Articles & Case Studies

Secure printing environment with reduced costs

Posted: Tuesday 11th April 2017

Severn Trent Water owned a high number of desktop printers, which they replaced with more cost effective multi-functional devices and pull printing. Their primary goal was to significantly decrease printing costs together with ensuring high security of printing, copying and scanning. During the first 12 months, cost savings in comparison to their previous print environment reached 48%.

Customer Profile

Severn Trent Water is an international utility services and environmental solutions company. Severn Trent was formed in 1974 as a regional, state-owned water authority responsible for water management and supply, and waste water treatment and disposal, in the catchment areas of two of Britain's largest rivers - the Severn and the Trent. After privatisation of the water industry, Severn Trent Water passed into private ownership in 1989. The company invested heavily in replacing and repairing its assets and infrastructure. It set standards on issues such as public health, leakage reduction and the cleanliness of rivers and other water sources in its catchment region.


Severn Trent Water moved from a number of regional offices into a brand new purpose built seven-story Head Office known as Severn Trent Centre.

Severn Trent Water identified that as part of the IT Solutions provision, there was a need to provide a printing solution that aligned with the new workplace vision. This included the provision of a solution that provided secure, on-demand print roaming whilst minimising the carbon footprint of the solution through significant consolidation of the number of printing devices.

Severn Trent Water had a high number of desktop printers that comprised of many different makes and models. The aim was to move away from these low quality and expensive printers and replace them with more cost effective multi-functional devices.

The solution was designed to address not just printing but also scanning, copying and faxing to provide a full solution delivered through a consolidated fleet of MFD's.

Print driver maintenance was very time consuming, particularly due to their Citrix environment.

Fleet management and utilisation of devices were insufficient and ineffective.

There was no clear visibility of print costs. For example, it was very difficult to identify how much Severn Trent Water were spending on printing and this was spread across 3-4 different cost centres.


Konica Minolta recommended the YSoft SafeQ solution to meet the customer's requirements. Prior to any decisions being made, Konica Minolta demonstrated YSoft SafeQ to Severn Trent Water. IS Procurement decided to opt for the YSoft SafeQ Enterprise edition, including the support of application level cluster technology (without the need for a clustered OS or a database). This system is secured against a server failure and ensures automatic load balancing between servers/nodes within the application cluster. The solution has a high level of stability and overall, manages 3 locations with 62 networked printing devices.

Each device is equipped with a YSoft SafeQ Embedded Terminal which is an inherent part of the multi-functional equipment and subsequently, users can easily administrate their print jobs (cancel or mark as favourite) directly from the device panel.

YSoft SafeQ ensures not only accurate accounting for all output (prints, copies, scans) but also administration of the entire print environment is managed from a single location (SafeQ Web Interface). YSoft SafeQ reports are tailored to the client's needs so that they can be used for automatic internal cost accounting or for importing into their Management Information Systems.

The system is also integrated with Severn Trent's Active Directory, existing Proxlite and Mifare door access card systems, RightFax and supports printing from all of their internal applications.


Once deployed, YSoft SafeQ centrally controls and manages the entire printing environment whilst providing an accurate overview of who is printing, copying and scanning and when. Thanks to the YSoft SafeQ application cluster, printing is available under all conditions (high resistance to server failure).

Severn Trent enhances device utilisation and improves the print:user ratio from 1:6 to 1:43. Now that users are aware that their prints are monitored, they have changed their behaviour resulting in a noticeable reduction in printing and copying costs. In particular, Severn Trent was able to identify the high volume users and question why their need for printing was so high. YSoft SafeQ has also helped to prevent unwanted print.

In addition, Severn Trent is able to reduce costs even further by redirecting high volume print jobs from low volume to more efficient and cost effective high volume print devices. In comparison to their existing print environment and in conjunction with YSoft SafeQ, cost savings for the first year reached 48%.

All concerns surrounding document security laid out in the RFP were met. YSoft SafeQ ensures that all printed documents are only accessible by authorised users (thanks to secure release technology via user authentication at the printer) and thanks to YSoft SafeQ, Severn Trent Water are now able to lock down printing and scanning from within their Contract Centre where document output consists of customer information and credit card data.

Furthermore, the customer required the ability to incorporate user identity into scanned jobs; all documents scanned within the company now include information on who actually scanned them in. This means that no document can appear with an unknown owner whereas previously, scans were distributed without any audit trail leading to risks of data leakage.

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August 2021

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