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Week of 30 August 2002 · Vol. VI, No. 1

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BU's Image X-Press accepts
electronic requests for print jobs

By David J. Craig

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.

Peter Fiedler, assistant vice president in the office of the executive vice president, and Daniel Coulon, manager of

  Peter Fiedler, assistant vice president in the office of the executive vice president, and Daniel Coulon, manager of
Image X-Press, have implemented a new service that allows BU faculty, staff, and students to order print jobs
electronically. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

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.


30 August 2002
Boston University
Office of University Relations