BU's Image X-Press accepts
electronic requests for print jobs
Large copying and printing jobs recently became more affordable and convenient
at the Charles River Campus, thanks to Desktop Express, a new service
offered by Image X-Press, the University's copy center. It allows anyone
with a BU Kerberos password to send electronic requests for print jobs
to Image X-Press from an Internet connection. The prints can be picked
up the same day or delivered to staff and faculty members free of charge
within 24 hours.
Desktop Express uses a computer program based on Adobe imaging software
that creates a PDF image of a computer document and sends it electronically
to Image X-Press. Customers place an order by selecting the Desktop Express
software on their computer, just as they would select a printer on their
local computer network. They then choose what color and size prints they
want, and are offered options such as lamination, hole punching, and binding
on a multiple-page document.
"A typical job for Desktop Express might be when a professor needs
300 copies of a 50-page document," says Peter Fiedler, an assistant
vice president in BU Executive Vice President Joseph Mercurio's office.
Fiedler oversaw the redesign of BU's reprographic services last year.
"Instead of tying up a department's copying machine for a long time
with such a large job, it can be digitally sent to Image X-Press, where
it can be done more quickly and for less cost."
Desktop Express also is ideal for jobs that feature a variety of graphics
and fonts, Fiedler says, such as color brochures or newsletters. The PDF
image accurately recordsfonts, graphics, and colors - the kinds of details
that can be lost when transferring a document as an e-mail attachment
if computers on either end of the communication use different versions
of a graphics software.
"Another thing that's beautiful about the service is that while you're
ordering a job, Desktop Express gives you a running tally of what the
job will cost," says Fiedler. "So you can compare the costs
of all your options, such as whether or not you want the job laminated."
Customers can pay for electronic orders with a University work requisition
or by credit card, either online or at Image X-Press. All members of the
University community with a Kerberos password can use Desktop Express,
but students are not offered the free delivery and must pick up their
jobs at the copy center, paying with their Terrier card, cash, or credit
card. A $5 minimum is charged for all jobs using the service.
Image X-Press, which is operated by IKON Office Solutions, opened in July
2001. In addition to its commercial store at 700 Commonwealth Ave., the
company operates a copy center in the basement of the School of Law and
a production center for large printing and copying jobs at 115 Cummington
St. IKON also has a contract with BU to operate all convenience photocopiers
in University administrative and academic offices.
Image X-Press handles a wide variety of print and copy jobs at the University,
including internal newsletters and flyers for several schools and colleges,
course packets that are sold to students, and almost all of the programs
for BU athletic events. It offers basic printing and copying services
to non-University customers at the same price it offers BU customers.
Desktop Express was created by IKON in partnership with Servador, a California-based
software company that specializes in printing technology.
"The University's goal in partnering with IKON was to improve service,
make it more affordable, and raise the technological level of the service,"
says Fiedler. "Previously, the central administration felt the University
was getting shortchanged with its reprographics services. The administration's
goal is to direct as much of the University copying business here as possible,
because we know Image X-Press offers the best prices and doing so will
lower costs, both to the University and to individual departments."
The Desktop Express software, which Fiedler says has been approved as
safe by University Information Systems, can be downloaded onto Macintosh
or PC computers from the Image X-Press Web site or installed with a free
CD-ROM. It is fully compatible with all Windows operating systems.
To download Desktop Express or to learn more about the service or about
Image X-Press, visit www.bu.edu/ikoncopy.