Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Copier from Us…Again

top 5 reasons to buy a copier

Everyone has a top 5 reasons why list. Why? Well, first of all everyone loves reading them and agreeing or disagreeing, or even better just to give themselves the pat on the back for thinking like everyone else. Just remember  “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
― Isaac Asimov

That’s why we have written this top 5 reasons to buy a copier from us…again. Why? Because no two companies share the same exact scheme when it comes to managed printing, copier needs, internet safety or most especially ..budget.

Most Important Reason

Truth be known, there are numerous reasons to buy a copier from any one specific copier manufacturer or vendor.

The first is reliability, no matter from whom you buy or lease your new copier from, if it breaks down or needs constant trivial repairs, even if it’s under warranty…this is a productivity waster. Not only that, you’ll always have the feeling you bought a lemon, and been consistently frustrated. The best advice we can give is view the numerous copier review websites and take an average of the top 5 rated machines and just start there. That way from the beginning “buying a lemon” should be tossed out the window.

Once you have your top 5 list, call multiple reps and vendors in your area, and find which companys work with this top 5 list. Here’s the caveat…numerous vendors work with multiple brands of copiers. If this is the case, it may be best not to consider these vendors as a viable resource. Why? It makes sense to consider the fact that this vendor that represents multiple machines, just wants to sell a machine and has no brand allegiance that they may have stock in.

Once you have your 5 vendors selected, find which will actually come out to visit on your schedule as soon as possible. Why? If their sales reps can’t make it out to make a sale of a costly office product, how quick will the service guy make it out to replace $6 toner.

Lastly (for today), price. Do not use price as your only consideration for your purchase, what you spend today, may ultimately save you 5 x’s as much later by way of productivity and down time.

Our best advice of course is go with whomever and whichever machine makes you feel confident about the productivity your new machine will give you.

 

 


Ricoh’s Protection From Malware

Ricoh's protection from malware

With over 1,000,000 new malware attacks released per day…I think that’s worth repeating..With over 1,000,000 new malware attacks a day, the importance of protecting any system which acts in any capacity online is paramount. Ricoh’s protection from malware, using encryption technology as well as other fail safes is making sure they are on the forefront of this area.

Protection From Malware

The administrator of the multi-function copier can set up SSL/TLS for encrypted communications. The SSL/TLS setup prevents data from being tapped into, analyzed, or altered during communications. For instance, a customer using e-mail services and cloud services over the Internet may want to encrypt communications using the scan-to-e-mail function. This method greatly reduces the risk of information leaks or alterations when an external SMTP server is used. The communication between a smartphone application “RICOH Smart Device Connector” and MFP is encrypted by SSL/TLS as well.

Since recent hackers have high skills for decrypting communications, strong encryption algorithms are needed to minimize information leakage from hardcopy devices. By implementing the 256-bit AES and SHA-2 encryption algorithms required by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and adopting HMAC_DRBG to create encryption key, Ricoh increases the security of communications and internal processing on the latest Ricoh devices which have encryption function.

  • Ricoh’s multifunction copiers are capable of SSL/TLS communications conforming to FIPS 140-2 specifications, the network communications requirements of the U.S. government.

Encryption over SSL/TLS

SNMPv3-encrypted communications

SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is a protocol for collecting information on network devices so that they can be monitored and controlled. The information includes, for example, the total number of copies a device has printed and the errors it has encountered. SNMP is also used to operate the devices, such as monitoring the operating status of its services. These functions are based on information obtained from a management information base (MIB), which describes the configuration of the network devices. SNMPv3 incorporates user authentication and data encryption functions which protect user data and network device information.

S/MIME for scan-to-e-mail

To minimize the risk of information leaks, e-mail messages can be sent using public key cryptography and a certificate of user verification that has been registered in the address book of a multifunction copier. Spoofing and message alteration can be prevented by attaching an electronic signature using a secret key based on a device certificate in the the multifunction copier.

  • This feature is not available with W-NET FAX and direct SMTP.

WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) support

WPA is an encryption system for wireless networks. WPA provides greater security than WEP, a conventional encryption system. In addition to the SSID and security key used in WEP, WPA features a user authentication function and an encryption protocol called TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) which automatically updates the encryption key at certain intervals.


Can Printers Get Hacked

Can Printers get hacked

Can Printers Get Hacked? Or use a hijacked printer as a copy machine for criminals, making it easy to commit identity theft or even take control of entire networks that would otherwise be secure?

It’s not only possible, but likely, say researchers at Columbia University, who claim they’ve discovered a new class of computer security flaws that could impact millions of businesses, consumers, and even government agencies.

Printers can be remotely controlled by computer criminals over the Internet, with the potential to steal personal information, attack otherwise secure networks and even cause physical damage, the researchers argue in a vulnerability warning first reported by msnbc.com. They say there’s no easy fix for the flaw they’ve identified in some Hewlett-Packard LaserJet printer lines – and perhaps on other firms’ printers, too – and there’s no way to tell if hackers have already exploited it.

The researchers, who have working quietly for months in an electronics lab under a series of government and industry grants, described the flaw in a private briefing for federal agencies two weeks ago.

 

The flaw involves firmware that runs so-called “embedded systems” such as computer printers, which increasingly are packed with functions that make them operate more like full-fledged computers. They also are commonly connected to the Internet.

“The problem is, technology companies aren’t really looking into this corner of the Internet. But we are,” said Columbia professor Salvatore Stolfo, who directed the research in the Computer Science Department of Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. “The research on this is crystal clear. The impact of this is very large. These devices are completely open and available to be exploited.”

Printer security flaws have long been theorized, but the Columbia researchers say they’ve discovered the first-ever doorway into millions of printers worldwide. In one demonstration of an attack based on the flaw, Stolfo and fellow researcher Ang Cui showed how a hijacked computer could be given instructions that would continuously heat up the printer’s fuser – which is designed to dry the ink once it’s applied to paper – eventually causing the paper to turn brown and smoke.

In that demonstration, a thermal switch shut the printer down – basically, causing it to self-destruct – before a fire started, but the researchers believe other printers might be used as fire starters, giving computer hackers a dangerous new tool that could allow simple computer code to wreak real-world havoc.

In all cases, the Columbia researchers claim, duping a would-be target into printing a virus-laden document is enough to take control of that person’s printer; but in some cases, printers are configured to accept print jobs via the Internet, meaning the virus can be installed remotely, without any interaction by the printer’s owner.

“It’s like selling a car without selling the keys to lock it,” Stolfo said. “It’s totally insecure.”

Columbia researcher Ang Cui explains how he was able to infect an HP printer with malicious code. Columbia University

Rewriting the printer’s firmware takes only about 30 seconds, and a virus would be virtually impossible to detect once installed. Only pulling the computer chips out of the printer and testing them would reveal an attack, Cui said. No modern antivirus software has the ability to scan, let alone fix, the software which runs on embedded chips in a printer.

 

There are plenty of points of contention between HP and the researchers, however. Moore, the HP executive, said the firm’s newer printers do require digitally signed firmware upgrades, and have since 2009. The printers tested by the researchers are older models, Moore said.

In contrast, the Columbia researchers say they purchased one of the printers they hacked in September at a major New York City office supply store.

In an exclusive demonstration for msnbc.com at Columbia University’s Intrusion Detection Systems Laboratory, Cui and Stolfo revealed the kind of havoc an attacker could wreak once they gained control of a printer. After sending a virus-laced print job to a target printer, the device’s small screen read, in sequence, “Erasing…Programming…Code Update Complete.”

In one demonstration, Cui printed a tax return on an infected printer, which in turn sent the tax form to a second computer playing the part of a hacker’s machine. The latter computer then scanned the document for critical information such as Social Security numbers, and when it found one, automatically published it on a Twitter feed.

A hacker who merely wanted to wreak havoc could easily disable thousands – or perhaps millions – of vulnerable printers, Cui said, as it is trivial to send the printer upgrades that would render it inoperable.


Copier Repair Checklist

copier repair checklist

Copier Repair Checklist

When your copier or printer goes down, that can hurt office productivity. When you need documents printed or copied, you need them printed then and there. It’s important to keep a copier repair checklist.

Like your car , your multi-functional printer is a complicated piece of equipment that has lots of moving parts. Also, like your car, even with proper maintenance, parts will wear and need to be replaced and sometimes it’ll just get a flat tire and you have to fix it.

To mix metaphors, if your office equipment stops working, you aren’t driving anywhere that day. Keep the following issues in mind when you think about copier up-time.

Minimal Disruption Comes from Maintenance

When it comes to getting your work done, the best service is the need for no service. You need to do the equivalent of rotating your tires and changing the oil to keep your equipment running smoothly. If you have a maintenance contract with us or another company – great, your equipment is regularly checked to ensure maximum productivity. Even if you do, here are a few quick preventative tips for simple copier and printer maintenance:

  1.      Don’t, take anything apart yourself, you break it, you buy it.
  2.      Dust your copier regularly.
  3.      Clean the copier glass regularly.
  4.      Don’t spill anything on (or in) it.
  5.      If there’s a regular issue, call in your IT staff or your maintenance partner.

Also, be sure to match your output volume with the equipment you ultimately select. Any piece of office equipment regularly running higher than its monthly duty cycle will be more likely to break down.

When the Copier Breaks – Why You Need a Good Partner

repair_copier_service_maintenance_printer At some point , a copier will “crash,” whether Jim in finance spilled his coffee into the machine’s innards or through general wear and tear, it’ll happen. This is where having a good partner in your copier service provider is key to making your life easier.

Look for a sticker/label on the front or side of the machine and call your copier maintenance contract provider from the number on the sticker.

You and your partner will have already established service level agreements based on how essential your multi-function copier is to your office productivity. You want someone who will be accessible and have a technician dispatched to attend to your equipment within four hours – faster if possible. You also want a copier repair and maintenance partner with a high-percentage of first call resolution (that’s industry-speak for: fix the problem with the copier on the first visit).*

There are two other reasons to have a maintenance contract partner:

  1.      They’ll likely have the parts for your equipment in stock, if not already in the service technician’s vehicle. You can call in copier repair on an ad-hoc basis, but quality and part available (and thus first call resolution) will also vary.
  2.      No non-budgeted expenses.

 

 

 


Choosing Copiers

choosing copiers

Choosing Copiers

Although it is true that technological advancements have made it easier for employees and customers to communicate digitally, the need for printed documentation, contracts, marketing materials and more has not been eliminated and choosing copiers hasn’t got any easier.

When it comes to selecting an office copier, printer or multi-function device for your office, there are a wide variety of options. However, no two offices have the same requirements for these machines. In order to define your office’s requirements, there are a few important questions to answer first.

HOW MANY EMPLOYEES NEED COPIER/PRINTER ACCESS?

We have found that it is common to under- or over-estimate your employees’ printing requirements. In order to prevent both scenarios, your first step is to determine how many employees in your office need access to the printer and copier on a daily basis. As an example, some smaller businesses may not need a high-volume multi-function copier if it doesn’t require heavy usage by numerous employees on a daily basis. On the other hand, a desktop printer may not be sufficient or cost effective to meet the entire office’s printing needs.

WHAT PRIMARY FUNCTIONS DOES YOUR OFFICE REQUIRE?

Multi-function devices are a great addition to most offices because they combine print, copy, scan, fax and finishing capabilities in one machine. A multi-function device can cut down on maintenance and supply costs, compared to operating separate machines for all of these requirements. However, if your business never uses fax as a form of a communication and rarely, if ever, scan documents, you don’t need to spend money on a multi-function printer that provides these capabilities.

The beauty in having options is that you will be able to find the device with functions you need – so you won’t end up investing in something you will never use.

DO YOU REQUIRE MOBILE PRINTING CAPABILITIES?

The advance of mobile in the last five years has enabled employees to not only access documents on the go, from mobile devices, but even send projects to their printers from those devices. If your employees require this kind of flexibility, you’ll need to select an office copier printer with a reliable, easy-to-use wireless interface. You’ll need copiers and printers in your office that support cloud printing.

Answering these questions can mean the difference between the perfect selection the first time, or lost productivity caused by a poor investment. The right machine for your office isn’t necessarily the one offering the most features or lowest price point. The right copiers and printers are the ones that fit seamlessly into the day-to-day operations in your workplace. The best way to find that machine is by answering these questions, before you start shopping.


History of Copy Machines

choosing copiers

People are interested in the history of copy machines. It seems we went from Guggenheims press to where we are today, right? Not really, most want to know: How were they invented? When were they invented? How do they work with today’s technology?

It makes sense to be curious, it seems they have just been there when we needed them, and to be honest I hadn’t stopped to think about the history of copy machines for a long time. We have been selling copier technology things for over 20 years, remembering how they started could be a challenge.

A history of copiers, as we can remember.

Copy Machines

The copier machine, also known as the photocopier, was officially invented in 1937 when inventor Chester Carlson invented a process called electron photography.

Carlson ended up inventing the photocopier the same way a lot of things get invented — he wanted a more efficient way to complete an everyday task.

Carlson’s job at a patent office required him to make large numbers of copies every day — which was expensive and difficult to accomplish at the time.

For 15 years Carlson worked on perfecting a way to transfer images from one piece of paper to another using static electricity. When he invented what he called “electron photography”, he filed a patent.

It was almost one year to the date of the patent filing that Carlson created the first photocopy using the process that he later renamed to “Xerography”.

Xerography garnered Carlson worldwide acclaim, as it was his invention that created the billion-dollar copier industry we know today.

Copiers Joining the Mainstream

Xerography was not an overnight success. Carlson shopped around the idea for 10 years before he found a company willing to help him develop the process.

Carlson teamed up with The Haliod Company to help develop his process for creating copies — that company later became known as the Xerox Corporation.

The Haliod Company produced the world’s first office photocopier in 1955, called the Copyflo. It was not nearly as successful as the Xerox 914, which was invented in 1958 and sold thousands of units.

 Xerox

For a long time the Xerox Corporation held a monopoly on the copier industry. It certainly helped that they held a patent, but even when other companies were able to produce copiers using Xerox’s method, they weren’t trusted.

Before long, photocopiers started being called “Xerox machines”, and one could hardly envision a time when the market wasn’t dominated by one company.

Of course, knowing what we know now, Xerox is hardly the leader in photocopiers anymore. Now we have Ricoh, Sharp,  and many other that have beaten the giant at its own game. Today you all have a multitude of choices when it comes to your copier machines, we at Action Imaging Group would like that opportunity to serve you.


Cloud Based Phone Systems

cloud based phone systems

Any start up, or business in transition will tell you..a good to great phone system is a game changer. With Cloud based phone systems being all the chatter, we thought we would give you our opinion on the matter.

Cloud based phone systems are phone services that your business can purchase on the Internet. Rather than maintaining phone system software on a server (a.k.a. a Private Branch Exchange, or PBX) in your office, you can purchase cloud phone system service from a provider and pay on a subscription basis.

What exactly are the benefits of a cloud based phone system for you and your business? And what are the drawbacks? Here’s a look at the biggest pros and cons of these services.

Cloud Phone System Pros

Cost Savings

Cloud systems that switch over to VOIP can reduce the cost of their local calls by up to 40%. Those same small businesses reduce the cost of their international calls by up to 90%.

A sizeable number of cloud VoIP providers charge less per minute than leading landline phone services. No matter what your call volume and usage, it’s almost guaranteed that a cloud based phone system will cost you less each month than a landline service.

Unlimited minutes packages are economical for call centers with high traffic, while Pay as You Go models can accommodate those businesses who use minutes sparingly. And hosted platforms don’t require you to purchase expensive hardware that needs maintenance and installation, saving you quite a bit.

Cloud System Cons

Switching to a cloud based phone system may require you to purchase equipment to get up and running. With a hosted cloud system, you will need to purchase IP Phones if you don’t already have them. These phones are typically priced in economy ranges and require an Ethernet port to operate, meaning you may need a bigger router, and more Ethernet cords.

Outside Disruptions

If your Internet Service Provider is fairly reliable, and your cloud phone system has high redundancy, you won’t have to worry about dropped calls and connections. But if you have an ISP that frequently drops your Internet service, it will critically disrupt your cloud based phone system. Of course, if you find an acceptable ISP, the problem will be solved. The issue only becomes serious for those who are locked into sub par Internet providers through contracts.


Managed Print Services Saves Time and Money

managed printing services

Managed print services saves time and money.

Living in the present century of today, we all are prone to be rather addicted to a fast and busy moving life. The main reason for the pace of life to improve is due to the advancement and development of technological equipment created. Through the use of these machines we are not able to get our work done and dusted in minutes which saves a lot of time but also creates some other work with the times spares through it. All in all, there’s always something to do for everyone. Therefore people like us who are busy the whole entire week probably search for new methods of time and money saving techniques which could help they have a better and more convenient life.

In the past we are able to understand that, letters, documents, business proposals, application forms and many more similar particulars were all individually created through hand written. It was indeed a time consuming task which lead computers to develop a segment for getting these written consent particulars actually typed. By getting these typed, it saved people’s time, money and also was also readable for everyone. Then comes the next step of it of getting it printed where people had to visit a print shop to actually get their soft copies transformed in to a hard copy to present the necessary particulars in a professional or decent manner. When visiting a print shop, it also has its pros and cons to it. The quality of the print required would incur a cost along with the cost of paper too. Therefore for each print you require, you would have to sacrifice their print charges to get your job done. Don’t forget the cost of travelling to the shop too along with time spent for it. Now that’s probably a lot to sacrifice for just getting a few print ours to your hand.

Due to this disturbing procedure which many people had to go through daily was quite indeed a terrible hassle. To give a better life to people there came another great invention of acquiring your own printer to your home space which is small in size and could be easily used at your convenience. Indeed this would save people’s time, money and also travelling cost incurred to get you there and get your job done. There are various companies and brands who now master this printing production to create the best printers for home use. This has also improved the standard of living in people and allowed positive learning materials for school students too. Having a printer at home is indeed a great privilege. In the present I could not imagine how I could complete my work without one. That’s probably what is in everyone’s mind who once lived without a printer. The present generation printers also comes with brand new functions and features which allows you to obtain better quality prints and photocopies or even scan any document you wish to any drive. The colour quality is also much improved than before which provides your picture a better and naturalistic look. The printer invention is indeed a time and money saving product created for a better life.


Phone System for Start up Bussiness

phone system

PHONE SYSTEM

When you are starting a new business, you will get the need to pay attention towards many different factors from the scratch. The business phone system holds a prominent place out of them. The phone system of your business would be the primary method of communication with customers as well as employees. Therefore, you would get the need to have a phone system that matches perfectly well with your requirements and needs. Here are some effective tips that you can follow in order to choose the right phone system for your business startup.

 

From the recent studies, it has been identified that most of the business startups tend to select a VOIP system for the communication needs. VOIP, to be precise, Voice Over IP would help you to make calls through internet. This is one of the most affordable phone systems that are available for business startups to try. When you are starting a new business, you will have to spend money on a variety of expenditures. Therefore, it would not be possible for you to spend a fortune on the phone system. This is where VOIP can come to your survival. Another advantage associated with VOIP is that it is possible for you to have more than two people talking at the same time. This would help you to conduct business meetings with more than two people in a convenient manner.

 

While you are getting a phone system for your business startup, you will need to pay special attention towards flexibility as well. Your business is going to expand along with time. The phone system should be flexible enough to change according to that. Otherwise, you will have to deal with the frustration of changing your entire phone system.

 

If you are dealing with clients who are from different parts of the world, or if you are planning to get into international business ventures, you should go for a phone system that is compatible with that. As you already know, international calls are going to cost you a fortune. But if you take a look around, you will be able to note down few options, which would facilitate to take international calls at a reasonable price tag. However, you need to keep in mind that the cheapest service provider would not be able to provide you with the best possible service in the long run. Therefore, you must look for a service provider, which has maintained an excellent reputation throughout the past. Taking a look at customer reviews that are posted online will assist you to come across the best service provider.

 

While managing the business, you would never want to go through the hassle associated with maintaining or troubleshooting the issues of your phone system. This is why you must look for a phone system that offers an excellent customer support service. Whenever you come across an issue, you just need to get in touch with the customer support team.


Most Common Types of Copier Repairs

choosing copiers

 

MOST COMMOM TYPES OF COPIER REPAIRS

Photocopiers are a must in every office, without one life for those in that office could be quite troublesome and with the most common types of copier repairs being continuous, a copier that eternally gives trouble could cause any one’s patience to be tested.

Hence it would be in the best interests of the smooth working of the office and the nerves of those within to ensure that the photocopier is kept in perfect order by contracting regular service and maintenance to professionals.

In the meantime knowing a little about the workings of the photocopier and how to handle it and few tips to get those little common problems sorted when it happens would be a asset to have around.

Some common problems faced by office staff who handle’ photocopiers are listed below and steps that could be taken to sort it out when it happens are also provided for the benefit of users.

 

Spots on pages

Black spots on pages are one common problem that occurs in photocopiers which could be for simple reasons like debris on the glass and mirror.

Thoroughly cleaning the glass and mirror should solve the problem but if the problem persists then replacing the drum would be advisable.

 

Copies not clear

Modern photocopiers are built to provide perfect copies of whatever you would want a copy of but if the copy that you receive is too dark or not dark enough then it should be a problem with the settings to dark and light which is clearly marked on the copier.

Adjusting the required copy darkness would solve the problem if not it could be that the toner is exhausted and a replacement is necessary.

 

Wrinkled paper

The copy could be perfect but the paper that is coming out of the machine is wrinkled which would be that the paper feed into machine is faulty in which case taking out all the paper and properly feeding it into the photocopier should take care of the problem.

If the problem persists then it could be that the feeder and exit rollers have seen better days and would need to be replaced.

Defective paper feed trays and fuser assemblies could also cause this problem having a professional to look at it would be necessary.

 

Copier jams

This is the most common problem that occurs and plays on the patience of office staff especially when copies are needed fast.

Incorrect paper size could be one issue or improper alignment of paper into the copier could be another which could be sorted out by checking and placing the paper to be fed in properly.

Dust particles could also cause this as feed tires if not cleaned regularly could malfunction and another issue could be the lack of proper regular servicing of the photocopier.

 

Lines on paper

Lines on paper could be a major irritant which could be caused due to drum and developer malfunction or drum blade and fusers are not efficiently working which would need looked at by a professional.

Keeping the glass clean could also solve this problem.