Cus­to­mer refe­rence
Lan­des­ober­be­hör­de IT
Baden-Württemberg (BITBW)

Poli­ce Baden-Würt­tem­berg builds on AKI:
Auto­ma­ted pro­ces­ses ins­tead of a pro­li­fe­ra­ti­on of drivers

The cus­to­mer

The hig­her sta­te aut­ho­ri­ty IT Baden-Würt­tem­berg (BITBW) is one of the lar­ger IT ser­vice pro­vi­ders in the public aut­ho­ri­ty envi­ron­ment and sup­ports a lar­ge num­ber of public ser­vice cus­to­mers – inclu­ding the poli­ce of the sta­te of Baden-Würt­tem­berg. Its tasks inclu­de the con­trol and moni­to­ring of client/server sys­tems, net­work ser­vices for voice and data trans­mis­si­on as well as the deve­lo­p­ment and ope­ra­ti­on of spe­cia­li­sed app­li­ca­ti­ons for admi­nis­tra­ti­ve tasks. In addi­ti­on, BITBW, tog­e­ther with the Baden-Würt­tem­berg Logistics Cent­re (LZBW), is respon­si­ble for the cen­tral pro­cu­re­ment of infor­ma­ti­on and com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on tech­no­lo­gy (ICT) for the sta­te admi­nis­tra­ti­on of Baden-Würt­tem­berg. Ano­t­her main area of respon­si­bi­li­ty is user sup­port. BITBW cur­r­ent­ly employs around 300 people.

  • Sec­tor Authority
  • Task Uni­fy prin­ter dri­vers, redu­ce the num­ber of dri­vers and sim­pli­fy prin­ter administration
  • Top chal­len­ge Many prin­ters and high dri­ver diver­si­ty – uni­fi­ca­ti­on of prin­ter dri­vers and auto­ma­tic dri­ver dis­tri­bu­ti­on to 668 servers
  • Solu­ti­on AKI Prin­Tau­rus Com­man­der, Prin­Tau­rus Dri­ver­Ser­ver and Prin­Tau­rus ResQueue
  • Top bene­fits Simp­le dri­ver manage­ment and dis­tri­bu­ti­on, auto­ma­ted update and reco­very, uni­form dri­vers on all ser­vers and much less admi­nis­tra­ti­ve effort with fewer prin­ting pro­blems at the same time

The task

The Baden-Würt­tem­berg poli­ce for­ce has about 6,000 prin­ters from dif­fe­rent manu­fac­tu­rers in use at 668 loca­ti­ons – inclu­ding the Sta­te Cri­mi­nal Poli­ce Office, government and poli­ce head­quar­ters and poli­ce direc­to­ra­tes. “The majo­ri­ty of our prin­ters come from a small type fund, as they are pro­cu­red cen­tral­ly throughout the sta­te,” exp­lains Karl Lei­dig, pro­ject mana­ger at BITBW. The prin­ters are repla­ced every four years. In addi­ti­on, howe­ver, the­re are other devices for spe­cial tasks. “Our appro­xi­mate­ly 80 ‘exo­tics’ are natu­ral­ly used much lon­ger than the ’nor­mal’ printers.”

The prin­ters have dif­fe­rent pur­po­ses: from pure work­place prin­ters with a low print volu­me, to floor prin­ters, to cen­tral prin­ters with 6,000 she­ets of paper per mon­th. Fur­ther­mo­re, indi­vi­du­al copiers are addi­tio­nal­ly used as prin­ters. “From the big Ricoh 5000 to Koni­ca Minol­ta Bizhubs – we have almost ever­ything avail­ab­le,” exp­lains Karl Lei­dig. Espe­cial­ly for the poli­ce, it is sim­ply expec­ted that the prin­ters work around the clock without any pro­blems: Wit­ness state­ments have to be prin­ted and signed, arrest war­rants issued to several teams.

The big­gest pro­blem was the many dif­fe­rent dri­vers. “Befo­re we intro­du­ced our nati­on­wi­de domain, the­re was a huge varie­ty of dri­vers: dif­fe­rent loca­ti­ons used dif­fe­rent dri­vers for the same prin­ters,” says Lei­dig. In addi­ti­on, 50 direc­to­ra­tes pro­cu­re their copiers – which are also used as prin­ters – them­sel­ves; iden­ti­cal devices are not always purcha­sed. “In the end, we had far more than 200 prin­ter dri­vers for con­si­der­ab­ly fewer than 200 prin­ter types,” Lei­dig recalls.

Unicat’s Ope­ra­ti­ons Mana­ger is used to crea­te and con­fi­gu­re the prin­ters on site. This is a soft­ware sys­tem for auto­ma­ting ope­ra­tio­nal pro­ces­ses in dis­tri­bu­t­ed and inho­mo­ge­ne­ous IT infra­st­ruc­tures. BITBW only had stan­dard board tools at its dis­po­sal for the admi­nis­tra­ti­on of the prin­ting envi­ron­ment – this meant a lot of manu­al work, a huge amount of time and high cos­ts. Con­ve­ni­en­ce: a dead end!

The solu­ti­on

In the cour­se of migra­ting the regio­nal domains into a sin­gle, cen­tral domain, the cli­ents were reinstal­led and the ser­ver land­s­cape stan­dar­di­sed, but at the same time the prin­ters were adop­ted one-to-one. The focus was on the migra­ti­on into one domain. The prin­ters just had to work. After the upgrade to Micro­soft Win­dows Ser­ver 2008 and later to Micro­soft Win­dows Ser­ver 2008 R2, the print ser­vers were also to be reor­ga­nis­ed. BITBW, tog­e­ther with the Baden Würt­tem­berg Poli­ce, deci­ded to imple­ment a new print manage­ment solu­ti­on. The pri­ma­ry goal was to stan­dar­di­se and har­mo­ni­se the dri­ver land­s­cape and to signi­fi­cant­ly redu­ce the num­ber of dri­vers. “Regio­nal” dri­vers were to beco­me a thing of the past.

In addi­ti­on, BITBW natu­ral­ly nee­ded a sui­ta­ble dis­tri­bu­ti­on sys­tem that would make the appro­pria­te dri­vers avail­ab­le at the respec­ti­ve loca­ti­on on the cor­re­spon­ding print ser­ver. Fur­ther requi­re­ments were the back­up and res­to­re capa­bi­li­ty of the prin­ters of the print ser­ver (spoo­ler con­fi­gu­ra­ti­on) and simp­ler, uni­form admi­nis­tra­ti­on opti­ons. An addi­tio­nal requi­re­ment: inter­faces to Unicat’s Ope­ra­ti­ons Mana­ger and to BITBW’s inter­nal sys­tems. The con­ver­si­on of the print manage­ment had to be car­ri­ed out during ongo­ing operations.

“After a com­pre­hen­si­ve mar­ket review, the decisi­on was made in favour of AKI and the Prin­Tau­rus soft­ware,” says Karl Lei­dig. The intel­li­gent print manage­ment solu­ti­on works across manu­fac­tu­rers, has a modu­lar struc­tu­re and ensu­res eco­no­mic, con­ve­ni­ent and secu­re prin­ting in prin­ter land­s­capes of all sizes. The Prin­Tau­rus Com­man­der is the sin­gle point of con­trol. It enab­les easy admi­nis­tra­ti­on and manage­ment of the prin­ter net­work with an intui­ti­ve gra­phi­cal user inter­face. It is not a rigid solu­ti­on, but can be adap­ted to the indi­vi­du­al requi­re­ments and needs of the network.

BITBW also reli­es on the Prin­Tau­rus Res­Queue modu­le: it backs up com­ple­te Win­dows spoo­ler con­fi­gu­ra­ti­ons, pro­vi­des dai­ly back­up and res­to­re rou­ti­nes and shor­tens the migra­ti­on of print ser­vers. Ano­t­her modu­le – Prin­Tau­rus Dri­ver­Ser­ver – auto­ma­ti­cal­ly updates, mana­ges and installs prin­ter dri­vers on the network’s print ser­vers. This means that the times when the team around admi­nis­tra­tor Hel­mut Vogel had to do this work manu­al­ly in a tedious and time-con­suming way are over.

“With AKI we have backed the right hor­se. Dri­ver dis­tri­bu­ti­on on 668 print ser­vers is now ful­ly auto­ma­tic and we have iden­ti­cal, up-to-date dri­ver ver­si­ons ever­y­whe­re. If indi­vi­du­al dri­vers have to be res­to­red, this is now also done auto­ma­ti­cal­ly!”, reports Karl Lei­dig. “This saves us a lot of time. Last but not least: we were able to redu­ce our num­ber of dri­vers from well over 200 to about 85.” This also redu­ces the pos­si­ble sources of errors.

“The gra­phic inter­face has made the ent­i­re admi­nis­tra­ti­on clea­rer and easier. In addi­ti­on, we now have much shor­ter respon­se times to prin­ting pro­blems,” says Karl Lei­dig. Alt­hough the­re were typi­cal minor dif­fi­cul­ties during the intro­duc­tion, for examp­le some dri­vers were not yet avail­ab­le for Win­dows Ser­ver 2008 R2, AKI and BITBW were able to work tog­e­ther to get the pro­blems under control.

Print manage­ment has now been intro­du­ced for 668 loca­ti­ons, each with a print ser­ver and appro­xi­mate­ly 6,000 prin­ters. 30,000 users access the prin­ters from 20,000 cli­ents. “With the AKI solu­ti­on, we save a lot of time and money. In addi­ti­on, our hel­pdesk has seen a signi­fi­cant decre­a­se in prin­ter fail­u­res and the end users are obvious­ly satis­fied. Our poli­ce want to print, not wait!”

“I par­ti­cu­lar­ly like the abi­li­ty to auto­ma­ti­cal­ly pro­vi­de and dis­tri­bu­te dri­vers across the coun­try. Uni­for­mi­ty of dri­vers is an issue that comes up in every net­work at some point. We have sol­ved that very well with AKI.”
Karl Lei­dig

Poli­ce offi­cer, Lan­des­ober­be­hör­de IT Baden-Württemberg (BITBW)

“Mana­ging print ser­vers, queu­es, ports and dri­vers: all with a sin­gle point of control.”
Hel­mut Vogel

Sys­tem admi­nis­tra­tor, Lan­des­ober­be­hör­de IT Baden-Württemberg (BITBW)

The bene­fits

  • Sin­gle point of con­trol – cen­tral admi­nis­tra­ti­on of the prin­ter net­work with intui­ti­ve gra­phi­cal interface
  • Com­for­ta­ble and auto­ma­tic instal­la­ti­on of prin­ter dri­vers in the network
  • Uni­form prin­ter dri­vers on all print servers
  • Always up-to-date through auto­ma­ted dri­ver updates
  • Fewer prin­ting pro­blems – hel­pdesk needs to inter­vene much less frequently

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