Printers Unavailable Due to Anthrax Crisis

Case Study 14


Data production and distribution are critical components of CBO's support activities. Normally the US budget process requires 90,000 pages to be printed for each revision and release. Under normal operation, reports are generated on a mainframe computer, printed the onsite at CBO, and then sent to congressional committees via messenger since high-speed printing is not available at their offsite locations. With the building sealed due to the Anthrax crisis the printers and their output were inaccessible and of no way to forward any printer output to Congress, all messenger and mail services had been terminated as well.

It was decided that each report would be written to disk on the mainframe, then downloaded to individual analysts' workstations, manually converted to PDF format and subsequently opened in Word Perfect®. Finally, the file was available to congressional recipients by way of email. This process required approximately four minutes per file. Nearly one hundred reports per day were being generated and many required this special preparation-while we continued to search for a more eloquent resolution. The process used over 6 person-hours per day, not to mention the delays in turnaround.

PDF files were still needed because of their universal viewing feature across the Internet, free and readily accessible viewers, electronically disbursed availability, and can their optional local printing capability. The CBO needed a faster and more automatic solution.


Brooks Internet Software, the manufacturer of their remote print application, RPM Remote Print Manager suggested they contact JBM Systems. JBM offered a product that integrated seamlessly with RPM, and with a bit of custom work, fit the CBO's specific organizational needs. Now, by merely designating a predefined print queue, the CBO had the capability to download a specific report and within seconds have a PDF version available for immediate distribution via email or hard copy.

Once the crisis was over, according to Ken Farris at the CBO, users found that the electronic disbursement of the budgets and other reports were much more convenient than getting up and walking over or using couriers to get their reports.

Typical Applications:

  • Remote Report Distribution
  • Report Archiving & Elimination of Microfiche

Products Required: OctoPDF™ and RPM Remote Print Manager®

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