Thursday, August 20, 2009
Managed Print Service for $9.99 per Year?
Yes, the title of the blog is whimsical, but that's the one of the first things that came to mind when I read a press release from Inkgard today.
If you haven't read the press release yet, I'll give you some of the details. Wait, wait......, I did have the chance to call Inkgard today and was not able to get a hold of someone in the marketing department, but I was able to ask one of the customer service reps if this software was both commercial and consumer use, the answer was yes.
Inkgard is software that actually allows the end user to dial their savings from the print driver. Inkgard claims that a setting of 75% savings will allow one cartridge to output as many pages as the equivalent of four uncontrolled cartridges. This really raised and eyebrow from me and if anyone else is skeptical, well join the club. The software is down loadable from thier website on an annual flat rate subscription for unlimited usage starting at $9.99 for single users.
This is an excerpt from the press release "The Inkgard™ solution is created to appeal to a broad base of users – including individuals at home, small businesses, educational, corporate, government and institutional users. The underlying technology increases the ink & toner efficiency of any printer by up to 4 times. Inkgard™ guards from excessive ink and toner waste by removing redundant print drops with intelligent image processing, while maintaining maximum document and/or image quality."
I also took a trip to their web site and tried the gains calculator which is pretty cool, give you amount of pages that you can input along with type of pages that are printed. I then though, well how can they tell you the savings if they don't know what brand or model number of printer you have. Digging deeper there were some additional setting named "change setting", once you click this you're taken to a new page where you can customize your "cost per milliliter or gram of ink. Oh, that's great let me pull out the epson cartridge find how many milliliters and then divide by the cost of the cartridge and then for color I need to do this for all four?? Plus there's a few other settings that I can't seem to figure, well I didn't bother with those anyway. If you run the gains calculator it will give you averages and may not reflect your exact savings for your device.
I then downloaded a free version of the printer driver, now what happens here is that when you select your printer and then select ok to print the page, this is when inkgard opens a program for you to dial in your settings. On my notebook I have about 16 different drivers for laser devices. Everyone I opened would only let me select a max savings of 30% and not the 75% that I expected. I think I forgot about the word "up to" and the up to may refer to savings when using an ink jet printer.
Well, since I'm at home writing this so I couldn't select print output from the inkgard to look at printing quality, the statement on the web reflects that you can maximize quality of the print and still have a savings. I'll give this a whirl over the next few days and let you all know what I came up with. If this works, and I am skeptical at this time, this could be a BIG thing, and could save some companies thousands of dollars.
Here's the link for the press release Inkgard™ Software Reduces Printing Costs Up to 75%