Hazel Mosai, tender consultant at Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa, reflects on the issues and trends that the office equipment industry should be cognisant of.
What are the new workplace imperatives in terms of office equipment? What has changed, how and why?
Without a doubt, optimising processes through document management is imperative. Document management – information sharing, collecting, inputting, processing, capturing, storing and disposing – has evolved.
In the age of big data, it’s no longer efficient, practical or financially sound to manage information in an old-fashioned filing cabinet.
While paper is still useful and an entirely paperless office is not always feasible, the trend is for complex and multitudinous information to be obtained at the click of a button. This information should be seen as an asset – consistent, reliable, useful and available. It should also facilitate compliance with failsafe security and auditing features, and integrate seamlessly with everyday applications.
An agile enterprise content management system (ECM) is one of Kyocera Document Solutions’ answers to complex document management. Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa offers an enterprise content management (ECM) solution with powerful capabilities. The ECM captures information, processes electronic forms, creates e-signatures, optimises workflow, ensures record management and enhances security. It also allows organisations to securely access, manage and share documents, videos, photos and other content.
What are the new trends and technologies that are driving directions when it comes to office equipment?
Twenty years ago, the agile approach to information management hinged on document imaging – the ability to convert paper documents into digital images, saving storage space and retrieval time.
Ten years ago, agile organisations made the leap to document management – technology that manages imaged and electronic documents throughout their life cycles, including capture, filing, access control (security) and archiving.
Today, successful organisations need more than document management. They need to optimise the decision-making process by getting the right content (whether structured or unstructured, paper or electronic, audio or video, photograph or e-mail) into the right hands at the right time.
Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa’s ECM solution is a cutting-edge solution that combines comprehensive content management functionality with business process management tools to both manage and process information, turning it into an asset that enables efficiency and smart decision making organisation-wide.
How should end user companies and channel players alike be aligning their businesses to meet the new paradigms head-on?
Channel players should ensure their solution fits into an existing networked environment, without requiring custom programming or extensive hardware and software updates. Channel players should have technology that supports close integration with both the end user and with industry-standard platforms.
Regulatory compliance, and broader security are perhaps the most critical issues.
One of Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa tools is Secure Audit – which allows for a diagnostic report to show all open ports, protocols, registered accounts, job boxes, installed apps and USB status on compatible devices. Having this information easily accessible, means administrators can take appropriate action to secure their devices long before hackers, the European Union (through the General Data Protection Regulation) and the South African government (through the Protection of Private Information Act) take umbrage.
Fortunately, Kyocera printers have many built-in security functions and are therefore regulatory compliant, both locally and internationally. For example, all Kyocera printers perform self-healing and self-protecting checksum operations every time they boot up, and flag unauthorised configuration changes. They can also turn off protocols that aren’t needed and lock down specific ports at the behest of the administrator.
While USB functions – like printing from or saving to USB drives directly – are handy at times, they can also be a point of vulnerability. Concerned admins can disable USB port functions, as well as optional interfaces entirely, on Kyocera printers.
One often overlooked the aspect of general printer security in end-user education, but it’s essential to maintaining a secure environment, as the human factor can and does lead to vulnerabilities that only training and awareness can address, like the tendency to leave sensitive documents in the output tray, or unattended at desks.
To that end, we offer our partners extensive training on our products, their security options, and printer security best-practices, which they then pass on to their clients. Training and user awareness is a crucial step towards ensuring every organisation’s printing ecosystem remains secure and compliant.
Why and how is printing and printing technology more important than ever in the retail and supply chain markets?
Printing technology has evolved with the internet of things (IoT). The most pared-down definition of IoT is that devices – including fridges and warehouse boxes – can “talk to” a central information point, usually in the cloud.
Businesses that rely on managed print services for example can use the IoT to facilitate device support. Multi-functional printers are usually equipped with technology that enables the remote management of these devices. Remote diagnostics and automatic replenishment reminders can provide businesses with greater forewarning and thus improved productivity.
Meanwhile, Kyocera Communication Systems – a subsidiary of Kyocera Headquarters in Japan – has started providing Internet of Things (IoT) network services based on the Sigfox global IoT network to a variety of industries. Here are some examples of how the IoT will work:
* Utilities – Remote meter reading and water leakage detection
* Retail – Remote monitoring for vending machine repair and restocking
* Environmental – Monitoring for temperature, precipitation, wind and river levels
* Logistics and Transportation – Container, pallet and chassis location information management
* Assets – Tracking and tracing rental equipment in case of loss or theft
* Medical – mHealth applications such as data collection and monitoring, and monitoring of the elderly, children and pets
* Agricultural – Monitoring of greenhouse temperature and humidity, soil condition monitoring and machinery management