PaperCut and uniFLOW are popular print management software applications with many similarities and a few key differences. We’ve provided a brief comparison of each option, along with some tips for choosing the best print management software for your business needs.
Print management software allows businesses to control, monitor, quota, track and count printing activities throughout an organization. While different in several important ways, both PaperCut and uniFLOW fulfill this promise in a few similar ways:
- Printer/MFP Tracking: With both options, you have the ability to instantly determine who is printing, when they printed, what they printed and on which device. The same goes for faxing and scanning.
- Job Routing: With PaperCut and uniFLOW, you are able to dynamically add formatted text to documents, alter destinations, invoke forms, change the number of copies, notify users, schedule jobs, or reroute print jobs as necessary.
- Pull Printing: Also called secure print release and “find-me printing, this roaming print solution lets users print to one queue and have jobs “pulled” to other printers after they authenticate.
- Intelligent Rules: Both options let you create print policies to limit specified user behaviors.
- Cost Controls: Both PaperCut and uniFLOW allow you to track costs by user, client, department or custom shared accounts.
- Mobile Printing: Both options let employees print using tablets and smartphones.
Similar in many ways, PaperCut and uniFLOW also come with a few differences that make them more or less useful to certain businesses based on their operational needs.
In general, PaperCut has more vendor compatibility for ‘embedded’ support. PaperCut supports a diversity of vendors, including Canon, Brother, Dell, Xerox, Epson, Konica Minolta, HP, Kyocera, Lexmark, Lanier, Ricoh, Oce, Riso, OKI, Samsung, Olivetti, Toshiba and Sharp.
That said, uniFLOW is generally regarded as more ‘universal’ than any other, demonstrating little to no degraded speed or lesser performance. That said, the paper and finishing call-outs can be problematic for both PaperCut and uniFLOW when utilizing the universal driver.
PaperCut monitors the output of the print spooler instead of the output of the device, while uniFLOW does the opposite. With this in mind, if you submit a 200-page print job that suffers a jam on page four, PaperCut will register the whole 200-page print job as complete when it clearly isn’t. On the other hand, when used with Canon devices, UniFLOW would only register that four pages had been printed.
Because this is an all-too-common situation, you won’t be able to rely on accurate printed page counts when using PaperCut. This may not be a big issue for educational-focused users, for which PaperCut was originally developed. It can, however, be quite troublesome for many other types of businesses and organizations.
With that said, UniFLOW only offers this advantage in regard to Canon devices; for all other manufacturers, it will present the same challenges as PaperCut.
What Option Is Right for You?
The right print management software allows businesses to optimize efficiencies, minimize costs, and maximize security. When properly employed, this type of software provides advanced options for device usage monitoring, user authentication, device security, cost reporting, analysis and more.
A good print management application allows administrators to attain insight into exactly how much their organization is printing, who is doing the majority of the printing, and why they’re choosing to print so much. By capturing this critical data, administrators can reduce costs, increase accountability, and bring greater awareness to print behavior, which can either result in noticeable cost savings.
While important, advanced print management is just a part of comprehensive workflow innovations that help companies gain a competitive advantage in their industries. If you want to streamline your workflow, reduce waste and avoid opportunity costs, you must optimize every part of your business’s daily operations.
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