The office technology activity of CFAO Technology & Energy (a subsidiary of the CFAO Group) covers 22 countries in French-speaking Africa. The headquarters is in Dakar, 5 centres of expertise and 13 subsidiaries are spread around the different countries. With nearly 900 employees, CFAO Technology & Energy addresses major public or private accounts, in single or multi-site, in the form of Managed Print Services contracts (outsourcing of printing systems) from 5 to over 150 printing systems and by relying on the copier and printer manufacturers Ricoh, Sharp and HP. Three years ago, CFAO Technology & Energy started looking for a printing fleet management tool in order to optimize the interventions of technicians and increase efficiency. The first objective was to facilitate the reading of the meters necessary for invoicing pages. The chosen solution had to be compatible with all brands, simple for the technical teams to implement and easy to integrate into commercial proposals. We pre-selected 4 solutions that we installed in real-life test situations at the customers’ premises to check the ease of installation and configuration, and to evaluate the various functions such as the quality of the information reported and the relevance of the alerts. The tests were spread over 3 months and afterwards we selected the KPAX solution which, in addition to having good results on the targeted criteria, has the added advantage of the Liberty box option. The KPAX Liberty box is a real advantage when customers don’t have an infrastructure on which to host the software collection agent in good conditions (no access to a server).  Today we have more than 1200 printing systems managed under KPAX and the biggest difficulty has been (and remains) obtaining customer authorizations on the security aspects related to the installation of Liberty agents and boxes. KPAX Liberty is frequently deployed, it works very well and is highly reliable, it offers a strong continuity of service to customers and limits disconnections. Even if the solution meets the basic security criteria and the pitch is based on a very complete safety sheet, customers’ internal policies do not always allow the deployment of the agent. Training technicians on how to explain the operating principle is a key point.  Meter readings are sent by email and in Excel format, the information is entered into our systems for invoicing. Consumable alerts arrive by email in each subsidiary, which processes according to available stocks. Technical alerts are still little used, partly because there is no process on the subject but also, and above all, because with our preventive maintenance policy mechanical breakdowns are rare. Concerning the continuation of the project, we are waiting to be able to deploy the new version of KPAX which is web-based and that we will interface with our supervision and ticketing tools which centralize the feedback from the different CFAO Technology & Energy trades. Thus, all information and alerts will be processed by our Mutualized Service Centre located in Abidjan.

Nicolas Macheton

Resource Planning & Professional Services Manager