MPS Monitor Launches Next-Generation Data Collection Agent

MPS Monitor, a provider of printer-monitoring solutions, announced on March 16th the immediate availability of its new Data Collection Agent (DCA) version 4.

The firm says dealers and managed print services (MPS) providers can now benefit from “instant, real-time access to devices, further integration with other market-leading solutions, and increased support and security.”

DCA 4 is said to be a complete redesign of the MPS Monitor Device Collection Agency (DCA), which, over the last 12 years, has been installed in more than half a million customer networks, and is currently used by thousands of dealers to manage more than 1.2 million printing devices in 60 countries.

MPS Monitor says it decided on a clean-sheet redesign, using the latest Internet of Things protocols and development environments. The development of the new data collection agent, which took more than three years, involved a full time development team.

As a result, MPS Monitor says DCA 4 provides various new features better enabling dealers and MPS providers to remotely manage customers’ print fleets:

Real-time connection: By using MQTT, said to be one of the most modern IoT messaging protocols, DCA 4 allows a direct, real-time communication between the user, the agent and the devices. The agent also uses HTTP/2 – GRPC for traffic optimization, and SSH for remote device access.

Device Web Access: Dealers, MPS providers, and fleet managers can access and navigate the devices’ web pages from their browser, while being located anywhere on the Internet, without the need for a remote connection to the customer’s network. The printer’s web server pages will appear in the MPS Monitor Portal’s device page in seconds. This feature is active on all printer brands and models, and doesn’t require any additional access or software.

Multi-platform: DCA 4 uses a single code base for all main platforms (Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac, Linux, Raspberry), providing the same feature set and functions, regardless of the platform’s operating system. Device Web Access and all other new features are available on all platforms without any difference.

Granular data collection: It’s now possible to define each different type of data (meters, consumable levels, alerts, messages, etc.), how often each type has to be updated, etc. Only changed data are sent to the cloud, to increase the system’s efficiency and to ensure real-time data management.

Optimized network discovery: A complete redesign of the discovery process allows improved stability and efficiency, while simplifying the troubleshooting process in network environments.

Improved security: DCA 4 is said to be built with a strict “security-by-design” approach, further mitigating the risk that the DCA could be used as an attack vector to the customer’s network. It also fully supports SNMP v3 and device authentication.

Better support: In scenarios where problems with a device’s data has been identified, MPS Monitor’s support team already has available in the system all the information needed to troubleshoot reading issues like wrong meters or levels. There’s no need any more to contact the customer and ask for remote sessions or manual data extraction for troubleshooting purposes, bringing added convenience and speeding up problem resolution.   

PaperCut integration: As previously announced, where a DCA 4 and a PaperCut MF/NG instance is present, customers can enjoy a full business-intelligence experience on their PaperCut data from within the MPS Monitor cloud Portal, without any additional software installation or additional license costs.

All the above features are available immediately to all MPS Monitor users, by simply installing the new DCA 4 on the network where printers are connected. DCA 4 can co-exist with the previous version 3 of the DCA, even on the same system, and all the advanced features present in version 3 are supported in DCA 4 as well. This includes the exclusive DCA Clustering feature which minimizes downtime and ensures data collection continuity.

Current MPS Monitor users can download DCA 4 using their MPS Monitor cloud Portal accounts, while dealers and MPS providers interested in adopting MPS Monitor and testing DCA 4 can get a free trial of the platform at www.mpsmonitor.com.

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