Is the Paperless Office Merely a Myth?

paperless officeThe Paperless Office concept was first introduced by IBM in 1975 as part of a vision of the future where computers would have a dramatic impact on the way people worked. Forty years later, paper documents still proliferate the offices of all types of businesses around the world. So, is the Paperless Office just a marketing slogan or is it really attainable?

After almost thirty years in the office printing business, I’ve seen great progress being made towards the Paperless Office, but don’t foresee us becoming absolutely paperless any time soon. What I do see however, is an accelerated shift towards the Less-Paper Office. There are multiple factors that impact people’s efforts to go paperless, resulting in a gradual transition versus the sudden elimination of paper.

Why go Paperless?

Here are the three primary motivators for going paperless:

Cost Savings

Paper documents cost money. Not just the actual cost of printing, but the processing, filing, finding, refiling and ultimate destruction (shredding) at the end of their useful life. Some industry experts estimate that 1-3% of a company’s annual revenue is spent on managing documents throughout their lifecycle. That’s a lot of money.

Environmental

Business owners, and their employees and clients are all keenly aware of the environmental impacts of paper production and printing, from trees, water usage, electricity and ink/toner to all the space required for storage. There are big motivators for implementing green initiatives and being seen as a good corporate citizen playing their role in saving the planet.

Efficiency

This highly competitive global marketplace is moving faster and faster every day. All businesses are looking for ways to improve efficiencies, respond faster, be more competitive and stay relevant.

So why are we printing more?

There are a few reasons we’re printing more than ever:

Explosion of Data

The amount of information available on the internet grows exponentially on a daily basis. More data naturally leads to more printing.

Email

This instantaneous business communication is so easy, people create, send and receive documents at a far higher rate than ever before. Even if just a small fraction of this is printed, the result is still more paper-based documents scattered throughout your office.

Ease of Printing

Today’s lower printer costs (especially colour), wireless connections and ability to print from almost any device, mean it’s easier than ever to hit print, reach over and grab your printout.

It’s What We Do

Like most things, old habits die hard. Going paperless requires changing the way we do things, learning new processes and getting everyone on board. Despite all our good intentions, change is hard.

What’s Helping us go Paperless?

Just as access to information and technology advances have increased printing, they’ve also given us the ability to exchange information without paper.

Mobility

Using smartphones, tablets and notebooks to access the internet to email, search Google and access information anytime, anywhere allows us to easily go paperless. You can do more on your phone today than you could on your computer (if you had one) back in 1975.

Cloud Storage

Similar to mobility, the ease and relatively low cost of storing documents in the cloud, allows us to find, access and share them faster and cheaper than their paper-based cousins, which makes us all more efficient.

Security

The security features built into today’s smartphones, computers and cloud services, give us the confidence to file, find and share most documents electronically and securely, instead of using the old filing cabinet. However, for those documents that still need to be printed, implementing a secure-print-release solution not only improves security it can also reduce print by as much as 30%.

Managed Print Services (MPS)

As businesses look to migrate from hardcopy to digital content, having a plan developed by a consultant who specializes in MPS will greatly improve the likelihood of being able to successfully deploy a Paperless Office.

With all of these factors impacting how we access, exchange and save information, is the Paperless Office just a myth or can it really be achieved? For those determined few, the technology and tools exist today to make going paperless a reality. However, for most of us the steady transition to the Less-Paper Office is more realistic. Like most things in life, it’s all about finding the balance between multiple factors; cost, efficiency, the environment, workflow and technology advancements. There are lots of easy to implement, small initiatives that can get you started in the right direction, such as:

  • Automatic two-sided printing
  • Dual monitors
  • Digital signing software
  • Rules-based print tracking

The biggest impact of all will likely come from your coworkers. With Millennials now making up over 50% of the workforce and quickly moving into management positions, these are people who grew up in a digital world and going paperless isn’t just an initiative, it’s simply the way they work.

If you’re ready to start moving towards a Less-Paper environment or have any questions,  get in touch with us.

Are Your Digital Documents Secure?

secure document storage digital document securityPaper-based document storage either in on-site file cabinets and bankers boxes or off-site storage should really be a thing of the past. Paper document storage can be a challenge for users to find and access the documents they need. Additionally, with the increasing move to employees who are working remotely and can do business with a laptop and a cell phone, paper document storage makes productivity impossible. In addition, there is risk associated with maintaining only paper copies of essential documents – both damage and security risks. Transitioning to digital documents is a good option to combat these challenges.

When an organization is looking to reduce the use and storage of paper (go paperless), it is important to work closely with managed print services experts to ensure that the printing and imaging environment is set up to support efficient workflow processes for both paper to digital and complete digital workflows. Without an efficient process for your users, the efforts to reduce paper and implement secure online storage may be a significant challenge. As with any other business process, if it’s not simple for the users, the business process will fail.

There are many simple effective software products that make the transition to digital documents very simple and effective for the users. It is also crucial to remember that document security is an especially important consideration when going digital, so the software products need to be correctly integrated with a secure printing document control system and secure online storage system. With these integrations and custom workflows down to the user level, a digital document storage plan will be successfully implemented and is more likely to achieve user adoption.

Digital Documents Storage Challenges

Before implementing a digital storage solution for general office documents and records management, there are some potential challenges to consider:

  1. Un-findable files – Without a simple, standardized process and naming conventions for moving documents into your secure online storage system, digital documents can be scanned or dragged and dropped to a repository and lost forever.
  2. Non-text-searchable documents – If there is no automated/simple process to convert paper and digital files to text-searchable PDFs with reliable compression, future search and usability of the digital documents may not be feasible.
  3. Complex workflow/process – If the workflow process to get digital documents into the secure online document repository isn’t simple, the users will not adopt.
  4. Digital files at risk – Without integrating a secure printing system and locking down the printing and imaging devices for security, your firm’s digital documents may be at risk.

Secure Printing with the Help of a Managed Print Services (MPS) Partner

With all of the challenges associated with digital documents storage and printing, how does an organization overcome these hurdles for a successful implementation? It starts with MPS experts who really understand all of the ramifications and understand your business needs. So, what should a managed print services partner help with?

  1. Have an audit of the office print device infrastructure completed with a proven software application to gain a clear understanding of your organization’s risks.
  2. Implement an automated print device security software to close the gaps on risks of potential security breaches and ensure a secure print environment.
  3. Implement a document control system to lock down all functions of printing and imaging devices (print releasing, scanning, faxing, copying) to require and enable quick and simple user authentication. This will increase security and provides a user audit trail.
  4. Ensure that the workflow for the user has active directory integration to enable serving up custom workflows by user. The custom workflows can be created for hard copy to digital conversion and routing to storage and/or digital workflow and routing to storage from the desktop.

To ensure success in moving to a paperless environment, getting rid of the file cabinets that take up so much space, and move to secure online storage, contact an MPS expert to learn more.

SmartPrint Inc. is awarded as HP Best In Class Partner in Managed Print Services for Canada

hp best in class partnerToronto, Ontario, Canada June 6, 2016 — SmartPrint has been recognized as Hewlett Packard Canada (HP) Best In Class Partner because of their extensive growth in providing their clients with managed print services and document control and workflow solutions across Canada.

Leyland Brown, Head of Solutions for Hewlett-Packard Canada, shared the details of the award with Tim Lomax, President of SmartPrint:

“On behalf of HP and the Canadian Solutions Organization, I would like to congratulate you and your SmartPrint team on being recognized as the Top ‘BEST IN CLASS’ HP MPS Channel partner for the second half of HP’s fiscal year 2015. Your dedication to HP is a huge contribution to the growth of HP’s Channel MPS business and your leadership is a key driver for HP’s continued investment in products, resources and programs to grow the Channel MPS business.”

John Cammelari, Vice President of Commercial ChannelsIMG_0310-1 in Canada said while presenting the award to the SmartPrint team:

“SmartPrint is the platinum standard of HP MPS partners to which all other partners are measured against”.

Tim Lomax, President of SmartPrint shared:

“This award is tremendous recognition of the whole SmartPrint team’s continued success in providing unique, custom MPS solutions that add significant value to our clients businesses. It is very exciting to be the first technology partner in Canada to win this award! We are excited to continue our stable growth and expansion plan to support the mid-market and enterprise organizations across Canada.”

About SmartPrint Inc.:

IMG_0285SmartPrint helps organizations make sense of complex print environments. SmartPrint’s team of managed print services (MPS) experts leverage the markets best tools and systems, and as Canada’s leading MPS independent, offer best in breed office printing equipment and software to help simplify office printing, scanning and document workflow. Our clients experience dramatic improvements in user efficiency, reduced print costs by 30% to 50%, reduced helpdesk calls by 25% and significant administrative efficiencies through vendor consolidation. As Canada’s leading independent MPS provider, SmartPrint’s solutions are not about printers, they’re about people.

To find out more about SmartPrint, please visit our website: www.smartprint.com .

For Press or Analyst inquiries please contact:
Rob Farrell
rob.farrell@smartprint.com
905.475.6177 x234

Managed Print Services Essential Guide Introduced by SmartPrint, Leading MPS Expert

The Essential Guide to Managed Print Services is available as a free download to help businesses understand and take control of their print environments

managed print services mps guideNEWS RELEASE – Toronto, Ontario – April 2016Managed Print Services (MPS) leader SmartPrint, is pleased to introduce The Essential Guide to Managed Print Services. The free 14-page download will help organizations truly understand MPS and the positive impact of taking control of their print environments.

Inefficient printing, imaging and business processes in an office print environment can affect an organization’s overall efficiency. In addition, the hard and soft costs associated are often drastically underestimated.

The Essential Guide to Managed Print Services covers a variety of areas that all organizations should be familiar with in order to optimize their organization’s print environment and costs including:

  • Introduction to MPS
  • Managed print services best practices
  • Benefits of MPS including IT time savings, user efficiency gains, improved document control and security, vendor consolidation, fleet standardization and a paperless office environment
  • Financial rewards of MPS including deeper, hidden cost savings
  • Readying your organization for MPS
  • Managed print services process including details around assessment, implementation and continuous improvement

“When considering MPS, there is a lot to know. That’s why we developed The Essential Guide to Managed Print Services.” remarked Rob Farrell, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at SmartPrint. “We believe organizations needed access to an ultimate guide to MPS so they can understand what MPS is, how it can improve their businesses, and how to select the right MPS partner.”

The Essential Guide to Managed Print Services is geared towards management, operations, IT, and finance teams who want to better understand the impact and costs of their print environments and how they can proactively implement solutions to ensure an optimal print and imaging environment which is cost effective and user embraced.

James Dunn, Demand Generation Manager at SmartPrint, added, “Many organizations we meet with know that their print environment is out of control, but they don’t know what they can do about it.”

“We encourage anyone who suspects their print environment is costing their organization time and money to download The Essential Guide to Managed Print Services for free. It really is an essential tool for fully understanding the impact of an unmanaged print environment.” continued Dunn.

Executives and managers interested in obtaining The Essential Guide to Managed Print Services can download the guide for free on SmartPrint’s website. Interested parties can also contact an MPS expert with any questions or to help with the guide.

About SmartPrint Inc.:

SmartPrint helps organizations make sense of complex print environments. SmartPrint’s team of managed print services (MPS) experts leverage the markets best tools and systems, and as Canada’s leading MPS independent, offer best in breed office printing equipment and software to help simplify office printing, scanning and document workflow. Our clients experience dramatic improvements in user efficiency, reduced print costs by 30% to 50%, reduced helpdesk calls by 25% and significant administrative efficiencies through vendor consolidation. As Canada’s leading independent MPS provider, SmartPrint’s solutions are not about printers, they’re about people.

To find out more about SmartPrint, please visit our website: www.smartprint.com.

For Press or Analyst inquiries please contact:

Rob Farrell
rob.farrell@smartprint.com
905.475.6177 x234

Office Printing Best Practices – Using Brand Names in the Right Places

office printing best practices mps smartprintWhat are office printing best practices? From SmartPrint’s perspective, it is putting the right technology in the right location in the office to give the users the functionality and options they require to be efficient. All of this while ensuring that the recommended group of devices are optimal from a cost perspective.

Putting the right technology in the right places is a crucial part of office print best practices. Getting it wrong can increase costs dramatically. Additionally, users may not have the tools they need to do their jobs. Think about how effective a carpenter would be with a saw that takes him ten times longer to cut a piece of wood. How frustrating would this be? Then, think about a busy office worker that has to use a device with inadequate speed that needs repair often and doesn’t provide scanning capabilities so they have to walk 200 feet to scan an important hard copy document to convert it to a PDF.

Printing Centralization – Is it the right choice?

We consistently see copier manufacturers in the Canadian market trying to sell office printing centralization, but putting a few big expensive devices into an organization to capture all of the pages rarely supports the users’ needs. It can potentially reduce overall office printing costs short term, but many times has the effect of making users less productive. This isn’t inline with office printing best practices because footsteps cost money.

Time and time again, our SmartPrint consultants run into organizations that have been centralized in the past by a copier manufacturer’s sales person. What they typically find is that users’ needs were not being met so many of the smaller print devices that were close to the users were plugged back in or new ones were purchased by individual departments.

As a result, the great financial plan to centralize on a big low cost per page device has been completely lost. Also, the expensive lease cost of that big, centralized copier is higher than the rest of the printing for the entire office and is completely underutilized.

Why does this happen? It might be that the organization didn’t have a well thought out strategy for office printing. They choose to work with a manufacturer vendor whose job is to make sure their brand is the only brand sold so they can maximize revenue and keep the assembly line busy.

Vendor-Neutral Print Experts to Recommend the Right Devices in the Right Places

The real solution here is that it takes a vendor-neutral expert to provide a balanced deployment of equipment because, to satisfy the needs of different users and departments, there is typically more than one brand of hardware required for the entire print environment to run optimally – both for user experience and cost. There are hardware manufacturers that make very good large copier style devices with open architecture and state of the art technology that enables very high up-time and functionality. There are other manufacturers that build highly efficient and versatile small and mid-sized devices that can be placed close to the user groups to enable efficiency with all the required functionality and high up-time.

If the right small and mid-sized devices are correctly placed, they are often very close to the same operating costs as the large centralized units and have a much lower price tag. The right balance of equipment can make a significant difference in the total cost of ownership if your managed print services partner has the print environment expertise that understands office printing best practices.

Keeping an Eye on Hidden Print Manufacturer Future Costs

Recommending best-in-breed print equipment for each required category to support the users ensures a low total cost of ownership (TCO) long term. There are manufacturers with limited market share that make good devices but with limited market share in a category, the supply chain for consumables and replacement parts can be a challenge.

This situation leads to significant price increases year over year because of the lack of supply in the market place. Some print device manufacturers release new hardware devices each quarter, making very subtle changes to devices while changing the consumable SKUs and repair parts so that, in the future, they can increase supply items and make more profit long term. The strategy of releasing new hardware also protects the manufacturer from aftermarket consumables taking their long term profit away.

However, the challenge is that none of this is good for the end user; it results in complexity and increased cost.

Independent MPS Experts Protect Organizations by Implementing Office Printing Best Practices

Working with an independent managed print services (MPS) expert can protect organizations from these challenges because they know how to implement office printing best practices. You can get the right best-in-breed brand of devices in the right places. Best-in-breed print devices will protect against future price increases and a balanced deployment will enable users to be efficient and effective while providing the right blend of total cost of ownership and user productivity.

Find out more about how managed print services experts can optimize print environments to achieve user satisfaction and reduced costs.

SmartPrint Inc., Managed Print Services Leader, Completes Acquisition of LaserCorp Ontario

lasercorp smartprint mpsToronto, Ontario, Canada January 19, 2016 — SmartPrint Inc., Canada’s leading independent
MPS (Managed Print Services) firm, announced today, that it has acquired LaserCorp’s Toronto MPS practice.

“This is an exciting development for our Toronto based clients, who will now be able to leverage SmartPrint’s broader portfolio of hardware and software solutions.” said Eric Black, President,
LaserCorp Inc.

“We are extremely excited to support LaserCorp’s clients and believe we can help take their
organizations to the next level of efficiency and cost savings.” said Tim Lomax, President,
SmartPrint Inc. “Since 1990, LaserCorp has been providing white glove MPS service for
professional services firms throughout Toronto’s downtown core. LaserCorp clients will join
SmartPrint’s rapidly growing list of Canadian clients in the professional services sector. To
facilitate a smooth transition, LaserCorp’s complete technical services team will be joining
SmartPrint.”

This strategic acquisition of over 100 mid-market professional services clients (legal, finance and
accounting) affirms SmartPrint as the leading independent experts in Canada’s Managed Print
Services marketspace.

“Our vision is to help clients make sense of complex printing and imaging environments by
engaging our team of experts to analyse their environments and provide solutions that will
deliver a competitive advantage.” said Rob Farrell, VP Sales and Marketing, SmartPrint Inc.

“Both companies have been dedicated to ingenuity, high customer service levels and integrity.
SmartPrint’s focus, expertise and proven processes provide Canadian clients with opportunity to
embrace the rapid shift towards managed IT services.”

About SmartPrint Inc.:

SmartPrint helps organizations make sense of complex print environments. SmartPrint’s team of
managed print services (MPS) experts leverage the markets best tools and systems, and as
Canada’s leading MPS independent, offer best in breed office printing equipment and software
to help simplify office printing, scanning and document workflow. Our clients experience
dramatic improvements in user efficiency, reduced print costs by 30% to 50%, reduced helpdesk
calls by 25% and significant administrative efficiencies through vendor consolidation. As
Canada’s leading independent MPS provider, SmartPrint’s solutions are not about printers,
they’re about people.

To find out more about SmartPrint, please visit our website: www.smartprint.com

For Press or Analyst inquiries please contact:
Rob Farrell
rob.farrell@smartprint.com
905.475.6177 x234