Determine which solutions are a “must-have” when deciding on a managed IT package.
Are you interested in how a comprehensive IT solution could benefit your business? Click here to browse our Managed IT homepage!
Managing IT has become an overwhelming task for many organizations as innovations in technology become more advanced, and the risk of security threat seems more likely every day. If you’re similar to the majority of businesses who are considering hiring a third party to manage their IT, you’re probably feeling in over your head. And you may even be currently living out one of three common (and dangerous!) IT environments at your business:
- Your organization is small, or has expanded so rapidly that you have become the resident IT “expert” – simply because there is no one else to do it. You know that you don’t possess the skills or know-how to provide the level of maintenance that is necessary for running your business, and it’s frustrating how much of your valuable time is taken away solving IT issues for your staff. You just want to get back to doing what you do best – running your business.
- You have an IT person on premise who has been there for years, but you’re worried that he is not keeping up with the latest technology or trends to provide the level of cybersecurity that your organization crucially needs. He may be complacent with the technology that is in place, and when you inquire about change, he responds “Why fix something that isn’t broken”.
- You may have already hired a third party IT service to take the burden off of your plate, but you’re still finding that a lot of problems are cropping up day to day. You always have to call and report an issue, and you have to pay for the IT service to come out and fix it. Their strategy is inefficient and costly to your business.
If one of these frustrating and potentially catastrophic situations applies to you, you’re right in considering a 3rd party to handle your company’s IT. We’ve outlined common benefits and services that are available from the various managed IT packages out there. Choosing the right provider for your business will help you to finally get the IT burden off of your back, and in the hands of someone who can help you to leverage technology in order to grow your business.
What Services Are Available to my Business?
There are many different types of managed IT providers that you could choose to manage your company’s IT. They may specialize in certain verticals, business sizes, or technology types; and will certainly offer a different mix of solutions included with their IT package. It is important that you decide which services are “non-negotiables”, so that you can gain a better image of what type of company you should partner with. And not to worry, if you would prefer to have everything IT-related taken off of your plate, there are comprehensive IT service providers out there than can help you with everything from daily back-ups to strategic IT planning. Below, we have listed out a few of the common benefits and services your company may look for in a managed IT provider:
- Reduced Downtime – by proactively monitoring your systems around the clock, a successful managed IT services provider should prevent issues before they ever reach your desk.
- Complete Vendor Management – your IT service could manage your hardware, software, and data back-up relationships for you.
- Peace of Mind – you should be able to get back to your core mission, and leave the IT to your service provider. Common services include: performing daily back-ups and software updates, and helping you leverage the right technology to achieve your overarching business goals.
- Support Whenever You Need It – Just because the workday ends at 5, doesn’t mean that your organization stops working. Make sure before purchasing that your managed IT services provider is available should you ever need them.
- A Team of Experts at Your Disposal – Your Managed IT Services team would ideally consist of engineers that are not only technology experts, but who have the know-how and certifications that your industry requires.
- Strategic IT Planning – Monitoring your day-to-day is a huge task in itself, but if you’re truly looking for someone to take IT off your hands, you should look for an IT service that provides frequent, consistent strategic IT initiatives to help you to align your technology with your business goals now and in the future.
Do All of these Services Sound Like a Must-Have?
A comprehensive managed IT service provider is not right for every business. If IT is not mission-critical to your business, or you have an internal resource that meets your needs, a 3rd party may not be appropriate.
However, if you rely on your IT infrastructure to successfully perform day-to-day, and you wish to leverage technology to help you better reach your business goals, consider a comprehensive IT services provider. With a fully managed IT services provider, you can rest assured that your systems are taken care of. Your data is more secure from potential loss, breach, or theft. And help is at hand when needed. Anything that is related to IT would be handled by an expert – leaving you 100% free to focus on your core business.
Check out our video below that explains how Advance’s Managed IT Services could benefit your business.
A Fully Managed IT Services Provider Can Revolutionize Your Company’s IT
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Secure Your Company’s Data Anywhere with Mobile Device Management
At Advance, we are very often asked to explain how to print envelopes on Canon, Ricoh, and Savin printers. Those who have worked in an office for a while know how tricky this task used to be…in fact, we’ve updated this post to include the most accurate information so that we can better answer your questions about Canon, Ricoh, and Savin envelope printing. The good news? It’s easier than ever!
Envelopes in the “copier” industry have historically been a bit of an uncomfortable subject. Some machines could handle them fairly well, while others couldn’t reliably handle more than one at a time. Initially, digital copiers had issues with jamming or mis-feeding, and when envelopes did print successfully, they were usually wrinkled and curled. There was also a challenge with setting up the file to print in the correct orientation.
Nowadays, the landscape is a lot less hazy. Canon and Ricoh/Savin both offer the ability to copy or print envelopes through the side bypass tray. Some of their models have also developed an envelope feeding option, allowing Tray 2 to internally process envelopes. It provides greater convenience and reliability over using the side bypass tray – not to mention the ability to hold and print a large amount of envelopes at a time.
Canon, Ricoh, and Savin Envelope Printing: A Simple 3-Step Process
To begin printing your envelope, you must first setup your file to print under the right settings with your Ricoh, Savin, or Canon printer. To do so, open a new document within Microsoft Word and choose “File – Print”. Now, click “Printer Properties” and select the “Paper” tab.
Within Printer Properties, select the appropriate settings for “Document Size”, “Input Tray”, and “Type”. Your Document Size will coincide with the size of your envelopes (for more information on typical envelope sizes, click here). Choose whether you would like your envelopes to be printed from your Bypass Tray or from Tray 2. Lastly, set your Paper Type to “Envelope”. Select “OK” to save your settings. You can now return to your document to create your envelopes. Do not select “Print” at this time.
Activate the Envelopes and Labels Wizard by selecting the “Envelopes” option under the “Mailings” menu tab (please note that this function exists in Microsoft 2013 and 2016) and fill in your mailing and return addresses. Select the “Options” menu to adjust the Envelope size and print position. Under “Printing Options”, you can confirm how your envelopes will be fed from your specific printer.
By choosing “Options” you are able to change the look and style of your envelope. You may also designate your chosen envelope size and redirect your envelope to be printed from a different tray than has been automatically selected.
Click here for detailed instructions for envelope printing with Microsoft Word.
After choosing all of your settings in Microsoft Word, it is time to load your envelopes into the designated tray for printing. As this sometimes gets a little tricky, we have compiled a downloadable (and certainly printable!) guide to configuring your printer’s settings in order to get the best envelope printing available for your machine.
Is your business’ back up and disaster recovery plan up to speed?
Your systems probably hold a few Terabytes’ worth of CRM and vendor data, billing and payroll history, legal and other documents. You generate vast amounts of new data daily. Yet, if you’re like 40% of small-to-medium sized companies, you don’t back up that gold at various points throughout the day. Or you assume it’s backing up…but you’re not sure.
If you’ve dodged a data disaster so far, consider yourself lucky. Roughly 40% of companies that cannot recover data within 24 hours of an outage shut their doors within 24 months (Gartner). What would happen to your business if essential data were wiped? How long could you continue operating? What would it cost to rebuild your systems and win back clients? How do you prevent a recurrence?
You may think your back up is doing its job, only to learn too late that your data wasn’t fully protected. Unless you can say with absolute certainty that your back up systems are right-sized and reliable, it’s time for a critical update. Here’s what you need to consider.
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Most organizations have a variety of contracts from several different service providers for their multifunctional devices, printers, software, and supplies. This fragmented approach to buying is inefficient and expensive, but there is a better way!
What is Managed Print Services?
Managed Print Services optimizes your print environment to offer visibility into your print spend, a fixed monthly budget, reduction of waste, and increased end user productivity.
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Variable Data Printing, Uses and Strategies for Your Maryland Business
Everyone is impatient. We insist on getting what we want, when we want it. On-demand services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime contribute to this culture, creating consumers that want everything customized specifically to their own tastes and preferences.
As a business, how do we play into this trend? Personalization is key.
Personalization is a win/win for everybody involved. By adopting this strategy, your business will collect rich information about your customers and prospects, and your audience, will in turn, have a much more positive interaction with your company.
And the statistics don’t lie…according to Print Shop Mail, with personalization at the helm of your digital and print strategies, companies report a 32% increase in profit, a 35% faster response rate, and a whopping 48% increase in repeat orders.
Convinced? Me, too. Let’s talk about how to adopt a print personalization strategy for your business.
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Designing Your Business’ Print Media to Increase Visitors to Your Website
“Print is dead.” – We’ve all read this same article time and again for the last twenty years. Seemingly on a mission to prove the naysayers wrong, countless businesses’ print media has stood the test of time as an ever-important branch of their marketing tree. Product brochures and direct mail postcards alike continue to show fantastic results as we trek deeper into the digital era.
However impressive the return, as 21st century marketers, we can’t just focus on print media… buyers are spending their time online, researching options before contacting suppliers. In fact, 57% of the buyer’s decision-making process is done before they ever reach out to a salesperson. That’s why it is crucial for businesses to sustain healthy, robust websites that educate visitors and convince them that when they are ready to speak with a professional, your company is the one to call.
So, which is more important: your tried and true print mail campaign that continuously brings in calls or maintaining a digital presence that increasingly leads traffic to your website? The truth is, all of our marketing content, traditional and digital, is working together to drive results. Everything is interconnected: the magazine article you published last month leads readers to a related blog post. Your TV commercial sends viewers to a product-specific landing page. Even your email signatures act as a way to capture Facebook followers.
We’re all strapped for time, so let’s kill two birds with one stone: let’s use our reliable business printing tactics to drive website traffic from the masses. Digital strategies and print marketing working together to achieve results rather than splitting the funds, time, and manpower in half to labor over two separate initiatives. Can it be this simple?
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At your company, you are responsible for the production of final, printed, on-brand, professional materials. Whether that is an important customer-wide communication on company letterhead, or your next direct mail piece, you are the one managing the print process.
Right now, you probably outsource at least some of these materials to a print shop. You’re paying thousands a year in costly mark ups in order to achieve the perfect look and feel. Even then, you’re sometimes left wasting stacks of prints because you found an error, or maybe were talked into buying more than you needed to justify the cost of printing. The print shop employees don’t know your brand standards, so sometimes the quality of the piece isn’t exactly what you were hoping for.
Or maybe you’re attempting to run your print jobs on the office-grade copier. Let’s face it- you can’t do everything on your wish list with this equipment, and you’re probably jamming up the workflow of everyone else around you who needs to use the printer as well. You are limited in your choice of paper stock and finishing, and you constantly have to reload the paper tray.
Many companies believe that their current print volume does not justify bringing their print production in house as a viable option. Think again- we’ve outlined the top 10 capabilities that your company will gain if you bring your print production in house. Read on to see how in house print production can make your job a lot easier, while allowing you to create more effective, impactful pieces for your business and helping to keep an eye on your bottom line. Read more »
Have you ever noticed the jargon cycles that tend to take over our everyday speech? Buzz words or phrases that fill the air with the sole purpose of dazzling those within earshot. Sometimes they are used over and over again to drive home a point. It’s everywhere in our culture, from politics to business to common phrases. They pop up when you least expect it and can become part of your every day conversation. It can be very powerful and persuasive. For example, Tweet is defined as a weak chirping sound. We guess that definition still applies. Do you think of a weak chirping sound when we say tweet? Who can deny the powerful effect Twitter has had on our culture? Before the debt ceiling debate, when was the last time you heard the term kick the can down the road? Watch the news cycle and you hear it over and over again. You don’t believe us? Yahoo it. Umm, Google it.
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Document management can seem overwhelming. Workflow, archival, retrieval – it’s a daunting task that can strike fear in the hearts of IT folks, CFOs and end users. It’s similar to Sloth from the Goonies. Terrifying…until you get to know him. Then, you just can’t live without the loveable lug. At least that’s what Chunk felt at the end of the Goonies adventure.
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