Replacing Print Management Tools on Mainframe Systems With Om Plus on Open Systems

by Nicole Summerfield - Date: 2007-01-29 - Word Count: 964 Share This!

Mainframe toolset in use for years on HP 3000 replicated and enhanced by OM Plus on UNIX Server

In this case study, we will explore how a company that utilized advanced Print Spooler and print management tools for years on their HP 3000 was able to replicate and improve their print management capabilities on their new AIX based system by using OM Plus as their print spooler and output management system.

Note: There are numerous types of print management toolsets in use on proprietary platforms that do not also run on open platforms. OM Plus can replace virtually any proprietary print management toolset when the application is migrated to an open system like UNIX/Linux or Windows Server. Contact Plus Technologies for more details.

Company - This company is a USA based integrated steel service center providing numerous processing services for the delivery of production-ready steel to metal stampers, formers, fabricators and manufacturers. The company services a variety of industries that include automotive, agriculture, appliance, truck/trailer and construction equipment.

The company is headquartered in the midwestern region of the United States and operates a central plant and six branch facilities that service customers in over 30 states. The company employs more than 600 people.

Business Problem -During their migration from a proprietary HP 3000 system, that they had been running for many years, to a new application server running AIX, they realized that their Print Spooler and output management toolsets would not economically migrate over to the AIX platform. They had spent many years developing their print management and document output management processes utilizing products such as Spoolmate, By Request and DataNow and they were faced with the daunting challenge of re-creating their processes, re-training personnel, re-creating electronic forms and generally not being able to do the same types of things they used to do with respect to print and output management. They did not have the same level of advanced tools in the basic AIX implementation that they were used to having available to them in their HP 3000 environment.

Key Technical Challenge - The key technical challenge faced by this customer was to replicate (and improve upon as needed) their previous Print Spooler and output management functions on the new AIX system, without making major process changes or breaking their budget.

Operating systems are not designed to handle the production delivery of documents across an enterprise wide network. Problems arise with the reliable delivery and confirmation of that delivery. When print and output related issues and problems occur, documents are not delivered correctly and on time, shipments can be missed, invoices not sent, production lines shut down, the proper electronic forms are not utilized or patient care can be jeopardized. Advanced tools sets are typically used to provide this advanced print and output related functionality. In the case of systems like the HP 3000 (the same is true for AS/400's, IBM mainframes, or any system based on a proprietary O/S) tools that were built for the proprietary system very often don't migrate to open O/S's such as UNIX/Linux or Windows server. This causes the customer to make changes to their operation or seek a new solution to provide the same functionality that they previously enjoyed.

Technical Solution -The technical solution implemented at this customer was based on OM Plus, the Advanced Print Spooling and Print Management solution from Plus Technologies. OM Plus, along with electronic forms capabilities provided by a Plus Technologies partner, was able to replicate their previous print and output management capabilities. The main functions of looking up an e-mail address to "print" a document via e-mail was replicated and their multiple delivery capability was replicated as well. This allows for a document to be printed in multiple locations at the same time instead of having to run the job multiple times (changing the destination each time). OM Plus accepts the job and based on information it finds in the job, invokes the appropriate multiple routing schema to deliver the job to various locations around the company, automatically. OM Plus also enabled the company to create a notification e-mail message to let the end user know that their print job was delivered and where they could pick it up. This functionality also permits the system to re-route a print job around a failed printer automatically and still let the end user know where to pick the job up.

A second key to the success of this migration to OM Plus was the replication of the company's electronic forms. With all the challenges that were being faced during the migration, it was decided that any changes to their electronic forms would be extremely time consuming and counter productive. The solution provided with OM Plus enabled the company to use their existing electronic forms with no changes to the source files in conjunction with their new application on the AIX system. This prevented the need to re-develop their entire electronic forms library. Finally, as was stated earlier, the tools that have been developed for proprietary environments (like the HP 3000) have provided robust print and output management functionality to system administrators, end users and the help desk personnel. OM Plus was able to replicate all of the previous tools' functions and prevent this company from having to change any help desk processes or operational processes, improving the ROI on their new AIX system.

Implementation - On site services including installation, system configuration, testing and user training was delivered by service engineers from Plus Technologies to this customer. In this case, the implementation was completed and in production within two weeks of the order.

Plus Technologies Case Studies - The Plus Technologies case study series includes real examples of how companies use Advanced Spooling Solutions to streamline operations, reduce cost and/or add functionality to existing business processes. For more information on these case studies, contact Plus Technologies.

Related Tags: print spooler, output management, print spooler service, windows print, unix print, output & document management, document delivery services, output management software

Plus Technologies offers advanced Print Spooler, Print Management Software, Document Delivery, Windows Printing and UNIX Printing services and solutions.
Phone - 877-899-7587 (Toll Free)
Outside the US and Canada - 937-384-0444

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