Bird & Bird rolls out cloud-based HP Flow printers in preparation for new agile working office

In preparation for its move to new agile working London offices Bird & Bird has rolled out a fleet of cloud-based HP Flow printers that incorporate the firm’s iManage document management system and enable staff to print anywhere in the office with an access pass.

Bird & Bird will next year move into a 142,500 square feet office space at 12/14 New Fetter Lane and have undertaken the new printer project with The Landscape Group ahead of that move.

The printers, which were rolled out over a period of just four weeks across Bird & Bird’s three London sites, provide staff with the same user experience as a desktop computer. They have a keyboard and integrate with iManage so that staff are able to scan documents from the printer into the DMS and search for documents on the printer when they login, meaning they are not tied to using a PC.

If fee-earners make notes on a document they are able to scan the notes into the system and it will make a copy in the right place. Using an access pass – which will ultimately be used throughout Bird & Bird’s new building for everything from entry to use in the canteen – staff and fee-earners will be able to pull print from any printer in the building.

IT director Karen Jacks said: “We are moving from a cellular to a non-cellular office and have made the decision to be more mobile and agile so we need the technology to support a mobile workforce.”

The move by the top 20 firm, which entered into discussions with The Landscape Group in November and rolled the printers out around a fortnight ago, has been widely welcomed by staff, with around 90% said to have embraced the change.

However, the new arrangement means that anyone wishing to print must wait by the printer and of the 10% yet to come round to the change, complaints range from the fact that they are too busy to wait or that the printer is in the wrong location.

Jacks said: “The majority love it. One thing I’ve noticed is that the printer is the new water cooler.”

The project was led for Bird & Bird by IT support manager Annamaria Sammarco, who conducted a pitch process and ran a pilot before selecting HP. While iManage recently conducted a management buyout from HP the arrangement will remain unaffected.

Bird & Bird previously used a combination of HP and Canon printers in what Jacks described as a “muddled fleet” that was inefficient and expensive to maintain. The firm has almost completed its ISO certification programme, which requires a change in technology, processes and behaviour, where one of the biggest issues is staff leaving paper lying around on printers. MFPs provide a wide attack surface for would-be cyberattacks but HP claims to be the most secure in the market, with 250 different security settings.

The Landscape Group, which has been a specialist provider of print related technology for nearly two decades, is currently HP Flow’s only authorised route to market in Europe with native integration written by iManage.