Data Centers Merge and Move Ahead
"Nobody was doing well in that scenario," says Thomas. "With a student population around 14,000, there wasn't a big enough walk-up market for two centers." So the copying department moved off campus.
The physical merger of the data center's computer output printing, or "sys-out," was a further rationalization of the printing capacity.
"The sys-out equipment was ancient. The choice was to replace it, move production off-campus to the printing and copying center, or outsource the printing totally," Thomas explains. "We did a careful study, which determined that outsourcing was not in Georgia Tech's best interests."
The best choice was to move that sys-out printing to the printing and copying center, retire four Kodak 2110 printers, two Xerox printers and a Kodak 3092, and add the two Danka printer-copiers.
The in-plant's offset department was already handling a steady volume of 600,000 to 700,000 impressions per month with its one- and two-color presses; the merger with data services added a new load of about 1 million impressions per year in the form of new financial statements. The center took it all in stride as course pack printing declined and the university moved more forms to the Web.
"We've had to start entertaining offering other services to meet our budget," Thomas admits. Some of the services under consideration include CD-ROM duplication, mailing services and large-format poster production.
The merger has been a success all around, Thomas says.
"People in the data center are now enjoying a lot more space because the printers are no longer there, and now they don't have to deal with printing any more," Thomas says. The university is saving money, and Printing and Copying Services, with its total chargeback system, has a complete responsibility for all printing at the institution.
However, this doesn't mean more status for the in-plant manager. "In this business, you just get more work," Thomas laughs.