Color Printing by Number

Large inkjet printer working multicolor CMYK on a vinyl banner.

Five years ago, color printing may have seemed out of reach for many small and medium-sized businesses. Color printers were seen as expensive and inefficient. As with all technology, color printers have evolved.

Businesses in every industry have found that in-house color printing is not only cost-effective, documents printed in color attract more attention and carry your brand further. If your organization has an eye for numbers, here are some statistics to keep in mind as you make up your mind about in-house color printing.

Attention

If your business is still printing all documents in black and white, you could be passing up the chance to grab and retain your reader’s attention. Studies show that color increases a reader’s attention span and recall by 82 percent. Consider all the documents your company is printing internally and externally. Do you want your boss or employees to read a long report? Are you hoping to gain or retain customers by sending marketing materials via mail or distributing them after a meeting? Not only is your audience more than 50 percent more likely to pick up a full-color piece of mail, they’re more likely to understand and remember what it says. Comprehension could increase by 73 percent when a message is portrayed in color.

Savings

Color printers used to be considered too expensive and inefficient for a typical office space. However, today’s color printers are optimized for high-quality, efficient use. Color ink is not as expensive as it used to be, and printers use less ink per print job than they used to. Newer systems can also print documents with high-quality color images within a fraction of the time it took in the past. Additionally, businesses save money by having an in-house color printer and sourcing materials themselves, instead of outsourcing printed materials and footing the bill for extra costs associated with using a print shop’s services. You’re also able to print the exact number of copies you need.

Efficiency

Did you know that documents printed in color can actually make your employees better at their jobs and customers happier? Color reduces errors by 80 percent, and readers can find information in a document up to 70 percent faster if it’s in color. This means that documents that are highlighted and color coded could help employees properly enter information and spot errors in forms, and do so faster. Similarly, your business can influence the information that stands out to customers by using color to send a message and emphasize portions of a document. From a workplace performance perspective, having a color printer in your office saves you time and energy on print jobs.

Sales

Since color documents capture and retain audience attention, your business’ bottom line could receive a boost. Colors convey meaning and emotion, all of which are layered into your organization’s logo and marketing materials. These portrayed values impact viewers immediately, and most consumers form opinions within 90 seconds of their initial interaction with a brand. Between 60 and 90 percent of that first assessment is based on colors alone. Not only are color documents portraying your organization’s values and capturing attention, documents containing color can increase brand recognition by up to 80 percent.

Infomax can help your business find a multifunction color printer that fits your organization’s needs and budget. Start a conversation with us today at InfomaxOffice.com.

A Virtual CIO Could Guide Your Small Business

 For small or medium-sized businesses, information technology tasks can be pesky at best and completely overwhelming at worst. Even more difficult to manage is creating an overarching plan for a growing business’ equipment and security needs. Many small businesses grapple with their IT needs. In fact, more than a quarter of small businesses don’t employ any full time IT staff, let alone a Chief Information Officer who oversees a company’s IT services. 

Without a CIO how can a small business oversee their equipment and programs while ensuring the security of their vital data? A virtual CIO could be the answer. 

A vCIO — or third-party organization — provides all the strategic and experiential IT knowledge of a CIO while saving your business the cost of a full-time employee. Additionally, the vCIO coordinates and advises clients’ existing IT departments. They may also implement strategic IT goals, plan the IT budget, analyze and reorganize processes and facilitate hardware or software changes. 

Infomax’s vCIO services can provide many of the same services, providing clients with a roadmap for IT projects and strategic development as your company expands. Here are some of the benefits of working with a vCIO. 

Thorough Inspections 

Before getting started, many service providers like Infomax conduct network assessments and inventories of your current IT system. This helps pinpoint potential risks and prioritize projects. By evaluating technology today, providers can identify and implement the solutions to take you where you need to be tomorrow. 

Preparedness 

A vCIO helps your business implement the daily IT tasks that prepare you to meeting strategic goals. Those services include crafting an overall strategy, business continuity planning, network planning and integration and cloud computing. They also can coordinate between your business and vendors, providing vendor management and application selection. Additionally, your vCIOs can connect with your team daily, providing project management, license compliance tracking and reporting. 

An Expert Team 

The above services could be a staggering workload for one or two existing IT professionals within a small or medium-sized business. But a vCIO comes with a team of skilled professionals that make up a third-party provider’s staff. The team of experts help you make important technical decisions and find the best equipment and applications to fit your needs and budget. 

Cost Savings 

Leveraging vCIO services is just like having an in-house CIO who understands your vision for success. However, you don’t have to provide office space or pay full time salary and benefits like you would with a CIO. A vCIO also saves you money by uncovering and resolving issues that can escalate into expensive problems later. 

Ensure Business Continuity 

Business continuity planning balances real needs with financial realities. There may be resources that you can’t live without for an hour, but others that could be down for a day or two. A vCIO works with your business to determine what protection you should prioritize. 

To learn more about Infomax’s vCIO services, read more here and message us at InfomaxOffice.com to get started. 

Document Management Systems Are Key to Remote Work

Some industries have taken advantage of document management systems — a digital tool to track, manage and store documents — for years. Businesses that operate on swift deadlines and thrive on collaboration understand the importance of having digital workflows. Organizations that host many appointments with customers or patients use form solutions to gather information. Companies with remote workers know that digital archiving is paramount to protecting sensitive documents through remote storage.

However, other businesses who have been forced to adapt workflows and connect remotely with both employees and customers may find document management solutions key to continuing business operations. Collaboration and secure storage can benefit any workplace, whether your organization is temporarily pivoting or intends to have remote workers as part of your workforce into the future.

Digital Workflows

Most businesses have faced shifts in operations throughout the first and second quarters of 2020. Your employees could be faced with more work, cumbersome processes and other difficulties while working remotely. Additionally, your business could be facing an increase in demand for certain products and services.

Document management systems offer digital workflows, which allow managers and employees to measure a volume of work and understand where projects stand in the process of completion.

These digital workflows can increase productivity by automating content-based tasks and create computer-aided work models that complete repetitive jobs quickly and accurately. That doesn’t mean you have to leave these tasks completely in the hands of the digital workflow. The program allows you to be as hands-on or hands-off as your work requires.

Digital Archiving

As employees are working remotely, they’re accessing company networks through potentially vulnerable internet connections. Additionally, everyone is working through the trials of life at home where computers and laptops could be damaged. Document management systems provide digital archiving, keeping your company’s documents and data secure in the face of cybersecurity risks or potential hardware damage. On-site and remote storage options, automatic backup and structured or unstructured organization methods keep you covered so you never have to worry about your files disappearing or being unavailable if your server crashes.

Not only do document management systems provides a secure way to store documents digitally, most systems come with customizable administrative controls so managers can restrict access to sensitive information or share documents selectively. Storing documents digitally also makes it easier to search for and find data.

Forms Solutions

For businesses that rely on form completion for collecting data like customer history, inventory tracking or client invoicing, a document management system can cut down on an unwieldy process. The amount of resources consumed by creating multiple duplicates, forwarding information and making it available for reference by employees can translate to a convoluted and time-consuming paper chain.

Forms solutions can help your organization control and enhance this exchange of data through automatic file routing, work prompts and progress notifications that streamline manual processes and eliminate additional data entry. These forms also can be accessed from anywhere.

Tips to Save Small Businesses Money on Hardware, Devices

Small business owners and managers know that an itemized, efficient budget is essential to their bottom line. Office equipment and supply expenses can be a drain on a budget that could otherwise be allocated to other operational costs.

You could save costs on office equipment by following these tips.

  1. Get an IT assessment. A third-party IT provider could conduct a network assessment and inventory your current IT systems. This process can identify system risks and provide a list of updates and projects your business should prioritize. A proactive approach can save your business countless dollars in cyberattacks or system failures.
  2. Use eco-friendly equipment. Offices that have switched to energy-efficient appliances and hardware have seen a decrease in monthly utility bills. Many printing manufacturers offer a line of energy-efficient devices.
  3. Lease your hardware. Leasing allows you to obtain new office equipment immediately and gather funds as you use it. Budgeting also becomes easier as businesses can plan on the same monthly payments for a year or two instead of guessing as to what their budget should be for a new piece of equipment paid in full. Businesses also are able to switch out hardware when they need equipment with updated technology.
  4. Find hardware with multiple purposes. Multifunction printers — printers with scanner and copier functions — make sense for small businesses who have to stretch their resources in many directions. Multifunction printers are a solid investment and prevent you from wasting spaces and resources on a variety of devices.
  5. Consider using refurbished equipment. Many manufacturers or dealers offer refurbished options at a discount. Your provider can provide a thorough examination of every machine. They can repair or replace worn parts to make sure that your refurbished machine runs like new so you get maximum value.
  6. Receive regular maintenance. Similar to an IT assessment, receiving regular repairs on office equipment can stave off larger issues that upend workflow, costing you money in both expensive repairs and business operations. Managed IT services are the best model to save your resources and receive a return on your hardware investments. Instead of paying large fees each time you need assistance, your IT needs are covered in one monthly payment to one vendor.
  7. Scale your services. Most businesses need a variety of channels with which to communicate with staff and with customers. A managed IT provider can set your business up with a hosted communication system, which encompasses phones, audio and video conferencing, instant messaging and VoIP — voice over internet protocol. A hosted communication system is run through the cloud, and services are scalable so you can add channels as your business grows, paying for the exact amount of services you need.

Why UV Gel Ink Is the Best Technique for Large Format Printing

Large format printing jobs need to have a level of craftsmanship many other printing jobs don’t require. Banners, posters, trade show displays, window graphics and other wide format printing projects are often meant to be displayed and have more permanence than other documents a business regularly prints.

The quality of the product begins with one of the most elemental components: the ink. UV gel ink is revolutionizing large format printing by providing outstanding image quality, efficiency, cost savings and safety measures.

The efficiency of UV printing has appealed to professionals for several years. When printer ink hits the substrate — or base material — UV lights closely follow, curing the ink. Now, UV gel ink is making a preferred method even better.

Canon introduced its UV gel ink in 2016, and the Canon/Oce Colorado is one of the best large format printers on the market using UV gel ink. The ink is in a gelled, solid state when at room temperature. When heated, it turns liquid enough to be jetted by inkjet printheads and transferred onto the substrate. Commercial printers consider UV gel ink the Cadillac of printing methods. Here’s why.

Quality

The image quality provided by UV gel is second to none. When the ink hits the media on which it’s printed, it reverts to a gel. This means that there is no overlap between ink droplets, but the droplets are able to seize onto the substrate. Colors don’t bleed into each other or across the material, so the image maintains vibrant color with crystal-clear quality.

The technology also works when printing on a variety of media, allowing image quality upgrades on wallpaper, wall and floor graphics, light coverings, window film, canvases, fabric and vinyl banners and posters and many other materials.

Efficiency

Because the curing process is so quick, machines are able to print at extremely high speeds, which is important for production printers who know that time is money in the commercial printing industry. The LED-UV curing system is able to move independently from the printing carriage. This ensures that curing is uniform and doesn’t slow down the printing process.

Printers also use up to 40 percent less ink when outfitted with UV gel ink because less ink soaks into the material, according to Canon.

Cost savings

Not only can companies save on ink costs with this new technology, but they also could save on energy costs. The low temperatures used in the curing process make the machine more energy efficient. Additionally, the ink allows printers to use the most cost-effective materials because the gel adheres well to a vast majority of substrates. The gel ink also doesn’t contain water, and the lack of heat used in the curing process means that there is no swelling or damage to the printing media.

Safety

Because it contains no water and exists in a gelled state, UV gel ink cannot splash or spill like regular ink. This feature means the ink doesn’t pose as much of a risk to employees. The gel ink is also low-odor, making it safe for constant use in a closed workspace.

The Colorado series of Canon/Oce printers has some of the best models on the market that use UV gel ink. To learn more about how UV gel ink and the Colorado printer can revolutionize your production printing process, message us at InfomaxOffice.com.

How to Maintain Operations While Working Remotely

The ability to work remotely is one that most office employees and employers have come to expect in the digital world. Even if employees and employers don’t see remote working as essential to operations, business partners and clients certainly want to be assured that a company can maintain productivity if employees are out of the office.

It’s imperative that organizations have a plan for employees to work remotely, whether it’s on a regular basis or temporarily. Here are some of the office systems we can help your organization prepare.

Servers

When employees aren’t in a centralized location, access to the organization’s server is necessary for employees to store files and connect to other network devices. Our Complete Cloud services — powered by Avatara — ensure that businesses can maintain access to the network even if they are offsite. With Complete Cloud, all servers, storage and other infrastructure are moved to the cloud, represented as multiple secure data centers across the country.

All computers and technological systems are hosted in the secured cloud so remote workers don’t have to be physically connected to a tangle of hardware while in a home office or other remote location. Additionally, data is regularly backed up and encrypted with cloud computing so cyber security presents no issue.

Laptops

Desktop-as-a-Service, or DaaS, is a secure way for your employees to gain access to their desktops without storing all their files directly on the device. DaaS is a type of cloud computing that allows businesses to project a workspace through a device.

That means all data, applications and even the desktop are stored in multiple geographically dispersed data centers. Software programs allow users to access these desktops on laptops, desktop computers, tablets and cell phones, even if they are outside of the typical office space.

Documents

Offices often have a more controlled environment than a remote working location. That means the organization’s important documents could be more at risk to be damaged or compromised. Additionally, employees may find a once-easy collaborative task cumbersome if they have to send drafted documents back and forth through email. 

Our document management system stores, tracks and manages files digitally where employees can securely access them and work on documents simultaneously. The software program allows employees to easily search for files. Additionally, the documents are securely archived, negating the concern that employees could lose or damage documents that result in data or revenue loss.

Communication

Efficient and effective communication is essential to a company, internally and externally. Hosted communications systems — or internet-based communication applications — ensure that the process remains smooth. These applications work through the cloud so your employees don’t need to be connected to in-office phone systems and all data is secure. Calls from cell phones through the hosted system also show up on caller ID as the business’ phone number.

Additionally, the program can allow a group of employees to collaborate and edit a document in real time and facilitate a video or phone chat for employees working in different areas.

Infomax can help prepare your organization to work remotely. Learn more at InfomaxOffice.com.

How to Avoid an IT Wreck

Before heading out on a road trip, most people make sure their car’s oil is changed and sufficiently filled, their brake pads are functioning properly and their tires aren’t bald. However, it’s just as important to perform regular maintenance on your car when you’re driving close to home. Starting the workday with a dead car battery is extremely inconvenient. Driving with warped brake rotors on the interstate during rush hour can be downright dangerous.

Most people understand the responsibilities and dangers that can come with driving a vehicle, but daily stress makes it easy to put off regular servicing. Your IT systems can suffer from the same negligence.

Small and medium-sized businesses likely have hundreds of devices that require regular maintenance — everything from computers, tablets, desk and mobile phones, servers, routers, printers, scanners, copiers and other machines.

Your office may perform full-scale system checks or data backups once a year or before beginning an ambitious project, but what do you do to ensure your equipment is functioning properly and securely on a regular basis? Can you or your employees recognize the signs of a breached or failing system?

We’ve got answers to your questions to keep irksome issues from turning into a complete wreck.

How do IT issues occur?

IT flareups are often the product of long-term issues that employees may not have recognized or that the company has not prioritized. It’s easy to see how more pressing work or more exciting projects can get in the way of fixing a system or device. If your office has only one or two IT employees on staff, small issues may fall through the cracks.

How can you keep an eye on your IT Services?

First, you need to set terms of reference for all employees. Make sure they understand how the systems and devices they use on a daily basis should work. Train employees to recognize common problems and provide a procedure to follow when issues occur. That way your employees aren’t driving around with the check engine light on for days without popping the hood of the vehicle or calling a mechanic.

Regular meetings are a great way to stay on top of your IT systems. Depending on your operations, a monthly meeting might be sufficient with all departments represented. The meetings should be streamlined, focusing on a plan of action to take care of the parts of your IT system that need regular maintenance — or ones that need special attention — until the next meeting.

How does managed IT help?

Third-party IT services providers, such as Infomax, supplement your existing IT team and allow your organization access to experts in various facets of IT. With Infomax’s iGuard Managed IT, clients know that more than 40 professionals with expert-level experience work for their business. Most importantly, managed IT provides business owners and employees peace of mind knowing that they have a team of professionals who are working proactively — not reactively — to keep your business safe from cyberthreats.

Managed IT providers work with businesses before breaches occur, periodically going over IT priorities. At Infomax, our iGuard Managed IT team even provides our clients with security awareness training to ensure employees are up to date on how to keep company data safe. iGuard Managed IT Services also entails regular data backups, ensuring that systems can be restored in the event of cyberattack, natural disaster or user error.

How does complete cloud computing keep your IT in line?

Infomax’s Complete Cloud Services — powered by Avatara — are similar to our managed IT services. However, our complete cloud services allow your company to completely hand your IT needs over to a team of experts.

It makes the most sense for businesses that don’t have full-time IT employees and want to staff to focus on their initiatives instead of pesky IT tasks. For instance, your mechanic wouldn’t expect you to rotate the tires on your vehicle while they change the oil.

With complete cloud services, our IT experts work even more proactively to protect and maintain your devices and IT systems. Additionally, all servers, storage and other infrastructure are moved to the cloud, represented as multiple secure data centers across the country. All computers and technological systems are hosted in the secured cloud, taking away the clutter of hardware your organization previously stored. Your business will never again need to buy new hardware, manage device upgrades or download new programs.

To learn more about how Infomax can help keep your IT systems running smoothly, contact us at 1-800-727-4629 or visit www.infomaxoffice.com/support/contact-us/.

Data Loss Could Prevent Business Growth

In the last two years, 90 percent of the world’s data was generated, according to Forbes. In an increasingly digital world, data generation will expand exponentially.

Each day, your business is creating data that details your company’s employees, clients, finances, work patterns, online searches, social media and other daily work. But what is your business doing to capture that information? As time goes on, you might find that your business has significant data drains or data loss that hinder reflection and future growth.

Why is it important to capture data?

Saving some types of data is an obvious necessity. For instance, businesses must keep information about income, budgets, invoices and other financial records to file taxes and report earnings to a board of directors. Files of contact information and work history for clients, vendors and business partners allows an organization to maintain their level of work.

But at the most basic level, businesses should analyze collected data to inform future decisions, allowing companies to budget, plan for growth in various departments, recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their workflow and much more. Properly analyzed data provides a clear, objective record. However, businesses that have data drains cannot rely on their data as a relevant record.

How can you spot a data drain?

A data drain is when you’re losing data your business generates. Unfortunately, you can’t go back in time to collect and archive data after it has disappeared. Here’s how you can determine if your business has a data drain.

  • You don’t have a plan to collect data. It’s important that your business outlines the types of data it wants to gather. In addition to employee, client and financial information, the categories of data you gather should be tailored to your business. You may want to track the amount of people who come into contact with your products and services, how potential and loyal customers interact with your brand, sales numbers, reports, communications, social media engagement and more. Have a conversation with each department in your organization to make sure your system is capturing the data they create on a regular basis.
  • You don’t know where data is stored. Do you know where you could find your organization’s data? Do department heads and employees know how to access data? If organizations do not regularly access and analyze data to inform business processes throughout each quarter, the resource is being wasted. Additionally, data security is extremely important in the digital world. Your business should be sure that your data is safe from cyberattacks, system failure and user error.
  • You don’t collect detailed data. Be diligent about outlining and evaluating the type of data your organization collects. Data is information that provides context to figures. If you don’t have enough information to provide that context, your data sets could be incomplete.
  • You don’t have a data recovery plan. Data recovery plans outline data restoration Disasters can range from damage done to hardware by a natural disaster, user error or cyberattacks. A thorough disaster recovery plan is detailed and delegates tasks to a team of information technology professionals and internal employees who can restore your business’ data as quickly as possible.

How to plug a data drain?

Your IT providers can work with your organization to perform regular data backups. Programs such as Infomax’s iGuard Managed IT and Complete Cloud services provide constant backup with information being stored in multiple secured data centers. Infomax will also train employees to spot potential cyberattacks and system breaches.

Additionally, document management systems offer tremendous ease in capturing information. Your documents will be stored in a secure archive that is easily searchable when it’s time to analyze data.

Learn more about Infomax’s IT services and document management system

The Benefits of Leasing an Office Printer

Has your office needed a new printer for a while, but the cost and dizzying number of options on the market are holding you back? Leasing an office printer could be the secret to a much-needed equipment upgrade.

Limited overhead costs

What would you do with a budget surplus? Small and medium-sized business owners and managers probably have a long list of answers. Sadly, many organizations don’t have extra funds that are not already allocated for the fiscal year. Multifunction printers, or MFPs, can cost a few thousand dollars, and prices change with the market. Leasing allows you to obtain new office equipment today and gather funds as you use it, not scrape for the full amount or max out credit limits to buy a printer. Budgeting also becomes easier: businesses can plan on the same monthly payments for a year or two instead of guessing as to what their budget should be for a new printer paid in full.    

Updated technology

Technology develops at a breakneck pace, and your office needs equipment that matches your businesses’ advancements. Companies that have a high volume of specialized print jobs have the flexibility to upgrade their equipment for the most effective and efficient tools when their contract is up.

And while some organizations may not be looking for the most tricked-out new printer to enter the market, your office will be better off with a system that runs and uses ink as efficiently as the newer models do. Additionally, new MFPs have increased security measures. Manufacturers are making printers that protect sensitive information by requiring users to sign in before gathering their documents.

Smooth transition

When you lease a new MFP, providers typically take care of set up, connecting it to Wi-Fi and other devices in your office. Infomax also performs test runs and on-site training to ensure employees are able to use the equipment to its full capacity.

Easy upkeep

Most equipment providers offer maintenance plans that make fixing printer jams or other production snags a breeze. This means your business can avoid the hassle of searching for service technicians and exorbitant bills each time your MFP needs servicing. Regular ink cartridge and toner changes also are typically included in a leasing package.

Painless disposal

When you lease a printer from a third-party provider, you can avoid the hassle of selling or disposing of your old model when you want to upgrade. Gone are the days when old technology could be sent out with the trash. Today, companies must ensure their data is secured and need to comply with safe, environmentally friendly regulations regarding disposal. When you lease, disposal issues are the responsibility of the lessor, not yours.

To learn more about Infomax’s leasing options, message us online or call 1-800-727-4629.

Why Your Office Should Use DaaS

Cloud computing provides many advantages to the workplace, including increased security, accessibility and cost savings. Desktop-as-a-Service, or DaaS, could change the way your office operates for the better. But what is it? We answer all your questions here.

What is DaaS?

DaaS is a type of cloud computing, or computing supported by multiple secured data centers. Information technology providers offer this virtual computing to businesses to project its workspace through a device.

What makes DaaS different?

With typical computing, data is stored on a business’ devices and local servers. Companies are saddled with maintaining expensive, cumbersome and vulnerable infrastructure on-site. DaaS computing is done through the cloud. That means all data, applications and even the desktop are stored in multiple geographically dispersed data centers.

Software programs allow users to access these desktops on laptops, desktop computers, tablets and cell phones, even if they are outside of the typical office space.

How does DaaS compare to VDI?

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, or VDI, is similar to DaaS. Both provide virtual desktops. However, DaaS is hosted through off-site servers and data centers, while VDI is hosted through local servers maintained by an IT team. That means organizations that use VDI to serve virtual desktops have to maintain and upgrade on-site servers, a labor-intensive and expensive process.

What are the benefits of DaaS?

Increased security: Because all computing is done through the cloud, all data is encrypted and regularly backed up. Data is easily recovered if a natural disaster, computer failure or cyberattack occurs. Access to the company desktop is always restricted, protecting the organization’s sensitive data if an employee damages, loses or has a laptop stolen.

Accessibility: No matter where your employees are working, they can access shared files and applications. DaaS makes remote working a breeze. Those inside the office also benefit from the cloud computing service because they’re not waiting on laggy applications and software on individual devices.

Cost savings: With DaaS through Infomax, you pay only for what you consume, avoiding those excessive monthly or annual fees you used to pay for benefits you never used. This means you can also scale the service up or down as your office expands or needs change. You’ll never be hit with upfront charges, bandwidth utilization fees or minimum term conditions.

Easy Management

Businesses avoid wasting time, money and space maintaining infrastructure through DaaS. By using a third-party IT provider, such as Infomax, the all management of DaaS is off your organization’s plate.

Learn more about Infomax’s DaaS services here.