The Future of Printing in 2019

The last decade has brought numerous changes in technology and how it affects an office workspace, and the last year of 2010s will be no different. Though consumers often think of how technological advancements affect their computers, many overlook a process they complete daily: printing. We asked Greg Bailey, Infomax’s director of sales, to discuss printing trends in 2019. Here are some of those trends.

Security

Cyberthreats keep pace with the growing number of devices connecting to the internet. All businesses print confidential information, such as employees’ or customers’ personal information, sensitive company data or financial documents. It’s possible for hackers to tap into networks and see documents that are sent to presses. For these reasons, security is going to be one of the biggest demands in the printing industry for years to come, Greg said. Infomax’s printer and document management services provide multiple layers of protection.

Pay-as-you-go models are going to be more popular in coming years so clients have more flexibility in printing and know budgeting costs before they complete a print job. The perk is that businesses and administrators can monitor who is printing and which types of documents are printed. For some of these models, users will sign in before printing or use an ID badge to collect classified documents. Infomax’s print services also track and allow usage-based billing for individual clients, departments or projects so companies know where much of their printing costs originate. Additionally, more printers have document capture services that are adding more security by storing sensitive documents when they are printed. Print-to-voidance — which prevents sensitive documents from being stored on a system after they’re printed — could also gain in popularity. 

Artificial intelligence

Technology continues to advance, no matter the medium or method. Printers are no exception as artificial intelligence enters the industry. AI is generally defined as the ability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior. Though it might sound fanciful, AI technologies are already helping to make printing processes more effective and efficient.

Printers already use AI to automate more routine tasks, freeing up time for employees to work on more strategic work. Some of those routine tasks include direct mail and catalogs, according to Xerox. As more data about mail recipients becomes available, AI can use data to create more relevant content in mailings to specific recipients. Additionally, software allows a printer to optimize document layouts to minimize waste. Data about a printer also can be sent back to manufacturers to compare data to expected performance, determining if software updates or adjustments need to be made. However, the use of AI in the industry is not yet widespread.

“Manufacturers are beginning to use artificial intelligence, but they’re still in the infancy of that,” Greg said. “There are peaks and valleys.”

Flexible format

Though it used to be a luxury, color printing has taken over. Businesses and their clients want the eye-catching visuals that come with color-printed products. And inkjet printers reign supreme in their abilities to create crisp visuals as well as text-based documents. The next few years will also bring a growth in large-format printing that allows marketers to reach a bigger audience through printed banners, stickers and posters. Clients will have easier accessibility to large format printers, such as the Canon Oce Colorado, one of the large-format printers Infomax currently has in the showroom.

Changing technology

Here’s one thing we can always count on: technology will advance. Many businesses want to stay on top of current trends and outfit their offices with updated systems that save money, perform better than previous models and provide more security. That’s why Infomax provides printer leasing options for their clients, and Greg said he only expects that program to gain in popularity. Most clients take advantage of that program and upgrade their presses after a few years.

Call us today to learn more about our printing services at 1-800-727-4629.

Spring cleaning for your networks

Spring cleaning is often associated with cleaning out the sand, salt and other built-up winter soot. However, spring cleaning shouldn’t just be for your home. Most people spend 40 hours a week at work, and even the less physical aspects of an office could use some tender loving care. Consider cleaning up your networks. It’s essential to keeping them secure and running smoothly.

Your networks are the basis on which your business runs. If they aren’t secured, you can lose valuable data to cybercriminals. Our managed IT staff can help you through this process and monitor your security in the future.

Here are a few tips to get started.

Encrypt and secure your wireless network

If you set up your Wi-Fi network years ago, you may be using easily hackable, outdated encryption. The current standard for Wi-Fi protection is Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 — or WPA2. Second, make sure your wireless network has as random of a name as possible, avoiding dictionary words. Seasoned hackers have a list of the top 1000 most common network names with a list of passwords that could likely crack your wireless network. A unique name makes that network more difficult to find. Lastly, create a lengthy password with a mix of letters, symbols and numbers. You’ve likely already been warned about passwords time and again — to much frustration. There’s a reason for that. Get creative and create a password of more than 16 characters for the most protection. Remember, most Wi-Fi devices will store this password, so the aggravation of entering a long, complicated password should be minimized.

File away your old data

Don’t let clutter clog your network and slow it down. File away anything on your network you haven’t touched in the last few months. This is also a great time to organize files into one spot and back them up on a data recovery service. Emails should also be deleted or properly archived. Few things are more overwhelming than a cluttered inbox. While deleting unnecessary correspondence, organize other emails into labeled folders.

Determine space in your bandwidth

As you clean out your network, monitor the space in your bandwidth, which is the amount of data that can be transferred from one point to the next during a given time. As a business grows, it’s possible that its bandwidth may need to as well.

Talk with employees

No matter how secure your network and password are, daily use can still compromise it to cybercriminals. Teach employees about best practices with password creation and teach them how to recognize spam emails and hyperlinks. Additionally, limit access to your company’s critical data to as few people as possible.

Filter network traffic

Give your employees a leg up by filtering the traffic that enters your network. Use pop-up blockers and email filtering services to monitor any suspicious content that could be coming into your network.

Get rid of old devices

Old, unused devices can not only slow down your network, but they can also be a vulnerable access point for cyberthreats. Unplug and properly store or dispose of those unused fax machines, printers, copiers, computers and phones.

Defining company culture benefits Infomax employees, clients

Infomax Office Systems employees go to work each day with a few things in mind: exceed expectations, embrace change and always treat others with respect. These directives aren’t just guidelines for our employees, they’re the core basis for Infomax’s business.

In 2016, we developed a culture committee to identify our company’s core values. Employees throughout Infomax’s many departments were recruited for the committee to include viewpoints beyond the company’s leadership, said Greg Jacobs, president of Infomax Office Systems. Our culture committee met with third-party business representatives to identify Infomax’s values, what those values mean to employees and clients and how the company can better share our principles.

“Every company has a culture whether they know it or not. We wanted to define that,” Greg said. “It was not just the leadership team that was able to say, ‘These are going to be our core values.’”

Our values are
• Excellence
• Embrace Change
• Development
• Integrity
• One team
• Fun
• Open minded communication

Our company has been intentional about sharing these core values. They’re posted on our website, in employees’ email signatures, framed in our office and included in a culture playbook distributed to employees. Outings to baseball games, restaurants and other local attractions give employees a chance to build a team atmosphere and foster open communication. A consistent focus on our core values was vital to further the momentum in building company culture.

“You don’t want us rolling these core values out and having employees think these are just another exercise that will be gone in six months,” Greg noted. “In our business, it is very easy to get siloed. Communication is the key to breaking those silos and creating one team.”

In fact, the company’s core values have become part of our employee recruitment and retention efforts. We begin the values conversation with potential employees during the interview process, discussing how we embrace change, commit to excellence, support staff development goals and value open communication. Interviewees take note, Greg observed.

“People have so many different choices when it comes to a place to go to work these days. How can we set ourselves apart?” asked Greg. “I’ve always been very proud of our culture, so we talk about that in the interview process. We wanted that culture to be the reason people would come to work at Infomax. We’ve had people say that it was a deciding factor in working here.”

While it’s important to define culture internally, a well-defined company culture also benefits our clients. We focus on delivering excellent service, embracing industry changes and operating with integrity.

“At the end of the day, I have two customers: my employees and my customers,” Greg reflected. “A good office climate automatically translates to clients. When people enjoy coming to work…there’s just no other way than to provide an A-plus experience for our customers.”

Make Managed Print Services Work for YOU

Managed Print Services (MPS) is a service-related relationship with an outside provider that manages the printing and document output needs of your company. An MPS solution will reward an organization with numerous benefits, from lowering your overall print spending to improving productivity to increasing your data security. However, there are steps you can take to maximize the return on your investment and help you get the most out of this solution.

Each workplace is unique, with its own needs, challenges, and way of doing things. Therefore, when taking advantage of an MPS solution, it’s in your best interest to get involved to ensure you realize the many benefits Managed Print Services can provide you with.

Take full advantage of the print assessment. The first step of an MPS solution is an initial assessment of your printing environment. Have your team work closely with your MPS provider so they can get a detailed, accurate analysis of your printing requirements and your workflows. Their feedback will help position your provider to optimize your print fleet, eliminate inefficiencies, and reduce waste.

Don’t be afraid to speak up. Following your initial print assessment, your MPS provider will present a comprehensive strategy based on these findings. This will include recommendations to eliminate and or replace obsolete, inefficient, or redundant devices; relocate devices to more suitable locations; and ways to eliminate wasteful printing practices. While a reputable MPS provider such as Infomax Office Systems will have the knowledge and experience to provide you with sound counsel when it comes to optimizing your printing environment, be sure to voice any concerns you may have. No one knows your organization and it’s day-to-day operations like you do, so if you have any doubts or questions about a recommendation be sure to voice them.

Have your staff buy-in to the plan. Major organizational changes have no chance without buy-in from all employees. You can help facilitate this by explaining why you’re implementing an MPS solution, as well as what the company and they individually have to gain from it.

Partner with a trustworthy, qualified MPS provider. While you’re sure to find a number of business solutions providers in your area that offer Managed Print Services, do your homework and get to know who you are considering doing business with. How long have they been serving your local area? What type of reputation do they have? Have they partnered with other businesses in your industry? A reputable MPS provider will be happy to provide you with satisfied customers willing to go to bat for them with a testimonial or endorsement.

For more information about our MPS solution and how it can bring to your company, contact us today.

How Document Management Gives Your Business a Competitive Edge

Although most companies have made the transition into the digital age, some are still stuck in time-consuming paper-based processes. Many tasks and paperwork fall through the cracks with this system. With a digital solution, such as document management, the level of issues decrease significantly. Document management is a form of digital automation in which an organization can store, track, and manage all documents electronically via the computer system and software. A system such as this can give your businesses in Des Moines a competitive edge.

  • Reduce costs – Paper is costly. By getting rid of a paper storage system and implementing a document management system, you are saving a significant amount of money that can be put toward a more intelligent investment.
  • Increase efficiency – By saving money, clearing out the old paperwork, and freeing up the physical act of managing a paper storage system, your business will see increased efficiency. Digital document management allows for a more streamlined workflow and gets tasks completed quicker.
  • High level of compliance – With a digital system, you will have more control over the security of sensitive documents. You can set up rules and passwords to ensure that only the approved sets of eyes will have access to such files. All data will also be saved off-site so that the risk of losing any sensitive files are minimal.
  • Long-term security – Document management can also be seen as a safeguard against an unexpected disaster scenario. In the event of a flood or hurricane, you will have the peace of mind to know that all of your files are safely stored electronically. There is no risk of having them damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster.
  • Growth opportunities – Since most businesses have adopted document management in Des Moines, it is essential to stay ahead of the pack. With this storage system, you have the employment appeal of new, high-level, tech-savvy staff members. This system can be used across all departments of an organization, from human resources to marketing to finance. You more likely attract the right sort of employees by staying ahead of the virtual curve.

Learn More About Document Management in Des Moines

If you are looking to implement a document management system for your organization, contact Infomax Office Systems today. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have and give you more insight into how document management can improve your business.

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