WEPA revisited: One year later

Brian Sherman, Staff Reporter

Students at Case Western Reserve University are no strangers to printing long papers. In previous years, this task became increasingly arduous with reliability issues of the Print2Here printing system.

Last spring semester, the Print2Here system was replaced by WEPA, a change spearheaded by Joel Kraft, the director of the IT Operations Group.

“The main reason for the switch was simply because of the reliability and service WEPA offered,” said Kraft. “Cloud printing, web submission and printing from USB and mobile apps are all services that WEPA offered.”
WEPA’s features include a monitoring system that helps to decrease the maintenance load. The system provides a feed of all status and supply levels for all printers, not only alerting IT staff to errors such as jams, but also allowing the staff to anticipate outages and be proactive in preventing them. Comparatively, the Print2Here system was very rudimentary, allowing no real way to tell if a system was down or low on supplies.

While the WEPA system has comparatively better features and services, it also has a higher price tag, resulting in an increase in the cost per page to print from five cents to seven cents. No profit is made for the university of the system; however, it costs more to give away the free $25 in printing allocated to students.

The WEPA system has significantly grown in popularity, leading to more WEPA kiosks being installed in other locations this fall, such as the Kelvin Smith Library and the Triangle Apartments. These additional printers have all been networked with existing printers across campus, allowing all students to print to any of these locations. In total, the number of kiosks on campus has increased from 11 last spring semester to 23 this fall semester, a significantly larger number of printers than the former seven in the Print2Here system.

“I’d like to see more,” said Kraft. “The more that participate in this system, the better it gets.”