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The Simply Smarter Blog

The Simply Smarter Blog

Leadership Q&A: Moonsun Park– Not your average CFO

Our latest edition of our Simply Smarter Leadership Q&A series features our Chief Financial Officer, Moonsun Park. A recent recipient of the 2021 NJBIZ Best 50 Women in Business, Moonsun talks about some of her greatest accomplishments in a career that has spanned more than two decades, as well as key advice for women starting out their careers.

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.

5 Ways To Make Your Company a Top Workplace

Susan Osgood /

 

It’s one thing to run a business but it’s quite another to create an environment where workers love to come in every day. Employees are an essential part of every business and are what keep organizations progressing, growing and contributing to a greater good. A 2019 study from the University of Oxford found that happy, satisfied employees are 13% more productive with their time at work. Happier, more engaged employees will also create a positive work environment that can foster new relationships, lead to better recruitment and retention and ultimately provide workers with an individual sense of achievement and satisfaction.

As a recent recipient of NJBiz’s “Best Place to Work in New Jersey” 2021, we’re sharing five tips on creating a top workplace, based on what we’ve learned from our workers and what we know they appreciate.

Technology Solutions That Provide a Helping Hand for Healthcare

Healthcare organizations have faced unprecedented challenges over the last year. In addition to the ever-present tasks of juggling client needs, working within budget restrictions, keeping up with compliance regulations and handling staffing requirements, there have been the unique challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic — intake systems that have been overwhelmed, a sudden boom in telehealth, the increased cyber threats brought on by bad actors ready to take advantage of the chaos, and the need to remain compliant with HIPAA and other regulations.

Fortunately, technology has kept up with a rapidly changing world, and there are a variety of solutions designed to meet healthcare’s challenges.

What do some of those solutions look like?

Connecting Your Hybrid Workforce Through Unified Communications

Louis Costantini /

A new paradigm of remote and hybrid work is rapidly replacing the traditional standard of a five-day in-office work week. Gartner sees working from home as a “cornerstone of the post-pandemic future of work” and projects that nearly one in five employees will work remotely after the pandemic concludes. Additionally, the 2021 State of IT report from Spiceworks Ziff Davis says the Covid-19 pandemic has been “a catalyst for business transformation,” with 76% of businesses planning long-term IT changes.

With the rapid increase of this digital transformation, the need to support a hybrid or remote workforce is paramount. But, how do you enable employees to work efficiently with one another – sometimes nationwide or globally, connect with clients virtually, and eliminate communication barriers and productivity issues, all while working to lower IT costs?

Sounds like a lot, right? (It is), but the answer is simple – by implementing a Unified Communications solution.

Why a Traditional Laptop Is a Better Fit for High School Students

Heather Fudger /

 

It’s back to school time!  Gone are the days of backpacks being weighed down with multiple, heavy textbooks and folders stuffed with numerous worksheets handed out to students.  Today, since most schoolwork is done online, one of the most important school supplies is a laptop. And, when it’s time for college, the knowledge gained on a laptop that runs on the Windows operating system will be beneficial.  Most professors will use and also require students to use Microsoft Office programs which can only be found on Windows operating systems.  Students may need specialized software, such as Adobe Photoshop, which isn’t available on Chrome-based operating systems.  So why not get high school students prepared early? In this article, we will explore some of the top priorities when considering purchasing a laptop for high school students. 

5 Must Haves for Your Work Laptop

Danielle Cerny /

You either have it, know of it, or are still fighting the trauma flashbacks – that clunky, slow, larger than life work laptop. The muscle required to tow it to and from the office probably qualified you for the Olympic sport of weightlifting. Fortunately, technology has advanced, and now lighter, faster and leaner laptops are on the market. Since many models look the same and have similar features, laptop shopping can be overwhelming – especially when you’re buying them for your entire office staff.

Laptops see heavy daily use, now more than ever before. Business laptops are generally more expensive, but the extra cost ensures a higher-quality product. While it’s tempting for some businesses to focus solely on cost when choosing a laptop to buy in bulk, you could be signing yourself up for the same decision in another two years, not to mention other headaches along the way. Read on for a few factors to consider that contribute to the quality and longevity of your devices.

Local government: It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it… with the right tech, of course

 

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.

Why Bitcoin Emboldens Hackers?

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.

6 Things to Know When Organizing a Live, Remote Video Event

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.

Why Purchasing Through Cooperative Contracts is Simply Smarter

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. 

AV Q&A: Gary Kayye Shares Insights on The Future of Education

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. 

How to Make Sure Your Signage Isn't Old School Anymore

 

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. 

Avoid Cyber Criminals and Protect your Data While Working from Home

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.

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.

Help Create a Cleaner, Greener Planet with the Right Office Equipment

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.

4 Tips for Protecting Your Data

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.

3 Tips for Holding a Successful Webinar

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.

Have you considered leasing MFPs and copiers for your business? Maybe you should.

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.

The Cascading Effects of a Cyber Incident

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.

Don’t Be That Guy: Remote Meeting Etiquette 101

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.

Where to Purchase Print Hardware for the Home Workforce – Retail Store or Dealership?

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).

Offshore Drilling Company Follows Best Practices When it Comes to Document Security

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).

Finding a New Balance in Today’s Hybrid Workplace

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.

The Nuts and Bolts of Leasing: What Every Small Business Should Know

 

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.

Why IT Security is Important for the Remote Worker

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. 

Protecting Office Printers and MFPs from Security Risks

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.

Choosing the Right Printer for Your Business

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?

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