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  1. #1
    Service Manager 5,000+ Posts
    Low cost DCA tool

    SalesServiceGuy's Avatar
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    Low cost DCA tool

    Can anyone recommend a low cost Data Collection agent for small dealers with small fleets of copier/ printers for mostly low volume devices.

    I know Lexmark has their Fleet Mgt Cloud portal to collect meter reads but I do not have access to it.

  2. #2
    Technician Duplicator's Avatar
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    Re: Low cost DCA tool

    We use something called Labrador. It uses SNMP to collect data from the copiers/MFPs/printers/ect. It works....okay....

    Labrador Solutions, LLC.

    It's got a few upsides.
    • Seems to collect meter counts reliably. Reports them in a web interface.
    • There is a customer and "admin" side. If needed you can give the customer access to see what their collected counts are.
    • Doesn't seem to cost much compared to other options.
    • Server outages seem to be rare.


    It's drawbacks are numerous however.
    • It pretty much hasn't been developed since the Windows 7 days.
    • Doesn't update meter counts correctly in the ERP. (so we can't use it's automatic function). It calculates "Impressions" as just the B&W prints, not B&W+Color prints.
    • Would be nice to have a way to see consumable levels, firmware version, error codes, or other metrics.
    • There is ONLY a Windows client. No options for macOS or other OSes.
    • Windows client interface is really clunky to use.
    • Communication can be poor from the company behind it.


    I suppose you get what you pay for.
    • Seems to be run by one guy with one rented server. This might not be true but it sure feels like it.

  3. #3
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    Lightbulb Re: Low cost DCA tool

    Quote Originally Posted by Duplicator View Post
    We use something called Labrador. It uses SNMP to collect data from the copiers/MFPs/printers/ect. It works....okay....

    Labrador Solutions, LLC.

    It's got a few upsides.
    • Seems to collect meter counts reliably. Reports them in a web interface.
    • There is a customer and "admin" side. If needed you can give the customer access to see what their collected counts are.
    • Doesn't seem to cost much compared to other options.
    • Server outages seem to be rare.


    It's drawbacks are numerous however.
    • It pretty much hasn't been developed since the Windows 7 days.
    • Doesn't update meter counts correctly in the ERP. (so we can't use it's automatic function). It calculates "Impressions" as just the B&W prints, not B&W+Color prints.
    • Would be nice to have a way to see consumable levels, firmware version, error codes, or other metrics.
    • There is ONLY a Windows client. No options for macOS or other OSes.
    • Windows client interface is really clunky to use.
    • Communication can be poor from the company behind it.


    I suppose you get what you pay for.
    • Seems to be run by one guy with one rented server. This might not be true but it sure feels like it.

    MFP-SERVICE
    For Canon and Konica Minolta, we use a program that does not require DCA to be installed.
    The configuration is uploaded to the devices in service modes, and the device will send information from any location.
    The program consists of the Administrator, system users and the client with granted permissions.
    I recommend it, very convenient to implement, developed since 2007.

  4. #4
    Senior Tech 100+ Posts Hart's Avatar
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    Re: Low cost DCA tool

    What ??? We've been nagging Canon for years to have an integrated solution like Sharp (or Epson now with ERS).

  5. #5
    Senior Tech 100+ Posts mbcruzin's Avatar
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    Re: Low cost DCA tool

    I have used several at this point

    FSM Fleet Services Management. This was a nightmare to keep up and running on the client side

    PA Print Audit. Another nightmare....

    KFS Kyocera Fleet Services. amazing for Kyocera and copystar fleet management.

    Now EKM..... Haven't figured out the acronym yet. From what I've seen it works amazing with HP devices. had a few issues with correctly reading Kyocera and Toshiba 3 tier meters. Plus the algorithm takes a few months to figure out the customer usage for toner requests.

    The best one for me was Kyocera fleet service/KFS. It allowed us to have almost full control over the Kyocera/copystar fleet. Push firmware, collect meters, toner usage, clear errors, perform system settings without being in front of the machine, and more. It even had a DCA for non-kyocera/copystar devices that worked well enough. However I was told the cost per machine was getting out of control. That is why we switched over to EKM

  6. #6
    Junior Member Mick C's Avatar
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    Re: Low cost DCA tool

    I would like to see a third party system that doesn't require software install on clients network, we have Ricoh and Sharp brands, Ricoh is great with the "@ Remote " system as it is all set up within the machine and Ricoh's server and just needs to be able to get out through the network, Sharp's MICAS I won't even touch as it is set up on customers network, just prone for failures.

  7. #7
    Retired 10,000+ Posts
    Low cost DCA tool

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    Re: Low cost DCA tool

    Quote Originally Posted by Mick C View Post
    I would like to see a third party system that doesn't require software install on clients network, we have Ricoh and Sharp brands, Ricoh is great with the "@ Remote " system as it is all set up within the machine and Ricoh's server and just needs to be able to get out through the network, Sharp's MICAS I won't even touch as it is set up on customers network, just prone for failures.
    Even @Remote can be blocked by the customer's firewall. Often the fear of corporate espionage can have a network locked so tight that you can't get anything out.

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