May 7th, 2013
By Paul Criswell, Xerox Product Marketing Manager
We’re here in beautiful Scottsdale, Ariz. this week for an important printing-industry event — the Photizo Transform 2013 MPS Conference.
This is where we as Xerox (a printing technology manufacturer and solutions provider) come together with other vendors, Channel Partners and industry experts to talk about the current state of managed print services and the ways in which we see the industry changing.
People have been talking about the paperless office for years, and the fact remains that people still need to print. The printers, copiers and software are changing with the times and our products continue to evolve with the market. This week will be spent discussing the future of document technology and how we, the technology experts, can make you, our customers, more productive and reduce your business expenses.
The Xerox Mobile Print solution is a highlight at this year’s show and is the exclusive mobile print solution for the conference. Did you know you can print from your mobile device to all Xerox ConnectKey multifunction printers? Our software even allows you to print from your device to other non-Xerox devices, giving you the freedom to print when and where you need your documents.
Also at the show we are highlighting our newest ConnectKey MFP – the ColorQube 8900. The device combines our exclusive Solid Ink technology into a workhorse multifunction printer that not only gives you fantastic color output, but also delivers real cost savings with our Hybrid Color billing plans.
As Dylan once wrote, “The times they are a changin’,” and so is Xerox. Our Mobile Print solution, as well as our ConnectKey and Solid Ink technologies, allow businesses big and small run more efficiently, securely and cost-effectively.
We help you manage your documents so you can focus on what you do best – running a successful business.
May 1st, 2013
Now available for purchase in North America, the latest-generation ColorQube® 8700 and 8900 Multifunction Printers are the first letter-size devices to be introduced for workgroup productivity on the desktop, which also feature all the advantages of ConnectKey: unparalleled ease-of-use, industry-leading security, and easily integrated solutions that help mobile professionals work in sync with today’s on-the-go demands.
Plus, the ColorQube 8700 and 8900 also provide every advantage of our unique Solid Ink technology, including low-cost color printing and renowned sustainability advantages.
And there’s great news for those who already own devices from the previous generation of the ColorQube 8700/8900 family. Now you can download a free ConnectKey firmware upgrade. No additional hardware is needed.
Xerox and the ColorQube 8900 will be featured at the Photizo Transform 2013 Managed Print Services conference providing mobile printing for all conference attendees.
Visit the ColorQube 8700 and ColorQube 8900
product pages on Xerox.com to learn more about the many advantages of Solid Ink teamed with ConnectKey, and to download the ConnectKey firmware upgrade if you’re already a ColorQube 8700/8900 owner.
April 25th, 2013
What’s most interesting to me is this quote from Freelancer: “Outsourcing basic administration tasks is rapidly becoming the norm for western small business, as small to medium businesses increasingly become comfortable with accessing an online workforce. No longer the exclusive domain of large multinationals, small businesses and startups are increasingly adopting outsourcing as a way to get ahead of the competition, saving money on simple back-office tasks which can then be redirected to hiring more skilled labor or expanding operations.”
It’s a trend worth watching, for sure; especially because small businesses (defined by U.S. Small Business Administration as those with headcounts of fewer than 500) are responsible for employing half of all private-sector workers.
If the small businesses that have chosen to shift work to outsourced talent, and those resources are either self-employed or work for other small businesses, then I see this as a positive development.
It’s a topic that also touches on an earlier post I wrote regarding The Cloud’s increasing influence on the growing independent workforce.
What are your thoughts on this subject? Are you a freelancer, and if so, have you experienced an increase in the amount of work you do for small businesses?
March 11th, 2013
As anyone who follows this blog knows, workforce mobility is a hot topic that’s yielding plenty of prominent headlines, with much of the current buzz resulting from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s widely publicized decision to end telecommuting companywide. (For background information, I wrote about Yahoo’s news in an earlier post. Check it out here.)
Obviously, the media loves glamorizing Silicon Valley-related controversy, especially when it comes courtesy of Yahoo, The Valley’s favorite whipping boy. But I don’t think the excessive coverage of Mayer’s mandate means Yahoo’s new policy is a bellwether the rest of us in the business world will be forced to follow.
If sometime down the road Yahoo’s stock price shows significant improvement, I believe it’s likely the no-telecommuting policy will be trumpeted by the company’s PR folks as a major factor. But if that scenario plays out and a true cause-and-effect relationship between the two can be demonstrated, I think we’ll be able to safely assume that any increase in workplace productivity resulted more from the weeding-out of disgruntled and less focused Yahoo employees who happened to telecommute than from eliminating telecommuting as a whole.
So, assuming workplace mobility is not just here to stay, but likely to continue its current upward trajectory, managers need to be prepared to embrace the trend. Which is why I found an article on Citigroup’s website, written by the Vice President of Marketing for flexible-workspace provider, Regus, so pertinent. The author, Rebecca Tann, provides a great set of best practices any business large or small can use as guidelines when developing their own mobile-workforce policy.
I encourage you to read her piece, and then come back here to leave your comments.
As always, thanks for reading.
February 27th, 2013
It goes without saying that many businesses, small and large, embrace telecommuting for a variety of reasons. Some companies offer the ability to work from home as a perk to help lure top talent. Others like promoting a green workplace by encouraging staff to drive fewer trips between home and office. Some like the cost savings they realize by reducing the amount of square footage required to accommodate their headcount. Many companies believe certain employees become more productive when they remove themselves from the office environment.
Whatever the rationale, it’s clear that workplace flexibility, and telecommuting in particular, is here to stay and will become even more prevalent.
However, there are many other companies that view employees’ requests to work from home as requests to be lazy. Perhaps some of them in the past had entrusted staff members to telecommute only to have that trust violated by individuals who either failed to maintain an acceptable level of productivity or who blatantly disregarded their responsibilities once beyond the confines of in-office oversight.
Obviously there are those employees who will take advantage of their newfound “freedom” by choosing to focus on things other than their professional duties. And if an employer gets burned too often, it’s understandable that they would discontinue their telecommuting policy.
In general, I think it’s safe to say the companies that allow and/or encourage their staff to work from home are viewed as innovative, whereas those that do not, especially those that operate the types of businesses that are conducive to flexible workplaces, are viewed as archaic.
Which is why I found a recent story on Wired.com regarding the decision to ban telecommuting by Yahoo’s relatively new CEO, Marissa Mayer, so interesting.
After all, Yahoo once was Silicon Valley’s poster child of innovation, and the fact that the company has encountered such hardship during the past decade is often attributed to its failure to stay innovative.
But as mentioned in the Wired.com article, “Some current and former Yahoo employees have reportedly said the new policy will separate out the truly productive workers from the stay-at-home slackers who abuse the system.”
There’s no doubt that Ms. Mayer rose to her current rank because she’s an incredibly sharp, progressive-minded woman. So I think it’s a safe bet that Yahoo’s new anti-telecommuting position was a calculated move; one that she believes will return the company to its position as a powerhouse of innovation, even if some employees decry the change as archaic.
I’m curious to know your opinions about the pros and cons of telecommuting, so please leave your comments below.
Thanks for reading.
February 25th, 2013
In Part One of this series I discussed some of the key technology trends small businesses should be ready to embrace as part of their strategy for continued competitiveness.
To recap, the article listed the following areas of emphasis as one source’s “SMB technology market predictions for 2013”:
Today on ZDNet.com is an interesting article in which the author discusses his vision for what the future “personal computer” will look like. He touches on two of the above-listed points of focus: Mobility and The Cloud.
He writes, “… it is unlikely that we will end up using powerful, expandable systems with large amounts of localized processing and storage in ten years. Much, if not all of the things we think about as ‘localized’ computing resources will be instead distributed into the Cloud.”
Clearly, the age of office staff working on local PCs with data segregated on individual users’ hard drives is quickly coming to an end. Mobility will be the driving force behind this shift, in which the author sees “… a matched set of smartphone ‘brain’, 10″ tablet touchscreen and keyboard/docking station costing around $500, with an expected system lifetime of two to five years.”
Not only should small businesses pay close attention to such trends, but they should also be prepared to become early adopters of any and all technological advantages that provide new ways of getting more work done faster and from any location. Make the right shift at the right time and you could benefit from a critical leg up on your competition.
Directly related to this specific technological evolution is our recently launched Xerox ConnectKey™ platform. Multifunction printers built on ConnectKey provide a critical advantage to small businesses and enterprise customers alike, especially in the areas of mobility and Cloud computing. See for yourself by visiting our ConnectKey page.
February 5th, 2013
A CDW study published in October 2012 finds that, “small businesses get a competitive lift from their employees’ use of
mobile devices and that employees mostly deliver it by bringing their own smartphones, tablets and even laptops to their jobs, with small business IT managers working to catch up.”
Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD as it’s known, is a logical evolutionary step in the ‘consumerization of IT’ process, which we’ve seen gain substantial momentum since the PC revolution of the mid-to-late 1990s allowed companies to begin providing desktop workstations for their employees.
According to a recent ZDNet article, “Consumerization of IT, BYOD and mobile device management,” which discusses BYOD in terms of enterprises but which also is relevant to small businesses, the percentage of enterprises that support BYOD increased from 72 to 76 percent between 2011 and 2012.
But what are those companies doing to ensure data security?
As stated in the ZDNet piece, “Consumerization of IT is not going away, so enterprise IT managers cannot simply bury their heads in the sand. The challenge is to accommodate the ‘work anywhere, anytime’ productivity and user satisfaction benefits that consumerization and BYOD can bring, while retaining enough control to keep company data secure and compliance requirements satisfied.”
And according to the CDW study, their survey found that the current downside to BYOD is that “Just half of small business IT managers believe their company has an effective strategy to manage mobile devices.”
I encourage you to read the CDW and ZDNet pieces to which I’ve linked from this post, and keep checking the Office Solutions blog for future updates on the ways in which Xerox helps small businesses evolve in tandem with the latest workplace technology trends and developments.