The Datamax Thinking Blog

Educating, collaborating, and sparking ideas for maximizing the technology that matters.


Contain Costs with Managed Printing

One of of the most common, untracked costs associated with most organizations is the cost of printing and reproducing documents.

In most offices, employees have the ability to print any quantity of documents they choose. When the printer or multi-function system runs out of toner or paper, they simply order more. Many organizations have multiple printers to order toner for. They have inkjets and laserjets. They have personal printers, workgroup printers, department multi-function systems and often will have production level equipment.

There often is no clear strategy on how to contain those supply costs.

But supply costs aren't the only costs associated with printing. The acquisition cost may be nominal, but the servicing of that piece of hardware can be very costly. It can be time consuming for an IT professional to manage the various problems that will inevitably arise with these devices. Problems as simple as a paper jam to as complex as replacement of roller, gears or other internal parts.


Consider a managed print contract. With a managed print contract, you don't have to worry about ordering toner, cleaning equipment or changing parts. Your contract covers all of that. Software loaded on your network will provide automated ordering of essential supplies (such as toner) and can even automatically place a service call when there is an error message on your device. Your contract will ensure that your costs are contained and managed to best suit your needs.

While print reproduction costs can be high, there are ways to mitigate those costs. The best part is that is it much easier to implement than you might think.

Corey Smith maintains a business and technology blog and is the Editor-in-Chief for OfficeProductNews.net.

Ten Steps To Electronic Content Management

If you want to improve your office efficiencies, especially in the area of managing content, you have likely consider implementing an electronic document or content management system.

Steve Kass, the president of ChannelMarketPartners and an AIIM member has put together a good checklist for getting started with an ECM Project.

Here is a summary of the steps he highlights:

Proposing an ECM system

Project charter

System scope

System requirements

ROI analysis

Statement of work

Project plan

RFP

RFP evaluation

Execution and control



If you would like to read the entire report, down load his 10 Steps pdf.


Gramm-Leach-Bliley, Document Management and Compliance

The ScanGuru has an article about Gramm-Leach-Bliley and how it relates to Document Management  and Compliance. If you are looking to integrate an electronic document management solution into your organization, this is definitely a law that you must understand. It was put into place for the banking industry, but may have some implications in the way you do business.


From the ScanGuru's site:


The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, or GLBA, was put into place to allow consolidation in the banking industry. It provided rules for the combining of Commercial and Investment Banking. The main crux of the Act are provisions to protect the private financial information of consumers. The two main regulations governing the protection are the Financial Privacy Rule and the Safeguards Rule. The regulations apply to many different types of financial institutions, including: securities firms, insurance companies, brokerages and banks.


Compliance with GLBA is mandatory, and below is a summary of the two main regulations:


Financial Privacy Rule


The Privacy Rule governs the disclosure and collection of private financial information. It requires Privacy Notifications be submitted to the consumer that discloses how information will be used and/or shared. The consumer has the right to opt out and not provide the required information.


Safeguards Rule


The Safeguards Rule requires a written plan to protect and secure the private information held by an institution. The plan requires overall management of the safeguards through organizational structure, risk management plans for each department that handles the private information, plans for monitoring and auditing compliance and the ability to manage the overall collection, usage, storage, and distribution.


So how do Electronic Document Management Systems or Electronic Content Management Systems help with this daunting task?


EDMS or ECM systems can provide the oversight for managing private information through:


Enhanced Security and Access Controls


Centralized auditing


Centralized, rather than distributed storage


The ability to control usage and distribution


If you are interested in reading more, he has some additional links on his site at Gramm Leach Bliley (GLBA) Document Management Compliance Links

Moving to greener pastures

by Susan Twombly

When it comes to energy efficiency, it's not only about cutting costs. It's about making smarter moves towards limiting the environmental impact of your business.

HP makes it easier to do with innovative and practical solutions that help you reduce energy consumption and costs. Read on to learn how you can expand energy efficiency across your company, from PCs, workstations and displays to notebooks, servers and printers.


Print responsibly

HP LaserJet printers and new HP Inkjet printers automatically reduce power consumption after a set period of inactivity. With HP Web Jetadmin, you can remotely schedule sleep/wake-up modes or automatically turn off devices on nights and weekends.

You can also set duplexing as a default via Web Jetadmin and HP Universal Print Driver to consume up to 25 percent less paper.

Most HP LaserJet products require no more than 1 watt of power in off mode. And, by using HP printers with Instant-On Technology (IOT), you can get up to 50 percent energy savings over traditional fusing technology. The savings enabled by IOT since 1993 is the equivalet of removing 1.1 million cars from the road for one year — more than 5.25 million tons of CO2.

For graphic arts, the HP Scitex printer and ink technology can deliver reduced energy consumption through UV-cured printing, versus dryers used in solvent-based printing.


Power savings for personal systems

Desktops

In May, HP Power Manager will be available as a free option on select configurations of HP desktop PCs. With it, users can be personally invested in reducing energy by custom-tailoring their PC power settings and viewing the estimated savings in real-world ways — such as with a comparison with CO2 emissions of a typical mid-size car.

HP business desktops also feature the latest energy-efficient processors. Many come pre-loaded with Verdiem SURVEYOR remote power management software(1) for centralized control over networked PC power settings.

Optional 80 PLUS power supplies available with many desktops extend energy efficiency further. Additionally, some models of 7000 series PCs have a solid-state hard drive. With no moving parts, that helps reduce energy consumption and cooling costs.

Further, HP thin clients can be up to 80 percent more power efficient than traditional desktop PCs with similar capabilities.(2)

Notebooks

HP Goes Outside the Box to Save Print Dominance

By Andrea Orr

Four times a year, Gartner and a host of other technology research firms issue updated surveys on the printing business—looking at total units shipped and breaking out market-share.

Because of HP's longstanding dominance in printing, these surveys can often read like a report on how far the number two and number three players are behind HP.

In its most current survey, for instance, Gartner shows that HP held the leading market-share in page printers, inkjet printers and inkjet MFPs (multifunction printers), the all-in-one machines that combine printing, copying, faxing and scanning functions, and are currently one of the growth engines of the printing business.

So great is HP's lead in the inkjet MFP market, for example, that as of the third quarter of 2007 (the latest period for which data is available), it held a 51 percent share of the market, while its nearest competitor, Lexmark, had just a 20 percent market-share. The number three player, Canon, had just 9 percent of the market.

HP's dominance tends to overshadow the more incremental progress of smaller companies, such as Lexmark, which grew its share of the inkjet all-in-one printer market to 20 percent by the third quarter of 2007, up from 17 percent in 2006. Canon also boosted its share of the key inkjet all-in-one printer market, to 9 percent in the third quarter of 2007, from 8 percent in 2006, according to the Gartner numbers.

"HP is running over everybody," says Jeff Embersits, an analyst with Shareholder Value Management. "I would not want to be another player in that market right now."

The printing industry is in a state of flux these days as consumers and businesses seek better, more efficient ways to print real-time and personalized materials and neither HP nor any of its smaller rivals expect the status quo to continue for long.

HP, whose printing business once focused on the sale of printing machines and ink cartridges, is increasingly working to integrate software and services into the business to help create new ways to sell to customers who are no longer satisfied with a 5 x 7 glossy image, but want that image embossed on a holiday card or small business marketing material that looks professionally produced.

Some of HP's smallest competitors, meanwhile, see the shifting industry trends as an opportunity to reinvent the wheel and offer consumers better ways to do their basic printing.

Last year, while HP forged deeper into printing software and services, Eastman Kodak announced that it would enter the inkjet printer business for the first time with a new model—with ink cartridges that Kodak claims will cost less than half of what bigger players like HP charge. Ink cartridges are the proverbial razor blades of the printer business that reliably generate revenue long after the printer itself is sold.

Kodak's claims can be hard to prove since a printer cartridge lasts for shorter or longer periods of time depending on the materials being printed and the type of paper that is used. Kodak's early results show that consumers are intrigued though. The company sold out of all the new printers it had available during the fourth quarter.

Are consumers tired of the old "cheap printer, expensive cartridge" model? "I think they are," says Robert Toomey, an analyst with E.K. Riley Investments in Seattle.

Likely a bigger key to future leadership in the printing business will be the introduction of new digital printing technologies, which currently encompass just 10 percent of the printing business in the United States. These technologies are critical to printing the sort of personalized and on-demand materials that are driving so much printing today.

HP says a deeper push into digital printing is central to its overall printing strategy, as well as its strategy for retaining a lead over the competition.

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This article was originally posted at eWeek.com. eWeek.com maintains the copyright of this article.