for ColorQube 9200 series owners. Print Advisor uses on-screen prompts to alert users to simple actions they can take to print smarter. For example, if a user chooses to print a multiple page document on one side only, an on-screen message appears recommending two-sided printing.

Print Advisor also collects data on all print jobs, such as how many pages each user prints daily, providing information to the IT department, along with a variety of reports aimed at helping office workers and IT administrators make “more informed and responsible” print decisions. Xerox claims its ColorQube 9200 MFPs cut the cost of color prints by up to 62 percent and generates 90 percent less supplies waste in comparison with traditional color laser MFPs.

For IT managers looking for enterprise-wide reports and usage data, the company is also offering Print Advisor Premium, which will be available this fall for a fee. The premium version extends the benefits beyond ColorQube 9200 series users and provides data and reporting for all networked printers and MFPs as well as those directly connected to users’ PCs. Administrators also can create custom end-user prompts to deliver additional information.

“Print Advisor is a well thought-out application that will promote awareness and educate users on the impact of their personal printing,” said Jon Reardon, group director of office document technologies for document technology strategy and consulting firm InfoTrends. “It’s a powerful tool to drive responsible printing behavior.”   

In Forrester Research’s quarterly look at green IT, published in January, the IT research firm found that as the global recession begins to ebb, businesses are starting to ramp up investments in green IT. In particular, businesses are most interested in driving down energy costs—as noted by 66 percent of the 900-plus respondents from 602 organizations—and reducing other IT operating expenses (42 percent).