Partner Blog

by: Jim Bajzath / Zebra


Like mobile computers, printers have become instrumental to operational outcomes. In fact, one might argue that printers directly influence overall workflow efficiency, worker productivity and business output levels more so than any other technology tool.

If a printer fails for any reason, the odds are high that operations will come to a screeching halt. It’s impossible to manually produce the labels needed for shipping and shelf inventory at the same rate as a thermal printer. And shifting the load to other printers will still cause backlogs in both print jobs and order fulfillment. Plus, most printers are not application-agnostic. Though some may be able to print multiple types of labels and accommodate different media sizes, not all can print RFID tags or specialized labels. So, if a printer isn’t working, you might not be either until the problem is fixed. That’s why organizations must take a proactive stance on printer management.

Yet, most teams don’t have the bandwidth to keep constant tabs on printer performance via manual diagnostic checks. And waiting for a user to report an issue only prolongs device – and business – downtime. That’s why Zebra has decided to extend the cloud-based VisibilityIQ Foresight™ service to Zebra Print DNA printers.

As of today, you will be able to login to your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile computer from anywhere and, on a single screen, retrieve:

  • an inventory and status of all Zebra Print DNA printers on your service contract. You can quickly confirm which are currently utilized, un-utilized or out of contact (OOC). If you have a high number of OOC devices, you’ll automatically be alerted. And all OOCs will be analyzed for age and flagged for further investigation if suspected to be lost or stolen devise. You’ll also be able to confirm newly activated devices and the sites at which the devices were brought online.
  • a printer settings report that shows which properties have changed for each printer. Changes that you’ll want to keep an eye out for include media type, media speed, print method, print mode, print tone, tear off, and inactivity time out. (The widget tile in the dashboard represents all printers that have had a setting changed.)
  • the printer odometer. This will tell you how many centimeters have been printed by site, printer model and individual printer over a given date range, which is great for supplies procurement planning and overall utilization monitoring.
  • label utilization. Another great feature for supplies planning and management. You’ll be able to see the type and volume of labels used by each site, printer model and individual printer.
  • battery status reports, to include details on critical battery events, for each site, device model and individual device within a specified date range. You’ll know the exact count and percentage of active Zebra Print DNA printers which have reported at least one critical battery event (i.e., the battery level has fallen below 30%), as well as the average battery discharge rate.
  • fleet performance metrics. The dashboard will show you the total number and percentage of printers that have reported an alert from a pre-defined list of condition attributes (which are defined by printer model).

All these reports feature graphs and table views that provide easy-to-understand actionable insights that make the best next steps for resolution very clear. And you can set up an “all device” view to maintain visibility into both your printer and mobile computer fleets on one screen. Of course, you can also toggle between mobile computer and printer reports as needed to hone in on certain metrics, and you can opt into email notifications that will automatically alert key stakeholders when a configurable threshold is crossed over for selected reports. (This way you don’t have to be glued to a computer screen all day.)

The best part is you’ll have full access to the new printer insights within the VisibilityIQ Foresight business intelligence tool independent of your mobile device management (MDM) or enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution. Zebra is dedicated to maintaining VisibilityIQ’s independence from all MDM/EMM offerings to best serve our customers.

If you’d like to learn more about the new VisibilityIQ Foresight Printer product, please contact us.