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SOS saves a Surrey School £45,000 on their printing costs

This Surrey School is one of the UK’s leading co-education day and boarding schools. Located in the surrey hills area of outstanding natural beauty, the campus features a mix of Victorian architecture and modern, purpose-built facilities; all set-in grounds that extend to 200 acres. Thanks to SOS, they were able to save on printing costs (£45,000 a year).


Printing challenges faced by the school

This school had a large fleet of printers under an existing managed service agreement but was experiencing issues across the campus. With the majority of print jobs originating from iPads, the IT department was experiencing a significant increase in support tickets relating to print – almost 50 a month logged by teachers and pupils specifically for print-related issues.

The use of third-party consumables and replacement parts was leading to reliability issues and impacting on image quality. This was most acutely felt in the art and reprographics departments but had also filtered through to the parents of pupils, who were commenting on their children’s ability to print effectively while at school.

The school was supportive of reducing the overall number of devices it maintained as part of a sustainability initiative as well as to save on printing costs. At the same time, it was looking to improve the performance and productivity of the reprographics department whilst incorporating additional functionality such as scanning to SharePoint.

Some of the current devices were not fit for purpose. In the case of the reception printer (a high-speed A3 colour MFD) it was over-spec’d for what was a low volume device. By contrast, the staff room device was a low-speed A4 device and was not able to keep up with demand.

Finally, accurate reporting was not easily available as the existing print management solution was proving difficult to use and often crashed when running reports.



“Before making any recommendations, we like to get a detailed understanding of the customer” says James Overton, Business Development Director for SOS. “We’ve been doing this for a long time, but we don’t like to make any assumptions. It’s essential that we understand how the devices are being used currently, where the pain points are, and what the customer hopes to see in the future”.

“The project kicked-off with a detailed discovery session” explains the, IT Systems Manager for the school. The SOS project team took the time to talk to a range of stakeholders from across the school. In addition to members of the IT team, they spoke with representatives from the digital learning, reprographics and art departments, as well as the deputy head teacher.”

The detailed assessment included an analysis of current service levels, software functionality, hardware specifications and historic performance. The assessment also included a review of printing volumes across the site to identify potential area of under or over utilisation.



With sustainability in mind, it was recommended that the school reduce the total size of its fleet from 62 devices to 42. As part of the technology refresh, SOS provided the school with a new fleet of Canon devices, featuring the imagePRESS and imageRUNNER ranges of multifunction devices. To ensure a smooth transition, the SOS project team also took responsibility for the safe removal and return of the existing devices. From a compliance perspective, all devices underwent a hard drive reset to ensure any confidential data was removed.

I was amazed at how smoothly the project went. In the back of your mind, you’re always thinking ‘is there going to be some insurmountable problem round the corner’ but there never was. Everything just worked as expected

IT Service Manager, Surrey School

The old print management solution was replaced with PaperCut Mobility Print. PaperCut is the market leader in the education section, and the software supports over 5 million devices globally for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) printing in schools.

The PaperCut solution provides a stable platform for iPad and BYOD printing. Following an initial software pilot, the IT department were happy with the substantial reduction in support tickets raised. The reporting functionality is comprehensive and provides valuable business intelligence in support of improved decision making.

As a part of the management contract, SOS provides a dedicated engineer who attends site every week. The engineer changes toners when
required, replaces waste toners, clears error codes and carried out preventative maintenance to ensure any issues don’t become service-affecting.

SOS did everything: “Start to finish, the project was handled really well. Nothing was too much trouble and there was nothing that couldn’t be done. We were always able to get in touch with the project manager and the ongoing support from the technical team has been very good”.

RE The SOS helpdesk follows industry best-practice C and is responsible for all 1st and 2nd line support issues. To further improve response times, SOS implements remote support technologies to allow helpdesk engineers to take control of machines and resolve issues remotely. Remote sessions can be instigated without the need to interact with staff.

Alternatively, for added security, clientless support sessions can be initiated by school faculty and employees.

We have completely stopped anything being printed by mistake and we are all just a lot more thoughtful about how much we print, which is making a real difference from a cost perspective and also for the environment.

IT Service Manager, Surrey School



SOS only supplies genuine Canon consumables and parts, ensuring the devices under management perform to their best ability. We carry out quarterly reviews to assess performance, machine usage and general reporting. On an ongoing basis, our real-time monitoring systems pick up on toner alerts, drum requests and error codes. Proactive management of consumables helps to reduce the burden on internal IT resources, as well as lower printing costs.



In support of the demand for improved scanning functionality, the PaperCut management solution enables scanning to a wide range of public cloud filesharing applications, including SharePoint, DropBox, OneDrive, Box and the Google Workspace.

Enhancements to the Print Room technology have enabled improved quality of service, a broader range of print media and more accurate colour matching. The imagePress device in the reprographics department is fitted with a Fiery Controller – a device that enables pantone colour matching and faster processing for large print files. It is also capable of printing a long sheet, up to 1.3m long for banner output.

The art department received a similar device, with an EFI Fiery Controller for improved colour consistency and rapid processing of large print jobs submitted from Quark and Illustrator. Elsewhere, devices that were not fit for purpose were swapped out to provide the appropriate combination of function, speed and efficiency.

To ensure rapid user adoption, SOS provided both hardware and software training. PaperCut is an intuitive, easy to use print management solution but additional training for those departments using the Fiery controllers was delivered to ensure users were getting the most out of the new print room investment.



As a part of the overall print management solution, SOS have implemented the PaperCut Print Room Submission module. Not only does this allow parents to utilise the print room “as-a-service”, it also introduces a supplemental revenue stream to the school. By integrating the new service with ParentPay, the leading cashless payment service for schools, parents can top-up their account and purchase prints on-demand. This contributed towards helping them save on printing costs.



  • Savings of £45,000 per year
  • A robust printing platform for iPad and BYOD printing
  • Enhanced print management reporting and analysis
  • A reduction in the number of desktop devices
  • Weekly on-site engineer visits
  • No minimum billing
  • Enhanced print security
  • Improved speed and quality of service
  • Enhanced colour matching and consistency
  • Proactive, quarterly account reviews


One of the greatest compliments I can pay the SOS team is that I can hardly remember the project. It’s usually the problems that stick with you, but there simply weren’t any. Two months after the deployment, it all just seems like part of the furniture.

IT Service Manager, Surrey School


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