HOW MANAGED IT SERVICES WILL EVOLVE IN INDIA IN 2017?

Information Technology (IT) services in India are evolving thanks to the digital transformation driven by technologies such as Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud and now Internet of Things (IoT). The rapid transition of IT from Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) points to the near possibilities of Everything-as-a-Service. As the market for managed IT services continues to swell, challenges associated with data governance and security also grow in proportion. With data integrity becoming the priority for organisations in 2017, managed IT services landscape in India will largely evolve around data security and governance.

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India: The big market for Managed IT

India is emerging as the hub of managed IT services. The growth is visible from the bulk orders processed by large global firms doing businesses in India. The flourishing small and medium business (SMB) sector in India is another major contributor to managed IT sector. The flexibility, convenience and cost efficiency are the major factors driving managed services adoption among SMBs. However, as enterprise networks grow complex thanks to the surge in data volume, organisations are increasingly focusing on network security.

Network security: To what extent

Network security as a managed service is one of the major milestones in the industry’s transition towards an Everything-as-a-Service model. With network acting as the central nervous system of a business, managing the network involves a series of complex tasks including but not limited to monitoring unauthorised access, misuse, modification and denial of network resources. Therefore, the scope of managed IT services will only grow further to address these critical requirements.

Security threat points: BYOD and more

In this era of mobility and social media, security is no child’s play. As myriad of devices with diverse makes and huge number of apps enter the enterprise network, a single ‘guard’ at the entry gate will not be sufficient to combat the threats. You need the watchdog at every critical juncture that is susceptible to security risks. This leads to the conclusion that network security service is not limited to a single firewall; rather it should comprise an end-to-end package that proactively safeguards your network from all likely threats.

Opportunity for Security-as-a-Service

Enterprise security spending in India is estimated to touch $1.12 billion in 2016, up 10.6 percent from $1.01 billion in 2015, according to Gartner.  Advanced threat defense, application security, security policy and programme development and governance, risk and compliance (GRC), identity governance and administration, mobile and cloud security governance and incident response network are the major security considerations among CIOs. The drastic transformation of network around digital is also deeply influencing CIOs’ decision making around security.

UTM: the coming-of-age network story  

Network transformation in today’s enterprises aims at boosting productivity. This, in turn, is achieved by efficient use of computing, storage and data resources flowing across the network. Thus, network availability and agility become a key consideration while choosing the infrastructure services. Services such as Unified Threat Management (UTM) gain relevance in this context.

UTM is an advanced Firewall capable of integrating a bouquet of security services including but not limited to network firewalling, network intrusion prevention and gateway antivirus (AV), gateway anti-spam, VPN, content filtering, load balancing, data leak prevention and on-appliance reporting. In India, the market for UTM is huge, with SMBs driving a major share of this business. With UTM, SMBs can protect their resources against sophisticated attacks and ensure business continuity. The managed services model also reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO). With 24×7 support, businesses are relieved from the network management worries, so they can focus on their core business.

Network management moving from reactive to proactive mode

Traditionally, data protection technologies focused on identifying a threat as it happens and fixing it before it affects the network. Today, network technologies are evolving to proactively address the evolving threats – which they have not encountered before. Technologies like Network Access Control (NAC) score high in this regard as they control access to the network through a set of rules and policies. In fact, the NAC governs the network accessibility of each user based on the role assigned to him. It also checks the endpoint device for any vulnerability. As enterprise mobility catches up momentum in India, network technologies like NAC will gain traction among SMBs as well as larger organisations.

Conclusion

With its dominance in the IT services sector, India is also quick at adopting the latest technology trends in IT. In line with the digital transformation happening in organisations, the IT managed services market in India will evolve around network security and network management.

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IMPROVE YOUR MFPS’ PRODUCTIVITY WITH INTEGRATED CLOUD SERVICES

The role of multifunction printers (MFPs) in improving workforce productivity has increased more than ever. With mobility gathering momentum in enterprises, MFPs have now evolved to support functions on the go, allowing you to print, scan, fax or copy whenever and wherever you want.
Also thanks to innovations in cloud, the new-age MFPs provide integrated cloud services  and collaboration, enabling you to save the files in cloud or directly email to the recipients.

What is the relevance of cloud-enabled MFPs  in today’s work environment? Well, a quick survey within your organisation will help you understand the benefits of cloud-based MFPs.  For example, count the time taken by each employee to re-create a document available as hard copy by typing it line by line. You may consult your Finance how long it takes for them to translate the figures from hard copy invoices into their accounting software. You may also enquire from your team if they ever faced difficulty sharing documents while they are away from their desk. Now compare the scenario when they are provided with an MFP capable of doing all these tasks at the convenience of their home, an airport, or even foreign countries. Analyse these responses and calculate the gains in terms of savings on time, effort and efficiency.

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Cloud integration  brings savings on many other fronts. It supports office automation, mobility and collaboration in modern enterprises. The effort involved in preparing, saving and sharing of documents is reduced considerably. With cloud print approach, you have the option of retrieving the document from any cloud-enabled MFP without installing any printer driver, or specifying the name of the printer. The OCR file conversion capability makes it further easier for you to convert a hard document into editable/ searchable electronic document.

Let us have a quick glance at how cloud integration enables cost savings and efficiency in organisations.

Savings on ITCloud services  are known for their impact on IT savings. Traditional software and hardware components incur huge capex and opex, but cloud services require only a small recurring fee. Since the host takes care of the hardware components such as server, network equipment, and similar components, the user is free from the complexities associated with managing them. There are no software components such as print driver, utility software etc., so there is no maintenance or upgrades to worry about. Thus a cloud investment for your MFP will not only improve its capabilities but also bring dramatic cost savings.

Mobility: The evolving digital landscape has influenced employee behaviour to a great extent. The changes are reflected in enterprise work culture too. With a single employee handling multiple devices such as smartphone, iPad and laptop at a time, integration of mobile devices  into enterprise network has become a necessity. The cloud-enabled MFP environment supports this transformation by providing a common platform for sharing, accessing, printing and scanning documents from multiple mobile devices and in multiple file formats.

Security: Security is one of the topmost concerns for organisations looking to embrace mobility and cloud. With a large number of apps doing rounds, it becomes a herculean task for you to monitor and manage them in the enterprise network. Advancements in cloud have relieved organisations from the threats associated with sharing files in cloud and mobile apps. Reputed cloud service providers  offer round-the-clock security to your cloud investments. As a standard practice, they also use 128-bit encrypted transmission for information security and compliance. Their services are also backed by robust SLAs which fool proof your assets against any misuse.

Collaboration: The integrated cloud environment facilitates collaboration in enterprises. With its document sharing capabilities, the print cloud  feature allows you to send documents to specific recipients in a highly secure manner. The scan-to-cloud approach enables you to directly transfer files to different cloud services including Google Drive, Salesforce, SharePoint, NetSuite, eFax, Office 365, Evernote, Box, and more. Or you can email the document directly to the recipient. With such features, the cloud integrated MFPs reduce the burden on your IT, while also improving workforce productivity.

In a nutshell: The era of digital enterprises has been evolving rapidly. To become part of this transformation, you need to invest in technologies that drive business growth and competitive differentiation. Printing technologies have evolved to transform the traditional office into a digital workstation that improves employee engagement through communication and collaboration. In this scenario, it becomes the responsibility of the organisation to allow its employees to leverage the power of modern applications like cloud integrated MFPs and be part of the overall growth.

THE LATEST TRENDS IN OFFICE AUTOMATION

The success of an organisation is determined by a number of factors; the ability to evolve is one of the most important among them. Over the past one decade we saw how quickly businesses evolved from traditional brick-and-mortar model to selling everything online and doing everything on-the-go. The transformation has just begun.

As digital enterprises turn to technologies powered by the latest trends like mobility and cloud, we take a look at some of the latest innovations which redefine office automation in enterprises.
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Secure document management

As contracts go digital and emails replace traditional handwritten mails, today’s enterprises have less jobs to do compared to earlier days. At the same time, there is increased concern over the growing security risks to their documents. Leading office automation providers are careful in offering secure document management solutions that protect their customers’ resources from any form of malware threats. Electronic Content Management (ECM) has evolved to deliver powerful business process management capabilities, giving IT the power to centrally control, audit and manage the content.

Secure mobile device management

With Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend gaining popularity among enterprises, a vast array of apps is getting connected to corporate network every day. The authenticity of most of these is not verified by the user, so they pose huge risks to enterprise networks. Cybercriminals and advertising networks use them to steal user information and also access corporate data causing great damage to the organisation. Latest innovations in mobile device management (MDM) address the challenges associated with BYOD by delivering integrated control of mobile devices and MFPs. With regular firmware updates, the MDM software also fixes bugs and vulnerabilities in the system.

Device Manager to improve productivity

To bring the best out of mobility in enterprises, organisations turn to efficient productivity tools that generate more value with less investment. Latest device management tools that monitor MFPs and other document output devices have simplified document management in enterprises. Cloud-based software solutions which allow central management of documents further help organisations reduce the manual labor and capex involved in building and managing them in-house. By delivering ease and simplicity, they also bridge the digital gap between small and large organisations.

Collaboration

When we think about collaboration, the first image that comes to our mind is the video conferencing rooms equipped with audio, video and display technology. With innovative collaborations tools entering the market space, the scenario is now changed. The latest tools allow integrated collaboration among devices (up to 20 in some cases) facilitating interactive flat panel meeting among them while also controlling and annotating content to all meeting participants, regardless of if they’re in the room or on the go.

Virtual Office

A virtual office may be considered an extension of a collaborative environment, but with more functionalities added to it to make it function like a full-fledged office. Modern virtual office concept also includes workflow and process management facilities like on-the-go printing, scanning, OCR file conversion, and publishing. Cloud technologies have largely helped this transformation of physical offices to virtual offices. The impact is mostly visible among small and medium businesses (SMBs) which lack resources to build and run costly hardware and software.

While the above innovations in office automation gives a gist of what is in offing for today’s digital enterprises, there’s a lot more to be identified and explored. Since the parameters of office automation differ among businesses, it is important for them to identify the right solution that meets their criteria across all key performance indicators (KPIs).

While selecting office automation solutions, you need to create priorities, for example, ease of operation, cost saving, flexibility, scalability, etc. Next, identify the right IT service provider that can deliver solutions tailored to your business needs. Also, you need to ensure that the service provider delivers dedicated support and ensures hassle-free business operations round the clock. Look for managed document services providers who deliver end-to-end solutions through their dedicated datacentres allowing you to build a cost-effective business model free of all IT challenges.

HOW IMPORTANT IS DIGITAL ARCHIVING?

Paper documents have become passé and the digital era has taken over. The new-age businesses focus on digitising every property and every department. Well, you have succeeded by and large in cutting down the investment on printing paper. At first glance, you will see things are perfect; but behind the scenes, the story may be different. As you walk past on the polished marble floor, holding your skinny laptop in your hand, you are suddenly distracted by a screechy noise, typical of a haunted house. Your eyes get stuck at the antique cupboard situated in the dark corner of your office. As the office boy‘logs in’ to access a file in it, you see your surroundings get filled with the musty smell and dust.

Preserving the ‘Old Gold’

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The dilemma most organisations face today is how to archive their old documents which lie untouched for years in their antique shelves. The rusty smell hovering over the digital screens in your office reminds you that it’s time to get rid of the mess. The invaluable documents pertaining to the company’s incorporation, agreements, deals, accounts, research reports, publications, and more, must be converted to digital properties before they turn into dust.

Enter the new age of digital archiving that helps you convert your old documents into non-perishable digital properties that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. The innovative digital archiving technologies help you not only preserve your valuable documents, but also make them accessible to your employees effortlessly. Now you can say goodbye to peons and welcome the new-age storage devices and software to store and extract the golden data with ease.

The digital archiving technology

Technological advancements in printing, scanning and storage have proved to be a boon to organisations. With modern digital printing and archiving, you can scan all types of paper documents and images and convert them into simple digital documents. Further, using the OCR technology, you can create editable text documents out of your old paper documents. The new-age Multi Function Printers (MFPs) are equipped with digital archiving facilities that allow you to not only scan documents but also store them on cloud. With cloud integrated MFPs, the task of storing files becomes easier and more cost-effective. They build a private storage space on cloud exclusively for you, allowing you to retrieve, share and edit the files from anywhere, anytime.

Big Data: The gold mine for future

With data emerging as critical for almost every business interaction and outcome, organisations that ignore big data will be at peril. Big data plays a lead role in customer acquisition and retention. Hence archiving is important to keep your valuable data in a safe zone, ready to be accessible anytime. By analysing all the data pertaining to customer interaction, you can understand the entire customer journey and address the loopholes in customer acquisition and retention.  Data specialists can mine them to gain insights into several other aspects of your business including product manufacturing, inventory, HR, vendor relations, and more. It is, therefore, important for new age businesses to make data archiving and analytics a key strategy in their business.

Leading IT service providers deliver data archiving capabilities as part of their office automation services. Considering the complexity involved in digitising archaic documents and preserving them with the modern documents, they deliver different category of services such as hard copy archiving, electronic archiving, and/or a combination of both. Since data archiving aims to simplify data capture and retention in multiple formats and at multiple places at a time, the vendor should be capable of delivering the service through an efficient system that saves you money and time.

Managed printing, scanning and documenting, for example, helps you integrate the entire process of printing, saving and archiving – all in one go, and forever. Office automation technologies also help you archive data automatically at the end of a business process thereby reducing the involvement of a human being or machine for further processing.

In a nutshell, digital archiving has become an integral component of office automation. Effective management of documents results in effective execution of processes, which in turn helps businesses become more agile and respond quickly to customer needs.

HOW DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT HAS EVOLVED IN THE MOBILITY ERA?

Traditional brick and mortar office is dissolving into the digital realm thanks to advancements in mobility, collaboration and video conferencing, which have made the concept of virtual office a reality. Also, the smartphone in your palm is being transformed into a miniature office, enabling you to carry out all tasks while on the go. As consumerisation of IT becomes widespread, the relevance of these technologies will grow higher in the coming days. At this juncture, let us examine how document management technologies have evolved to meet the demands of enterprise mobility.

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Pre-requisites of document management in the mobility era

Document management is the most important aspect of a digital enterprise, so office automation strategies in enterprises should revolve around cost-effective and secure management of documents.
To start with, businesses should focus on the following four elements, which by virtue of their functions, can be considered as the four pillars of document management.

Storage

Today’s businesses thrive on data. With millions of TBs of data being generated every day, the task of storing, archiving and retrieving becomes a major concern in enterprises. While big enterprises deal with the issue by building internal data centres, medium and small enterprises find it impractical, mainly because of the cost and complexities associated with managing it in-house. Cloud-based storage has emerged as the way forward to address the storage dilemma in SMBs. Cloud not only eliminates the capex associated with in-house datacentres, but also supports the mobility initiatives in enterprises. With Cloud, you can send and retrieve data via a common storage platform, which is secured and managed by leading IT services providers. Among the many other advantages, cloud storage also allows you to integrate industry-leading document management technologies like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, OneDrive, Concur, among others.

Mobile applications

Mobile applications allow you to perform all your document management tasks while on the move. Printing, scanning and OCR file conversion have become integral parts of these applications. The Print from Anywhere concept allows you and thousands of your colleagues to print to any local printer, from any platform. The integrated cloud environment also allows you to share documents to a secure storage platform, ready for retrieval or sharing anytime. Not only that, mobile printing applications also allow you to scan a paper document and convert it into an editable, searchable file format. Mobile printing applications are designed to support a variety of OS platforms and all popular file formats. Leading Cloud solutions also promise 99.9% uptime and zero data loss.

Collaboration

In the context of document management, collaboration has expanded its scope to include process automation, records management, Office integration, mobile applications, and more. With process automation, organisations can streamline the flow of documents, optimising them for better delivery of the process. Records management allows businesses to store and archive records so they can adhere to compliance and minimise risks. With Office integration, they get the industry-leading document platform integrated into their legacy software.

Security

Mobility also brings huge security challenges to organisations. The employee-owned devices, running a wide variety of platforms, applications and hardware technologies pose huge management challenges. Ensuring security of enterprise data has become critical in this scenario. Thanks to advancements in mobile device management, today organisations are able to securely handle their BYOD environments and uphold the integrity of their businesses. With leading mobile device management technologies, you gain centralised control of documents and break-fix the services when required. Moreover, it allows you to update the software and firmware while on the go.

The business benefits of office automation, and document management in particular, are visible on many fronts. Virtual docs eliminate manual labour associated with handling hardcopy documents. Mobile technologies improve the productivity of workforce. By providing instant access to documents, these technologies have revolutionised the way business tasks are performed. With unified communications and collaboration, organisations are able to save time and logistics costs. Meanwhile, Cloud brings down the cost and complexity associated with managing IT resources in-house. Lastly, security solutions that come embedded with document management platforms relieves business leaders from the challenges associated with data loss.

Why You Should Be Interested To Invest In A Multifunctional Printer?

When businesses grow in size, their requirements keep on increasing alongside, and eventually they need to invest in an infrastructure that supports the growth perfectly. For instance, while SMBs can manage with printers, be it colour or black and white, it’s difficult for large corporate organizations to cope up with the multiple requirements using a basic printer. This is when they should invest in multifunctionals. These are smart devices that have been designed in such a way that these help perform multiple actions including printing, scanning, copying and sending faxes. In fact, there are also some businesses who think it’s wiser to invest in digital duplicators/priports. These devices are smart enough to print documents in different sizes, without compromising the quality. These devices are considered to be quite cost effective solutions which help improve the productivity of organizations, by offering high volume of copying at a high speed.

If your business is undergoing a phase of growth, and you are struggling a lot to cope up with the everyday needs, this is probably the high time to invest in a high end MFP. Not sure, why you need to do this? Here are some of the most interesting reasons –

  • Space saving – While investing in a multifunctional device, this is probably the best benefit to enjoy. Instead of arranging space for four different devices for printing, scanning, copying and sending faxes, you can handle it with one single device, and can save a lot of space. This seems to be extremely beneficial for those who are trying hard to make the most of the entire office space. The saved space can definitely be used for some other requirements more wisely.
  • Cost effective – Although the upfront cost of a MFP is a bit higher, it helps organizations save a lot of money in the long run. Since a single device can perform the functions of three or four devices together, the initial purchase price gets slashed down to a great extent. At the same time, the maintenance costs for one single device is way lesser than what you have to pay for maintaining four different devices. Hence, the repair jobs and fixes become less expensive.
  • Ease of use & convenience – If you have been using a traditional printer at your business, it surely doesn’t offer you the functions or features that an A3 colour MFP would include. These devices help you print documents in both A3 and A4 size, apart from performing the other tasks. In fact, if your business doesn’t require too much of colour printing, you can also consider investing in an A3 mono MFP. These machines are perfect for black & white printing requirements for both A3 and A4 documents.

While these are the most compelling reasons to invest in colour or black and white MFPs, you should also keep in mind that these smart devices help you save a lot of energy as well. Usually, these devices need just a single cord to power the entire unit, reducing the chances of cable clutter and minimizing the power consumption to a fair extent.

Colour Laser Printer in India

Laser printers are a more or less like photocopiers, as the technology used in the both are same. Colour laser printers use colored toner (dry ink) which includes cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK).Today, the standard resolution in most laser printers is 600 dots-per-inch (dpi) and which is appropriate for normal everyday printing. The capability of laser printers include very high quality print and printing unlimited variety of fonts. Though majority of the laser printers come with a basic set of fonts, called internal or resident fonts, but if one wants, additional fonts can be incorporated. Initially laser printers would cater to the office segment, however in the subsequent years they have also been developed for home segment markets. These laser printers are about five to ten times as expensive when compared to other printers.

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In the market there are various options to buy printers, however while purchasing one should keep key things in mind. When one is buying a printer one should check for the print resolution, quality of photo print, speed, operating cost, warranty etc. Text quality and graphics have the direct connect with the resolution of the print, one should always select a high end model which has a higher resolution. Also, the speed of the printer depends on how many pages a printer can output per minute.  For use in office atmosphere, one should always go for built in Wi-Fi printers, mobile print capabilities that let you save time.

Also, Ricoh SP C250DN Colour laser printer has a remarkable print speed of 21 ppm and Wi-Fi connectivity. The wireless system permits printing from mobile devices anywhere is your home and office. Additionally it also offers standard USB 2.0 and Ethernet connections, Duplex print speed of 12 ppm, Optional paper feed unit for total capacity of 750 sheets, 350 MHz CPU and 128MB RAM and is Energy star certified. Ricoh SP C250DN offers high –quality laser printing for small offices and work groups. One can easily download Ricoh Smart Device Print & Scan app to print to the SP C250DN straight from the mobile device. It provides up to 21 pages-per-minute in color, black-and-white or mixed output for consistent and has a reliable performance during every print job.