The Information Technology Services department used to provide color printing for John Carroll University students at a price, but now the program is much more beneficial and cost-efficient. Color printing was previously available through the Center for Digital Media and the Computer Commons within the Grasselli Library. Each color print would deduct $.30 from a student’s printing account while black and white prints only deducted $.05.
This year, the ITS department partnered with Knowta, a startup company based in the Shaker LaunchHouse business incubator, to bring color printing to JCU. Knowta brought this program to Case Western Reserve University last year and the positive response led them to contact JCU for possible expansion.
The CEO of Knowta, Ryan Clark, explained that many managers and investors on Knowta’s staff are JCU alum. This reason, in addition to Knowta’s close proximity to campus, is why they chose John Carroll as one of their test schools.
The Knowta system allows each student to print up to 15 color pages a day and 60 color pages a week. This up- and-coming color printing service is free for students. Every printed page is legal size, meaning the top of the paper has the typed text, and the bottom of the paper has an advertisement. The ad is micro-perforated and can be detached cleanly and easily.
Knowta has marketed the advertisement service to local businesses in the area including restaurants, grocery stores and clothing stores. They also marketed the service to the businesses who had previously advertised on Case Western Reserve’s campus color printing. These advertisements contain coupons for the respective businesses.
The first printer was recently installed in the Boler School of Business lab (SB235). The printer has been used by 30 students in a “soft roll-out.”
During this process, a representative was present to assist students and make sure that the operation went smoothly. Once the ITS department is comfortable with the service in the Boler Lab, the plan is to place a second printer in the Lombardo Student Center Lab (LC40).
After seeing the students’ reactions and advertising revenue, there is a possibility of expansion to other areas on campus as well.