The Computer and Network Services(CNS) at Wits has rolled out a new managed printing system, serviced by Konica Minolta which is shown to be more cost efficient.
WITS University has introduced a new printing system across its campuses which is supposed to be a far more cost-effective solution for staff and students.
Since February this year, the institution has rolled out 500 printers exclusively for staff, 160 for students alone and 60 for both groups. The Managed Printing Solution (MPS) provides a standardisation of printers across Wits provided by a single service provider, Konica Minolta.
Internet and communications technology (ICT) acting director Parish Bhana said research indicated that the MPS provided an opportunity for cost savings, process improvement and increased governance as the university has not purchased the machines, but is paying for the service.
Bhana said “there will be an increase in cost per page when compared to some areas while other areas will be roughly the same cost”, adding that double sided printing is definitely cheaper with the MPS. A single A4 black/white page costs R0.39 on the MPS while prices at local printing companies range between R0.60 and R1.00.
The MPS makes colour copying and printing accessible to Wits students for the first time. A single-sided colour copy on the MPS will generally cost R2.88 while double-sided printing will cost R5.69 per copy. According to Bhana, colour printers are marked with a sticker.
First-year Civil Engineering student, Mosima Phakane, who frequents one of the CNS labs in Senate House said she had noticed the change in printers but not in the cost of printing. She said the printer provides operating instructions, which helps her do her own printing and scanning. She added that colour printers are useful when printing diagrams.
The management and maintenance is being run by Konica Minolta to whom Wits has awarded the contract.
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