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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Greening Your IT - Dispelling the Paperless Office Myth

Printing and the consumption of paper, ink, toner, and electricity are one of the easiest ways to raise awareness and lower costs in your organization. But can any office go paperless? I think time has dispelled (or “busted”) this myth. So accepting that printing and the processing of paper will never disappear completely the emphasis turns to responsible use of printing and print technologies.

So what we are after are the easy wins in this area. Growing in popularity recently has been having a social-engineering approach of people tagging comments to the effect of “do you really need to print this?” attached to their emails. Having management reiterate the importance of reduced paper use in meetings is also helpful. But these are not methods that can necessarily be objectively measured for results unless you know how much printing is happening in your organization today.

All corporate network printers should support the ability to centrally draw back and report on the volume of printing they have completed in a given period of time. A small amount of legwork can have this functionality setup and working in a short timeframe, and then this data can be used to objectively measure the results of any further printing reduction activities. Having a place to store all this data (as configuration items) for the purposes of measurement is yet another reason for your organization to formalize the CMDB.

With an understanding of how many pages your organization prints daily/weekly, you can start to measure any reductions. Following the “reduce, re-use, recycle” mantra, other ways can be instrumented to reduce printing volumes. By leveraging Active Directory group policies for providing access to networked printing resources, you can control what users have access to which printers, at what times. This will prevent employees from printing volumes of paper for personal use before and after core work hours.

The more difficult questions arise around how to control the size of print jobs, the content of printing (printing only what’s necessary), and the format of the print jobs. There are means for accomplishing all of this via various new technologies (foremost amongst newcomers in this arena is software development company GreenPrint - ) but the most important point is to understand where you are today, set goals, communicate those, and reward those who assist in achieving them.

Quick wins to reduce your organization’s carbon footprint in the area of printing would need you to start measuring your printing and reporting weekly or monthly (please don’t print and post the reports!). Accountability and recognition will be some of the keys to success in this area.

Some of this quick wins would be:

  • Ensure you use recycled paper
  • Reduce the number of printers (if possible)
  • Provide the ability for all staff to “print” to PDF and encourage that behaviour
  • Use Group Policies for Windows-based print queues to enforce duplexing and other print saving measures
  • Disable printing outside of core business hours for most staff
  • Ensure all printers have either “power save” modes or ideally are powered off overnight

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Updated Fognet Field Guide to NNM Available

Fognet's Field Guide to OpenView Network Node Manager

A reference guide for administrators of HP Software Network Node Manager.

This vade mecum is written for field consultants, users and administrators of the HP Network Node Manager (NNM) software product. The second edition covers information that is relevant for NNM product versions 6.0 through 7.53. It does not cover NNM 8i, which is an entirely new and different product. It was written for those who seek a shortcut to commonly used product info that is either missing or obfuscated in the product docs, and it covers practical implementation information that can’t be found in any product documentation or the fine product manual or reference pages. This guide was gleaned from OpenView users and from the author’s fifteen years of compiled notes on the product.

June 2008 Update: 2nd Edition now available in paperback via Lulu or Amazon or PDF download via Lulu

Vivit Press Release - New Board Members Announced

NEW YORK, June 5  -- Vivit, the independent, non-profit,
users group for the HP software community has closed their elections and
announced their three newest Board Members. Donna Farmer, Executive
Director of Vivit, congratulates Brad Clark, Systems Management and
Availability Specialist of Herman Miller Inc.; Jim Murphy, Director of
Infrastructure Management Practice of Pepperweed Consulting and Karen
Semonson, IS Operational Services Manager of Foremost Farms Inc. as the
most recent Directors of the Vivit Board.

"Mr. Clark, Mr. Murphy and Ms. Semonson are all experienced and
dedicated individuals who already volunteer their time and talents to help
support Vivit, said Donna Farmer, Executive Director of Vivit. "I look
forward to having the opportunity to work more closely with each of them in
their new role as Directors of the Vivit Board. Together, we will serve
this organization by providing strategic guidance and direction as we move
forward and continue to fulfill our goals."

"For me, this is an exciting opportunity to work closely with a very
talented team with diverse backgrounds to really shape the future of our
organization and its relationship with HP," said Brad Clark. "I look
forward to connecting with more of our members and utilizing their input to
continue to strengthen Vivit's service offerings."

Jim Murphy said, "I would like to thank the nominating committee, and
everyone who voted. I am looking forward to working with the board of
directors and the membership to build on the success and legacy of the HP
Software community. We have the great challenge of working together to
provide a place where people can come and gain knowledge about how HP
Software can be implemented to achieve efficiencies and improved service
quality for Information Technology organizations around the world. It is
going to be an exciting year."

"As a real world strategist utilizing HP Software's product portfolio
to run Information Services like a business, HP's visionary direction and
roadmap is chock full of relevant answers too many of my intriguing

Being an active member of Vivit has allowed me to move from a brisk
stumble to a swift stroll as I have expanded my knowledge about HP Software
through sharing and connecting with other practitioners. These Vivit
relationships have encouraged me to build a new environment, all the while
being surprised at how much I have been able to get done.

As a Vivit Board Member, the accountability for nurturing the global
user connection and representing the voices of HP practitioners is -- in
part -- I believe, the practical answer to how HP's vision and roadmap will
be achieved," said Karen Semonson.

"I am pleased to see three new excellent Board members join the Vivit
Board. All of them have shown leadership and commitment to HP's Worldwide
Software Users Group, and will continue to help advance the organization,"
said Tom Reinsel, past President and Director as he departs after serving
on the Vivit Board for six years.

About Vivit

Vivit is a non-profit corporation founded in 1993 (as OpenView Forum)
by customers of Hewlett-Packard's Software products to represent the
interests of HP Software customers, developers, and partners world-wide.
Vivit represents and serves the broad HP Software Community (including
OpenView, Mercury, Peregrine, Radia, and more) and is the endorsed HP
Software users group. Vivit has 8,360 members and growing every week
representing all areas of Business and Industry. For more information about
Vivit, log on to the organizations web site at http://www.vivit-worldwide-org .