The TDSIT Blog

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. 

cut print costs

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

Xerox VersaLink and AltaLink - Taking Your Business to the Next Level

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 @ 10:59 AM

altalink_versalink.jpgXerox has just released 29 new MFPs and printers - the largest release of new products in it's history!  The AltaLink and VersaLink line of products are equipped with the latest Xerox innovations and are designed specifically for your business’ needs.

A Printer for Every Office

The VersaLink line has 19 devices to choose from, including both color and black and white printing. These printers and MFPs are ideal for small to medium sized businesses, combining state of the art technology with an affordable cost of ownership.

For larger workgroups, Xerox has developed the AltaLink line of 10 MFPs. These devices also come in either color or black and white, and are equipped to handle the increased needs of a larger workgroup with faster start-up times and single-pass scanning.

Benefits for All

No matter which printer or MFP you choose, you can trust that Xerox innovation is working for you. All devices in the VersaLink and AltaLink lines are equipped with ConnectKey technology, turning your device into an app-based powerhouse. The ever-expanding line of apps lets your printer work and grow with you to solve the problems your company faces today and those that will arise tomorrow. Mobile scanning, security, and one-touch workflows are only the beginning when you have ConnectKey. Other benefits include:

  • An Intuitive User-Interface – These printers are designed to be easy to use. The touch screen interface can be customized to cut down on your time at the printer, while increasing your productivity. Setup is done through wizards, often eliminating the need for an IT professional to get you started.
  • Mobile and Cloud Compatibility – From scanning with your smartphone to sharing documents seamlessly through the cloud, Xerox has you covered. Services including DropBox, Google Drive and OneDrive are pre-installed on VersaLink printers and can be easily downloaded for the AltaLink line.
  • Security – Your MFP is equipped with the latest in security, including strong encryption, device and user authentication, and access auditing. Because security is part of ConnectKey technology, it can be easily updated over time, keeping your data secure.

With ConnectKey and other innovations, Xerox continues to lead the industry, helping your company stay ahead of the pack. When you choose a printer or MFP in the VersaLink or AltaLink lines, you’re getting a workplace assistant designed to meet your needs not only today, but well into the future.

Contact us today to learn more about these exciting new products from Xerox!

Tags: xerox connectkey

4 Easy Steps to Go Paperless

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Apr 04, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

paperless.jpgIn many offices, paper is essential to business. However, with today’s technology it doesn’t have to be. Read on to learn how you can reduce your reliance on paper, and get one step closer to a paper "less" office! 

Paper vs. Digital

On average, office employees are printing 10,000 documents per year. This rate is increasing each year by about 22%... and your costs along with it. Documents must be filed in expensive and space-consuming filing cabinets, to the tune of $1,500 per year per cabinet. Employees often spend up to 30% of their time searching for documents, and lost documents could be costing your business up to $700 each. By day’s end recycling bins are overflowing with documents that were printed, but not needed. (Stats: The Paperless Project)

However, when you go digital, many of these costs are significantly decreased. Digital storage is relatively inexpensive, and takes up little or no room in your office. Documents can be indexed to be searched with just a few keystrokes, saving your employees valuable time. Digital documents can drastically reduce the incidence of lost documents and help you recover quickly from a disaster like a flood or fire that could have easily destroyed your paper documents. Going digital saves time and money and reduces your impact on the environment.

Steps to Get Started

Even with all these benefits, many companies hesitate to get started on going paperless. However, it doesn’t have to be complicated, and most companies begin to see benefits right away.

  1. Audit your current paper usage. Whether through a Managed Print Service provider or using a manual logging system, once you understand what you’re printing now, you can determine where you can reduce your paper use.
  2. Update your equipment. Multifunction printers can scan, copy, fax, and print replacing a roomful of machines, and integrate seamlessly with a digital workflow system, reducing or eliminating paper use for many common tasks. Older equipment can cost you in unnecessary energy usage.
  3. Use cloud-based and online applications. This can reduce paper use for banking, as well allow the transfer of data more quickly and easily to clients.
  4. Change your workflows. Scan documents as they come in, fax directly to email, and utilize digital technology where you can.

Going paperless can save your business time and money. With just four easy steps, you can get started on seeing the benefits of a paper-free office. Contact us today for more tips!

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Tags: paperless office

Don't Overlook Your Print Environment When Implementing HIPAA Compliance

Posted by Tim Stanley on Mon, Mar 20, 2017 @ 10:26 AM

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According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act (HIPAA), all medical businesses must maintain security of all confidential medical information. HIPAA compliance is the law and it is enforced by the Department of Health And Human Services (DHHS). This includes all devices like printers, fax machines, copiers and workstations. Failure to comply can result in significant fines.

Your print environment can present significant compliance risks. Print device security might be overlooked when a business rolls out HIPAA standards, or if an IT team simply misses critical aspects of printer security.

One well-publicized example occurred in 2010. Affinity Health Plan failed to erase patient data from leased copiers before returning the devices upon the lease term's completion. As a result 33,000 confidential medical records were compromised. The DHHS fined Affinity 1.2 million dollars as a result. 

Here are a few tips to help you maintain HIPAA compliance. Consider:

  • Securing Devices – All print, fax and copiers should be kept secure and only accessible by authorized staff. Track documents when printing and never leave documents unattended in print devices or fax machines.
  • Removing and Erasing Hard Drives – Prior to retiring, selling or returning leased equipment remove any drives and securely destroy all data. Failure to do so can result in legal liability and fines.
  • Authenticating Users and Creating Audit Trails – Password protect workstations and devices to prevent unauthorized access. Use PIN numbers or swipe cards to authorize users and create an audit trail. Administrators should have audit trail capabilities to prevent unauthorized access. Devices should also have an auto-off feature.
  • Data Encryption and Removal – Any data stored on device hard drives should be encrypted using SSL protocols. Your network should also be secure and encrypted. Data stored on drives and devices should be regularly removed or destroyed.

Failure to meet HIPAA standards can result in leaving your business open to legal liability and DHHS fines. Is your company 100% HIPAA compliant, including your print environment? Contact us today and let us help you ensure compliance!

Print Assessment

 

Tags: HIPAA compliance

Document Workflow Automation Considerations

Posted by Tim Stanley on Mon, Mar 06, 2017 @ 11:22 AM

 

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Today’s digital technology offers modern workplaces many opportunities to optimize and streamline common tasks. An area that can greatly benefit from automation is document workflow. Automation can not only increase your efficiency and productivity, it has been shown that it can lead to a significant reduction in costs. 

Before you get started, here are some things you need to know: 

Benefits of Automation

By reducing human input, you are also reducing the error rate, along with its associated costs. At the same time, document workflow automation allows employees to focus on revenue-generating tasks instead of data entry and filing tasks. Work can be more closely monitored, which helps to enhance regulatory compliance.

The print environment is the perfect place to start looking for inefficiencies. By deploying assessment software a Managed Print Services provider can quickly identify paper-intensive areas of your business that would benefit the most from automation. In departments such as HR and Accounting, the benefits of automating tasks can be huge, with time and cost savings adding up to as much as 90%.

Questions to Ask

Once you know which processes are good candidates for automation, you can investigate further with a series of questions to help guide the automation process. Consider the following topics:

  • Types of documents processed: invoices? forms? timesheets?
  • Document storage, both currently and ideally
  • Volume of documents that need to be processed
  • What format are the documents in (i.e. pdf, email, paper)
  • How will they be distributed, and to whom
  • What systems do you currently have in place
  • Is data entry necessary
  • The level of automation desired
  • Any special requirements, such as regulations and auditing needs

Digital automation can provide cost and time savings to your business, allowing employees to focus their time and talents on growing your business. 

Print Assessment

Tags: document workflow