Category Archives: Technology

What Has 30 Years of the World Wide Web Given Us?

internet

30 years ago, today Tim Berners-Lee proposed to his supervisor at work, a new management system that connected documents held across multiple computers.

“Vague but exciting” was the Supervisors response, however, that proposal marked the birth of the World Wide Web and has proven to be an invention that has transformed the world we live in today not only socially, but economically as well.

Mode looks over the positives that the World Wide Web has given, as well as maybe some of the less positive impact it has had.

  • Email: Communication within business and outside of business has become quicker and more efficient than the days of memos and traditional letters. We may all think we now get too many emails, but no one can deny the benefits of email for faster communication.
  • E-Commerce: We all buy on line now and get these items delivered to our front door. We can now order anything on line, your food shopping, your take-aways, clothing even your plumbing or building supplies. In a busy world, it’s made our lives easier.
  • News: We now have access to the world news when it happens and as it happens. We are all now more in touch with events that are happening across the globe.
  • Social Media: We share pictures on social media, we can now stay in touch with people who may live far away, or we don’t see very often. It’s made the world smaller. However there has been a negative impact, with cyber-bullying or people posting negativity or defamatory comments. But it has also aided the search for missing people and created positivity as well. It’s not without its faults but it has a far reaching positive impact on our lives.
  • Smartphones: Apples iPhone invention totally changed how we use our mobile phones. We now have the World Wide Web in our pockets, and we can look at anything wherever we are. It’s completely changed again the way we communicate.
  • On line Dating: We can now meet people we may have never got the chance to meet by swiping right-or maybe you often swipe left! Regardless, whilst we could argue that this way of meeting prospective partners has made relationships transitory, we are now more open to meeting different people from environments we may have never encountered.
  • Gaming: Like it or hate it, on line gaming has again opened peoples whose interest it is, the world in which they game. There are of course the obvious concerns of internet safety and has meant we have to ensure protection, however, this has again allowed our world to be more open.
  • Video streaming and Music: Gone are the days we would have to download a video before we could watch it. Now after very complicated work from software engineers who developed an App where we can watch videos as they’re being downloaded or watch live streaming. This means we now have access to tutorial’s, music videos and TV Shows. Along with this the way we listen to music has now changed with the development of Spotify and Apple music. We can now get the music we want as soon as it’s released-no more off to buy the single!
  • On Line Support: Any one in need of support never need be alone again or need to travel any distances to get the support they need. So many on line support groups are now on hand with help. Making the support people may need more easier to access.
  • Selfies: ok most of us can’t stand them-this brings out the narcissist in those that love them. So many selfies-so little time!
  • Viral Content: This can be an article, video, photograph or Gif that spreads on line rapidly. But this has provided us with entertainment, shock value but artistic merit can be found too!

The benefits of the World Wide Web are undeniable. It’s made our world easier to access, closer to us and helps with our ever increasingly busy lives. Of course, with any innovation, it has its negatives but as we evolve, we adapt and we’re sure the World Wide Web will continually develop. Thank you, Tim Berners-Lee, for this incredible invention.

Why is Information Security Still so Fragile Within Businesses?

Security used to mean CCTV, a manned gate and employees only being able to gain access with a pass. Security of information consisted of lockable cupboards within your offices and that was enough. However, times have certainly changed in the age of dramatic transformation regarding the digital world, and how we defend the information our businesses hold has certainly had to change. Or has it? It appears with recent research, that Companies are still failing to see the importance or protecting confidential information with proper security measures, or rather they’re choosing not to engage with the growing threat of cyber attacks by ensuring they have basic IT security.

Mode investigates the threat that all businesses face.

Ransomware-an increasing threat:

Rates of attacks from ransomware has significantly increased from one every two minutes on average, to now one every 40 seconds. The greater threat appears to be SME’s where 42% fell victim to some kinds of ransomware attack. Unbelievably one in three paid the ransom however, only one in five retrieved their files even though they had paid the ransom.

67% of companies affected lost all or part of their data and one in four spent several weeks trying to retrieve access.

Financial gain is the main driver for ransomware attacks although now many of these attackers are being paid for sensitive information and those sectors more greatly targeted are those in the financial, educational and healthcare sectors.

Pretexting scams

You may not have heard of this before, but in a nutshell, this is where an individual lies to need information in order to confirm the identity of an individual, hence the name Pretexting-false motive.

This is becoming an extremely popular tactic and is rapidly on the increase and financial employees are most at risk of this as they are the ones that hold the keys to the Company’s purse strings. Email is the number one form of doing this and can occur over a period where the cyber criminals send several emails developing a relationship before asking for any financial transfer request.

Loose & easy passwords

This is such a common and easy flaw within any business’s IT Security.

The Verizon Data Breach report commented that 81% of hacking related incidents occurred because of either stolen, weak or too easy to guess passwords. Even if your businesses IT security is fundamentally flawed, a strong password is one of the most effective security measures you can have in place to protect your information. Our experts at Mode suggest a multi-factor authentication as this alone would act as excellent security for your sensitive data.

Whilst there is so much press coverage on Cyber security and the threats that we all now face, too many Companies are not bolting down the hatches and cyber criminals are still finding it too easy to gain access to too many businesses. The fact remains that the cost to your business is far greater if a hacker gains access, than the cost for secure, effective IT security.

If you’d like more information on how Mode can protect your sensitive data, then do contact us on 0345 223 2203 or email us on enquiries@modeprintsolutions.co.uk.

6 Questions to Ask Potential Managed Print Companies

Managed print services (MPS) can offer big benefits for your business. By finding the right service you can spend less time managing documents and more time on your business goals.
Asking potential managed print companies the right questions will help you get the best return on investment in the future.

To help you evaluate your best print management solution and find a service provider who can meet the needs of your organisation, here are six crucial questions you should be asking…

  1. Where can we read your client reviews?

Client feedback is a great place to start. Do your research and see if you can find online reviews and testimonials for each potential MPS. Do they deliver what they promise?

  1. What analytics do you use and what reporting will be provided?

A good MPS should be able to offer a bespoke solution that fits your business and work flows. They should be able to provide analytical tools and reporting that can tell you how much time and money you are spending on printing, scanning and managing documents.

  1. How secure is your solution?

From sharing and printing confidential information to accessing documents stored on your network, robust security is an absolute must when it comes to a print management solution. Find out how a MPS can assist you with your GDPR responsibilities and be sure to check that their print management security will work seamlessly with your existing security setup.

  1. What maintenance and help desk support do you offer?

When something works, you don’t notice it. Our preventative maintenance provides absolute peace of mind and lets you get on with running your business. We offer personalised, attentive service from local engineers so that your issues are resolved quickly and easily. This is the kind of service you should be looking for when choosing a MPS.

  1. How can your services improve workflow?

Find out how well a potential MPS can integrate both your digital and hard copy processes, so that all work flows smoothly and efficiently throughout your business. Will they suggest new software options to automate workflows? Will they provide suggestions for equipment placement within your office? Will they help with connectivity, cloud applications and mobile printing? And finally, what are their service response times like?

  1. How future-proof are your services?

This final question is probably the most important. Can this potential MPS meet your business needs for the future? How quickly and easily can you change or upgrade? And how much will it cost you? Take this opportunity to ask these questions and future-proof your investment.

5 Tips for Internet Safety at Work

internet safety

Today is Internet Safety Day and a great opportunity to shed some light on the subject. Most people aren’t actually aware of the cyber threats they face on a daily basis whilst using the internet at work. Keeping both yourself and the company you work for safe should really be a part of everyone’s jobs, so it’s worth knowing how. Here are 5 tips for using the internet safely whilst at work:

1.     Use Strong Passwords

When signing up to different online platforms and software, be sure to select strong passwords that are no less than eight characters long. It’s also wise to use numbers and symbols within your passwords and even include a variation of both upper and lower case letters so that it’s not easy for people to guess them. Keep your passwords a secret and don’t use the same ones everywhere.

2.     Lock Your Screen

If you leave your desk to pop to the toilet, grab a drink or speak to a colleague, always remember to lock your screen. Leaving it unlocked makes important files and any confidential information vulnerable. Eventually it will become a habit you don’t have to think about.

3.     Be Careful When Clicking Links

It’s likely that you receive an abundance of emails on a daily basis and you’re probably used to clicking hyperlinks and downloading attachments. However, you should be cautious when clicking links, especially if you’re not sure who the sender is because the link could be a virus. If you’re dubious, you can click on the email address to check if it’s legitimate.

4.     Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi Networks

Public wireless networks are undoubtedly convenient, especially if you’re out and about for meetings. However, they can also be dangerous and jeopardise your privacy, so you should think twice before connecting to them. Home Wi-Fi is encrypted, but public networks in coffee shops, for example, are not. This means that people can monitor your activity, including the emails you send, your login information and the pages you visit.

5.     Report Anything Suspicious

You probably have an IT professional or even a team at work, and if you spot anything suspicious at all regarding your computer or your internet usage, be sure to report it to them. After all, it’s better safe than sorry.

As well as careful use of the internet, it’s worth taking measures to ensure all aspects of your workplace are safe and secure, such as printing sensitive documents. For more information on how to ensure you’re printing securely, you can read this helpful article.

Are Businesses Beginning to Reignite their Love of Traditional Print?

printing at work

Digital marketing and advertising were hailed as the answer to printed marketing and predictions were rife that this would end our love affair with printed documents. However, click through rates are in decline and a surge has begun toward direct mail marketing again.

What appears to be the trend now Is that marketeers are using a combination of both to try and attract new customers and many businesses are using print to send vouchers or discounts to entice new customers, or as in some food retailers’ cases, printed food brochures with a certain amount off should you shop with them. Certainly, retailers appear to be engaging with potential customers if they have placed something in their baskets and forgotten about it, personalised printed vouchers may encourage them to remember the items in their basket and entice them to buy.

Whilst GDPR has made businesses reconsider how they contact customers, often the methods now used by direct mail marketeers are via a postcode drop and not based on a database of names and addresses. However, people still like the personalised touch and if you can identify those that have visited your website, then it is of benefit for you to send a personalised direct mail. Be careful with personalisation though as it must be relevant to that person and not just a mail merge. Also, compliance with GDPR law should be adhered should the person insist that their data is removed from your database.

However, marketeers are beginning to realise the value of print and how good quality print is attractive to customers. People are becoming bored with junk in their inboxes and immediately hitting the delete button. Whereas dwell time on printed products has increased and there is value in producing a beautiful brochure/pamphlet to entice people if your offer is right for them.

Recently Print Brain conducted research about the effectiveness of Direct Mail versus Digital marketing and the results were exceedingly interesting! They conducted a cold acquisition campaign split between direct mail and email contacting over 900, 000 cold customers. 1 third received email only and 2 thirds a piece of direct mail.

The result?

  • The email campaign resulted in just 0.02% of email recipients enquiring with a conversion rate of 42%.
  • The DM campaign resulted in almost 1% of recipients making enquiries of which over half resulted in a sale.
  • And when the calculations were made, the cost per sale for the printed direct mail campaign was 57% lower than for the email campaign!

So, whilst these results show the love affair with print reigniting, a cohesive combination of printed direct mail and email may be a winning combination in acquiring new business.

Three Printing Technology Trends for 2019

3D

In the last year we have seen many exciting advances in technology. The continued rise of voice control devices, cloud-based computing, as well as new developments in the internet.

All of this and more is set to transform the printing technology marketplace in 2019 and here we are going to look the top three emerging print trends that we are most excited about…

Voice control

In 2018 we saw the introduction of voice recognition capabilities within a small number of smart printers. In 2019 the focus will be on offering more ‘smart’ services that are required in today’s workplace. Voice control will remain an opportunity for industry players to position their products and services as innovative and help businesses improve their efficiency.

Sustainable packaging

The packaging industry will witness significant advances in digital printing methods, as the need for sustainable packaging increases. In particular, corrugated inkjet will drive growth in this industry with focus on corrugated board, folding cartons, and flexible plastics.

3D Printing

3D printing is a great example of a quickly advancing technology. 3D metal printing is positioned to be the next big wave in this industry. HP has its Jet Fusion model, which it hopes will make a difference in the metal parts manufacturing sector. GE has been printing metal parts for jet engines and even Nike is using this method for its trainers.

Over the next year, the print industry will continue to innovate and reinvent, and offering printing services that are more relevant to the smart workplace and the modern world will remain a very exciting and expanding area.

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.

© MODE 2019
Site Map | Privacy Policy | Cookies |Design: Innermedia