Category Archives: Technology

Will Leasing a Photocopier Work for Your Business?

photocopier

Copiers remains an essential piece of office equipment even though in the age of digitisation we all believed that this would change. The reality is we still need photocopiers for us to perform our daily duties at work.

However, when you review what type of equipment you need, purchasing a photocopier can be extremely costly. However, there is always the option of leasing allowing you to save money on copying without buying it.

Lease? Why would you do that?

Copiers are expensive particularly if you need a very good quality one! Your provider will offer you a lease arrangement lasting over a period of months meaning that you obtain the high quality of equipment your business needs for a cost that is spread over months rather than having to outlay huge costs! Also, with the lease, you will obtain the support of your provider with maintenance, supplies, service and more importantly as the copier inevitably ages, your print supplier should be able to offer you an upgrade in equipment under your lease that will match the needs of your business. This means you always have the most up to date equipment.

Know your requirements

Consider and calculate how many copies your business makes per month and ensure your proposed supplier is aware of this, so they can offer you the correct machine. However, you should ask the right questions to the supplier: how many copies does the machine do? Will it fit in the space allocated? Cost per copy? What are the functions needed for this machine?

Always remember the benefits of leasing are:

  • Smaller monthly manageable payments rather than a large one-off sum
  • Support from your provider
  • Upgrade options often available
  • A good provider will always offer transparency in their offer to you.

If you’d like to speak to one of our team about our unique product Simple, then contact us today.

Upgrade Needed for One of our Existing Clients: Transmission Energy Company

upgrade

A client whom we’ve had a very long relationship with, needed to review its printing processes as part of its compliance to GDPR. They were also concerned regarding fulfilling their obligations towards being environmentally responsible.

Mode’s solution

All our existing clients benefit from flexibility when they work with us. Should your needs change, we can work with you to ensure that you have the right solutions for the needs of your business.

As part of GDPR compliance we helped our client fulfil the following needs:

Improve Security

We provided Secure print, meaning that print jobs are not automatically released until the employee that has printed is near the machine.

This prevents print jobs from being seen or collected by any other users that are not authorised. Mode has seen this feature increase in popularity due to the new GDPR legislation.

Mode also provided the client with a convenient card reader which can read their employees existing swipe cards. This means it is easier for users to authenticate and release print jobs. When a user taps the card, it will bring up a list of their own print jobs waiting to be released. If a user does not have their card for any reason, they will also be able to access the job list using a unique 4-digit code.

This also helps with the environmental issue they wished to address as wastage is reduced significantly.

After 24 hours, unreleased print jobs can be purged from the system, reducing wastage of print jobs that are never collected. The software Mode has installed can produce a report on purged print jobs, so you can see how much has been saved.

This also prevents duplication when printing, as users can arrive at machines and discover that someone has accidently removed their printing which results in reprint and wastage.

Multiple jobs can also be queueing to be printed as these are only released once the user is at the machine, ready to collect. This prevents confusion at the photocopier when multiple things have been printed without this control.

There is also the choice to delete print jobs without them ever having been printed! For example, if you have printed in colour when really you only need black and white. Again, this helps reduction of wastage and the environment.

As users have been authenticated, our client’s employees will also have the option to “Scan to me” which is a function button allowing users to not have to find their name in the directory and reducing the chance of mistake.

If you are an existing client of Mode’s and wish to discuss how we can further support your business process or your on-going compliance to GDPR, or if you would like to wish to talk to us to see how we can help you be compliant. Then do get in touch.

5 Benefits of MFPs

Multifunction printers, (or MFPs) are not only convenient, but they are also very cost-effective.
They have multiple capabilities and come with many benefits for your office needs.

We’ve put together a list of our five favourite benefits that make MFP’s such a valuable part of your workplace…

Connectivity

Most modern MFPs allow you to connect your printer with either your smartphone or tablet for wireless and cloud printing. This means you can print important documents, even when you are out of the office.

Multiple functions

With MFPs you have a printer, a scanner, a copier and a fax machine all built into one, so you don’t need to find space in your office for multiple devices.

Cost-savers

As the MFP combines print, copy, scan and fax functions, it means you save on the cost of buying and running four different machines. Also most MFPs have a very low cost per page rate for both colour and mono printing and offer a double sided function.

Email

With MFPs you also have the option to complete print jobs via email by simply connecting your printer to an email address. This allows you to access your printer from anywhere in the world.

Faxing

While the trend of faxing documents seems to be dying out, this convenient feature allows you to easily scan and fax your documents within minutes all from the same machine.

Is Cloud Based Communications the Silver Lining for Businesses?

In the last decade digital advances has seen an increase in various forms of messaging systems and social communications. However, many businesses are still using phone and basic email for their communications. However, there is a growing challenge particularly for small to medium size businesses, who are aware of the need to accommodate differing forms of communications to facilitate the needs of their clients and suppliers. The cloud has become a particularly large buzz word. Buzz concepts aren’t necessarily a great thing for businesses to adopt straight away, however, the most forward-thinking businesses are asking questions about the cloud and receiving solid, positive answers. So why would you move to the cloud?

Cost? Is this a real concern or not?

The implication of rising cost particularly for SME’s drives uncertainty surrounding the use of new technologies, along with choosing the right technology. However, many businesses do not realise the cost saving when you move to the cloud. When you place your phone system on the cloud for example, businesses are charged for only what they use making this exceedingly cost effective for smaller enterprises.

Outsourced IT

An in-house IT solution can be exceedingly expensive and as communication systems can be complicated now, often a whole entire IT department is needed just to manage this. By having a cloud-based communication system, this can eliminate the need to maintenance, alleviating the burden of IT work load and reduce your costs by not needing an internal IT infrastructure which includes the need for a server and storage rooms.

One management provider for all

By having a supplier for your cloud management, this can all be off site. If you do have an IT department, then they can focus on your internal IT needs rather than the broader communications systems which simplifies your processes.

Expansion capabilities

As an SME, you would hope that your business would grow. The cloud allows this flexibility for your present systems and for the capacity to grow so that you are never restricted in your growth, nor would you need hardware solutions. Your business will need multiple communicating channels accessed by multiple people. Cloud services can provide this support to you.

Software updates

No need to worry about these! These will all be managed by your provider.

Customer service

This is what you’ll receive when you have a cloud provider. It is imperative that you minimise the amount of downtime on your systems as this can be detrimental to your business. Cloud services maximises the amount of up time as you will benefit from multiple remotely hosted centres. Therefore, there will be no impact on your business as your systems should always run effectively.

 Flexibility

You may have people working from home, office based, or permanently in the field. You’ll need an infrastructure that can facility all your needs. Cloud based services can provide this.

Using cloud based, unified communications can bring many benefits to your business, creating flexibility, unification in your processes, flexible working and importantly reduction in your costs.

A Shout Out to the Mode Service Team!

We are always proud of our service team and their high levels of service, always going that extra mile for all our clients. Our service team are post code based so when one of our clients should unexpectedly need them, they can respond and react fast.

Mode is proud to say that in 2017 Modes’ service team to our client’s service calls within 88 mins which is an outstanding achievement.

Mode’s Service team: You are incredible, and we are proud of what you achieve.

 

Your Guide to Digital Success

Larger companies have always been regarded as having the competitive edge in being able to respond quickly to changing markets. However, due to technological advances, smaller companies are being given the opportunities to gain a foothold in markets that were previously unobtainable.

The Cloud, for instance, is accessible to all, flexible and has no upfront financial commitment. It is ideal for any business and allows you to explore new markets. There are no costly software updates, and it even has built in security, allowing mobility for businesses, reduction of office space required and accessibility on not only PC’s, but laptops and tablets and smartphones. This is allowing smaller enterprises to have access to better, faster and more productive technology with intelligent digital platforms.

The pressure is on for businesses to keep up with the emerging technologies and many are not utilising all the opportunities available to them. The lack of knowledge is one of the biggest barriers to achieving digital transformation.

Mode offers its top 10 tips for businesses to gain the tools it needs to help generate growth and allow smaller enterprises to build a framework to embrace digital change and drive higher results:

  1. Build digitisation into your business plan: What do you want your business to achieve? What tools do you need to help you do this? If you want to develop your customer relationships and build leads, you may want to consider a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management System). However, you must consider the new GDPR Regulation from the EU and consider ways you will need to protect that information.
  2. Let your customers dictate your communication: How do your customers like to be communicated? Email, phone, website? Which type of communications do they best respond to? Having this information will help you prioritise your digital tools and needs.
  3. Gather data from your customers: Are you able to place clever analytics behind your website to follow your customers browsing journey? This will help you gain valuable insight into your current customer/potential customer base.
  4. The Cloud: Cloud storage is a fabulous solution. It is cost-effective and accessible from any device. Also, if your business comes through your website, perhaps consider a cloud-based platform which brings together a wide range of innovative software and applications from ecommerce payment to shipping tools.
  5. How can your communications work harder for you: Being personal with your customers is vital to the success of your marketing communications. Once you have collected your customer data digitally and managed it effectively, you have the potential to deliver highly personalised, relevant communications.
  6. Be a Beta Trialist: Often vendors are on the lookout for businesses to trial a software platform. This may be an excellent introduction to new working practises.
  7. Consider the type of work force you want to develop: Do you have mobile workers, or would you consider flexible working? If so, you need to ensure that they all have the same tools and software as each other. Also ensure that any physical post is turned into email so that all can receive messages securely.
  8. Consider your infrastructure: There is no point investing in digital tools if you have an inadequate infrastructure underneath. Ensure that your broadband width is sufficient to support your technological systems. You may need to consider a different provider with a faster service, and you may even obtain a better tariff!
  9. Consider competitors: Try and obtain valuable information on how other businesses in your field may use digitalisation for better integrated working practises.
  10. Consider how it all works: Isolated apps/tools/systems that don’t talk or work together only add frustration to your work force. One of the benefits of digitalisation is it provides an integrated approach to your work process. Ensure you speak to your managed service providers so that everything is joined up.

Contact Mode today to discuss your digital needs and how we can help your business obtain a managed print service that is fully integrated into your working practises.

How Can SMEs Stay Safe From Cyber-Attacks?

Anti Virus Software

There have been several reports in the press recently discussing the successful cyber-attacks on high profile companies, including the NHS.

Does this mean that SME’s are at more risk now that well-known brands are being successfully attacked, and if so, how can they defend themselves? Mode wanted to address these concerns by providing tips that will help SME’s stay guarded from the increasing cyber security threat.

Two-thirds of businesses have been victims of cybercrime. However, one in four owners have admitted that they aren’t up to date on cyber security measures.

What are the priorities?

Data is the most valuable asset any business holds. Many of your electronic devices store data, such as laptops, PCs, photocopiers etc. It is rare that hackers can access data directly; typically they look to compromise end points and specific accounts. Therefore, SME’s should invest in some form of protection, such as NGAV (Next Generation Anti-Virus) and multi-factor authentication.

SME’s are often limited in financial resources and security can be costly, however, investing in sufficient anti-virus could ultimately prevent unnecessary financial stress.

Mode’s tips for Cyber Security:

  1. Review the data that your business holds to identify which assets need extra protection. Look at which 3rd parties can access it and identify whether data is adequately backed up. Consider encrypting any sensitive data or reducing network access to certain users, particularly for remote workers.
  2. Stay secure with regular IT updates and Anti-Malware updates. Recent research indicated that a third of SME owners aren’t keeping up to date with the latest IT regulations that could leave them vulnerable to attacks. Make sure you have Anti-Virus Software.
  3. Train staff. Limiting the threat is crucial. A third of employees have access to Facebook and other social media platforms whilst at work, and as half of SME’s do not provide their team with internet and computer guidelines, education is key to limit external threats. Make sure your employees know how to protect their personal information and how to behave on social media so that the company’s information does not end up on social networks.
  4. Secure your business with good passwords. Elaborate passwords ensure the protection of your data, so invest time into making a pool of passwords that you will alternate each month. The passwords should be kept in your head or only passed to trusted employees.
  5. Only use secure methods of payment. Do thorough research before establishing partner relations with different payment companies. To keep your business’ financial status secure, you need a reliable company that you can trust. The same goes with credit card information for your customers.
  6. Create back-ups. Your business can suffer negative consequences, such as a loss of a client database or budget information leakage if information is lost.
  7. Limit mobility of company computers. Do not allow employees to take computers home. A good idea would be to allow only the reasonable use of mobile devices so that information is not copied to many devices where you cannot keep track.
  8. Check the level of technical support you have. It isn’t always possible for an SME to have the resource of a dedicated IT Engineer. Outsourcing is the most practical idea to ensure the right controls are in place and that you have a trusted expert to resolve any issues.
  9. Run regular checks. SME’s must check the effectiveness of their procedures against cyber-attacks and manage any changes in risk levels.
  10. Have a plan in place. Ensure that, should you be attacked, you are able to limit the disruption to your business.

Mode offers many solutions to protect against cyber-attacks. Contact us today for more information.

3 Things to Consider When Buying a New Printer

Printer

When running an office, it is inevitable that you’ll have to replace your equipment from time to time, including your printer. Perhaps you’re experiencing frequent paper jams or your printer is simply out-dated; either way it’s time for an upgrade. Believe it or not, there’s much to consider when investing in a new printer if you want to ensure it meets your requirements and is suitable for your office. Here are three things you should think about before obtaining a new printer:

  1. What Are Your Requirements?

Different printers can carry out different tasks and some are more advanced than others. For that reason, you should think about what you’re actually planning to use the device for. For example, if you need to scan, photocopy or fax your documents, it might be a good idea to consider a multifunction printer. Although these may cost more initially, they will save on energy, which reduces your carbon footprint and overall utility bills. Having one device, rather than several, will also free up some space for other furniture and/or equipment.

  1. What’s Your Budget?

Before you can spend your money on something new, you need to know how much you can justifiably spend. Remember that you don’t always have to spend a fortune to receive a decent quality product. In addition to the initial purchase, you’ll also need to consider whether or not you can afford the on-going upkeep costs. For example, some printers have cheaper cost per pages than others, so bear this in mind before you decide.

  1. Do You Have Space?

Before you can decide on a new printer, you’ll need to make sure you have somewhere to put it. Choose an appropriate spot near a plug socket and measure the area to ensure there’s enough room. By being prepared, you’ll avoid disappointment on the day of delivery.

Developments in Secure Printing for Business

'Security' in print

In our last blog we discussed the evolution of secure printing, citing examples in the last five years of security breaches as well as the current data on number of breaches and the expense this is causing organisations in the UK.

Why Invest in Security Printing?

Security breaches are not only expensive and fatal to businesses; they represent a breach in the legal requirement of many industries to maintain data security. Secure printing is an integral part of sound business security practices.

What is Being Offered in Security Printing

A number of security options are available in the field of secure printing. Toshiba offers options that are simple to use, including user authentication, self-encryption HDD, security pattern printing, access logs, access controls, IP/MAC address filtering, private print, data overwriting and encrypted PDFs.

Xerox holds a job in queue until you release it with a passcode. It also has a Print Security Audit Service, which can monitor whether company printers are used in alignment with company policy. Other options include overwriting, data encryption, embedded faxes and removeable hard drives.

Ricoh is another secure printing option, offering FlexRelease servers, a cord authentication package, an enhanced Locked Print NX, and a Smart Device Monitor for auditing and reporting on usage.

PaperCut also offers secure printing that can be released only by the user. It tracks and records what is being printed and by whom through user based reports.

Lexmark features a secure print release with id card, or by entering credentials. It has document accounting tools which can measure print quotas, and the printer can restrict access to users.

First Steps in Security Printing for Business

The first step in security printing for business is to work with a reputable, experienced print and digital technology agency to come up with a print management solution that satisfies your business requirements and security obligations.

Security can be a problem in this expanding technological world. Fortunately, there is a solution waiting for your business.

At Mode Print Solutions, we are always available to help develop a print management solution that will enable you to have secure printing within your business, as well as the peace of mind that comes with it.  Contact Mode to get started today.

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