The TDSIT Blog

6 Warning Signs of an Inefficient Print Environment

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Sep 15, 2017 @ 09:58 AM

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Do you know how much print and document management costs your business each year? If the answer is no, chances are you're paying too much. While considered a necessary part of doing business, printing costs can be significantly reduced once inefficiencies have been addressed—but the key to your success lies in identifying the warning signs that something is amiss, including the following. 

  • You own several inexpensive printers. Cheap print equipment bought from office supply stores may seem like a bargain with their low initial purchase price, but savings are quickly negated through the inability to track usage or print costs, and expensive print supplies. 
  • Print jobs are left in output trays. Unclaimed or forgotten print jobs, or original copies left on the glass can be lost, damaged, or stolen posing a serious threat to data security. A Managed Print Services provider can help by implementing a user authentication system. In addition to eliminating the risk of your information falling in to the wrong hands, it will save you money on wasted paper and toner. 
  • IT personnel are fielding printer repair calls. Small to medium-sized businesses often rely on their IT team to maintain their print fleet when these valuable resources could be put to better use. In addition to outsourcing this task, a streamlined print environment with equipment from a trusted manufacturer can help alleviate the stress placed upon IT personnel. 
  • Several people are purchasing printer supplies. In an environment where there is no central purchasing system in place and printers and supplies are bought by individuals as needed, costs can quickly escalate beyond your control. Savings can be had with consolidated purchasing of toner, paper, and other consumables helping to regain control over usage and inventory.  
  • Everything is being printed in color. Color printing is more expensive than black and white, and should be reserved for departments where color will make the biggest impact such as sales or marketing. 

The Managed Print Services Solution 

A Managed Print Services provider can help you make the most of your print infrastructure, while helping you save as much as 30 percent on document management and print costs through increased efficiency. Contact us today and find out if Managed Print Services is right for your business.

 

Tags: managed print services

How to Keep Your Copier Operating at Peak Efficiency

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Aug 29, 2017 @ 09:03 AM

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The copier is a staple in the workplace and helps employees to carry out critical everyday tasks such as copying, printing, scanning and faxing. With frequent use, these complex pieces of machinery will wear down over time. However, here are several best practices to keep your copier operating at its peak efficiency:

1. Offer training. Train your employees on how to properly use the copier. Educating your employees about the copier's various functionalities will go a long way.

2. Choose the right copier for your needs. The best way to choose the right copier for your company's needs is to have a proven Managed Print Services provider conduct a print assessment. This fact-based report will reveal your actual printing volumes and behaviors and will serve as a useful guide for selecting the optimal copier for your needs. 

3. Clean your copier. Dust is your copier's worst enemy as it can scratch the glass, cause the rollers to slip and affect output quality. Clean glass weekly and vacuum out paper drawers monthly. Don't allow employees to eat or drink near the copier.

4. Keep sharp objects away from the copier. If the glass on the copier is scratched, it will have negative repercussions on output quality. 

5. Turn off the copier when it's not being used. Make a habit of turning off the copier outside of business hours to conserve power and prolong the useful life of your copier.

6. Wipe the copier's hard drive clean at the end of its useful life. Your copier has a hard drive that contains confidential information that is transmitted to and from your network. When it comes time to replace your copier, be sure to either wipe its hard drive clean or destroy it. Otherwise you risk having sensitive information fall into the hands of the wrong person. 

7. Choose the right Managed Print Services provider. Partnering with the right Managed Print Services provider can help to ensure that you have the best copier for your company's needs and that your machine is routinely serviced. Your Managed Print Services provider will help to keep your copier operating at its peak efficiency so that there are no interruptions in workflows. 

The copier plays a critical role in the workplace and embracing these best practices will help to keep your office productivity rolling. 

Print Assessment

Tags: copier

Recruit and Keep Millennial Talent For Your Team

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 @ 12:33 PM

 

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Are you having a tough time recruiting and retaining millennial hires on your team? Millennials aren't like previous generations. Their primary motivation for working isn’t money - they are looking for a company whose philosophy they can believe in, the flexibility to do the job their way and value a work/life balance in their lives.

Here are four ways to attract and retain millennial talent:

  1. Flexibility at Work – Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) are mostly looking for flexibility in the workplace. They are seeking a good work/life balance and value their happiness more than money. While they're technically savvy and device oriented, what they're really seeking is an open, social, creative environment. They're not cubicle dwellers. If there's a task that has clearly delineated instructions and a specific deadline, they want to work where they feel the most comfortable, and that might not always be the office. Focus less on the time clock and more on the final product and you'll keep them happy and productive.
  2. Personal and Professional Development – Millennials value personal development even more than flexibility. They want more challenging work and are eager to advance quickly. The average time on the job for Boomers is 7 years, Gen-Xers 5 years, and Millennials just 2. They won't hesitate to change jobs if they feel they're not receiving substantial personal development.
  3. Mentors not Managers – Millennials don't want to be over or under-managed. The right balance gives them the freedom they need to express their feelings (even when they're bored) and it also gives them steady mentorship. Studies show that employees who are mentored have a 23 percent higher retention rate.
  4. Tangible Opportunities For Advancement – In the past, career advancement was about paying your dues. Seniority was the path to advancement. Millennials want to be challenged and when they prove themselves, promoted. If they don't feel that their work is being recognized and they aren't working towards real opportunities they will get frustrated.

If you want to retain millennials it's important to find ways to acknowledge their work and reward their talent. Structure momentum into their careers and keep them on your team.

 

Tags: Small Medium business

Protect Your Data With the Right MFP

Posted by Tim Stanley on Mon, Jul 31, 2017 @ 09:16 AM

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Small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) face a number of unique challenges in regards to growth and success, not the least of which is security. Cybertheft is a relatively new concern which makes news when it affects large scale corporations—but a recent report from Smallbiz.com shows that 43 percent of phishing schemes are aimed at small businesses.

According to the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance only 40 percent of them remain up and running six months after a cyberattack, while the rest are forced to close their doors. 

The best way to reduce the risk of a data breach is by identifying all areas of vulnerability, including multifunction print devices. When it comes time to upgrade your equipment, be sure to look for the following security features, designed to protect your information from a number of common threats.  

Encryption

Sensitive data travelling across your network on its way to or from your printer can easily be intercepted by hackers. Data encryption solutions prevent access by effectively scrambling information, ensuring it remains protected. 

User Authentication

Documents left unattended in the printer tray may be read, copied or stolen by anyone passing by. Choose a printer that enables user authentication which requires individuals to input a security PIN code or swipe card at the printer before documents are printed and released. 

Password Protection

Scan hardcopy documents to digital files where they can be securely stored and password protected.  

Print Monitoring

Create an audit trail to ensure compliance with industry regulations, and to keep track of who uses each printer, when, and for what purpose. 

Cloud Automation

The cloud has revolutionized a number of office processes but it's only effective when the proper security measures are in place. Prevent users from scanning sensitive data to unauthorized cloud applications by automating cloud-to-device workflows within your organization. 

Restricted Scanning Capabilities

Unrestricted scanning leaves data unprotected and vulnerable. The right MFP will allow you to password protect files so that only authorized users can access the information. 

Data Clearing 

As a vital component in your office network, your MFP requires the same consideration given to all other devices that contain a hard drive. Opt for a printer that is capable of periodically deleting unnecessary stored data using approved algorithms for data clearing. 

Keep your sensitive data safe by choosing the right MFP, with enhanced security features and solutions. Download our free MFP Buyer's Guide to help you make the right choice for your business. 

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Tags: MFP

6 Tips to Make Your Workday More Productive

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 @ 08:52 AM

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As your work stacks up and the clock ticks towards the end of the day, it may feel like you’re not making any progress. Many workers find it hard to work productively, causing the need for overtime, increased stress and decreased performance. With a few tweaks, you can turn this around, making the most out of your workday.

Be More Productive

1. Stop Multitasking. Even though it feels like you’re getting more done, multitasking is actually hurting your efficiency. Pick one task to focus on at a time, and complete that before moving on.

2. Turn off Notifications. In today’s world, smartphones have people responding to every ding and chime signaling email, texts and voicemail. Turn off these chimes and lights on your phone and your computer to help eliminate this distraction.

3. Schedule Time to Email. Not only are notifications distracting in and of themselves, once you open your email you may find yourself completely taken away from what you were doing. Schedule time within your day to attend to email, and try to avoid checking it between these times.

4. Let Technology Work for You. Speaking of email, dealing with your inbox can be a significant time waster. Most email programs allow you to set filters that will automatically sort your email into folders based on sender, subject or priority. This way, when you go to check your email, you can focus on the most important topics and save the rest for later.

5. Take Breaks. Breaks are beneficial to your body and your brain, allowing you to return to your work clear-headed. Schedule breaks throughout the day, and use this time to stretch, take a walk, meditate, or otherwise clear your mind. You’ll be more productive afterwards.

6. Minimize Meetings. Meetings – especially those that take you out of the office – can eat up a large portion of your workday. While some meetings are necessary, most times you can more effectively solve the issues with email or a phone call. Try to schedule in-person meetings only when necessary, and aim for a time of day that won’t disrupt the flow of your work.

With a limited amount of time in the day and so much work to be done, it’s essential to work more productively. Making a few simple changes to your routine can dramatically impact your productivity, with benefits for you and your company.

 

Tags: Small Medium business

Does Your Business Have a Mobile Print Strategy?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 @ 07:52 AM

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While mobile is the buzzword of the day, the truth is, mobile is here to stay.  The rise of mobile technology has created opportunities and demand for businesses to implement on-the-go mobile print services.

Mobile printing is a cloud-based solution. That means any employee with an Internet connection can print from any device from anywhere. But there's more to mobile printing then just hitting the print button. As mobile print tools continue to evolve, businesses across all industries are reaping the benefits of mobile print. Are you ready?

Here are four ways mobile print can help your business, and why you need a mobile print strategy:

• Improve productivity and convenience for employees

If you have workers on the road, in remote offices or at home, printed documents are most likely a part of their daily workflows. A mobile print strategy keeps all of your team on the same page, no matter their location. Standardization isn't just convenient, it can increase productivity.

• … and for your IT Team

Mobile print allows anyone (visiting clients, customers, contractors and new hires) to easily print within your network without involving your IT team. A mobile print standard creates consistent process, which makes printing easy. This frees your IT team's time to focus on critical business operations.

• Enhanced security

Mobile security should be an important part of your overall mobile strategy, giving your business full control over which documents are shared and printed within the network and helping to avoid the chance of a security breach. Standards for encryption, user authentication and audit capabilities should be clearly outlined making mobile print convenient and secure.

• Improve your bottom line

When it comes to business, it always comes down to your bottom line. Mobile print offers significant cost savings; especially if you have employees working from the road. Mobile print improves productivity, reduces the burden on your IT staff, improves security and saves you both time and money.

While the paperless office isn't here yet, many offices still rely on paper for critical business workflows. A mobile print strategy can help your business throughout the information management process.

Want to know more? Contact us and let us show you how, with the right tools, your information can be as mobile as your workforce!



 

Tags: mobile print solution

How to Protect Your Business From the Threat of Ransomware

Posted by Tim Stanley on Mon, Jun 12, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

 

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While ransomware isn't new, it has gained increasing notoriety since May 12, 2017, when a variety called
WannaCry was responsible for the largest cyberattack on record. The term ransomware is aptly named, combining the threat of malware—preventing the victim from accessing their data—with the demand for a paid ransom to ensure its release. Both individuals and businesses of all sizes are at risk, but there are a number of steps you can take to help protect your business, including those listed below. 

Strengthen Your Defenses

Protect your sensitive data from thieves, by routinely installing system updates as they become available. The latest ransomware attack was successful due to a vulnerability in Microsoft software, and while a security patch had been issued nearly two months-prior, the affected parties had failed to install it. Another effective defense involves whitelisting of software applications, which can prevent your computers from installing any programs that aren't approved. 

Think Before You Click

The simple act of opening an email, clicking on a link, or downloading materials to your computer is all it takes for malware to infect your computer or system network. The latest subversive method of access is through malvertising: embedding malware in ads placed on trusted websites. Adblockers can help prevent this type of infection, along with operating system updates and patches. User training can help reduce the amount of random clicking that takes place in your office, but it shouldn't be relied upon as your first, or only, line of defense. 

Get Your Back-Up

Disaster recovery software will ensure your data is backed up on a daily basis and stored safely in the cloud. While this can't prevent a ransomware attack from occurring it will allow you to access your data, eliminating the need to bargain with thieves for the safe return of your information, and help you to continue business as usual. 

Pull the Plug

At the first sign of infection, it's imperative that all computers are immediately disconnected from the network to prevent it from spreading further. Consider implementing periodic simulations throughout your office, as part of your risk management strategy, to save vital seconds in the event of an actual ransomware attack. 

Contact us today to learn more about the steps you can take to protect your business from the threat of ransomware with customized security solutions. 

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Tags: security

Scanning: Increase Your Productivity and Decrease Your Costs

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, May 26, 2017 @ 01:40 PM

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One of the most fundamental principles in business is this: time is money. Today’s employees can spend as much as 50% of their time searching for documents, filing them and dealing with the challenges associated with paper – all at a great cost to your business. However, the use of scanning and digital documents can dramatically increase your productivity and decrease your costs.

  1. Scan to Share - Sharing is one of the greatest challenges with paper documents, especially when you have employees and clients across multiple locations. Scanning a document with your Xerox ConnectKey-enabled multifunction printer can make sharing a snap. Your document can be scanned to email, network folders and the cloud, able to be accessed anywhere in the world, instantly.
  2. Scan to Store - Filing paper documents is a tedious and expensive process. Filing cabinets take up space and cost money to maintain. A lost or misfiled document can cost your business hundreds of dollars. When you scan a document, you can create a searchable PDF stored securely on the network or in the cloud. When employees need to find the document, they can type in just a few key words and have the document in seconds.
  3. Scan to Simplify - Some paper-heavy tasks don’t have to be so complicated. Workflows such as invoicing can be managed with one-touch apps that can be accessed on your Xerox ConnectKey-enabled MFP. These custom workflows can take effort-heavy tasks and make them simple, freeing up your employees to do work that more directly benefits your business.
  4. Scan on the Go - Scanning no longer needs to be done in the office. With today’s mobile devices, more people are doing work on the go than ever before. The Xerox Mobile Link App lets your phone or tablet act as a scanner or fax machine, sending documents to the cloud or the printer from wherever you are. This dramatically increases employee mobile productivity, and eliminates the need for taking multiple devices on the road.
  5. Scan Securely - With all this scanning, you may be wondering if your documents are secure. Xerox ConnectKey technology integrates end-to-end encryption, keeping your documents secure every step of the way. With optional passwords and secure external email connectivity, you can scan and send confidently.

Scanning can change the way you do business. With increased productivity and decreased costs, you’ll find your employees, clients and bottom line all benefit from the advances in scanning technology. 

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Tags: xerox connectkey

Think About These Things When Choosing a Managed IT Services Provider

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, May 10, 2017 @ 01:07 PM

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Today, business is driven by technology. That's why Managed IT Services is one of the fastest growing trends. Between the cloud, personal devices, smartphones, mobile printing and more, making it all run seamlessly and securely is a full time job. 

A Managed IT Services provider can help businesses like yours manage everything technology-related such as security, 24/7 network monitoring, help desk support, data management, infrastructure management, on-site technical support and more! Their job is to keep your business secure, safe from downtime, your technology updated, and your workflows efficient.

If you're considering outsourcing your IT to a Managed IT Services provider, here are a few tips to help you hire the right team:

  • They should ask you the right questions – They should want to know everything about your business and your needs, from your cloud provider to specific technology and workflows. They will ask about security and data management protocols. The right provider will ask YOU the right questions.
  • Make sure they never sleep! - They should be available 24/7/365 and provide remote monitoring. A good provider can remotely fix problems before they become critical. Choose a provider that offers complete monitoring including workstations, servers, your network, routers, switches and firewalls.
  • They should offer 24-hour support, remote repair and onsite support when necessary – This is a deal breaker. Your business needs to be ready to function safely and securely 24 hours a day. You should have 24-hour access to a live tech at any time to correct any problems. The right provider will offer immediate service and onsite support when needed. 
  • They should understand your industry – A knowledgeable provider will understand the specific technological needs of businesses in your industry. They will go beyond simply offering hardware recommendations to improving workflows, training and software. Make sure they understand the specific needs for businesses in your industry.

Want to know more? Give our team a call. We can show you how Managed IT Services can free your time to focus on your core business by making your technology more secure.

 

Tags: Managed IT Services

How to Minimize Low Tech Security Threats

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 @ 10:36 AM

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Technology has changed the way people communicate, run their households, do business, and navigate the world, but with convenience comes a price. Data security is one of the biggest concerns among business owners today, but while most focus on large scale threats such as phishing, malware, hacking and firewall breaches, attention should also be given to defending against another, potentially more serious concern: low tech security threats. 

For best results, a two-pronged approach is required with regards to data security: the first to protect against the physical loss of data, and the second, against the unauthorized access of data. While backups are vital to ensuring valuable data can be recovered, it can't prevent theft.

Here are some examples of common low tech threats to your data:

Carelessness

Sensitive information which is left on desktop trays, in unsecured filing cabinets, or in waste or recycle bins can be easily scanned, copied, photographed or stolen in the blink of an eye. Likewise, computer monitors should not be left unattended when displaying or accessing sensitive information; computers should be password protected and all screens closed before leaving the area. 

Lack of Encryption 

Both onsite and offsite backups should be securely stored, and encrypted to prevent theft. 

Unsecured Printers

Unlike the printers of old, today's printers are part of your computer network and must be secured against unauthorized access. Shared devices can use technology to create an audit trail and prevent unauthorized usage, and employees should be reminded to ensure output trays are clear and originals are removed after each use. 

Physical Theft

Portable devices such as smartphones, tablets, notebooks and laptops can be easily stolen, and should be stored securely when not in use. 

Power Issues

Power surges, outages, spikes or interruptions can corrupt or destroy your data. Surge protection should be used for all electronics to avoid damage. 

Environmental Concerns

Damage to data or devices as a result of flood, fire, smoke, or extreme temperatures can be avoided with climate control solutions, computer safe fire suppression, monitors and alarms. 

Protect your sensitive data by taking a broad approach to data security, with solutions that defend against both modern technology and low tech security threats. Contact us today, to learn more! 

 

  

Tags: security