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Helping customers to navigate technology change

In today’s fast paced digital world, there has never been a more critical time to be mindful of how others are dealing with technology changes. A recent survey of business leaders, by BT , has discovered a disturbing number of companies are really anxious about how fast technology is evolving and how to choose and implement the right technology solutions for the continuing success of their business. In this article we explore how managed print providers can help guide their customers through the maze of new technological developments.

No man is an island

Almost two-thirds of the BT survey respondents agreed that technology transformation is vital. However, when it comes to making decisions about technology, which can either make or break a company, directors and managers are concerned that they are expected to be all-seeing and all-knowing. That’s why it’s up to providers of technology and business solutions to be on hand, ready to point them in the right direction. To do that, effectively, takes knowledge, experience and complete understanding of a business’ requirements and goals.

How are managed print solutions dealers helping customers?

Speaking from our own experience, as a managed print solutions provider, we make sure we keep in regular contact with our customers, to give them updates on new technology and any changes that affect them. Our customers, whether they are a small or large business or a school, have come to rely on us to communicate with them, as well as make sure their print equipment runs smoothly, efficiently and cost-effectively.

We have always been very confident in the technology we supply to customers, because of the extensive functionality and productivity the ranges have provided for many years. You could even say that the multi-functional printer-copier-scanner (MFP) is an early form of AI with in-built intelligent memory and hard drive and a wealth of different options which enable businesses and schools to manage their documents more efficiently than ever.  

Measures businesses can take to proactively protect themselves

As a managed print services supplier, we are becoming more aware that, after cost-effective printing systems – which is always at the top of the shopping list – the two biggest criteria our customers demand, are for us to provide data security and improved productivity.

We advise the businesses and, particularly the schools, about ways they can achieve both, with managed print services (MPS), because of the many in-built features for security and productivity and how, with us managing their equipment remotely, we are adding another layer of both of these requirements.

In light of the new PSTI (Product Specification & Telecommunication Infrastructure) Act, we are working more closely with our OEM suppliers, as the responsibility for compliance with this new act will fall on us both. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are now banned from using and allowing weak or easily guessable default passwords, and we both have to share a timeframe, with our customers, within which they can expect to receive support, once a model goes out of production. Our OEM suppliers have issued their own statement of compliance that we are also bound by.

How are emerging technologies impacting on data security?

In the last 4 years, following the pandemic and people working from home, there has been a growing trend, within businesses and schools, to invest more in data security. The demand for security features on print solutions is an area in which we have seen growth. In line with this trend, while there haven’t been that many physical changes to multi-functional products, in recent years, the changes that have been made are based on increased security within the machines and how prints are handled.

With the introduction of AI into the broader world, making it accessible to everyone, the impact on data security will be immense and this is why OEMs and suppliers, of their products and services, now have to take a proper stand against cyberattacks, on connected MFPs and unsecured printers.

The fact that MFPs have encryption, user authentication and secure print release are helpful and now that simple access passwords are being banned, to prevent cyber attackers guessing, is even more useful.

Managed Print and IT Services partnerships in the making

Within the BT survey is was reported that the investment in technology could rise by 31% year on year. Not only has there been a sharp increase in mid-range MFPs, with print speeds ranging from 25pages per minute (ppm) to 55ppm, and in managed print services, we have also seen an increase in enquiries from existing customers about IT services, giving a clear indication that customers really want to combine their business systems under one contract. Interestingly, we work in collaboration with a local IT Services company, to fulfil both our areas of strength, within businesses and schools that require a combined systems approach to print and IT services. 

What steps are being taken to reduce concerns about AI in the workplace?

The BT survey also discovered that one in five respondents see AI as a real threat to their business and have concerns around data privacy and security. However, in some form or other, AI has been around in the print industry for many years already and, with print management software like PaperCut, it’s possible to add layers of rules to limit the use of, or gain access to, certain features of an MFP or printer.

It is thought this type of software can also be used to place added security on the use of AI in companies and schools. With robust encryption on MFPs, it may be possible to encrypt any data that is stored or being used on the hard drive. Current security measures are very stringent so should be sufficient.

About Copybox Document Systems.

Based in Bedford, Copybox Document Systems is built on years of experience within the printer and photocopier industry and are a proud reseller of the Develop range of printers and MFPs all of which feature the most advanced technology. The majority of our customers have been recommended to us and we’re delighted to have built up an excellent reputation for delivering an unparalleled service to our customers and going the extra mile.

Our flexible approach to printers and multi-functional photocopiers allows us to find solutions that fit perfectly into our clients’ businesses, whether they are schools, colleges, small or large businesses, throughout Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. We’re here to help and advice. Contact us to find out more.