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10 Years in the Cloud

Managed Print

Managed Print Services For The Incredible Shrinking Office

Managed Print Services For The Incredible Shrinking Office

There was a time, not so long ago, when American businesses built and rented large office spaces. Those spaces were filled with windowed corner offices and conference rooms. Their main floors were segmented by cubicles and break rooms. And, of course, there was the copy room – filled with giant machines ready to service all of those employees.

The heyday of big office spaces lasted over three decades. They began in the 1960s and continued into the early 1990s. At the time, most new office spaces were calculated at around 500 to 700 square feet per employee.  You can find these large offices featured in cinemas such as “9 to 5” with Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin. “Die Hard,” starring Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman, is yet another film displaying the office style of the time. Even 1978’s Superman with Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve featured the sprawling businesses spaces of the time.

A New Way To Look At Office Work

With the growing use of computers and inter-office networking, the 90s saw rapid changes in how businesses saw office space. As a result, office designers began looking for ways to create a more collaborative office culture. The ultimate goal was to increase bonds between employees, reduce the number of meetings, and save money by reducing the space needed to house the business.

Most of these well-meaning office planners intended to eliminate meeting rooms, reducing down to the minimum required for hosting outside visitors or executive gatherings. After all, a more collaborative office space would mean less time sitting around looking at presentations, and brain-storming would happen on the main floors, right?

But the focus on collaboration often meant smaller cubicles or a completely open office. Break rooms saw a reduction to minor coffee service and food storage locations. And the copy room usually became an open-air central location for general office use. Overall, office space averages decreased by 9.8% by as early as 1994.

By late 2015 new office space was beginning to average around 200 square feet per employee. By 2019, it was closer to 150. Now, with the mass forced closures of 2020, organizations worldwide have begun to realize the march of technology has created an opportunity to shrink that allowed space even further.

Small Gets Smaller

Now, with so much monetary loss and uncertainty caused by fluctuations in trade and the global response to COVID-19, many companies are honestly looking at their office space with a critical eye on cost savings.

Companies considering letting employees work from home full-time

They’ve already been forced to spend money on cloud computing, VPNs, and the equipment needed to allow remote or hybrid work. Adding to this the overwhelming popularity of working from home and most CFOs (74%) are seriously considering letting a portion of their on-site workforce work remotely.

This opportunity to have a segment of employees operate in a hybrid manner or completely telecommute offers a wide range of savings, primarily for a much lower floor space requirement. Even accomodating those who are still on-site becomes less expensive when a business incorporates modular workstations, desk sharing, and flex scheduling.

As an added bonus, cloud computing makes the need for large server rooms much less of an issue. Instead of housing massive servers on-site, businesses can partner with large cloud service providers to provide storage, platform, networking, and processing power managed and secured off-site.

Less Office, Same Printing

But a smaller office does not necessarily equal fewer employees. Moreover, it doesn’t lead to less of a need to print. Instead, the printing environment for corporate businesses choosing smaller office spaces becomes more complicated. Instead of the large copy rooms or single open-area printing spaces, there is a growing need for a secure, networked infrastructure to manage equipment, consumables, and costs.

There is also a greater need for back-end security to avoid information breaches and viruses. But most of all, these new, stream-lined offices require printers with a smaller footprint that operate with the same efficiency, functionality, and reliability as much larger legacy printing hardware.

Fortunately, Managed Print Service (MPS) providers are available to take up the small office challenge. Originally designed to keep large office printer environments serviced and supplied, these organizations are pivoting smartly into this larger, networked printing space. In addition, they are partnering with manufacturers to source more modest printer sizes without sacrificing capability.

They are also partnering with robust online tools like PowerMPS to provide a complete suite of services for these new, smaller office spaces. Businesses using this strategic tool provide their corporate partners with features like a secure e-commerce storefront; online service and maintenance requests, subscription and as-needed ordering; and unique online and mobile printer usage reporting.

So, while the standard office continues to get smaller, MPS providers are ready to help their partners address the printing challenges head-on. And innovative MPS businesses are quickly working on assembling the equipment, tools, and solutions required to conquer the changing needs and printing challenges presented by today’s incredibly shrinking office.

Learn more about Power MPS here

How MPS Can Help Create a Greener Office

How MPS Can Help Create a Greener Office

Environmental conservation is everybody’s duty. This is why offices develop creative ways to go green and preserve the environment. And while print services are essential because they ensure a smooth flow of information from one department to another, many businesses remain concerned about the potential paper, ink, and plastic waste that excessive and irresponsible printing practices can cause.

Fortunately, the office printer industry is actively working to assist offices in building a greener workplace.

Why are Offices Looking to Go Green?

How going green saves a business money

Many younger generations are concerned about changing climates, melting icebergs, and the future of the planet they are inheriting and, eventually, leaving behind. In addition, pressure from governments and environmental conservation groups are pushing for corporations and small businesses alike to make changes that can contribute to a more sustainable marketplace from product to production.

But “going green” can do more than meet government and employee demands. It can also help a business save money. One of the ways it does this is by optimizing materials usage to minimize waste production. Other strategies for improving costs while going green include switching off electronic devices when not in use, implementing power-saving modes, and operating more energy-efficient hardware.

In addition to saving money, many companies are implementing more environmentally friendly options to meet customer expectations. For example, many consumers are concerned about the growing number of reports on global news of wildfires, ozone issues, heat waves, and fluctuating ocean temperatures. And those individuals are actively seeking to do business with organizations that are increasing their efforts to become better stewards of the environment.

Consumption is a Crucial Part of Going Green

A lot of “going green” in the office can be managed by monitoring consumption. Managed print service partners have the software, systems, and services available to apply this logic to the realm of office printing. They make it easy to keep track of the amount of paper, ink, and energy being expended daily and even hourly by printers throughout the business – whether in the main office or at remote locations.

This level of tracking does more than predict the cost of office printing; it allows each business partner to make better decisions about the materials they order. It also provides actionable data to help educate employees and direct printer use behavior.

Another great way to go green is to tackle the issue of energy consumption. A straightforward way to reduce power use at the printer is to turn the machines off when offices are closed. But additional opportunities are available on newer printers beyond shutting down the devices. These power-saving options include low power idle modes and year-over-year improvements in general energy efficiency. A reputable managed print services, printer leasing, or printer service provider can help their business partners understand the best energy-saving options that fit each office’s printing needs.

Evaluate Materials and Usage for Eco-Friendliness

The use of materials is a considerable contribution to creating greener office policies. Fortunately, there are materials and processes that can be utilized to avoid waste and allow businesses to operate in a more environmentally-friendly manner. When it comes to office printing, the right service partner can help:

  • Manage materials usage and ordering
  • Advice on the best ink and toner for maximum paper coverage and minimal waste
  • Provide guidance on reliable recycled papers products
  • Include programs for paper, ink cartridge, and toner cartridge recycling

Becoming more eco-friendly may seem like a daunting task. But, when it comes to office printing, meeting consumer and employee demands isn’t as out of reach as it may seem. The right printing partner can help any business discover a wide range of ways to pivot to greener printing strategies while saving money and improving efficiencies.

Click here to learn more about Power MPS and how they can help your dealership with additional services and ecommerce

How Office Print Partners Help Your Business How Office Print Partners Help Your Business

How Office Print Partners Help Your Business How Office Print Partners Help Your Business

Businesses are always looking for ways to reduce costs and increase profits without affecting the quality of products and services. Unfortunately, office printing is often one of the last pieces to be evaluated in these processes. Yet, it is one of the most important aspects of any business, directly affecting the flow of communication and overall business performance.

One of the simplest ways a business can reduce operating costs is by partnering with an office printing service provider. These companies leverage their in-depth knowledge of office printing, printer hardware, and printer servicing to help improve efficiencies for their business partners. Here are three significant ways businesses can benefit from office print services.

Businesses are Fighting Inflation

In today’s markets, inflation is rampant. And businesses are currently taking some of the most significant hits when it comes to the cost of labor and materials. Yet, companies of all sizes are often blamed for the rising prices as they attempt to keep up with the costs of their operations. The result is a battle on two fronts, managing customer opinion while trying to maintain a level of profit that supports the company.

Office printing is one of the many items that, though essential, contributes to the ongoing expenses of the business. And, just as with other aspects of operations, printing equipment, services, parts, and supplies are affected by ongoing microchip shortages, interrupted production, and increased demand. The result is spiking costs that make their way up the supply chain. But increasing efficiencies and streamlining printing processes can lower the impact office printing has on the business’s bottom line.

Improving Print Efficiencies

With their deep understanding of the office printing environment, printing service partners can work with their clients to provide a complete picture of the weaknesses within any office printing system. Some issues printing professionals often include:

  • An imbalance in printer use. Often, some printers are overused while others sit idle. Office print partners help configure the office print setup to fit the use trends found within each of their client’s offices.
  • Improperly configured printers. Machines not set up correctly often use too much ink and toner or have a more significant number of paper faults. Both situations can increase supply usage while wasting employee time. Print service partners configure machines to match the business’s needs and help optimize printer settings for optimal output – saving time and supplies.
  • Increased energy consumption. Many offices end up buying too-large printers or too many machines for their office. Either situation quickly creates a draw that can easily raise energy bills for the office. Print service partners evaluate each office’s needs to determine the correct number and size of machines to help increase energy efficiency and improve general operations.

But operational enhancements are not the only way print service providers can help their office clients battle inflation.

Office Print Services Cut Costs

One of the best ways to address inflation’s impact on a company’s bottom line is to cut operating costs in as many aspects of a business as possible. Fortunately, there are several ways office print service partners can help lower the costs associated with office printing, including:

  • Reduce or eliminate capital expenditure for office printers. Office-grade printers are not cheap. Even the lowest-level models can run several thousand dollars. However, many office print partners have ways to reduce or eliminate these expensive pieces of equipment from a business’s bottom line.

For companies who prefer to own their equipment, it is essential to understand individual office printing trends and requirements. Managed print services and other office printer businesses can help evaluate these needs to make recommendations for the least expensive, energy-efficient option rather than older, energy-consuming, and ink-guzzling hardware.

Another option is to lease the equipment rather than perform an outright purchase. Leasing offers several benefits, such as reducing ownership to a monthly fee rather than a hefty initial price tag. Additionally, you can draw up an agreement with your office print partner depending on the size and needs of your organization. Finally, it is possible to include the cost of a printer placement as part of the managed print services contract, further reducing operating costs. why you should lease a printer

  • Lower ongoing printing costs. Printer hardware is the first step in an office’s ongoing printing needs. Proper maintenance and service are required to keep that hardware adequately configured and running at peak efficiency.

Partnering with an office printer services business can help offset some costs. In addition, many printer leases and managed print services contracts include a maintenance and service plan to help cover these necessities and reduce unexpected parts and labor expenses.

  • Reduce printing supply costs. Many businesses rely on printing partners to handle equipment but turn elsewhere to source ink, toner, and printing paper. But many office print partners can manage more than hardware and maintenance.

The most advanced businesses in the office print industry can fully monitor supply usage and help their clients regulate their paper, ink, and toner usage. In addition, appropriate monitoring can give insights into how to configure printing equipment better to reduce waste and maximize the use of consumables.

While inflation continues to drive up costs and irritate consumers, there are ways for businesses to battle rising prices and benefit their companies. With the ability to streamline internal operations and reduce ongoing hardware and supply expenditure, partnering with an office print services company provides several options to help savvy businesses battle inflation.

Paper is not Dead: Long Live Paper

Paper is not Dead: Long Live Paper

Futuristic science-fiction films and series primarily differ in politics, outlook, and technology. But they almost all have one thing in common, paper is practically non-existent. Rather than paper currency, the residents of the future use cards, chips, or codes to access digital funds.

Even the offices and workspaces are highly digitized, with records, agreements, and communications all held in computers. Access to this information is through fancy-looking tablets or floating holograms.

While all of this looks amazing, it is hardly practical. Yet, despite these visions of a paper-free world, there are many reasons physical documentation is here to stay.

The Security Issues with Going Paperless

Paper filing systems are large, cumbersome, and take up too much space. But, in today’s technological world, they are also broadly safer than digital filing systems. Today criminals have developed a wide range of tactics to gain access to anything stored on company servers, including pretending to be someone within the company or a person of importance to trick loyal employees. The same level of access is much harder to gain in person. So, while carrying company files on a tablet may seem convenient, are the risks worth it?

Admittedly, security for digital files has come a long way in the past decade. But hackers are constantly coming up with new and creative ways to access those documents. Unfortunately, their innovations regularly test the most vulnerable points in any company and often find the weaknesses they require. And too often, data breaches aren’t detected until it’s too late.

On the other hand, paper files are much harder to access and far more likely to be noticed should they go missing. This is why so many businesses still rely heavily on paper documentation for personal notes, contracts, and legal and financial documents. While having digital versions scanned and stored is a good idea for easy shareability with clients, paper documentation is a vital backup to keep hackers from holding information hostage.

Lack of Access/ Loss of Information

When filed correctly, paper documentation provides reliable accessibility. Simply enter the file room or open the appropriate drawer to view the file needed. Digital files, on the other hand, require internet and server-specific access. So, should the internet go down, the electricity goes out, or a server crash occurs, access to any electronic files can be temporarily halted.

Some of these emergencies can do far more than block access; electrical outages or surges can cause issues with sensitive computer and server equipment, leading to data losses. Other increasingly common problems such as malware, hacking, computer viruses, and general user error can all result in files being corrupted or deleted from the system.

Paper files, if only as a backup system, are a reliable alternative to keep business information safe and accessible in times of crisis. In particular, legal, finance, and medical facilities should maintain a hard copy database to avoid losing important data and hiccups when serving customers.

Paper Remains Part of Business Workflows

According to Wakefield research and Infotrends, 73% of businesses with less than 500 employees print at least four times daily. But the trend is not limited to smaller companies. Even medium and large businesses depend on paper for a variety of uses, including:

  • Personal notes
  • Copies of necessary documentation such as resumes and recommendation letters
  • Work calendars
  • Documentation for team-building trips and brainstorming sessions
  • Notes during hiring interviews or in case of complaints to human resources

Larger businesses especially enjoy using paper for items that are unlikely to be kept long-term. Things like notes, documentation that is likely to become redundant, document mark-ups, vendor or client presentations, and other short-term items are usually printed or written down with no intent to place them in long-term storage. Scanning these items into a digital format would waste time and server space.

So, while science fiction envisions a paperless future for all of human society, even the most prominent businesses have trouble eliminating paper from their processes. Paper as it was once known, used, and loved may well be over. But the need for its existence and use to keep businesses running smoothly is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

Why Office Printing is Making a Surprise Comeback

At the onset of the COVID pandemic response, many markets predicted a steep drop in office printing. Many business experts predicted the death knell for office printing in general. Instead, with so many working remote, home office printer sales and printing volumes increased dramatically. As people come back to the office, will they bring that thirst for printers and printing back to the office? Yes. But why?

Going Digital

Do people take more written or digital notes

Going digital takes time and money. First, there is the issue of converting physical documents into stored data. Then, there is the problem that employees of all ages find it beneficial to print out important pieces of information to review and make notes. Over seventy percent of employees believe they gain a deeper understanding from printed or written material than from digital. The benefits of physical note-taking are even supported by research. A 2021 study showed people who use paper for note-taking perform their note-taking tasks 25% faster than those who use digital tablets or smartphones. Their speed of recall for information was also faster than those who used digital tools for note-taking. Fortunately, office printers can easily create a bridge between the physical office and the digital world.

Employees can print out the documents they need to prepare for meetings, evaluate the information for tasks, and take necessary notations. But office printer machinery is also able to take in records and written documentation through a scanner to digitize that information for safe-keeping. Some printer equipment can even support high-volume scanning, capable of pulling in and digitizing hundreds of documents in a single task. Businesses looking to transfer years of backlogged files into a more easily accessible format can turn to office printing equipment to help and rely on these machines to transition ongoing contracts, documentation, and notes.

What Happens When Digital Fails?

Despite the noble motive for companies to “go green” and move entirely to digital documentation, the truth is that a completely digital office has its downfalls. For example, today’s versions of digital solutions require two things to operate correctly; electricity and internet/intranet access. And having worked remotely for over a year, employees have felt the frustration of losing one or more of these features first-hand and, often, alone.

Electrical outages at the office have had a standard solution for decades in the form of generators. Many office buildings are already equipped with backup power as an added benefit for businesses renting the space. However, some locations, including employee home offices, are still not equipped to deal with an unexpected power outage. Companies that do not currently have backup power options should take this potential issue into account when considering moving digital records or eliminating paper records.

Another critical consideration is how to ensure ongoing intranet or internet access. When housing records in a digital format, there is always the possibility of the pathways to those records being shut down. Though housed entirely on internal office servers, intranet access requires employees to be logged directly onto the office’s in-house network or logged into remote access through a VPN. For remote employees, even intranet access requires internet connectivity. When one or more of those networks goes down, it directly affects employees’ ability to review stored documentation and perform their jobs.

It may be a good idea to consider housing essential data in some physical form as a backup in case of an emergency. As for remote employees, it is a good idea to offer secure small-footprint printers, battery backups, and other solutions that will relieve employee stress or provide options for continued productivity.

Cloud Services Can be Risky, too.

It is not only a loss of electrical availability or server or internet access that can cause problems for employees. Even well-known, big-name cloud computing and software services have a history of hiccups. Google, for instance, experienced a large-scale Gmail glitch in March of 2011 that left many individuals and businesses in a lurch for at least several hours. In addition, some locations continued to have problems with access for several days.

This was not the only instance of a Google service issue, either. In March of 2022, the company again experienced a widespread issue, this time with Google Workspace. The 2022 problem affected popular business features such as Google Meet, Gmail, and Google Drive. As a result, companies that rely on Workspace to store and share files, perform meetings, and provide reliable email communications were forced to a virtual standstill.

Accessibility issues are not relegated to the one big-name provider. Other well-known companies have had similar problems, including Oracle, Amazon, and Microsoft. There is always a risk, no matter what service is used for digital storage or whether it is an internal or external server. Especially as more businesses take on post-pandemic “hybrid” office models, creating reliable backup resources such as physical paper documentation is becoming more critical than ever.

No matter how much a business wants to go truly green, employees know that going fully digital is more complex than it appears. So, while companies look for new ways to offer convenient file sharing and access, employees turn to their trusted printers to help them make notes, provide backup documentation, and turn their most important papers back into a digital format.

New Survey Posted for Cost Effective Print Management

A highly cost effective print management SaaS that enables dealers to have differentiated conversations with customers addressing their print management needs.

Commercial overview

  • Low upfront costs
  • Generous initial margin
  • Recurring margin Yoy
  • Huge feature set
  • Ability to differentiate vs other dealers selling same bundle (e.g. copier + PaperCut)
  • Over half a million users
  • Direct support reduces dealer overhead: Setup, aftersales, ongoing updates.
  • Transparent dealer support through a dedicated portal

Technical key feature

  • Cloud based - easy setup, no hardware required
  • Windows, Mac and Chromebooks supported
  • Universal driver supporting all advanced finishing and security features
  • Office 365, Google Workspace integrated

There is a total of 7 questions for the survey.  We're hoping you can take part in our survey because your help may bring another player to the US market that could give us additional options.

Please take our survey here