Equitrac Makes Printing Green

The company is looking to expand its solutions set, which enables businesses to better manage their print and copy costs.

To many people, green computing means cutting back on data center power consumption and cooling costs. Equitrac has another view.

Equitrac is addressing green IT by delivering solutions to help enterprises better manage their print and copying costs.

Chris Wyszkowski, the vice president of professional sales and marketing for Equitrac, said the company's network solution monitors document printing and copying enterprisewide so organizations know what is being printed, by whom, on how many devices and how often, and what the associated costs are. The solutions make this key data accessible in a format that can be easily manipulated and interpreted so that the printer and the MFD (multifunction device) fleet can be deployed with optimum efficiency.

Wyszkowski said there are at least 10 key features of Equitrac's solutions that enable them to contribute to a green IT environment: The ability to route output directly to the most efficient device for the job; the power to accurately allocate output costs to user, department or project codes; the ability to eliminate unauthorized printing and copying and protect document confidentiality with secure document release; support for follow-me printing, where devices can be grouped and the document printed at the most convenient printer; the ability to manage color costs by enforcing quotas on color output; the ability to increase device efficiency for the best return on investment; reducing IT support requirements via centralized printing; the capability to monitor devices and redirect a print job should a device be unavailable; enabling users to obtain insight into usage patterns; and allowing users to automatically capture meter readings.

"Equitrac provides solutions to help all kinds of businesses manage their printing and copying processes effectively," he said.

The company started out as a firm aimed at helping user companies count the photocopies they made, primarily law firms, Wyszkowski said.

Now, with law firms still a large segment of the Equitrac customer set, the company is supporting the joint American Bar Association and Environmental Protection Agency Law Office Climate challenge, an environmental initiative that encourages law offices to reduce paper consumption and waste.

Equitrac also supports the EPA's WasteWise program, which calls for offices to ensure that at least 90 percent of all paper bought is made up of recycled content, institute a policy for double-sided copy and printing of drafts and internal documents, and recycle 90 percent or more of all discarded office paper, file folders and envelopes. The program encourages the institution of at least two of these initiatives.

Wyszkowski said Equitrac's law office solution, Equitrac Professional 5, is suited to help law firms implement WasteWise programs.

In February, the ABA said that almost 100 law offices have joined the Climate Challenge. According to the ABA, one large Washington law firm buys about 100,000 sheets of copying and printing paper per attorney per year, which is almost a page per minute of attorney billable time and amounts to a half-ton of paper per year. The life cycle of a ton of paper, from production to disposal in a landfill, results in the generation of about 11 tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions, ABA officials said.

The Climate Challenge is a two-year pilot project initiated in March 2007.

Meanwhile, at the LegalTech conference Feb. 5 in New York, Equitrac announced that Equitrac Professional 5 Legal Cost Recovery Solution integrated with Equitrac Embedded-the company's print tracking and cost recovery solution-will soon be available with the latest Hewlett-Packard MFPs (multifunction printers).

Equitrac Embedded for HP MFPs for Equitrac Professional 5 will be available for the HP LaserJet M3035 MFP, HP LaserJet M4345 MFP, HP LaserJet M5035 MFP, HP Color LaserJet CM4730 MFP, HP LaserJet 4345mfp, HP Color LaserJet 4730mfp, HP LaserJet 9040mfp, HP LaserJet 9050mfp and HP LaserJet 9500mfp, Equitrac officials said.

In late January, Equitrac announced that Equitrac Embedded would support the company's other solutions on HP MFPs.

In addition to Equitrac Professional, the company markets Equitrac Office and Equitrac Express.

Equitrac Office, designed for enterprise, government and general office environments, integrates into an organization's existing print server architecture; and Equitrac Express is targeted at educational institutions.

"We've built complete sets of tools for the modern enterprise, from the small firm to large enterprises," Wyszkowski said.

He said Equitrac maintains engineering and co-development relationships with large printer and MFP manufacturers such as HP.

"First and foremost we are technology partners, but several [MFP manufacturers] provide reseller channels for our software solutions," Wyszkowski said.