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Four Things to do Before Choosing a VoIP Service

VoIP Business PhoneThe good news is that in today’s market, you don’t have to look hard to find some really good hosted VoIP services for small businesses that rely on what we call an ‘open internet’ connection. That means that they don’t control the total connection to the proverbial switch. Finding a good small business VoIP isn’t too hard so long as you stick to some basic guidelines, many of which are outlined here today. Be sure that your network is in good shape It might seem silly on its face, but make sure your network doesn’t have any problems before proceeding. Even the most simple networks can have issues that will effect the quality of your calls. Be sure you have only one server or router, that your switches are working well and that your computers are running efficiently. It’s not all about bandwidth One of the first things you’ll talk about when looking for a hosted VoIP phone service is the amount of bandwidth your connection has – whether that’s for downloads or uploads. While bandwidth IS important, it’s not nearly as important as making sure you’ve got a steady, ongoing, consistent connection. Another important factor to consider is the quality of your ISP’s connection. If there is packet loss or too much latency in your system, your calls will definitely suffer. So again – before you go out and start looking at bandwidth, simply make sure your connection is consistent enough first. Lowest price does not equal best service It’s that age old saying that ‘you get what you pay for.’ Anytime you get a bid that’s way under the rest of the pack, it should immediately throw up a red flag. Choose a provider who has a reasonable price that’s close to his competition while balancing it out with strong service. Chances are, you’ll get the best of both worlds. Features, presentation and service – in that order. The smaller the business, the more unique the needs – or at least that’s been our experience. As such, be sure that you pick and choose the features that mean the most to your business. Second, make sure the look and feel of the presenting company looks good – a sniff test, if you will. Make sure their website’s up to date, make sure their references are solid and always be sure to check and see who they’re doing business with. It should give you an excellent idea of what they’re all about. Lastly, be sure they offer a solid, ongoing service option. If something goes down, you want to be sure that you’ll be covered quickly so that your downtime is minimized as much as possible.

Digital Copier Buying Tips

digital copier Without a doubt – there are do’s and don’ts to think about when you’re going to buy a copier. The range in price is enormous, with lower end models costing as little as $150 with the higher end models coming in as expensive as $50k. In most cases, a propertly remanufactured copier should cost you $2,500-$7,000 depending on your office’s needs. So how do you get the most bang for your buck? Here are some things to consider before taking the plunge: Don’t go cheap While the lower end all in one that costs $300 might seem like a good deal at the time, it can quickly backfire. Their cost per page is actually five to ten times that of a larger office copier and the ink alone in one year can add up to more than a thousand dollars if you use it frequently. They’re a great deal if you have a home office, but if it’s an actual high-use situation – you’re just going to end up spending the money anyway. Buy slightly used By buying a digital copier slightly used, you can save up to 80% of the original cost and also protect yourself AGAINST the depreciation of buying a brand-new copy machine. Even better yet – so long as you have a solid servicing agreement – you’re not going to give up an iota of performance or reliability. Don’t go color unless you need it Color copiers are attractive for a lot of surface reasons, but they also cost eight times more than the traditional black and white models. It also comes with a bit of a hassle. You need to make sure your staff stays disciplined enough to use black and white settings 90% of the time, convince them to only use color on outgoing correspondence when the reality is the overwhelming majority of correspondence is internal and then convince them to keep the number of color copies THEY DO make to a minimum. Easy right!? Wrong! Sadly, the industry is pushing color copiers because they know they’re cash cows. From our standpoint – if your business NEEDS one, then they are a great tool to have. Seriously, they are. But if you don’t need it – pass. They can cost a lot and can become a headache to manage.  

Energy Saving Tips For The Office

copier company nyMany offices today are taking concerted efforts to make themselves more efficient. Not only is energy saving good for the environment, but it’s also great for your bottom line. In some cases, you can consume up to 90% less energy (and spend just as little) with a few frugal decisions and/or behaviors. Here are some ways you can save money and energy at your office: Laser printers are great, but ink jet printers can be more efficient In fact, ink jet printers use 90% LESS energy than laser printers. Now granted, if you’re a high-volume office that needs to run off a ton of printed pieces and/or NEED top quality – then obviously you’ll make and save more money using a laser printer. But if you’re not, don’t tune out the idea of using ink jet printers. Not only do they cost less up front, but their continued use can help save a pretty penny or two. Keep your PC’s, Monitors and Copiers turned off at night Try to avoid depending on sleep and screen savers. Not only is turning your equipment off at night better for the devices themselves, but it can also save you a lot in terms of energy costs. Even with power saving modes, you’re still spending money for essentially nothing. Consider using laptops over desktops For high-powered businesses, you need high-powered machines, but if you’re using your computer for basic email/word processing/spreadsheets – consider a higher end laptop. Just like ink jets and laser printers, laptops also use 90% less power than their desktop counterpoints. Most of the time, they can even run on their own battery power, consuming almost no energy at all. Unlock the power of power strips Smart power strips are the best. Not only do they help protect your devices, but they also cut off and minimize power flow to ancillary devices that might also be plugged in as well. Just like turning your devices off at night, it makes no sense to pay for power you’re not even using.

Staying safe: removing sensitive information from copy machines

nj copier serviceA lot of folks tend to overlook the fact that copy machines, not unlike many of the desktop applications we use, retain a saved copy of the documents we copy on the machine. In fact, more and more copiers today come with their own hard drives and as such, store images of every document they ever scan. For businesses that handle more sensitive information, these images can present a challenge. Things like social security numbers, credit card accounts and medical records can be stored in the copy machine and as a result – become prime targets for identity thieves. Today, we’ll share with you some steps you can take to delete that information from your copier before it becomes compromised. FIRST STEP It’s always a good idea to make sure you have some sort of encryption or disk overwrite software on your copier. In some cases, your copier may come with that software preinstalled on the machine, but in many cases, you’ll have to purchase it separately. What the encryption software does is that it makes sure that every copied image file is encoded while simultaneously overwriting the file on the disk to show random characters on the existing data – making it next to impossible to reconstruct the original file. SECOND STEP Use your security software to conduct regular disk overwrites to make sure that sensitive data on your hard drive is deleted. On some copiers, this can be complex, on others, not as much. Be sure to talk to your office supply provider for information on how to do this. If you don’t have those capabilities, see what you can do to make sure that you do. THIRD STEP Perform a second disk overwrite before you send the hard drive for service or handing it over to your vendor for disposal. Doing so just makes sure you have your back covered should someone attempt something in the go-between. FOURTH STEP Anytime you destroy anything pertaining to sensitive information, always be sure to acquire what they call a ‘certificate of destruction.’ Those certificates serve as a legal guarantee from your vendor that the information was, in fact – destroyed. SOME OTHER TIPS It’s always a good idea to schedule routine disk overwrites to provide a safety net in case you forget to do it. Also putting up a sign above your machine can serve as a friendly reminder to staff that the machine contains a hard drive that must be cleared in so that sensitive information that shouldn’t stored doesn’t – in fact- get stored. A WORD TO THE WISE Always make sure you consult with your technician before you go anywhere near your own hard drive.  In some cases, opening up your copier can void your warranty and in extreme situations, can make the system inoperable. Be patient and get the right advice from the professionals to avoid messing anything up.

Some Under-The-Radar Things to Consider About Your Copier

nj copiersHere at Legend, we’re all about all things copy machines, but as per the usual, there are almost always things that slip through the cracks that people don’t consider. As such, this week’s post isn’t so much a ‘here’s how to do this specific thing’ rather than being a ‘don’t forget’ piece. Here’s a smattering of things to remember when maintaining/managing/purchasing your next copy machine. Training & Authorization It’s likely that almost everyone at your company knows how to use a copy machine properly, but it’s always a good idea to have one or two people on staff who literally know almost everything there is to know about it. Most people only know enough to put the paper in the feeder and hit a green button. Having someone who can unplug paper jams, know who to reduce or enlarge, collate, use a duplex feature or a three hole punch is valuable. These experts should also know who to change the toner and what drawers to change paper out, etc. They should also be the only ones authorized to order supplies and manage the overall maintenance contracts. Having one or two of these people on staff can help you save a lot of money and time as well as take another pesky ‘to do’ off your list. Maintenance Agreements Maintenance agreements to many just seem like another expense, but trust us when we say they’re worth the money. Pay a contractor independently to come in, and you get charged premium prices for parts and labor. With an agreement- those are mostly covered up front and in the event you do have an issue, it becomes considerably less expensive to fix your machine. Managing networked copiers Large-scale copiers are often connected to company computer networks and while they can save you a lot of time (and money), they do take some getting used to. Some folks may accidentally pick up your project or if you’re in a bigger company with more employees – it could be tied up for hours. If you do decide to network your copy machines, it’s probably smarter to network multiple, smaller copy machines rather than one bit one. Doing so helps you to manage traffic better and reduces overall wear and tear on the machines. The obvious Copy machines are incredibly vulnerable to static electricity, so be sure you throw a rubber mat on the floor space where any copier will be placed. The last thing you want to have to deal with is a fried copy machine because you didn’t put something between the machine and the floor.

Legend Business Group

Authorized Canon Copiers, Copy Machines, and Multifunction Devices