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A Publication Featuring The Information Services Technology of Maine State Government
|Volume VI, Issue 3||March 2003|
By Joe Kilcoyne and Ed Morancie
In December 2002, the Bureau of Information Services (BIS) purchased a new Xerox DP180 high-speed laser printing system which is about one-third faster than the printer it replaced. Why? There were a couple of major reasons.
After eight years of printing 1.5 million pages per month, the older of the Bureaus two Xerox DP4635 printers was showing its age, and could no longer be guaranteed as fully serviceable by the vendor. Second, BIS needed a new printer to better service customers needs. BIS has been receiving an increasingly large portion of its daily print volume from open-systems applications like the Department of Human Services ACES (Automated Claims Eligibility System) application. The 4635s could handle only IBM and BULL printing and a new printing solution had to be found. The DP180 can recognize print commands which originate across the network (in a manner similar to the many smaller network-attached printers), and those from across the machine room (sent directly from the IBM and BULL mainframes).
A number of problems were encountered moving the IBM and BULL printing to the new system; but all of the more serious ones have been resolved. Since the Bureau still has one of the 4635 printers, BIS will run any problematic jobs on the older printer until all issues (both with the printer and the applications) are addressed. The biggest concern in moving to the newer technology was the audit process for printing checks, which will continue to be printed on the 4635 printer until July of this year. At that time, Xerox will provide support on the DP180 for certain key features of the audit log that are currently used by Treasury and the Bureau of Accounts and Controls.
The network printing feature is very important to BIS customers, especially to the Department of Human Services, as they migrate their applications from the BULL mainframe onto Unix platforms. The increased speed of printing is also important to this department, since much of their work is time-sensitive and must be sent to the states central postal distribution service within hours of its receipt by BIS.
The new DP180 has also been very popular with the BIS Systems Software support staff as it does a nice job printing technical documentation which is increasingly available from vendors only on CD-ROM.
The new printer can be made available to customers who have similar needs to print large documents or large amounts of data that may be too much for their local network attached printers.
Printing to the DP180 over the network will require downloading special print drivers to the customers PC and setting up special print queues on the DP180. The customers will be billed at standard per-page rates (currently 2.9 cents per impression) for the service.
Please contact Ed Morancie by calling 624-9450, or e-mailing Edmond.Morancie@maine.gov for further details.