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Streamlining Printer Management in Oracle EBS for Remote Users

The Company:

GES is a global, full-service face-to-face marketing partner to some of the most valuable brands in the world. With more than 90 years of experience, this industry powerhouse specializes in producing live events from the ground up, including corporate events, exhibitions, conferences, congresses, exhibits and entertainment experiences. GES provides a wide-range of services, including official show services, audio visual, cutting-edge creative and design, marketing and measurement services, and event accommodations – all with an unrivaled global reach. GES operates globally and serves more than 4,000 live events, exhibits, conferences and exhibitions each year.

The Problem:

Being in the live event and exhibition business requires GES to accommodate printing services for its employees who travel to facilitate events. Leading up to each event, GES manages booth purchase and assembly transactions with trade show exhibitors using a centralized instance of Oracle EBS. The transactions for each trade show produce order confirmations, invoices, and other delivery or service documents that ultimately result in an 8-10 page booth confirmation packet. Each booth is provided with this packet as a form of receipt, and at times there could be more than 2,000 booths at a show.

Registering new printers in Oracle for every event isn’t practical, so GES employees found a work around for creating packets: users would log into EBS and run requests to generate PDF reports. Then, the users would open the completed output with a PDF viewer and use the menu to print to a local printer at the venue.

According to Raj Velpuru, Senior Manager of Oracle Development at GES, the main problem was that printers at conferences and trade shows were not connected on the GES network. Most times, these on-site printers were also shared by other vendors at the event. Printing many large report batches on shared printers led to tracking difficulties and lost print jobs. Remote users manually wrote the date, time, PDF file name, and page numbers they submitted to the printer to record what was sent. This manual process caused many efficiency problems as well as labor cost. “It became really strenuous and time consuming to keep track of what has and has not been printed,” says Velpuru.

The Solution:

To solve for their need to print locally at trade show venues, GES originally planned to build a custom solution. But after much consideration, the company learned that it would be too costly and difficult to support or maintain long term.

While researching managed printing solutions, Jason Couchman, Senior IT Director at GES discovered STR Software’s AventX Print Xpress. Subsequently, Couchman and his team determined that AventX Print Xpress met GES’ needs to streamline printer management inside of Oracle EBS. It allows traveling employees to print instantly to a local or on-site printer, providing a more efficient process for printing. “The best part is that with any other print solution, we must have the printer configured to EBS, and in our case that has been historically ruled out. That is actually one of the best scenarios that attracted GES to AventX in the first place,” says Velpuru. “Users easily connect to the conference center’s network and simply print to the default printer on Windows.”

GES introduced AventX Print Xpress for the specific trade show use case, but Velpuru has been impressed with its success and ease of use across the board. Users who were not traveling for events heard about it and began using the AventX print option for other reports – without any training on how to use the product! Velpuru says it’s “a testimonial to how easy the solution is. From that perspective, the solution is pretty elegant.”

Since implementation, remote and traveling users have eliminated the process of manually recording print jobs on paper. GES also benefits from the AventX Print Xpress Delivery Status Form, which provides a simple way to track print jobs and allows traveling users to focus on more productive tasks during events. Velpuru is confident about the decision GES made to purchase AventX Print Xpress. “We haven’t had one ticket from someone who is expecting a print out that hasn’t come,” he reports. “It saves a lot of effort, and the users don’t need to keep track of anything; all they need to worry about is if there’s paper in the printer!”

STR Software specializes in document delivery solutions for email, fax, internet fax, and print. The AventX Product Suite integrates with ERP applications including Oracle EBS, SAP, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, SunGard and internally-developed solutions in UNIX, Linux and MPE environments.

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