Large Newspaper Uses RPM to Simplify Its Billing Process

Summary

Using RPM Remote Print Manager®, this large newspaper was able to post HP files to the network for printing on laser printers and to archive non-PCL formatted spool files for offline storage, replace an outdated Novell server, and reduce the number of steps in its billing process.

Topics

Customer

Anonymous

Product

RPM Select

Date: May 16, 2005

Background

This large newspaper publisher is using an HP-3000 (MPE) based spooling utility called ESPUL™ by Software Devices LLC that allows it to transfer variable length spool files from the HP-3000 minicomputer to either a UNIX or Novell® listener for archiving or printing on HP PCL printers. After switching to a Windows® NT server for its networking needs, the billing department at the newspaper was left with an obsolete Novell 4.1 system, which was being used solely for print spooling.

The newspaper is also using the RAC/Novell combination to take billing files produced on the HP-3000 and format them so the files can run through First Logic's PrintForm® postal sorting software and the bills can be printed and sorted according to USPS standards. The bills are then merged with the PCL image of the form in the frame buffer of the printer, eliminating the need for pre-printed form stock.

Business Need

With the old Novell system being used only for print spooling and with the new Windows NT network, the newspaper company wanted to do away with its Novell system entirely. It needed a printing solution that would allow it to post HP files to the NT network for printing on Windows NT attached laser printers and allow it to archive non-PCL formatted spoolfiles for offline CD storage.

Obstacles

RAC Consulting had developed both a UNIX- and a Novell-based listener, but it had not developed a listener for NT.

Solution: RPM Select

A member of the newspaper's IT team downloaded and installed the trial version of RPM Select and tested it for a few weeks. The download was the result of a conversation with a friend who had already evaluated RPM and had described its functions. RPM is now set up on a Windows 2000 PC that is more or less dedicated to the function of posting HP files to the network for printing and archiving.

Systems and Setup

The newspaper publisher has RPM Select set up on a PC workstation. There are many other platforms at work in the environment: an HP-3000 minicomputer for circulation and advertising, a Windows 2000-based AP and payroll system, and a Sun Microsystems- and Windows 2000-based pagination system. The workstations vary from PCs running Windows 2000 to others using NT 4.0 sp6, Windows 98, and Windows 95.

Outcome

RPM Select met the company's needs perfectly and reliably. With RPM at work in the system, the newspaper saw the following results:

  • RPM was able to post HP files to the network for printing on Windows NT laser printers and to archive non-PCL formatted spool files for offline storage
  • The company was able to eliminate a number of steps in its billing process
  • It was also able to take advantage of RPM's ability to store ASCII text reports and bill output to data archives through the use of batch files and file transfer protocol (FTP); files could then be transported to another PC in accounting for the creation of CD-ROMs for offline storage
  • The Novell server was eliminated entirely

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