New Wide Format Technology Available!

We are excited to announce that CBS has recently expanded our product portfolio to include printing technology designed for signage, wraps, and other outdoor applications.

This new printing technology comes with a diverse selection of sizes and specifications to ensure solutions that fit the exact desired need of each client.  These printers are available with UV, Solvent, and Eco-Solvent inks and come in a wide range of sizes ranging from 48 to 104 inches.

This technology has largely been used by print shops because in house solutions were hard to come by.  However, CBS now has solutions for those businesses seeking an alternative to outsourcing.  By bringing these types of printing projects in house, businesses can now reproduce what they need, when they need it, at a much more cost effective price point when compared to expensive print shops.

Since this new technology comes with a variety of options regarding size and ink types, it is vital to understand what the different inks do and how they are best utilized.

Eco-Solvent solutions are fantastic since they have less odor and can be used in any space with good ventilation.  Indoor signage and graphics are common places where this style of printing is used.

Solvent inks are not made from mineral bases and tend to be fade proof, water proof, and resilient to scratches and contact.  These inks are more typical for anything exposed to harsher elements or spending long amounts of time outside.  Eco-Solvent solutions tend to be more ideal for indoor environments where Solvent solutions are more suitable for being outdoors.

UV ink is an extremely resilient solution and can last longer than either solvent ink in sunlight.  The UV ink application process actually uses UV lights inside the printer to dry the ink immediately.  Since this ink is made of different chemical compounds it can last longer outside while still remaining waterproof and resilient.

Each of these solutions is now available from CBS and our Wide Format Specialist can walk you through how to select the perfect solution for you or your business.

For more information or if you have any questions about this exciting new technology, contact us anytime!

How CBS Is Helping Businesses Adapt To A Post-Covid Workplace

It is no secret that the last few months have forever changed the way we approach, and do business.  Fortunately, many of these adjustments are helping reluctant business owners find justification in trying out new technology and solutions.  In an effort to make these adjustments as painless and efficient as possible, CBS has been a leader in the Denver market in offering reliable and innovative solutions to help workers and businesses adapt to a changing workplace.

While we are beginning to return to a more normal sense of life and business, some of the services we have rolled out in response to the Covid pandemic will continue to be available.  Three of our more popular service offerings include our in-house printing services, dropship program for plug-and-play desktop devices, and our scalable MNS Gold program.

In-House Printing:

After Covid struck, we noticed that there was an increased need for quick access to printing devices.  While most work and correspondence can be finished and transferred safely via digital mediums, there is still a prevalent need for getting documents printed.

While we do not have the capacity or desire to offer a full-capability print shop, we do want our clients to have on-site access to the solutions and technology they need in a timely manner.   So for projects of an urgent nature, we are still available and happy to assist our clients with their printing needs.  For more information on pricing or how to set up a project please click HERE.

Ricoh Dropshiping:

Another part of people losing access to printing technology was the need for new devices in home offices and remote work spaces.  In response, we started our Ricoh dropship program for plug-and-play devices to keep printing demands properly met.  With this program, we were able to quickly get new machines to home offices fast and without any physical contact.

Since, like most professional analysts, we expect a shift in business to a more remote daily experience, we are going to continue to make this service available.  It allows for us to provide reliable new technology to our clients quickly and with minimal or no personal contact.

Managed Network Services – Gold:

Last but not least, we rolled out our MNS Gold platform.  This allows for businesses to roll out I.T. solutions that are scaled more closely to resemble their daily operations and needs.  Most importantly, these scaled back solutions allow more remote workers to have responsible I.T. solutions and security in place without making a large investment.

Offering scalable solutions that fit the direct needs of our clients is a goal that we aim for on a daily basis.  However, managed network services is complex and unique to every business so our expectation and goal is to continue to further evolve how we approach and offer managed network services to our clients.  Our I.T. division at CBS truly has a very exciting future as we continue to grow and expand the countless ways we serve our clients.

Adjusting back to normal business will come with its own unique set of unexpected challenges.  However, just as we helped support our clients work from their homes, we will be there to help get them back to the office.

CBS Statement Regarding Covid-19

We at CBS consider the health and well-being of our clients and employees the highest of priorities.  As the coronavirus event continues to evolve and unfold in the U.S., we want to share with you what Complete Business Systems (CBS) is doing to service you and your organization.  Our current business plan is to continue providing the best level of support for you as possible, while we responsibly navigate this challenging health situation. Our management and leadership teams are currently meeting regularly to monitor the situation and ensure both employee and customer safety.

In an effort to lower the health risk to everyone, our technical staff and customer service teams are employing an initial “Phone Fix” for your products and services and we will be dispatching technicians only after all other options have been exhausted and with customer approval . In order to reduce personal contact, we are asking our technicians to limit access to our CBS building.  Furthermore, we have suspended our sales representatives from making unwarranted in-person sales calls, without essential reasons to do so or at the request of a customer.

As an added layer of safety, we ask that you share your organization’s expectations to our team members who may come to provide service at your work site. This would include immediately sharing with us if there would be a situation that would put one of our employees at risk… Thank you in advance for this.

Many companies have asked CBS for help in assisting them with their work from home set up.  This includes, but not limited to, computers, phone systems and printing devices.  As always, we are happy to offer any assistance we can in helping you and your business adapt to these challenging times.  Our plan is to remain as fully-operational as possible under these circumstances and deliver the great customer experience you have always counted on.

We want you to know that CBS takes great pride in being chosen to support you and your organization and are wholly committed to working closely with you during these challenging times.

Should you have any questions, please contact your Complete Business Systems representative or call (303) 467-9080.

In closing, we offer our deepest and sincerest thoughts and prayers to all impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Thank you for your continued partnership.

How Can I Improve Network Security (The Basics)

It is no secret that in today’s business marketplace there are malicious and intelligent threats all over the internet.  Some of them are very benign while others have the capacity to completely put someone out of business.

In recent posts, we have explored concepts like disaster recovery and business continuity.  Within that model exists network security practices and protocols.  However, the complexity and detail of network security processes are wholly dependent on the organizations that implement them.

What that basically means is that there is no such thing as a 100% guaranteed one-size-fits-all solution.

The good news is that while such diversity in methodology exists, there are still a handful of best practices that can be applied and implemented across all solutions.  We are going to briefly discuss 5 methods that are easy to implement and can make a big difference in maintaining the integrity of your privacy and professional network.

Keep Software Updated Regularly

This may seem fairly obvious but it is a very easy process to forget about.  Countless businesses and private users fail to update software regularly and do not realize that this enhances their risk for a network attack.  The best way to address this is simply to pay attention to notifications and then set updates to occur automatically.

Many of these software updates include security updates so delaying these regular software enhancements can give a hacker or online threat the opening it needs to access your network or private data.

Use Varied & Complex Passwords With Management Tool

Another one of the more obvious but perpetually ignored facets of good online security is using complex passwords that change often.  Most people, including the author of this blog, get comfortable using the same handful of passwords.  It is easier to manage and you don’t have to worry about forgetting.  It makes sense!

Problem is that the more a password is used, the more likely it is to be compromised.  The dark web offers countless tools to decipher passwords that are used with regularity and then paired to the parent email or account of the host user.  That means if one of your passwords is compromised, you can have security breaches on any entities that use those same login credentials.

So the next question becomes “how can one manage so many different passwords?”

There are numerous different online apps and platforms that are designed to remember passwords and auto enter them for you as needed.  These allow you to use highly complex passwords and change them regularly without ever having to actually learn or memorize them.

Use Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication is becoming more and more popular with education, finance, and banking services.  This is the process of verifying a login by sending the stored contact information (usually a text or email) a code to verify that the actual account owner is the one accessing the account.

Many personal and business account allows for this level of security as an option but it is not always utilized since people tend to get annoyed with spending another minute or two to safely login.  However, that extra minute could not be better spent if it means maintaining the security and integrity of a network with confidential and private information.

Understand Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are one of the most popular and common threats to security.  While they are the easiest to avoid, they are also among the most successful strategies to breaking into networks.  The success of this strategy relies on the ignorance of the masses at large.  People are still not careful about opening suspicious emails or clicking links that look like they are real.

Phishing scams are usually emails, texts, or instant messages that have links in them.  The emails can look official and legitimate which is why people continue to take the bait.  The best way to avoid falling for these scams is simply to avoid clicking on any link that doesn’t come from a trusted source.  These links usually look like they are coming from a service provider or institution that you have an account with, banks being among the most common.  However, if you look closely, you can usually find something suspicious.  (For example, the return email may be www.bank.co instead of www.bank.com)

No banks will contact you via email only with account sensitive issues so if you receive correspondence that looks like it could be real, the best solution is to contact the institution directly so you control how the information is passed and who receives it.

In conclusion, don’t click on links that look suspicious in the least.  If ever you have a doubt, you should contact the institution in question directly.

Backup Your Data

Last but not least, everyone should have some kind of backup for their important data.  Whether that is using the cloud, physical storage, or hiring an outside service provider, backing up your data is imperative.

We have discussed the concepts surrounding data backup and the strategies that come into play in previous posts so I won’t go into excess detail here but using a data backup or disaster recovery strategy is one of the most reliable methods to securing the information on your network.

Like other strategies, this process is going to be largely dependent on the type of information you are securing, the complexity of your network, and the associated value.  However, there are numerous strategies and services available to allow you to have backup your personal or business data so it is very easy to find a platform or solution that fits your needs without over investing.

These are just a handful of a plethora of different methods someone can use to protect their data and network.  Feel free to add other strategies that we haven’t covered in the comments section below.

Lastly, if you have questions or are interested in learning more about improving or managing your business network security please contact us anytime to set up a meeting or network audit.

 

Why You Should Pay Attention To Disaster Recovery

In our last blog, we briefly introduced disaster recovery solutions as part of the business continuity family.  However, disaster recovery is arguably the most important aspect of your business continuity plan.  Today’s blog will go over some of the basic concepts and strategies that are available with disaster recovery solutions.

Since every business operates differently, disaster recovery solutions offer a diverse selection of strategies to work with any business regardless of size or investment capability.  Since some businesses can operate with minimal data, they do not need to over invest in securing their vital information.

While other methods are available, the primary types of file backup are either file or image based backups.  File based solutions backup each file independently whereas and image based approach allows for a faster more streamlined solution as it backups files through image capturing which is more efficient and best suited for large volumes of documents.

These backups can be stored in numerous places.  Everywhere from a USB device to a protected cloud server can be used to store backed up information.

This is where some of the complications and problems can arise.  Since most people who run a business are experts in their craft instead of in the intricacies of data security, it is extremely important to have a clear and accurate understanding of how you are managing your disaster recovery plan.

Here are just a few of the questions that should be considered:

  1. Are you saving everything on a USB?
  2. Are you backing things up to the cloud?
  3. How often are these backups occurring?
  4. Do you have more than one redundancy to better ensure secured data?
  5. When was the last time your disaster recovery plan was tested?

All of these questions are important.  But most importantly, as businesses grow and change, the answer to these questions may change.  For example, if a business is only a few people and they store sensitive data in a few separate files, it may only make sense to secure those files.  However, if the business grows and starts to migrate that data into different file groupings or create new workflows, the information may not be secured anymore since the workflow and organization has changed.

Another issue that faces people who try to manually secure information on USB devices is if a file is compromised and then unknowingly saved to the USB, then the USB becomes compromised too, along with any other computer that gets connected to this device.  In this scenario, not only has the user had their data compromised on the USB, but they have also compromised other devices as well.  Since many ransomware hacks have delayed enabling, people are unaware that they are putting malicious information on to their storage device.

The most important fact about disaster recovery is that there is no perfect solution.  Hackers and ransomware are evolving as much as the security designed to stop them.  That is why it is vital to keep your disaster recovery plan top of mind as your business grows and evolves.

There are countless examples of people how thought a simple or manual solution would be enough only to learn first hand that they were not properly secured.  Hundreds of businesses get their information held by ransomware every year and for many of them it serves as a death sentence.  However, for businesses that utilize proper disaster recovery practices, these threats are minimal and easily mitigated.

The key takeaways are the following:

  1. Have more than one redundancy.  If you have an on-site solution, consider adding a remote cloud backup to ensure your data is safe.
  2. Check and make sure your disaster plan is current with your business workflow no less than once a year.
  3. USB drives can be compromised.  Unplugging something doesn’t ensure safety.
  4. Your backup process should be tested 1-2 times a year to ensure efficacy and timely access.
  5. Don’t try to figure this out for yourself.  CBS and other companies have specialists that can walk you through this process to ensure you receive proper solution.

Your data matters!  Make sure it is protected.

Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery

With all of the new technology and software available in today’s workplace, it can be overwhelming to get an understanding of what is necessary and what is superfluous.  From CRM’s to managed service providers, owners and administrators have a lot of options and strategies to consider when approaching business technology.

One of the most important strategies to consider is business continuity.

Put simply, business continuity is the strategy for maintaining functionality and performance through potential network threats or problems.  These threats range from benign problems like software mishaps to more serious issues like dealing with ransomware.  Most large organizations have processes in place due to compliance requirements or because they have a wealth of private or sensitive information.  A solid business continuity plan allows these corporations to protect themselves from losing sensitive information or experiencing large amounts of downtime due to an unforeseen event.  Anything from weather disasters or hacker attacks can be mitigated by having redundant backups and geographically diverse server locations.

Business continuity has multiple facets that contribute to the overall outcome.  One of the most important pieces is disaster recovery.

Disaster recovery is the piece of a business continuity plan that directly pertains to dealing with data loss, downtime, and external threats.  Since every business operates differently, no two disaster recovery plans are the same.

This is extremely important to highlight because many companies try to approach disaster recovery with a singular approach.  Unfortunately, one strategy doesn’t often apply to more than one business.

When designing and implementing a disaster recovery plan, multiple variables need to be considered.  Everything from compliance protocol, industry, number of employees, number of offices, network size, workflow, and standard operational procedures are just a few of the variables that need to be considered.

There is a wealth of misconception and misunderstanding about what makes for a good disaster recovery plan.  Many people assume that keeping data on an extra thumb drive is sufficient when in fact, the thumb drive itself could be hacked and compromised and then used as a tool to infiltrate other networks.  Disaster recovery solutions are not simplistic by design since proper network security and business continuity demands much more attention to detail and technical insight in today’s economy.

In conclusion, business continuity and disaster recovery plans are vital to any operating business.  These plans allow for maximum up-time while drastically reducing threats to sensitive information and data.  All of these solutions are customized and scalable to allow for businesses of any size to ensure consistent performance and safe digital operations.

3 Headaches Cured with Optimized Scanning

Most people that work in offices are familiar with the standard functions of a copy machine.  Scan, fax, and print are the primary roles of these devices and most everyone understands what these roles entail.  However, what many people do not realize is how some of those processes can be streamlined in ways that enhance profit and reduce time investment.

Good scanning strategies and practices offer a fantastic example of how optimizing integrated processes can result in a boost in efficiency and reduce overhead costs.

So how exactly can good scanning practices help your manage or optimize your business workflow?

  1. Compression – One of the biggest headaches faced by numerous business verticals is having files that are large and slow to load.  Finance, legal, accounting, and healthcare are just a few of the fields where large documents and files are stored and accessed with great regularity.  By utilizing compression software such as PremierCOMPRESSION, you can automatically compress file sizes as they are scanned into your database.  This greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to load a file while simultaneously reducing the amount of space you use to save vital data.  Using quality compression software offers a night and day experience to business people that need to access large files regularly.  Furthermore, studies have shown in numerous verticals that there is money to be saved by minimizing file sizes since it allows people to invest less in storing data.
  2. Accessibility – The next headache that good scanning practices can help alleviate is user access.  Even if you have compressed files, they can still be long and wordy and time consuming to read through.  By implementing a full-suite scanning solution, you can make your documents searchable in PDF format.  This is another feature that is popular with organizations that work in the legal, medical, or the financial vertical.  Having the freedom and flexibility to search archived documents with specific data saves time and frustration for people that need to regularly find or reference dated information.
  3. Integration – The last headache that a good scanning solution addresses is organization and workflow.  The key component to this strategy is healthy and responsible software integration.  Since there are hundreds of business optimization platforms available and no two are the same, it is vital to employ a scanning solution that can communicate and integrate with your working processes and systems.  Many free or online compression and scanning tools have challenging limitations when it comes to integration.  Solutions like Panasonic’s PremierCOMPRESSION, allow you to quickly and easily integrate with functional software and workflows.  What is more, these processes can be automated on installation to cater to the exact needs of your business.

Overall, there are a multitude of good reasons to investigate how scanning solutions can help your business.  However, the above three features address common daily headaches faced by millions of working people everyday.  The savings in both time and cost more than justify implementing a proper scanning strategy.

To get started or to learn more about what scanning solutions can do to help your business, give us a call to set up a product demonstration.

Q-4 Advice for Buying a Copier

Another year is about to be in the books!  The fourth quarter always sees a big push in copier sales and office technology as businesses look to spend any remaining budgets or look to upgrade technology and performance for the new year.

However, there are a lot of choices and more than a few sales people that would love to saddle you up with a contract on one of their best products.  Unfortunately, the new technical bells and whistles may not translate to improved performance.  In fact, sometimes upgrading to new technology can create headaches for businesses if they aren’t properly informed and educated on what that change will look like.

Here are the 4 things to cover with your copier rep or service provider to ensure that you don’t have any problems as you replace your old technology with the new.

Hard Drive Disposal – This tops our list for a good reason.  With newer and more complex security measures moving into the workplace, data thieves and hackers need a way into your network.  Old hard drives are a master key to your sensitive data.  It is imperative that old hard drives be returned or properly destroyed once  you replace a machine.

Solution – Make sure that your lease or purchase agreement promises that old hard drives are either returned or a certificate of destruction is provided in the event your service provider disposes of your hard drive on your behalf.

Software & Networking – Next up is understanding how any new software or networking integrations impact your workflow.  If you change brands, like going from a Canon to a Ricoh device, there is a good chance that the machines use different software and will integrate into your network differently.  If you aren’t aware of what these adjustments and changes are, they can be very damaging to your business productivity and may take a long time to build the familiarity needed to see the value in your new purchase.

Solution – Make sure to ask questions about the software in the new machines.  Also, take the time to explain the current software features you care about.  The more transparency and understanding you have about your workflow and processes will ensure a simple and easy transition.  Lastly, ask your service provider or vendor for product training for any new features.

Power Compatible – This might seen obvious, and it is.  So obvious that it is often glossed over or completely forgotten during the buying process!  Just because you are replacing a copier with another copier does not mean they have the same power demands!!  Make sure to verify that your power outlets and appropriately run the new machine

Solution – Don’t forget to ask your vendor, sales person, or service provider to verify that your current power source is adequate for your new machine.

Service & Response Time – Another obvious conversation to have is about service and response time.  The fastest way for a business relationship involving copier or office technology to go downhill is to experience a failure or mishap in customer service.

Solution – Ask questions about response time.  The best way to ensure you have a good partner is business is to listen closely to answers about service and support.  The more detailed and transparent they are about processes and accountability measures, the more likely you are to be working with a trustworthy business partner.

These are the top four conversations that you must have when going through the copier purchase process.  While some are more obvious than others, it is very easy to miss one or more of these vital details.

If you have any questions about a purchasing a new copier or would like to learn more about how Complete Business Systems can serve you, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Have a great start to your Q-4 and we wish you continued success as we close out 2019!