Capture Solutions are the Bridge Between Your MFP and Digital Systems

Many businesses have adopted enterprise content management (ECM) and document management systems (DMS) to convert slow, inefficient, and expensive paper-based processes to digital form. But according to a Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends study, most incoming work documents (anywhere between 51 and 67 percent) are in paper form.

Figure: Of all external business content that your company receives, what percentage comes in as paper?

Source: Future of Scanning (Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends, 2015)

So while businesses can do extraordinary things with documents in digital form, like automating their business process and enabling users to share documents instantly around the globe, they are still stuck with the problem of efficiently merging information trapped in paper with their digital solutions.

Solve one problem, create another.

Luckily, the same devices that are responsible for all of this paper—namely printers, copiers, and MFPs—are also the answer. Businesses can leverage their MFPs to do much more than just print, copy, fax, and scan paper documents.

Many are outfitted with embedded capture applications, or can hook in to PC or server-based capture solutions. These enable businesses to efficiently capture, process, and route documents to a document management system, an electronic content management platform, business process automation software, or other business applications.

Key characteristics of a capture solution

Capture

Before you can integrate paper document into your systems, you must digitize them. Many solutions convert paper documents to popular static file types, such as TIFF, image PDF, and JPG. These solutions are built to meet varying needs, from knowledge workers capturing a few documents a day, all the way up to scan operators tasked with capturing huge volumes of batches all day.

Processing

Once a document is captured, users can employ a plethora of image enhancement and conversion settings to deliver it to its desired location in the needed form and quality. Many leading technologies employ sophisticated algorithms to intelligently enhance captured images to ensure easy readability.

Users can apply optical character recognition (OCR) zones (or OCR across the entire document) or barcode recognition settings to separate batches, convert documents to dynamic form, and/or read and act on encoded indexing and routing instructions.

Many solutions enable users to configure customizable scan profiles that can be assigned to a hard or soft key on the device’s control panel to streamline commonly used scanning workflows. These profiles can include everything from resolution and thresholding settings, to where OCR zones should be deployed, to where the document should be routed.

Routing

Many capture applications dovetail with email applications, cloud services, watched folders, document/electronic content management platforms, or other business applications and backend systems out of the box. This enables users to send scans to specific locations directly from the control panel. This eliminates the need to scan a document to a local folder, then move it to the desired location.

Call 888-700-0237 and ask to speak to our Solutions Specialist to learn more.

 

How Managed IT Solves the IT Infrastructure Dilemma

The dependency on information technology grows every year, as new and better technology hits the marketplace. At the same time, many small and medium businesses feel the need to do more with less—particularly as globalization and the Internet have increased competition. The need for more technology is high, but IT budgets aren’t necessarily keeping up.

That’s where managed IT infrastructure services come in. Managed IT providers have access to the necessary technology to keep businesses running optimally. But the cost of this technology is dramatically less in the form of a managed IT engagement compared to the traditional means of procuring IT assets.

Managed IT providers are able to keep prices low through serving a wide range of customers. They spread the cost of the IT infrastructure over these customers, who are increasingly turning to them for this type of engagement. SMBs need these resources to compete, and can procure them affordably through a managed IT deployment.

SMBs also appreciate the flexibility of this type of offering. They can add on technology components when the need arises, or remove assets that are no longer required. They could potentially pay for various offerings on a monthly basis, and stop their engagement at any time. This type of arrangement is very much consistent with some of the trends in the consumer entertainment space, showing the growing influence that personal lives are having on work habits.

Another important advantage of a managed IT engagement is the increased efficiency. Companies can quickly purchase IT services to accommodate new needs, as opposed to taking the time to research and source equipment and other solutions on their own. This increased efficiency can be a benefit to customers, clients, employees, and partners.

In closing, managed IT infrastructure services are an ideal way to solve the current IT infrastructure dilemma. Organizations gain access to much-needed technology and services while deriving benefits around cost, flexibility, and efficiency.

Contact Lang Company today at 888.700.0237 to learn more about Lang IT365.

Key Questions for Determining Managed IT Services Readiness

Managed IT infrastructure services are growing in importance, but how do you know if they are right for your business? This blog post provides four key questions for determining your readiness for this type of engagement.

  • How would you describe your current infrastructure? Businesses are encouraged to think about the adequacy of their current IT infrastructure. Do they have the appropriate hardware, applications, and storage capacity to handle current projects? Do they have the right mix of staff to maintain IT operations?

If you answered “no” to these questions, you may be a good candidate for managed IT infrastructure services.

  • How volatile is your business? It’s also important to consider how much your business changes. Do you see a big discrepancy in the amount of projects depending on the time of year? Can one project require a significantly higher amount of IT capacity and expertise?

If your company’s IT infrastructure requirements are fairly unpredictable, you may be an even better candidate for managed IT infrastructure services.

  • What would it cost to upgrade your current infrastructure? This could mean purchasing newer computer equipment and applications, hiring help desk personnel, or investing in other required or desired resources.

If this investment seems too costly, you may be an even better candidate for managed IT infrastructure services.

  • What would it cost to outsource the procurement of these resources? Have a conversation with your technology vendors about the potential cost of outsourcing elements of your IT infrastructure. Find out how easily you could upgrade, downgrade, or end an agreement.

If the cost and flexibility of a managed deployment seems attractive, you are an even better candidate for managed IT infrastructure services.

These are four key questions that can help you decide whether to seek out managed IT services. For those who aren’t completely sure if a managed IT deployment is right for them, they can ask to speak to current customers about their experience. They could also start with a small engagement, potentially expanding to a larger deployment as time goes on.

Contact Lang Company today at 888-700-0237.

3 Quick Ways to Improve Device Security

Critical company information passes through all types of devices, including PCs, mobile devices, and your document imaging printers and copiers, every day. What’s more, company information might be stored on these printers and MFPs without your knowledge. Vulnerability extends to devices that sit on the periphery of your network—they, too, are gateways for hackers.

Security: It’s something you should never take lightly and always be trying to bolster. For instance, there could be an MFP in a remote area of an office that nobody bothers to look at, let alone use, yet it’s become an easy target to attack. Or that aging single-function printer that has proprietary data stored on the hard drive, which could be exploited by one of your own employees if you’re not paying attention.

Can you ensure that your devices are properly protected, and be more vigilant? Printers and MFPs offer plenty of standard features for you to take advantage of, along with a bevy of options that your service provider can help deliver. Here are some of the basics of device security:

Authentication: Specifically with copier-based MFPs but also with printer-centric technology, administrators can enable PIN codes to force users to enter their passcode before using a device. Typically, the more robust a piece of hardware, the more forms of authentication you’ll see. From there, optional methods such as ID cards or biometrics can be purchased.

Permissions: While more information is stored on your PCs’ hard drive, in many cases there’s still plenty of data living in the hard drive of your document imaging devices. Many brands allow administrators to control access to stored information through role-based policies—and oftentimes you can limit access to the hard drive as well as insure the integrity through encryption.

Secure Printing: This feature, which is available standard on many devices, also has properties in document security, but because users have to enter a password to release the job at the device, there’s an extra layer of device security. The next step in this path is the optional secure pull printing, which can deliver convenience to your employees as they can now pull their print job from any device that has this solution.

With just a little research and know-how, minor changes can deliver an immense impact. Keen attention must be kept to all areas within your business for potential gaps, awareness of business information, and document and network security.

5 Questions to Get You Thinking about Print Management

5 Questions to Get You Thinking about Print Management 

It makes no difference how big your company is or what industry you’re in, the net-net is that you want to save money. One area of your business that provides a golden opportunity to achieve this goal, along with addressing information security and environmental concerns, is your print environment.

The relationship between document imaging technologies and users is symbiotic: You can’t have one without the other. However, when organizations restructure their print environment, many of them place all the emphasis on the hardware and don’t address the human factor.

Evaluating your employees’ printing behavior is equally as important as the careful study of your devices. Who’s printing? What are they printing? Did you know that, according to InfoTrends research, 82% of people say they still print files even if the business process doesn’t require it? That alone translates to a lot of pages that are having a negative impact on your bottom line.

Print management software offers features and tools to help you cut down on printing and, in turn, lower costs. Here are five questions you should ask yourself to help you determine if you’re a candidate for this type of solution:

  • Does my company allow all of its employees to print in color?
  • Is double-sided output enforced by the IT department?
  • Are there any limits or restrictions on how much people can print?
  • How does my organization promote document security and eco friendliness?
  • Can employees print to any device in the office, regardless of cost?

Contact Lang Company today to learn more about print management and how it can benefit your company! Call us at 888.700.0237 or contact us here. Do Business Better!

Benefits of Wide Format Print Technology

Having wide format print technology in your business can provide many benefits, including faster turnaround times, increased security and confidentiality, and potentially lower costs—depending on your print activity. This blog post will discuss each of these benefits.

Examples of wide format printers

Faster turnaround times

When you own a wide format printer, you can theoretically print whenever you’d like. You can produce a document in a matter of seconds or minutes, depending on the complexity of the job. In contrast, when you outsource wide format printing to a print shop, you may not receive your print(s) right away. Not only are you at the mercy of the provider’s schedule, but you may need to wait days for pickup or delivery. With wide format customers requiring quicker turnaround times (according to Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends research), in-house wide format printing might make sense.

Increased security and confidentiality

Outsourcing wide format print jobs requires you to give up control of your confidential documents and data—at least to the print service provider. While this provider may be someone you trust highly, the chance for a potential security or confidentiality breach is only heightened when access to information is opened up. Certain kinds of documents may not require confidentiality, but others may contain valuable internal, customer, or strategic information that must be protected. Conducting wide format printing on your own reduces the chance this information falls into the wrong hands.

Potentially lower costs

While wide format printing is certainly an investment (e.g., a printer, media, and ink are required), it can be one that pays off nicely. Depending on your wide format printing needs, it may be significantly less expensive to print in-house as opposed to outsource to a third party. In most cases, a third party will charge you a higher cost per page than what you can achieve on your own. When you are printing a fair amount of wide format output, this savings can outweigh the cost of the printer and consumables. Your office equipment dealer can help you calculate if in-house wide format printing would save your particular organization money.

Summary

Adding wide format to your business’s print capabilities can provide benefits around turnaround time, security and confidentiality, and even cost. Depending on your top objectives and print needs, this kind of investment may be worth considering. Asking your trusted business technology provider for their input on your wide format viability can be a helpful step toward making this decision.

Lang Company is an authorized dealer for KIP wide format color and monochrome printers and multi-function devices. For a free cost analysis, please contact us.

Lang Company is now your authorized HP Premium Partner!

HP is a leading provider of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and business. Lang Company is proud to offer the latest HP technology that brings you lower costs, outstanding secure printing and unrivaled print speeds and quality. To visit our HP catalog, please visit our “Office Equipment” tab, and select HP. Click link below to watch a video on HP LaserJet A3.

HP Laserjet A3

Single and Multi-Function Printers Must be Part of Your Security Plan

On average, organizations are spending 24% of their IT budget on security technology and resources. Only about 2% of their budget is spent on securing their print infrastructure. As shown in the chart below, most companies are not enforcing user authentication on their printers or multifunction printers (MFPs). Nevertheless, user authentication is arguably the most simple and powerful end point security feature.

Does your organization enforce user authentication on the following devices?

Source: Security Multi-Client Study (Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends, 2016)

Source: Security Multi-Client Study (Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends, 2016)

This is problematic. These printing devices have become more like hubs and portals for processing, uploading, accessing, and disseminating vital corporate information on and outside of the corporate network.

They have many of the same risks, including the possibility of being used as a network penetration point, as any other computing end point. There is no scenario where it should be acceptable that these devices are less secure than other network end points, like desktop computers or laptops.

Consider third-party services

A recent Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends survey revealed that 15% of organizations have had to deal with either an accidental or malicious data breach of hardcopy documents. With many of the most important (and sensitive) documents within organizations in hardcopy form at one time or another, this is not entirely surprising.

Nevertheless, these breaches can be prevented. Print devices often have extensive built-in security features; plenty of add-on functionality is available as well. Your organization may not have the time or expertise to fully leverage these security features and functionality. The good news is there are experts that do.

These experts can give you the confidence you seek around print security. Organizations that have worked with a security services provider for their print infrastructure are three times more likely to be “extremely confident” they can comply with their industry’s regulations around document and data security.

As shown in the figure above, Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends found that these types of security services come very highly recommended across industries.

How likely are you to choose/recommend a printer/MFP vendor if they had a security services offering?

Source: Security Multi-Client Study (Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends, 2016)

Source: Security Multi-Client Study (Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends, 2016)

What’s next?

When it comes to security, your organization is only as strong as its weakest link. Do not ignore your print infrastructure when considering your organization’s IT security. Make sure you ask your print technology or IT service provider how they can help you ensure your print environment is secure.

BLI Analysts Honor HP with 2018 Printer/MFP Line of the Year Awards

Fairfield, NJ – Today, Keypoint Intelligence – Buyers Lab (BLI) announced the winners of the 2018 Printer/MFP Line of the Year awards. Presented once a year by BLI, the world’s leading authority on document imaging devices and solutions, Line of the Year awards honor the manufacturers whose product lines are determined to be the best overall based on the cumulative test results of all models tested in BLI’s rigorous two-month laboratory evaluation. The selections are made by BLI’s highly experienced staff of technicians and analysts after subjecting scores of devices from every major OEM to BLI’s exhaustive, comprehensive lab tests.

Announcing HP Inc Wins 2018 Color Printer/MFP Line of the Year!

 

HP’s Color Line: Connectivity, Simplicity, and Security for Business Users

For the eighth time in the past ten years, HP has claimed BLI’s Color Printer/MFP Line of the Year award, thanks to their robust line of printers and MFPs, class-leading innovation, and enterprise-level security.  “HP has long been the front-runner when it comes to innovation, continually reinventing the view of the modern office, while encouraging users to do more with their printing hardware,” said Marlene Orr, Director of Printer & MFP Analysis for Keypoint Intelligence – Buyers Lab. “Of course, HP color printers and MFPs offer class-leading reliability, performance and quality, but the addition of HP’s OXP architecture elevates mere output devices into digital onramps, delivering increased productivity through advanced functionality. And because increased functionality comes with more risk, HP embeds multiple layers of cutting-edge security technologies, including self-healing BIOS, run-time intrusion detection, and whitelisting into their devices to safeguard data, documents, and access to the corporate network.”

 

“HP is reinventing the LaserJet printing experience for customers with transformative technologies that leverage HP’s innovation in security, industrial design, and real-world performance,” said Tuan Tran, General Manager & Global Head, Office Printing Solutions, HP Inc. “We are honored that BLI has recognized HP with its 2018 Color Printer/MFP Line of the Year award.”

 

For more information, please contact Lang Company, your Authorized HP Dealer.  Do business better!

Streamlining Accounts Payable Processes

Accounts payable departments are tasked with ensuring that a company’s bills are paid on time, and that the company is not overcharged for any service. This blog post will highlight key processes involved with accounts payable as well as opportunities for modernizing these workflows.

Key accounts payable processes

In the area of accounts payable, goods/services are generally delivered to the project manager from the vendor. The vendor sends the project manager an invoice, which the project manager logs and sends to the accounting department. The accounting department contacts creditors with any questions or concerns about the bills, before sending the payment to the vendor.

Common accounts payable workflow

Source: Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrendsSource: Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends

Source: Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends

Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends research shows that most organizations are handling these tasks electronically, whether it is through email or an alternative electronic system. That said, a good chunk of accounts payable departments are still relying on more traditional methods like fax and postal service. This is particularly the case with vendor interactions.

How are documents typically submitted to the following people or departments?

Source: Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends survey of U.S. businesses on accounting practicesSource: Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends survey of U.S. businesses on accounting practices

Opportunities for automation

This section provides a sampling of ways accounting processes can be updated for enhanced productivity and customer satisfaction. For example, organizations can integrate accounts payable with inventory so that when stock reaches a set low point a purchase order (PO) is automatically generated.

They can also have digital purchase orders automatically routed to the project manager, the inventory manager, and anyone else who must provide his or her approval. Approvals can be done digitally; approved POs can be automatically routed to accounting. By emailing the purchase order to the vendor, as opposed to mailing it, time and money are saved.

Accounting software that supports electronic payments can reduce the need for paper checks. If an organization is using paper checks and has multiple checking accounts, magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) software might make sense. This software prints the routing and account numbers on blank check stock when the checks are generated.

Conclusion

Accounts payable is a key component of most accounting departments, providing payments to vendors and helping ensure issues around billing are promptly resolved. While many organizations have incorporated digital processes into their accounts payable operations, opportunities for automation and simplification do exist.

Contact the Lang Company to discuss how you can update your accounts payable workflows. Do Business Better with Lang Company. Since 1945, Lang Company has been helping people work smarter, faster and more efficiently. If you would like more information about the content shared in this post, please contact us at 888.700.0237 or follow this link.