case study

Firbank Grammar School is a leading independent school that focuses on both the wellbeing and exceptional education of its students, situated in Brighton, Victoria. Teaching students from ELC to Year 12, with day and boarding options, the faculty at Firbank Grammar pride themselves on the confidence they instil in their students, and the strong and supportive communities that they help build both on and off the campus. For over a century now, Firbank students have excelled at extracurricular pursuits while achieving outstanding academic results. Firbank students are also taught valuable skills that support them after school, helping them build networks, open doors, and realise their purpose.

But prior to January of 2024, Firbank Grammar were facing several major problems with their printer solution, PaperCut. The Firbank Grammar ICT Department told us that in light of certain challenges, their printing solution was in dire need of review, and that they were keen to explore alternatives that better addressed their needs; in particular, those regarding user-friendliness, troubleshooting, security, control, and modern authentication.

Digital Document Solutions was more than happy to help. We quickly conducted a complete reevaluation of Firbank’s printing infrastructure that set in motion a major school-wide printing upgrade.

DDS Ensures That Your Software Makes the (Paper) Cut

One of the earliest challenges that we flagged was the prolonged training period that comes with PaperCut. PaperCut is a print management software that’s designed to monitor and control our printing set-ups with user tools that can be securely through a web browser. This software, however, is not as effortlessly user-friendly as it could be - at least not at first. And this steep learning curve was resulting in a slow user adoption at the school, that was also slowing down productivity.

When it comes to control and visibility, Papercut ultimately falls short; it’s a complicated system that often necessitates assistance from external sources, and more pressingly, it’s inability to support modern authentication technologies can sometimes muddy its integration with additional systems, thereby allowing unauthorised access and posing a sizeable potential threat to security.

Though Papercut eventually helps users reduce troubleshooting time, the overall procedure proves to be cumbersome and intricate, necessitating users to submit extensive logs for support. So even though there were potential advantages to be realised once users adapted to the system, this initial slow transition period was resulting in productivity lulls and employee frustrations.

The Digital Document Solution

In direct collaboration with the Firbank ICT team and the PaperCut distributor, DDS were able to address the issues surrounding the most recent release (V 23.0), and successfully resolve them.

This resolution allowed the Fribank ICT team to not only successfully implement PaperCut, but to fully optimise the software, taking full advantage of PaperCuts many benefits before considering a transition to a rival product.

DDS provided Firbank with comprehensive assistance as they configured PaperCut, and as they wisely swapped out their old printers for new and superior Canon models. This support included technical help while setting up PaperCut, and onsite assistance for the printers, tackling problems from paper jams to technical malfunctions.

DDS & Firbank Grammar School Outcomes

The notable results that Firbank achieved with DDS are as follows:

  • The school improved upon their printing uptime average, taking it from 90% up to 98%.
  • Firbank was able to ensure that every single academic department at the faculty had fully centralised access to shared printers.
  • While streamlining the central printer hub, the school was able to take their number of printers down from 37 to 32-34, thereby optimising the printer fleet.
  • Firbank mandated duplex printing for 30% of all print jobs in the first year, with an annual increase of 5%.
  • Firbank was able to optimise printer operations for students, faculty and staff through strategic printer placement, enhanced security protocol, waste reduction, and behavioural insights that informed the KPIs (key performance indicators) so as to prioritise printer quality over quantity.
  • The school took advantage of the latest PaperCut release (23.0) so as to authenticate and synchronise users with Azure AD. Subsequently, every PaperCut sign-in request must go through the Azure conditional access policies, thereby providing greater control of the necessary user-facing authentication prompts.
  • Firbank created a fully driverless printing solution that was compatible with all major operating systems. In alignment with Microsoft's printer vulnerability standards, their new printer set up now allows all end-users to effortlessly install and operate Firbank printers without having to face privilege escalation prompts during installation.