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The Simply Smarter Blog

The Simply Smarter Blog

Busting Copier Myths – 3 Common Fallacies Explained

Heather Fudger /

The demand for efficient and cost-effective printing solutions is critical in today's world. Multifunction printers (MFPs) have become necessary for offices, schools and institutions worldwide. But how do you determine which MFP is superior? Are all copiers the same and is the notion of a breakdown or inevitable paper jam an unavoidable reality? In this article, we aim to debunk some common misconceptions regarding MFPs, shedding light on the facts to help users make informed decisions and optimize their usage.

Not so old school anymore! Macon County Schools share a lesson in printing efficiency

 

Educators and school support staff already have a tough enough job as it is. Add outdated and malfunctioning technology to the mix, and you have an academic perfect storm. This is what faced the Macon County School District, located in southwestern North Carolina near the Appalachian Trail. They were dealing with outdated printers and copiers and needed to modernize quickly in order to spend less time worrying about tech and more time focusing on their 4,400 students. As such, they turned to Sharp for updated and innovative solutions to their printing environment needs.   

Is Your Classroom Tech-Savvy? Four Examples of How Technology Improves Learning

Danielle Cerny /

Integrating technology into the classroom is a great way to ensure that students receive a well-rounded education that prepares them not just for the digital challenges of tomorrow, but also for the diverse world they will navigate. If you need help in figuring out how exactly to incorporate the right technology to provide a truly enriching educational experience for our students, you’re in luck. Outlined below are four examples of how technology can be seamlessly folded into the classroom – and some research to back it up!

A Simple Guide to Leasing Office Equipment

Anne Beck /

Are you looking to lease office equipment? Have you questioned whether to buy or lease? In an ever evolving, unpredictable world of modern technology, buying and owning office equipment yields more risk, and less flexibility, convenience, and long-term cost savings than ever before. Leasing, however, offers convenient, flexible, and scalable buying plans, a popular choice among mindful consumers. In this smart guide to leasing, our industry experts share 3 important rules.

Q&A with the Masterminds Behind the BP Series Multifunction Printers

Louis Costantini /

Drawing upon the wealth of technological expertise and insights garnered during a 50-year journey in the document solutions business, Sharp’s BP-70C/60C/50C series of digital full-color multifunction printers (MFPs) encapsulate the core concept of Sharp – to become an indispensable partner in supporting our customers' businesses.

This blog features interview responses from Sharp Corporation’s Mr. Furusawa of Product Planning, Mr. Hirano and Taguchi of Technology, and Mr. Tsutsui of Design, to gain deeper insights into the vision, technology, and design philosophy that have shaped the BP-70C/60C/50C series. 

A3 vs. A4 Printers - What's the Difference?

Naeran Rubio /

Multifunctional devices and printers are essential tools for professional use, allowing us to bring digital content into the physical realm. But when it comes to choosing the right printer, it is not always clear which one is right for your organization’s needs. Two common types of printers and multifunctional devices used in printing are A3 and A4. In this blog, we will explore the difference between A3 and A4 printers to help you make an informed decision when selecting the right printer for your business’ needs.

Q&A with Kent: Sharp's Breakthroughs in Light Production Color Printing

Melanie Camacho /

Hey there, savvy print enthusiasts! Imagine this: blazing printing speeds, colors that dance, and helpful features to unleash your creativity. As you probably know by now, Sharp recently announced the launch of its latest light production printing systems, the BP Color Pro Series. Today, we're catching up with one of the production print geniuses behind it all, Kent Villareal, Sharp's Senior Product Manager, to give you the lowdown on these pioneering Color Pro Series models that are creating a stir. Sit back, relax and learn some key takeaways about these newly released light production models.

Understanding Printer Vulnerabilities: Common Attack Methods and How to Avoid Them

Louis Costantini /

Multifunction printers (MFPs) play a fundamental role in offices worldwide. However, it is critical to recognize that these devices can pose significant security risks if not correctly protected. With cybercriminals and malicious hackers constantly seeking vulnerabilities to exploit, it is necessary to understand the conventional attack methods they employ and implement robust security measures to mitigate these risks. Below, we address a few common printer vulnerabilities and best practices to identify and avoid them.

3 Legal Superpowers Unleashed: How communication, visual thinking & document management can empower the legal industry

Danielle Cerny /

 

Legal professionals operate in a detail-oriented environment, where effective collaboration and document management are key to efficiency, security, and client service. To keep up with the evolving demands of the legal landscape, law firms are turning to modern technologies that streamline workflows, strengthen information security, and foster seamless communication. In this blog post, we’ll review the evidence proving that collaboration tools, interactive whiteboards, and copiers/printers are 3 superpowers that help alleviate common challenges, reduce billable leakage, and enhance productivity in the legal sector.

Taking a Security-First Approach to Print

A 2023 study found that 68% of organizations in the United States and Europe experienced data loss due to unsecure printing. Modern multi-functional printers (MFPs) offer a wide array of advanced productivity features to keep employees engaged and connect them to various business applications. Given their strategic importance in today’s workplace, how can we ensure MFPs have proper security measures in place so that they avoid becoming weak points that open doors to bad actors? Following are some steps Sharp has taken to address this.

Bitdefender: Powerful Antivirus Protection for Sharp Printer Security

Danielle Cerny /

Often overlooked as a gateway into your network, your copier is the most unsuspecting way cybercriminals gain access to your company information. In fact, according to a study by Quocirca, over two thirds of organizations have experienced data losses due to unsecure printing practices last year. The report also mentions that printer security is lower on the security agenda than say email or cloud platforms. Which is why with the recent launch of our new BP line of copiers, we decided to layer on the ultimate cybersecurity tools to keep customers one step ahead.

It’s More Than a Copier. Three Out-of-the-Box Benefits to Multifunction Printers in the Classroom

Louis Costantini /

We are migrating to a digital era, but that hasn’t stopped educators from relying on their school’s multifunction printer (MFP) to quickly produce 30 copies of their students’ homework as they scarf down food on their lunch break. Despite an increase in digital technologies being incorporated into the classroom and at home, educators are still printing many documents each school year, from homework and assignments to study guides, worksheets and tests.

We can look at the data to determine why print is important from usage alone. But there are underlying benefits to having an MFP in the library, faculty lounge or administrative office. Let’s take a closer look.

Discussing Cybersecurity on Sharp MFPs with Bitdefender

Sharp and Bitdefender recently entered a new partnership, one that strengthens cybersecurity threat prevention in our new range of business MFPs at a time when cybercriminals are increasingly targeting endpoint devices – including printers – to plant malware, steal intellectual property, and launch espionage campaigns. 

Bitdefender is a recognized industry leader in threat prevention, detection and response, with its antimalware detection technology consistently achieving top performance results in independent, third-party tests.

Sharp sat down with George Yunaev, Senior Software Developer at Bitdefender to discuss the partnership and why it is so important to protect all endpoints of any network – regardless of business size.

Need to Renew Your School’s Copier Lease? Consider These 5 Things.

Danielle Cerny /

 

 

Getting a new copy machine shouldn’t require a college degree. But with all the options out there, it sure can feel like it. Last time I checked, there was no University of Copy Machines, so I’ve tried to point out a few features that are worth looking into when renewing your school’s copier lease.

Of course, there are the obvious decisions such as monochrome or color, print speed and budget. While these are most certainly important, there are other aspects to investigate. Teachers have busy schedules, so when they have 5 minutes to print worksheets or copy student documents, the copier better work as expected, and be easy to use! To find the best copy machine for your school, make sure you’ve considered these five things.

Flu Season is Here! What’s the best way to clean my copier?

Danielle Cerny /

 

Flu and COVID and colds, oh my. Lots of hands touch your copier, so the touchscreens and operation panels should be cleaned and sterilized! But, is it as easy as taking a Clorox wipe to your multifunction printer surfaces, or will that cause more harm than good?

The short answer is – kind of? Although cleaning your copier is easy, there are some things you may not be aware of, so we answered common questions in the following blog.

Shhh...You can keep a secret, but can your copier? Why Printer Security Matters.

Danielle Cerny /

 

You’ve heard countless messages about the importance of data security.  In recent years, bad actors have stepped up their activity and are using more sophisticated techniques to take advantage of distributed and remote work environments. In today’s widespread threat landscape, a well-balanced, multi-layered security strategy is needed to help ensure your copiers and printers keep your information safe from malicious intruders. Read on to learn about some features that can keep your copier on lockdown.

How to reduce costs in your workplace

 

 

So, you’re looking to reduce print costs in the workplace, hey? In fact, you’re wondering to yourself right now, “Why? Why does this happen and how do I avoid spending a fortune on toner / ink / paper?” Luckily for you, there are three stages to resolving the eternal challenge of avoiding spending loads of money on print costs. And the good news is you can choose any stage you’re comfortable with (and can afford)! Let’s explore…

How to Find the Right Multifunction Printer for Your Business or Organization

 

When shopping for a new copier or multifunction printer (MFP), things can get tricky. When you look at the specification sheets of similar devices from different manufacturers, at first glance, it may not seem like there is much differentiation among the group. But just because these devices look the same on paper doesn’t mean there isn’t a difference between them. And if it’s been a while since you’ve been in the market for a piece of print hardware, you may be surprised at what today’s devices offer.

Is Digital Fatigue Real? Why Digital Detox is Giving Rise to More Print

Heather Fudger /

 

For years we have been hearing that print is dead. Digital technology has certainly cornered the market in the past 15+ years. Medical offices started transferring paper records to digital and many schools stopped using hardback textbooks in favor of digital textbooks.  Newspapers, magazines and books have gone digital. A lot of companies have decided to make the switch from print advertising to web advertising. It is obvious that print is no longer the only game in town. But is print really dead? Not so fast.

How to Build Your Home Office Oasis

Danielle Cerny /

Over the past few years, working from home at least a few days a week has become a regular occurrence. This way of work has shifted family dynamics, as many have turned guest rooms into offices, splurged on top-notch Wi-Fi systems, and even moved homes due to no longer having to commute to work every day. At first, your ideal home office may be as simple as a room that is secluded from traffic or lawnmower noises, but if you really think about making your workspace perfect for productivity, there are clearly other aspects that need to be considered. In my quest to put together my ideal home office, I examined all critical components, from hardworking hardware to a motivating ambiance.

How a Technology Assessment Can Help Offset Unexpected, Rising Costs

Melanie Camacho /

 

 

Even though inflation rates were at 5% in March 2023—lower compared to last year—it is still uncomfortably high.  The Federal Reserve has also raised interest rates over the past year, signaling that more increases are expected. SMBs are feeling the crushing inflationary pressure as well as reeling from a tight labor market and unpredictable fuel costs.  Times like these call for creative measures. Readjusting departmental budgets is a start, but if you take a closer look around you, there could be wasted money hidden in plain sight. You might be wondering, where to begin? My recommendation is a workplace technology assessment. It can provide numerous benefits, but right now the focus is to recover wasted expenses. Here are five ways a technology assessment can help businesses offset these financial constraints. 

5 Ways New MFPs from Sharp Support Hybrid Workstyles

Danielle Cerny /

 

Hybrid workstyles have driven the need for secure access to the cloud for all technology used in the workplace. As a result, you are no longer tethered to your desktop, and neither are your files! Meet the new Advanced and Essentials Series workgroup multifunction printers (MFPs) from Sharp. They provide seamless and secure access to enterprise workflows from wherever you are working.

These new MFPs check all the boxes when it comes to today’s diverse workstyles.

More productivity than 'Office Space'! Six things to look for in an office copier

Danielle Cerny /

Let’s face it, when most of us think of an office copier, we think of that scene from Office Space in which three office employees demolish their printer with a baseball bat. If you’ve ever been frustrated by a copier that doesn’t perform as needed – you can relate. Which is why, like a car purchase, you should really think about what you need a copier to do before you go all in. Thinking about the bells and whistles desired on your new car is easy because you’re more familiar with cars, and let’s face it – they are much racier than copiers. Herein lies the ultimate question - What should I look for in an office copier to avoid being casted in Office Space 2: Revenge of the Copier?

Drumroll…… it depends. What kind of office do you have and what are your printing habits? In general, here are the things that you should think about when selecting a copier for your office.

Why Invest in Managed Print Services?

Louis Costantini /

Organizations strive to reduce expenses and increase efficiency, but one area that is often overlooked is their print environment. According to Small Business Trends, 64% of small businesses can't track printer usage or cost. Managing a fleet of printers can require a significant amount of work, especially since printer management is rarely centralized. And, when multiple departments are involved with managing a fleet of printers, it's challenging to fully understand and keep tabs on critical elements like unforeseen issues, uptime, cost and productivity.

Rather than dedicating internal resources, organizations can consider subcontracting the management of their print environment. When outsourced, external providers can implement Managed Print Services (MPS) to manage and optimize an organization's document output so internal teams can focus on business development. If your organization is on the fence about implementing MPS, here are some things to consider.

How Technology Has Evolved – A Gen X Perspective

Heather Fudger /

 

I am a proud Gen Xer. I loved growing up in the age where we experienced seismic technology shifts. We are a strange hybrid of digital users who are extremely comfortable with technology but still remember a time when things were a bit more primitive.

There is no question that life is much easier today with the influx of technology, especially in the workplace.  If this past year and a half has taught us anything, it’s that in the education field and business world at least, you have to be somewhat tech savvy to keep up with the times. Read on to learn how tech has evolved.

Apache Log4j2 Security Vulnerability of Sharp Products and Services

 

Recently, a security vulnerability in an open-source library called Log4J2 was made public on December 9, 2021. The Log4J2 library is a logging framework widely deployed within many Java-based applications. If the vulnerability is exploited, malicious intruders can pass and execute malware into the framework that could potentially allow them to access sensitive date and take control of targeted systems. Sharp has been working to assess the risk of the Log4J2 security vulnerability and how it affects Sharp document systems, professional and commercial display products and related applications, and services.

When it Comes to Cybersecurity, Don’t Forget the Printer

Although October is officially National Cybersecurity Month, the truth is that cybersecurity awareness needs to be a year-round endeavor — and more so than ever in this post-pandemic, hybrid-office, cloud-centric world. The annual Cost of a Data Breach Report from the Ponemon Institute and IBM shows 2021 had the highest average cost of a data breach in the report’s 17-year history — $4.24 million, up 10% from the previous year. In the U.S., the country with the highest cost, the average was more than $9 million.

If, as an organization, you’re not taking security seriously by this point, then it’s only a matter of time before you’re the next victim. Start now with the knowledge that every device on your network and every person with access to those devices is a potential attack vector — and yes, that includes copiers and multifunction printers (MFPs).

In an Age of Digital Transformation, Business Printing Remains Vital

Kent Villarreal /

 

The ability to create high-quality, customizable printed materials in business settings is vital in 2021. That may be an unexpected statement given the pandemic-related tendency toward work-from-home solutions and SOHO-friendly office products, and a general need to be sure that any technology introduced covers the “new remote workforce” or the “hybrid office” or “digital transformation” — any one of those terms that’s been shoved into the collective consciousness over the last year.

You’d almost think no one will ever go to an office space and print again. That could not be further from the truth.

How to Outsmart a Cybercriminal

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.

Why Managing Your Printers is More Important than Ever in a Hybrid Workplace

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 saying that print will 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.

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