The TDSIT Blog

Healthy Printers with Managed Print Services

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Oct 31, 2018 @ 02:45 PM

healthy

Today’s office is a digital office, and as such depends on its devices to keep business running. When a printer goes down, projects grind to a halt while you wait for repairs costing you time and money. A Managed Print Services provider can help you understand and manage your print environment to help keep your fleet healthy.

Monitoring Print Volumes

How much do you print each day? Most companies don’t know the true scope of how their printers are used and may be underestimating the burden on these important devices. A Managed Print Services provider carefully tracks your device usage, recording your print volume with a variety of metrics. With this data in hand, you can optimize your print environment to use your printers efficiently.

Consumable Supplies

If you’re ordering print supplies as you need them, you may be wasting money and not even know. Ad-hoc ordering can lead to:

  • Having too many supplies, taking up precious storage space and risking not being able to use supplies before they expire.
  • Supply shortages which jeopardize your workflow.
  • Supply theft, wasting your money.
  • Not understanding your actual print costs.

A Managed Print Services provider, however, can monitor your devices to ship supplies only when you need them. This eliminates shortages and overages, and saves you money.

Repairs and Maintenance

With Managed Print Services you can get preventative maintenance, keeping your printers in top shape. Often problems can be found before the printer needs to be taken offline, so your workflow is not interrupted. Keeping your devices in good shape can help prolong their lifespan and improve your print efficiency.

Even with the best maintenance, sometimes a printer will break down. A Managed Print Services provider can provide expert repair technicians to get you back online quickly. The sooner you can get your printer repaired, the less time and money you will lose.

Every day your printer churns out important documents that keeps your business flowing. Staying on top of your printer fleet with Managed Print Services can help avoid costly breakdowns and make your print environment run smoothly. 

Not sure if Managed Print Services is right for your business? Contact us for a no-obligation print assessment and let's start the discussion!

Print Assessment

 

Tags: TDSIT, Small Medium business, commercial printers, multifunction print devices, managed print services

Why Your MFP Should be Included in Your Security Strategy

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 @ 12:05 PM

mfp_security

Your multifunction printer is the office workhorse, able to print, scan, fax, upload to the cloud, and perform other important functions. However, with the amount of data it processes each day, it is also a prime target for hackers seeking to steal your information. Unfortunately, many businesses overlook their MFPs when developing a security strategy, leaving their company at risk.

Cyber Crimes

cybercrimeWith digital data becoming more common, cyber crimes are on the rise. In these attacks, your data is compromised or stolen, and may be sold on the dark web for profit or ransomed back to your company. Credit card information, social security numbers, and other personal data are very valuable - every business has data worth stealing. As the technology changes, so too do the threats to your data.

Security Strategy

If your data is breached, you could be looking at millions of dollars’ worth of damages so you need to be proactive and protect your company. This can take the form of antivirus software and firewalls, to guard against attacks. You should also have a recovery and backup process in place. Employees should be trained in common security threats, such as phishing emails, and understand how to recognize and respond to these events.

Because your network is only as secure as your least secure device, you need to make sure your security strategy is fully comprehensive. This means that every device, from tablets to printers, that connects to your network has security tools in place.

MFP Security

The MFP is a unique device because it interacts with so many other devices on your network and processes information both within and outside of your internal network. Hackers target these devices knowing they are often inadequately protected. Look to authentication and encryption techniques in addition to antivirus software to help protect your data and your network.

You cannot secure your business from cyber threats if you do not secure your multifunction printer. With the amount of data it handles on a daily basis, your MFP should be a priority when you develop a security strategy for your company.

How secure is your print environment? Contact a TDS IT representative today and learn how to keep your company data protected. 

 

Tags: TDSIT, Small Medium business, MFPs, multifunction print devices, digital copier and printer security

Multifunction Printers: They’re Not All Created Equal!

Posted by Tim Stanley on Sun, May 31, 2015 @ 09:20 PM

not all mfps created equalIf you’re planning on adding a multifunction device in your office, you’ve probably noticed that they all look alike! They all print, fax, scan, and copy. The only difference seems to be the price, but even then, there’s not much difference! So how do you differentiate between MFPs to find the right one for your business? It starts by asking the right questions!

Look Behind the Curtain

The true differences can be found in the level of support provided by the manufacturer or reseller. Examine the warranty. Who covers it, the manufacturer or the reseller? How long does it last, 90 days, six months, three years? 

Is there a service agreement attached? Does the agreement offer service credits?  Your machine will inevitably require service at some point in its lifecycle. When the service tech comes to your office to repair your machine and prints multiple color and black and white test prints, who pays? Believe it or not, small differences like these can make a world of difference.

Check Under The Hood

MFPs generally use one of two engine systems. The first is a drum based engine. This requires a service technician to maintain the machines. The second is a cartridge-based engine.  Much like laser printers they have replaceable components like toner cartridges. They generally require less onsite maintenance.

Another area that should be examined is mobile printing.  As more businesses move more functions online, mobile print is a growing trend. There are a variety of devices, each with different requirements. Make sure the printer you choose supports the devices your workforce employs. Also, if leasing there may be an additional charge to enable mobile print. Ask your vendor before signing any contract.

Finally, security is an issue on every business owner’s mind. Since You MFP basically functions as a computer with an internal hard drive, memory, and Internet connectivity, it can become a security risk.  Look for systems offering full system security. Certified by the manufacturer and verified by a third party service such as Common Criteria Certification, this typically is installed by the manufacturer.

With a little bit of research, you’ll soon see that not all multifunction printers are created equal. Go beyond simple price point and functionality to find the true value when making a choice!

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Tags: multifunction print devices, warranty, purchase office equipment, multifunction printer, Purchase multifunction Printer

Why You Need A Document Management Solution For Your Business

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 @ 01:47 PM

Document Management Solution

Back in 1975, Business Week published an article entitled “The Office of the Future” which predicted that by 1990 the paperless office would arrive, and we’d all be free! Well the fact is, we’re still waiting. Every year the world produces more than 300 million tons of paper according to the US EPA, even though the technology exists to significantly curtail paper use in the workplace.

Do you know what your office paperwork is actually costing you? Consider these facts courtesy of The Paperless Project:

            • As much as 80% of the information in your office is retained on paper

            • The average cost of processing an invoice is $24

            • The average office prints in excess of 10,000 pages per year, 17% are never used

            • It can cost up to $125 to locate a misfiled document

            • 75% of small to medium sized businesses have no disaster recovery plan!

Accidents can happen and the time to be prepared is before they do. Studies have shown that 70% of businesses operating without a disaster plan would fail within three weeks after a catastrophic loss of paper documents caused by a fire or flood. You need a document management plan not only to streamline your daily operations and save money, but also to protect you from any unforeseen disaster that could wipe-out years of hard work!

Today’s technology offers solutions. Multifunction devices are networkable, Internet compatible and come with internal storage.  Using a software solution like Xerox’s ConnectKey is an easy way to implement document management into your workflow. ConnectKey allows your employees to scan, print, share, store, collaborate on and save documents. Because it’s cloud based, it’s easy to automate offsite backup to help prepare your company for unforeseen circumstances.

Because documents are stored digitally, they’re searchable using a variety of methods. That means no more misfiled documents, and no more expensive downtime spent searching. Because documents can be shared, collaboration is incredibly easy and efficient. Automated back-up means that in the event of a disaster, your documents are safely stored offsite making it easier to keep your business up and running when disaster strikes.

Want to know more? Schedule a free print environment assessment or download our MPS ebook featuring the "TDS Document Efficiency Checklist".  

 

Tags: document management, multifunction print devices, document assessment, xerox connectkey, printer technology

Your Win-Win Strategy with Rules Based Printing

Posted by Tim Stanley on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 @ 11:25 AM

print rulesWith today’s economy, businesses are seeking ways to reduce operating expenses while also keeping productivity and efficiency high.  This can be a challenging task for some business owners and managers because their days are already filled with running the business.  There is very little time left to look for ways to reduce costs or increase efficiency.

Reducing operating expenses, however, can significantly contribute to your business profitability.  And increased efficiency can grow sales, while also improving customer service.  Business owners and managers should dedicate time to reviewing these opportunities and implement changes where possible.

Print management is one area that is often overlooked but can provide a wealth of opportunity in decreased expenses and increased productivity.  Rules based printing has several key benefits:

  • Lower operating expenses
  • Increased longevity for printers
  • Higher productivity for employees
  • Better automation and quality

The steps to implementing rules based printing include:

1. Take an inventory of all printers including network, wireless, desktop and others.

2. Determine rules around color printing - when it should be used, or what individuals or departments should be permitted to print in color.

3. Set rules on two-sided printing and high quality printing – what should be the default print setting for most employees?

4. Route certain print jobs to be more convenient for employees in certain departments.

5. Note your current maintenance costs plus paper and consumables expenses and track the savings after implementing new print rules.

Your print rules can be reviewed and refined over time, but you can start by setting certain default rules and then applying exceptions when needed.  With this effort your business can realize some substantial savings while also increasing department productivity.

To find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

Tags: multifunction print devices, control print costs, Rules based printing, print rules

Are You Tired of Dealing with Old Office Equipment?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, May 15, 2014 @ 12:14 PM

TDS TradeInDealing with finicky office equipment and feel yourself getting even more frustrated with faulty fax machines, non-functioning printers, or defunct copiers? Fortunately you can take advantage of our exclusive TDS office equipment trade in program that allows you to upgrade to the best and most efficient equipment while ridding yourself of your current office equipment causing disruptions in the office workflow.

You probably have some questions about office equipment trade in process, though. No problem, some of the most common questions have been answered below.

How will the trade in work? What can be traded in?
It is easy to have your office equipment traded in, it all starts with an assessment. The assessment will help determine special or unique features in your equipment that could up its value as well as quality and condition. Think of it of like trading in a used car, there is going to be differing levels of value for your current office equipment. As for what can be traded in, office equipment such as fax machines, copiers, printers (including multi-function printers), scanners are all included in the TDS trade in program.

If equipment is leased, do you have to wait until the lease ends?
Typically, you don't have to wait out a lease contract but you should always look through your current contract in order to be certain and make sure there are no early termination clauses that could surprise you.

Is it common to trade in office equipment?
Yes! It is a very easy and inexpensive way to get better office equipment that will better suit the needs of your business. In fact, about 80% of office equipment is traded in.

Trading in your old office equipment can mean the difference between fighting with the printer everyday or having equipment that actually works for you. Our TDS trade in program can help with that, so why not give it a try with some the older office equipment that is frustrating you? Contact us today and learn more.

.....and to find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

Tags: multifunction print devices, trade-in, TDSIT

Xerox ConnectKey™:Helping to Improve Office Printing Productivity

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 @ 12:52 PM

tds connectkey

“A penny saved is a penny earned” is a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin.  Today we may not hold the penny in high regard, but business leaders will probably say the same for time – a second saved is a second earned.

Productivity is so valuable with business that the majority of tasks are increasingly measured based on the time it takes to accomplish.  Xerox understands the importance of productivity in business and has launched the ConnectKey™ series solutions specifically to help in saving time, improving quality, and increasing productivity.

ConnectKey™ is an intelligent business solution that transforms typical office equipment such as printers, scanners and copiers into sophisticated productivity tools.  The equipment series from Xerox that utilizes ConnectKey™ is like no other piece of typical office equipment.

Some of the productivity boosting features from ConnectKey™ include:

  • Control and manage printing from your desktop or laptop computer using the Universal Remote Control Panel – this means you can track your jobs and your department’s print jobs without getting up from your desk.
  • Repair and support printers remotely with an interface designed for IT and tech support staff – this greatly helps your IT support staff to address problems quickly.
  • All print devices including other brands can be managed using the Centreware print manager – no need for separate print manager packages when you can simply access one centralized print management solution.
  • Equipment is designed with simple CRU’s – “customer replaceable units” for easy maintenance and reduced service calls.  Your staff will not have to wait for the service repair person to arrive and can get back to work quickly.
  • With one unified address book all devices have the ability to store key contacts and use for email notifications and workflow routing.
  • Double sided printing and scanning is available with Scan-to-PC capabilities so no additional paper is wasted.
  • Instant notification can be enabled for users to receive an email when their particular print job is completed.

With all of the features from the Xerox ConnectKey™ your business can reduce the amount of foot traffic from printer to copier to scanner and back.  Less travel time means higher productivity for your personnel.  With the easy print management features along with streamlined workflow configurations your routine office tasks can easily move from one person to the next or one department to the next without a complicated business process software package to install.

If you are looking to save seconds, minutes, or hours out of your work day, the Xerox ConnectKey™ series is worth your time.

To find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

Tags: office solutions, MFPs, print assessment, multifunction print devices, xerox connectkey, office productivity

Xerox and ConnectKey;The New Industry Standard for MFP System Security

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Aug 09, 2013 @ 10:16 AM

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The way we work today is more advanced than ever. Modern technology and cloud computing has enabled employees to be more productive, more mobile and more efficient. But is this new technology putting your company’s private and secure information at risk? Luckily there are new solutions that not only improve productivity, but security too. If you oversee or work with your company’s print environment, one solution you should investigate is ConnectKey.

ConnectKey is a cloud-based software solution by Xerox that integrates with your multifunction printers to make the way you print, scan and work easier than ever. Thankfully, Xerox realized the risks involved in today’s high-tech workplace and incorporated safety features into ConnectKey to keep you safe, including: 

  • Protected Access  
  • McAfee Security  
  • Compliance Features 
  • Ability to Track Users
  • Safer Scanning
  • Cisco Protection and more 

Have more control over access 

With ConnectKey you get more control over all of the multifunction printers in your print environment, including features that let you determine who can access your printers--and when. Access protection features allow you to apply access codes to any printer in your environment or provide access cards to users you trust. With ConnectKey, you can rest assured that the only people who are printing, scanning and handling your important business data are approved to do so. Access protection also allows you to control when and how printers are used. For example, you can enforce a no printing after hours rule to minimize personal printing. 

New, exclusive McAfee Security

ConnectKey ensures that all of the multifunction printers in your workplace integrate with proven McAfee® security technology. This is an exclusive feature for Xerox, making for the first line-up of print devices that can protect themselves from online dangers. For example, McAfee features an innovative white list technology that makes sure that only non-threatening files are able to print, scan or email from your devices. With McAfee, you don’t have to worry about always updating your software against online dangers as it handles all of that for you. 

Features to keep you in high compliance

Are all of your printers SSL encrypted? Are they compliant with the latest Software Verification Criteria from the legal industry? Do they meet Department of Defense compliance? HIPAA? Sarbanes Oxley? Are you sure? With ConnectKey, you can be. ConnectKey allows you to maintain high levels of security and ensure that all of your devices are compliant with the latest requirements.

User tracking and safer scanning

With the ConnectKey solution, you can track the user activity across all of your multifunction printers at all times. It allows for keeping an accurate history of use too, so you can go back to see when, what and where a device was used.  However, to keep your data secure, it won’t allow the content of jobs to be tracked, which is a nice added feature. ConnectKey also allows you to scan quickly and securely to Yahoo, Gmail and more—this is useful for SMBs that don’t use a corporate email program.

Cisco protection seals the deal

Finally, ConnectKey integrates with Cisco® TrustSec Identity Services Engine automatically in order to give you complete visibility of your print environment and all printer endpoints. Reliable TrustSec helps guard the paths to your printers and helps you maintain your security policy easier than you could have imagined possible.

In closing, ConnectKey is an advanced, easy to implement and very secure solution for improving the way you print, while making it safe as well. Your business is important, so it’s important to keep it protected. 

To find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

Tags: multifunction print devices, xerox connectkey, security

How to Practice Environmentally Friendly Printing

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 @ 08:30 AM

How to Practice Environmentally Friendly Printing

If your company is like many, a recycling box stood next to your printers for years. And for years, staff members tossed extra, misprinted or unneeded paper into the box. Every now and then the box appeared emptied –who took it and where it went was a mystery – and that was the extent of the “green” printing initiatives.

Today, thanks to digitization and the increasing role of managed print services (MPS), environmental sustainability has taken a larger and more impactful part of the print realm without taking time or resources from you or your staff.

What “green” means today
Environmental awareness and sustainability have gone beyond the recycling box to become part of many companies’ mission statements. Eco-friendly practices, from switching to energy-efficient light bulbs to obtaining enterprise-wide LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, all contribute to today’s green initiatives.

When it comes to printing, an MPS provider can take the lead in assessing your company’s current technology and usage, and provide recommendations on going greener in several ways:

  • Controlling paper. In an ideal world, no recycling box would be needed, because no paper would be wasted. The cost of paper, the resources it demands to create and distribute, and the potential damage that waste causes to both the environment and to a company’s budget are all concerns of the managed print services professional.
  • Managing ink and toner. Ink and toner run a close second to paper when it comes to the cost and environmental impact of waste. An MPS provider can both optimize the print fleet to save ink and train users on reducing the use of toner – reducing unnoticed resolution by printing in “grayscale” or “fast draft,” for example – providing small changes that can make a money-saving and planet-friendly difference.
  • Reducing energy consumption. It takes electricity to run the printers, electricity to light the room the printers are in, and even more electricity to do all this with multiple printers and locations when perhaps only one or two are actually needed. A strategic plan from an MPS provider can reorganize a company’s print infrastructure, creating more energy-efficient workspaces along the way.
  •  Promoting digital solutions. One highly effective long-term environmental solution, of course, is reducing the overall dependency on hard copies by adopting digital processes for documents and data that speed delivery of information, accommodate today’s mobile workforce, and ensure information security – all while conserving natural resources.

Going green made easier
Efficiency and profitability need not be compromised by a commitment to the environment. With the help of a managed print services partner, you can do your part for a more sustainable company – and planet.

 To find out how much your organization is spending on print, click here for your free print assessment:

Print Assessment

Tags: managed print services, multifunction print devices, green printing, environmentally friendly office, MFP, environmentally friendly printing