09 Dec 2014

Samsung Smart MultiXpress Wins

Samsung Smart MultiXpress Wins 2 Editor’s Choice Awards

The critical acclaimed Samsung Smart Print range – Samsung has brought smartphone-like ease of use and expandability to its new MFPs.

Samsung is shaping its print offering to meet the challenges of the office of the future

Launched at September’s IFA 2014 consumer electronics exhibition in Berlin, the ten new MFPs are the first of their kind to be equipped with an Android operating system. The combination of Android OS and Samsung’s Smart UX Center, the same touch technology used in Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets, provides a familiar user interface and a scalable platform for individual printer apps – just like a smartphone. It also allows the printers to operate independently of a PC with on-the-go connectivity through Samsung Cloud Print.
This, says Mark Ash, General Manager of Samsung Electronics’ Print Division in the UK and Ireland, makes the Smart MultiXpress series ideal for the flexible working practices employed by businesses today.

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26 Aug 2014

IFG Group Plc Case Study

With information and pension statements a critical part of its business operation, Irish financial services firm, IFG Group, needed to find a more reliable way of producing information for its clients.   After implementing a Digicom and Ricoh Office print solution IFG has reduced print cost and also improved reliability, speed and productivity.

Challenges
The IFG Group is a financial services company specialising in retirement planning solutions for Irish and multinational companies, and for all aspects of personal financial planning and pensions in Ireland. With its head office in Dublin, IFG’s international operations also include the UK and Europe. The organisation employs 800 staff, has a market capitalisation of £150 million, and manages £17 billion in assets.

IFG has pioneered the use of technology to improve its services. The IFG Pension Portal is Ireland’s most innovative interactive information source. But despite a trend towards more digital information, key parts of financial services still rely heavily on paper-based materials and documents. Pension services, which is a mainstay of IFG’s business, have regulations which require providers to issue member benefit statements as paper-based printed documents within a five-month deadline. For its customers, IFG produces these statements at its Dublin head office. Each customer can have an information pack of around XX pages, so the print runs can amount thousands of pages each time they are required.

IFG had already taken the step to change its print resources for individual desktop devices to a more unified managed print service. But the company’s business growth, increasing demand from customers and the need to produce more complex documents meant the print system was no longer meeting business needs.

The existing print devices were coming to end of life and would often break down during higher volume print runs, with frequent paper jams and other technical issues. Print software that supported Follow Me print was also old and no longer effective. It was unreliable and frequently failed to work with staff going to a printer and finding it could not print off their document. Printer downtime was increasing and staff were left for longer and longer periods without a printer.

“The slow speed of the printers and not being able to retrieve the jobs and log in to the machines, were the two key issues we had on a fairly long term basis. From a business productivity point of view, it simply wasn’t working,” says Alan Kelly, IT Director at IFG Group Plc.

The plan was to replace its printing system with a more robust and reliable solution. As well as good quality equipment and ease of use for staff, one of the key requirements was having an effective level of support. IFG investigated a number of different suppliers and, in the end, decided to work with local supplier Digicom, a Ricoh business partner.

“We were impressed with what the partnership between Digicom and Ricoh could deliver. Compared to many other manufacturers, Ricoh offered a great range of high-quality, high-specification devices. This combined with excellence service and support from Digicom meant the solution provided speed, reliability and value for money,” says Kelly.

Digicom and Ricoh were able to deliver and deploy the new print solution at IFG in just 24 hours, with little or no disruptions to business operations.

Solution
At its head office in Dublin, IFG has deployed a Digicom and Ricoh Office solution, comprising seven high volume Ricoh Multifunction Products (MFPs), three standard MFPs, Ricoh software and Digicom support. The Ricoh MFPs are networked and integrated into IFG’s existing business applications to provide the business with a single, enterprise-wide system, so that when required, information for the IFG Pension Portal and other systems can be produced easily.

Print Control software is used to manage print services and enable a more efficient and effective Follow Me print facility with staff using their security fobs to release a print job from any device. Digicom’s remote software solution enables Digicom and IFG to manage the Ricoh MFPs efficiently by providing accurate, real-time information about device and consumable use.

The software can also be used to remotely monitor the health of machines, to spot any problems before they become a fault. Regular service checks also keep the printers in good running order, and Digicom engineers are on hand to fix faults within hours rather than days.

Benefits
“Printing is one of the key services we provide to staff, and the success of the Digicom and Ricoh solution is measured by the fact that it is now one of the services they notice the least,” says Kelly. “Compared to the situation before, we can now ensure more reliable printing with both the equipment used by staff, and with the software that runs the solution. It’s faster, more efficient, delivers better quality and is helping drive up productivity.”

The Digicom and Ricoh print solution means that as well as improving standard, day-to-day printing, it is now much easier to print the thousands of pension documents required by financial regulations. A more efficient, easy-to-manage and reliable solution is helping IFG reduce print costs.
Having more efficient software enables IFG to manage and monitor how print is used across the organisation so that departments are accurately billed for their printing, These kinds of benefits and overall improvement of all printing operations helps reduce administration time associated with running print resources.

Another important benefit has been better quality output. Kelly says, “The Ricoh MFPs are a significant improvement on the previous devices we used. Not only do the higher specifications and faster print speeds cut down the amount of time it takes to run out thousands of pages of statements, the quality of the printed page is much better. While it may seem a minor thing, it’s also a key part of improving the quality of service we can deliver to our customers.”

Productivity is further enhanced by having the same type of MFP throughout IFG’s building, since staff can use any device and do not need to learn how to use different machines.

Kelly says, “We’ve been very happy with the service we get from Digicom. The company is very responsive and any minor issues have been dealt with very quickly and efficiently.”

 

“Printing is one of the key services we provide to staff, and the success of the Digicom and Ricoh solution is measured by the fact that it is now one of the services they notice the least.  Compared to the situation before, we can now ensure more reliable printing with both with the equipment that staff use and the software that runs the solution.  It’s faster, more efficient, delivers better quality and is helping drive up productivity.”

Alan Kelly, IT Director | IFG Group Plc

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13 Aug 2014

Mazars Ireland

Ricoh and Digicom transform print operations for a leading Irish business consultancy.

Challenges

Mazars Ireland is one of the country’s leading professional services firms. Its services include: audit and assurance, consultancy, corporate finance and taxation for a broad range of clients, covering corporate businesses, government and institutional organisations, small businesses and individuals.  The company is part of the international Mazars group and is a member of Praxity, the world’s largest alliance of independent and unaffiliated audit and consultancy companies. In Ireland, Mazars has two offices, with its headquarters in Dublin and it serves clients across the whole of Ireland and internationally.

Mazars was typical of many organisations where print resources had grown over time in a buy-when-needed and ad hoc way. This resulted in around 49 printers, of varying ages and different types, sitting on desks spread across five floors. Because of the nature of its business, Mazars staff often handle sensitive client information, which they need to protect and so having personal, single-user printers helped achieve that, particularly among more senior staff who had their own offices. But this print set up was starting to get expensive, both in terms of actual equipment and management time.

Another issue was waste. Trevor McCarron, Director of IT & Finance for Mazars Ireland, says, “There was a lot of wasted paper found lying in printers every evening after everyone had gone home, which had to be shredded. So we had a number of issues around managing our print – running costs, waste and capital outlay every time someone wanted a new printer.”

However, a building renovation gave Mazars the opportunity to change its office space into a more open working environment and take a new approach to delivering print resources.  Mazars put out a tender which was finally won by Ricoh business partner Digicom because of the comprehensive solution it had proposed. Also, Mazars was already using a lot of Ricoh equipment and Digicom had recommended using Ricoh.

Prior to deploying a solution, Digicom carried out an extensive audit of Mazars’ business operations to determine what print resources it needed and then Digicom developed a solution based on delivering best fit and best value for money.

Solution

The solution Mazars has deployed is a Digicom Managed Print Service (MPS), implemented and supported by Digicom. It comprises just seven Ricoh Multifunction Products (MFPs) – replacing the previous 49 printers – management software to control and monitor print activity, and support for maintenance and consumable supply. As well as printing, the Ricoh MFPs also include copy and scanning to email or directly into the network.

The Digicom MPS has been rolled out at Mazars’ Dublin office with the other office in Ireland to follow shortly.

The Digicom MPS gives Mazars much greater insight into how print resources are being used across the organisation because the print management application monitors user and device activity in real-time and provides detailed reports. For example, the solution was able to identify and stop a user who had inadvertently started printing an 8,000-page spreadsheet document.

Part of the solution is ongoing support from Digicom to ensure the Ricoh MFPs function well. Remote monitoring using PrintVision of the Ricoh MFPs back to Digicom means that it can replace toner cartridges just before they run out, rather than afterwards.

One or two of Mazars’ existing printers have been integrated into the Digicom MPS for use in the few remaining senior partner offices.

Benefits

By reducing its print devices by over 75 percent and making its print operation more efficient and less wasteful, Mazars estimates that the Ricoh MPS will help it save between 20-25 percent on its print costs.

One of the key benefits of the Digicom MPS is much greater insight and control over how print resources are used at Mazars. The Digicom solution gives Mazars a much more detailed and granular picture of how print is being used across the organisation. On a monthly basis McCarron can see which individuals or departments are the biggest users of print resources.  With this kind of information the company can start to apply new processes, such as more  accurate departmental charging.

McCarron says, “The Digicom MPS is enabling us to stop the situation of people printing something, realising they didn’t need it and leaving it in the print tray. This meant we were using a phenomenal amount of toner, which we have also been able to reduce.” McCarron says that since installing the Digicom MPS it has already started to help the company reduce waste paper which the Mazars estimates to be 15 percent.

The solution’s management application has helped Mazars put in place a number of policies which help to make printing more efficient and less wasteful. This includes being able to set all devices to print duplex and mono as default centrally. “Before, trying to apply these kinds of policies across 49 personal printers was very difficult,” says McCarron. In the past, anybody could order toner, resulting in little control over stock or cost. Not only does Digicom’s remote monitoring ensure toner is only supplied when it is needed, it also means that devices are not out of use waiting for a new toner to arrive. Overall, the Ricoh MFPs achieve an operational up time rate of 98 percent.

The Digicom MPS supports the company’s new working environment, with Ricoh MFPs in central locations across five floors in the Dublin office, so that employees are never far from a print device.  The Ricoh MFPs fit in well with the new open plan office environment because of the Follow Me print capability, where individuals use swipe cards to release print jobs, which allows them to use any device irrespective of its location. The Ricoh MFPs are also quiet and have an aesthetic design. Having one type of device across the organisation means that staff can use any machine knowing that they all work in exactly the same way.

One challenge for Mazars had been changing the culture and work processes from individual to shared print services. A big help was making the change part of the redesign to an open-plan office and planning ahead to ensure the new print solution met user needs. Also, some of the features of the Digicom MPS, in particular, swiping a card before printing a document, were seen by staff as providing at least as good as before, if not more, security and privacy for sensitive information.

 

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30 Jul 2014

Carton House Case Study

Mixing Cosmopolitan Chic with Contemporary Cool, Carton House Hotel in Kildare is one of the best luxury hotels Ireland has to offer. This beautifully restored historic mansion that has been discreetly converted in to a modern luxury destination – the first of its kind in Ireland.

 

The Challenge

  • Previously, Carton House acquired 48 printers/photocopiers over time from 6 different manufacturers. Their old solution was unplanned and grew organically to meet immediate needs.
  • Staff were burdened with managing problems as they arose, with the need to call an expensive IT support as needed.
  • Carton House specifically wished to outsource all aspects of their maintenance, consumables and toners to include preventative measures to avoid downtime, in and out of normal business hours.
  • They understood their need to consolidate, control and manage their largest fleet of machines, but did not know how best to resolve these issues.
  • Reducing their carbon footprint was another strategic requirement of any solution deployed.

Solution

After a substantial audit/survey of both the hardware and people using the machines, a new solution was recommended reducing the fleet machines by 35%. The solution agreed, includes provision of all services including preventative and emergency maintenance, remote monitoring of all devices, IT troubleshooting, all consumable and parts to deliver maximum equipment uptime.

One quarterly bill for ease of administration, with half yearly account review. Minimum disruption to the business of running Carton House with the solution deployment – Digicom pre-configured all devices and related software achieving same day installation and solution completion.

  • Minimum running costs savings of 20% achieved immediately.
  • Significant administration and staff time savings in managing the print hardware, supplies and billing aspects.
  • Immediate reduction by 25% of Carton House IT resources.
  • Print related workflows streamlined and faster turnaround for guests, both in registering and checking out.
  • Standardisation with all new models improved staff confidence and is greatly increasing successful print outcomes.
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