An unusual challenge
Students at one of the world’s leading research universities are exploration-focused and often avoid prescribed IT solutions–they instead prefer sifting through several options themselves and making decisions based on their own preferences.
About the university
MIT’s mission isn’t just to educate, it’s to help solve the world’s most pressing problems through research. The school’s concerted research focus is a component of both their graduate and undergraduate programs, differentiating it from most other large private higher education institutions in the United States and the world. An impassioned entrepreneurial spirit infuses their university culture, which is also reflected in its IT services–rather than telling students what they must install on their computers, students instead get to experiment with three or four services, over time opting-in to the best solution for their specific needs. As for the IT department, how students print out documents is definitely in that category.
About IT at MIT
Oliver and Jonathan belong to a small team of four, whose primary focus is liaising and collaborating with students, while MIT’s overall IT department is represented by about 200 employees. Oliver and John have vast technical wherewithal, but they don’t have a major voice box with a captive audience–they aren’t wasting students’ time by sending out email newsletters instructing everybody to use ezeep. Instead, they offer multiple options that students can find out about through a robust knowledge base on MIT’s Wiki platform, strong student computing groups, or even just a Google search query.
How MIT uses ezeep
MIT’s IT department provides students with ezeep’s mobile solution, with native iOS and Android apps, so that students can send documents to primary campus print stations. Formerly, students spent most of their time at serviced work stations, but now they’re working seamlessly from laptops and mobile devices as well. With ezeep, students can send documents and then retrieve printouts through the Pharos hold-and-release service, which requires students to first swipe their student-ID card for a print job to be processed and printed out. Mobile printing serves students when they’re on-the-go–giving them access to critical, immediate things like problem sets, course notes, schedules, registrar forms or even term papers stored in Dropbox.
With the recent release of ezeep for desktop, Oliver & Jonathan are looking forward to implementing this program with MIT students, and they have also begun spreading the word for more students to try ezeep’s web application. This will allow students to submit the more complicated print jobs that are best for printing out from their computers, including course notes and textbook chapters that are only available online, but that are so long it’s nicer to print them out.