Level Platforms Adds Managed Print Service Features to Managed Workplace 2011
Level Platforms has added managed print service features to its remote monitoring and management platform. Managed Workplace 2011 R3 provides the traditional managed print service (MPS) functions, and also provides additional capabilities, including remote monitoring, firmware updating and stopping/starting services on printers – something Level Platforms hopes will give an edge to its channel users.
With remote monitoring and management (RMM) MPS features in addition to IT service features, the latest version of Managed Workplace will make it easier for IT service providers to offer managed print services, said Peter Sandiford, CEO of Level Platforms.
With MPS growing as a significant revenue opportunity as businesses of all sizes look to cut printing costs and streamline their printer fleets, Sandiford said there is a huge opportunity for solution providers and managed service providers.
"That means through Level Platforms, MSPs can come up with their own print programs ... or to resell those of the print manufacturers. This is certainly a big revenue opportunity," he said.
Sandiford noted that most MPS tools focus on features that enable customers reduce and manage costs of printing, and the features available in Managed Workplace provide a level of automation that can enhance the print user experience. The software is not just about managing the cost of printing, but actually managing the printers, he said.
"That’s a great way to be pretty disruptive in the managed print services market," Sandiford said.
For MPS providers, this will enable them to offer expanded services beyond what they can offer now, he said. For managed IT service providers, it will make it easier for them to get into the growing MPS space because they can use the same software platform they use for RMM services.
Additionally, Level Platforms has added more features around cloud management. The R3 release includes the ability to monitor and manage Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs. With Office 365, in particular, the channel partner may have sold or recommended the cloud applications to customers, but they are provided with little in the way of managing and monitoring it for performance. Managed Workplace now offers that capability, and allows for more deeper channel relationships for Microsoft partners.
New features enable Managed Workplace users to monitor the performance and response times of Office 365 and Google Docs applications. When problems do occur, they can be more proactive and better able to pinpoint where the problem lies, whether it’s in the cloud, a network connection or elsewhere, Sandiford explained.
The third big key addition to Managed Workplace is power management.
"A lot of organizations are concerned not only about green IT but the cost of power, and so what we’ve done is we’ve introduced complete power management, particularly for Windows devices, that should save a lot of money," Sandiford said.
According to Sandiford, the remote power management features will be of most interest to medium-sized businesses. With the new capabilities, customers (or their service providers) will be able to establish power schedules for groups of computers. Approximately 30 percent of all PCs are left on all night, all the time, but the power management features could be set to put those PCs into hibernate mode at 6 p.m., for example.
With this release, which will be available on Dec. 17, Level Platforms has also removed the necessity for agents on the monitored devices. Managed Workplace 2011 R3 provides for agentless monitoring and management.