Many of us fondly remember the hit sitcom Parks and Recreation, especially the adorable character Leslie Knope (played by hilarious comedian Amy Poehler), who stopped at nothing to beautify the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. And while Leslie persevered and grew in her career, there is another key takeaway from the show that remains applicable six years after it went off the air: serving in local government is an essential – and often thankless – job.
Municipalities work hard to get information to their citizens about events, community programs and safety updates. Local residents may not always see all the work going on behind the curtain, but it’s considerable and usually time sensitive. With all of these responsibilities, figuring out and updating technology can often fall to the bottom of the priority list, despite the need for the right tech to do the job. This is also a space where printing is still very much necessary, as local governments need to constantly produce public documents such as booklets and brochures, sometimes in multiple languages, and frequently on tight budgets. City workers simply can’t afford to have their printers break down or malfunction.
Here are a couple of examples of how local government agencies addressed some of their printing and technology challenges to serve their constituents more effectively.
Melanie Camacho /
Doesn’t it seem like more and more cybersecurity horror stories are popping up in your news feed? I know I’ve seen an uptick, especially these past few months. Cybercrime is becoming child’s play for brazen hackers with little to fear and a whole lot to gain. The ambiguous nature of bitcoin and the extremely difficult pursuit of apprehending cybercriminals has emboldened them to make audacious ultimatums.
Over the Fourth of July weekend, the ransomware gang REvil that hit JBS Foods last month made headlines once again for a ransomware attack that started with Florida-based IT firm Kaseya in an attempt to extort a $70 million bitcoin payment. While extraordinary attacks like these are newsworthy, small and midsize businesses (SMB) are getting hit too, and a majority are paying to get their data back.
Naeran Rubio /
Earlier this year, 1,044 employees supporting Sharp’s B2B business in the U.S. logged on to Microsoft Teams to attend the company’s annual kickoff event, remotely. The annual event is traditionally an opportunity for Sharp employees from around the country to get a chance to hear from top leadership about the company’s successes of the previous year, priorities for the coming year, as well as re-acquaint themselves with colleagues from across the country. This year, due to COVID-19, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America decided to hold the event virtually, and while it would have been difficult to do the type of in-person networking that a regular event of this kind would normally have, Sharp wanted to at least make the two-hour virtual event as close to an actual in-person event as possible.
Sharp’s media team, who worked hard behind the scenes to ensure that virtual attendees received the best experience possible, gave some tips to help pull off a successful online meeting of this scale.
Erica Calise /
Today’s government marketplace has changed. Budgets are constrained and staffing is reduced. To fill this void, government, education, and nonprofit organizations are turning to cooperative purchasing to obtain the goods and services they need without the hassle and aggravation of sending projects out for bid.
Many in the AV industry might be familiar with the innovative work and reporting of Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe pubs and Teaching Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC). Pre-pandemic, you probably saw Gary and his dedicated rAVe crew conducting camera interviews at major industry trade shows such as InfoComm and the Digital Signage Expo. With his first-hand experience in academia, we thought it would be compelling to get the inside scoop from Gary on how AV is shaping the future of education and learning.
Whether you’re headed into a job interview, presentation, or a special occasion, it’s important to “look the part.” The same applies to dressing up your learning environment technology. In schools, having a modern space, tools and resources allows students to be informed, stay motivated and communicate with ease. The COVID-19 pandemic has launched educators and students into completely new ways of learning where they rely on technology more than ever. While we know the impact that interactive displays have on the classroom, adding digital signage to school common areas can make a major visual impact while providing a simplified way to communicate to large audiences at once.
Traditionally associated with retail spaces, fast food and fast casual restaurants, digital signage is seeing increased demand from K-12 to colleges and universities. There are countless locations within a school – some you may not have thought of – where digital signage can make a difference.
Naeran Rubio /
At Sharp, we’re always looking for ways to help you think “simply smarter.” So we thought it would be a great idea to feature our leaders on the Simply Smarter blog to get an inside look at what they are working on and their views on the office technology space at large, while learning some fun facts about them too! Today, we’re interviewing Shane Coffey, vice president, product management. We hope you enjoy getting to know Shane!
Just picture this— you’re a new employee diligently working, and out of the blue, your CEO e-mails you, asking for 10 Amazon gift cards. She says it’s for an important project she’s working on and she needs the gift cards ASAP! The pressure is on and you take a break from your hectic to-do list, and begin ordering the gift cards, until you realize… the person emailing is not your boss after all, but rather, a sneaky cybercriminal. And just like that, you are the newest victim of a phishing scam. How mortifying, right? Well luckily, there are steps that can be taken in order to avoid such embarrassing catastrophes.
Danielle Cerny /
If you think about your day, you do a lot to ensure the security of your person and your belongings. Leaving the house? Lock the doors and windows, possibly set the security system. Leaving your car? Always make sure to hear that beep as you walk away clicking the lock button on your keypad. Going into the office? Probably need that key fob to get into the building. These actions are so simple that we sometimes don’t even realize we’re doing them – and that’s how simple securing your company’s data from cybercriminals should be.
Wendi Hopewell /
Despite all the talk of the paperless office, over the past decade even more businesses have become aware of the benefits a managed print services (MPS) program can deliver. Printing remains essential, with almost half of companies surveyed telling Quocirca print will continue to be important through at least 2025. However, due to the COVID-19-induced acceleration of the hybrid workplace combining in-office and work-from-home employees, print deployments are being reevaluated. In the hybrid work environment the proper execution of MPS is more important than ever, as organizations need workers to focus on the real business of the company rather than worry about the management of printers and copiers.
There are only nine years left until the target date for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. For the Earth, that’s like a nanosecond of a geologic era, so it’s crucial we do our part for our planet now if we haven’t already. From our home office environment to shared workspaces, there are many ways we can minimize our carbon footprint. In honor of Earth Day, here are some ways that you can help make a difference with your office equipment to create a cleaner, greener planet.
Karina Weiler /
When an online retailer, or a website, gets hacked, oftentimes all you hear in the news is about how many credit cards were lost or what the financial damage was. You rarely hear about the user accounts that were compromised. However, if you have an account on a compromised website, the username and password you used very possibly could be published and available to anybody who wants to look at it at on the Internet. Read on to learn about the one thing you can do to help remember your passwords without compromising your personal or businesses' security.
You’re about to take that perfect picture on your smart device – with the perfect lighting, in the perfect setting. But you come to find out that your storage is maxed out! Just delete some old photos to make room, right? That’s when you come to the next realization – you never backed up your old photos! Unfortunately, mistakes and mishaps are unavoidable. There are ways to proactively get ahead of data loss, with more tools available than ever before to help make the process easy even for the worst procrastinators and most tech-challenged users among us. Here are four important tips to help you get started on your backup journey.
Remember when webinars used to be a novelty? Some organizations may have been a bit reticent to make them a part of their routine and implemented them sparingly instead of in-person meetings, while others eschewed them entirely. However, as we’ve continued to shift to a more remote world, their value and necessity as a critical communication tool for businesses has increased. Now more than ever, small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) can use webinars to highlight their solutions and expertise in a variety of subjects while also reaching and growing their current audience. Because they will likely be a part of our professional and personal lives for the foreseeable future, here are three tips to ensure you have the right content and technology so your next webinar runs smoothly.
Just like leasing a car or a phone, it’s possible, and sometimes more beneficial, to lease office equipment. If your organization is thinking of upgrading an old copier or multifunction printer (MFP), have you considered leasing? While there are benefits of purchasing a new piece of office equipment, you could also be looking at higher upfront fees, costs for replacing and repairing parts, and being stuck using outdated technology with the rapidly evolving pace of innovation.
Danielle Cerny /
Small and medium-sized businesses are uniquely susceptible to cybersecurity threats because they often lack the resources of larger enterprises to invest in more sophisticated and comprehensive solutions. For every high profile, sophisticated attack there are dozens of smaller ones that we just don’t hear about. In fact, in a 2020 study of 250 small and medium sized businesses (SMBs), 48 percent reported multiple serious incidents over the past year, averaging about three events per year. Read on to learn how to prevent cyberattacks, and if unavoidable, how to overcome them.
Melanie Camacho /
You know him. He’s that guy in your remote meetings that just can’t get it together. You really can’t blame him. After all, he’s not used to meeting this way. Like most of us, ever since stay-at-home orders were announced, he’s been reluctantly living the work-from-home life. The conference room is now his bedroom, the kids are his new “co-workers” and his fur baby barks at every Amazon package delivered at the front door. Bless. His. Heart.
I must confess, I’ve been “that guy” more times than I’m willing to admit. Nevertheless, it’s important to uphold basic meeting etiquette. Learning from others’ mistakes is a powerful thing, so that’s why I’m sharing some remote meeting blunders from familiar characters you’ve probably met along the way.
The shift to a work-from-home (WFH) model, thought to be merely a stopgap measure back in the spring of 2020, is starting to look more and more permanent, requiring many businesses to make long-term decisions on how best to equip home workers with the tools and hardware needed to do their jobs. Some of those decisions were easy – the procedures for ordering and provisioning additional laptops, for instance, didn’t necessarily change. But what about printing and scanning needs? A workgroup copier will probably not fit in people’s home offices, kitchens, or walk-in closets (yes, home workers with kids attending virtual school, we see you).
Heather Fudger /
Businesses today require more work in less time with fewer resources. But fortunately, with smart office technology employees can work smarter and more productively, and not cut into valuable family time. Smart offices are an opportunity to improve production, employee morale and provide a competitive edge for your business.
When you think about securing highly sensitive documents, cybersecurity probably comes to mind first. And while protecting your digital files is significantly important, you also need to address the most basic security issues – such as inadvertently leaving important documents lying around on or near a printer – that could have an adverse effect on your business. That’s exactly what one offshore drilling company was faced with when they approached their local Sharp dealer to upgrade their equipment once their lease was up on their high-speed, color multifunction printers (MFPs).
Heather Fudger /
In this new world of work, organizations have had to make many adjustments to the way people work. We have gone from an office full of people prior to the pandemic, to people working primarily from their homes in the midst of the pandemic, and now in the new normal, back to an environment where some people are physically in their offices, while others are working remotely. Today’s workplace is also tomorrow’s workplace – a hybrid balance of working in the office and remotely.
To lease or to buy? This is the question many small business owners face when the time comes to invest in a new copier or multifunction printer (MFP) for the office. Others, perhaps newer to business, may be surprised to learn that leasing is even an option. Isn’t leasing something you do with cars, not printers? But as you shop around and get familiar with the world of office equipment, you’ll learn that printers and copiers come at many different price points, and often it can make more sense to lease a device rather than to buy it outright. But when? It can vary from business to business, but here are some questions to ask when considering a lease.
Michelle Redmond /
Twenty-three hours a week. That’s how much time on average that an executive spends in meetings, according to MIT’s Sloan Management Review. That’s approximately three whole business days’ worth of in-person and remote meetings, and for some of us it feels like even more. While most meetings are essential and help move forward impactful ideas, even the most important or most stimulating could use a boost.
Shane Coffey /
As employees continue to do their jobs efficiently and effectively from remote locations, some companies are beginning to view the work-from-home model as longer-term, while others have embraced a hybrid model in which employees split time between home and office. While there are many benefits to remote work for both employer and employee, there are some downsides as well – and one of those is the need to provide IT services to a remote workforce.
Akisa Matsuda /
It is no secret that in this age of new normality increased security threats, such as phishing or ransomware attacks, are a very real concern. Almost all devices are prone to cybersecurity threats and office printers and multifunction devices (MFPs) are no exception.
There are several steps businesses can take to help ensure their network and all connected devices are secure. We’ve compiled a list of seven tips to help prevent your business from falling victim to cybersecurity threats.
When it comes to selecting the right printer for your office, whether that’s at home or in an office setting, there are a lot of factors to consider. From cost and size to technology capabilities and color options, there can be a lot that impacts your overall decision. With so many variables, it’s hard to know which to choose. So, what are your options?
Naeran Rubio /
There has been a tech renaissance this past year as many businesses have found that their operations have needed to change. If you had asked business leaders if they planned to let their employees work from home full or part time a year ago, many would have disagreed that this could be the best route for an efficient working environment. Yet, here we are -- nearly a year into the pandemic and office complexes sit empty while home offices buzz with online collaboration. Employees sleep later, yet get to work earlier, and energy once wasted fighting traffic now moves important projects forward.
There has been a sharp increase in cyberattacks since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), already more susceptible to these threats, even further exposed. To better understand industry concerns on this topic, Sharp recently commissioned a cybersecurity study of 250 North American SMBs with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).