3 Hidden Fax Machine Expenses That Really Add Up

b2ap3_thumbnail_fax_server_400.jpgDo you have a functioning fax machine in your office? The technology is outdated; yet, there it sits, churning out faxes. Before you keep your fax machine around for another decade, you may want to first consider how it’s chipping away at your company’s operating budget.

Here are three ways that the fax machine can cost you more money than you may realize. Thankfully, none of these expenditures come with its replacement, a fax server solution.

The Need for a Dedicated Phone Line
Any business with a fax machine must have a dedicated phone line to go with it. Otherwise, callers won’t be able to get through whenever the fax machine is in use; a situation that could potentially lead to a lost sale. If you use a traditional phone service, then a fee for this phone line shows up on every bill, which can really add up over time. A fax server solution utilizes your Internet connection (something you’re already paying for), allowing you to finally cut the cord on your ancient dedicated fax line.

Paying for Paper and Ink Toner
Like the previous example, paying for paper and ink toner is a small expense that can really add up over the years. For example, did you know that one gallon of HP 02 Black ink adds up to $4,294.58 per gallon? Over the years, think for a moment about how many times you’ve replaced your fax machine’s ink cartridge. And now, try not to think about what else you could’ve done with that money. When implementing a money-saving paperless strategy for your business, a fax server solution is a must.

Fax Machine Upkeep
Fax machines are just like any piece of technology, they’re prone to breaking down. When this happens, you’ve got to contact an IT technician for a repair, and it may cost you more than you’d like due to the fix requiring an on-site visit for a specialty item. Also, don’t forget about the daily maintenance that comes from simply keeping a fax machine operational. Tasks include:

  • Replacing ink cartridges
  • Refilling paper
  • Taking care of paper jams
  • Tending to the sending and receiving of faxes
  • Filing the faxed paperwork

Essentially, all the time that your staff spends doing fax machine upkeep tasks like these equates to time not spent working on more meaningful and profitable projects; AKA, lost productivity.

A fax server solution from Amaxx will eliminate all of these fax machine expenses for your company. Instead of dealing with ink and paper, you can send and receive digitized faxes in the form of PDF files, all from your email inbox. And don’t forget about finally getting rid of that bulky fax machine! To learn more about how a fax server solution works, along with more ways that it will benefit your business, reach out to Amaxx at 614.486.3481 .

Microsoft Office 2016 is Here and It’s Got Something For Everyone

b2ap3_thumbnail_microsoft_office_400.jpgIt’s only been a few months since Microsoft introduced Windows 10, but the world’s largest software company is now updating their wildly popular Office productivity suite. Office 2016 takes the fully-featured productivity apps that users are used to and adds in significant improvements, especially to the integrated collaborative capabilities. Applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and the other apps that make up the Office suite have all seen improvements.

Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is one of the most utilized word processing programs on the market, and has been for over three decades. Word 2016 has built-in dynamic features that help users collaborate, share, and remain productive, in real time. With integrated features that allow users to edit any kind of text file, including classically-stubborn PDFs. Improvements to Read Mode allow for a reconfiguration of text to provide an easier-to-read interface, while the “Tell me what you want to do…” bar is a great addition for users that want to utilize the software to its maximum benefit. Whether you use a centralized SharePoint interface or simply store your files using OneDrive or a local repository, Microsoft Word will continue to be the go-to program for all of your word processing needs.

Microsoft Excel
Excel is the most useful spreadsheet application on the market with dozens of features that no other major spreadsheet application offers. Like Word, the Excel program has been improved to include dynamic collaborative options, while maintaining the trusted and powerful interface millions of users already know. Some of the more useful new options that Excel 2016 delivers include more access to charts and graphs than ever before, as well as improved pattern recognition. Like the other apps in the suite, Excel adds the “Tell me what you want to do…” box, to help users completely utilize the app’s features.

Microsoft PowerPoint
For anyone that needs to produce the perfect presentation, Microsoft PowerPoint is on the short list of applications dedicated to that purpose. PowerPoint 2016 provides users with a higher degree of access than ever before, allowing users to team up to edit, manage, and create presentations in real time. The new PowerPoint offers improved revision history and better conflict resolution, keeping users on task and efficient.

Microsoft Outlook
Outlook is one of the most utilized email interfaces in the world, and Outlook 2016 makes certain that won’t change in the future. Again the major theme of Office 2016 is collaboration, and Outlook makes it easier than ever to send and receive files and keep messages organized. Outlook, has also integrated the “Tell me what you want to do…” box, giving users a robust interface to assist them with whatever issues arise.

Other improved applications that are a part of the Microsoft Office 2016 suite are:

  • Microsoft OneNote - Office’s note-taking application
  • Microsoft Access - Office’s database management software
  • Microsoft Project - Office’s project management software
  • Microsoft Visio - Office’s diagramming software

Each will get the “Tell me what you want to do…” box integration as well as subtle improvements over their previous versions.

If you are looking for a comprehensive productivity suite, look no further than Microsoft Office 2016 through Microsoft’s Office 365 offering. With Office 365, users get all of these powerful apps complete with OneDrive integration for a simple and affordable monthly rate. Call Amaxx at 614.486.3481 to get an idea of further benefits Microsoft Office 2016 and Office 365 can offer your organization.

Tip of the Week: 3 Essential Bluetooth Devices for Your Smartphone

b2ap3_thumbnail_tablets_for_works_400.jpgIf you’ve ever taken your gadgets on the go for work purposes, you might have found that it’s somewhat difficult to get anything done with the limited computing potential of a smartphone or tablet. However, with the right technology, you can take full advantage of your mobile devices, especially if you’re using Windows 10 with its full Microsoft Office suite (Want to know if Windows 10 is right for your business? Reach out to us before you upgrade).

Being able to perform work remotely is especially important in today’s work environment. This is why it’s preferable to have a tablet or smartphone that one can work on while out of the office. As of 2015, it’s estimated by Pew Research that 64 percent of all American adults own a smartphone. Here are three technologies that you can use to get more productivity out of your mobile devices.

Bluetooth Keyboard
How long was the last message you typed on an on-screen smartphone or tablet keyboard? It’s clear that this isn’t the most efficient way to write out longer emails or documents. While it might be great for a quick text message or email update, you’ll want a more comprehensive solution that helps you spend less time messing around with autocorrect errors. You can give your thumbs a break by purchasing a Bluetooth keyboard. This essentially turns your device into one with laptop-like functionality.

Bluetooth Mouse
Anyone who uses a tablet understands that navigating productivity applications like email and document editors with a touch screen can be frustrating at times. You can remedy this by using a Bluetooth-connected mouse that gives you the feeling of a desktop with an itty bitty screen. It might only be a slight convenience, but whatever helps your productivity, right?

Many tablets today are compatible with Bluetooth mice, which, when combined with a keyboard, give you more of a traditional laptop experience with the mobility of a slim, light tablet.

Bluetooth Headset
One of the core functions of a telephone is to allow you to communicate over long distances with your voice. While you could easily stop whatever you’re working on to make a phone call, it’s unnecessary and takes away from the task at hand. If you’re using a Bluetooth headset, you can use your mobile device for phone calls without interrupting your work process, and without bothering the people around you by putting your phone on speaker mode.

Besides the obvious use of being able to talk on the phone, you can also use a Bluetooth headset to listen to music, view webinars, or listen to podcasts that are designed to help you boost productivity or learn new best practices. If you’re on a plane and have several hours left of your flight, it might not be a bad idea to check in on what’s hot and upcoming in your chosen industry. While some airlines have concerns over the safety of Bluetooth, the FAA has confirmed that Bluetooth will not interfere with critical airplane communication systems (in other words, it depends on your airline).

What are some of your favorite ways to stay productive with your mobile devices? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our blog for more productivity hacks and technology tips.

Think Strategically When Upgrading Your Workstations

b2ap3_thumbnail_upgrade_your_it_400.jpgWith technology growing faster than most businesses can keep up with, organizations have to continuously upgrade their solutions in order to maintain a semblance of modernity. The only issue with this is that many businesses can’t keep up, simply because they don’t have a team that’s dedicated to this important task. What technology upgrades should be made a top priority, and why?

Naturally, the first thing you need to know about workstation and technology updates is that you need to integrate them periodically in order to ensure optimal security for your organization. Most viruses and malware will attempt to take advantage of weaknesses in your infrastructure in order to infiltrate it. These weaknesses in your software and operating systems’ source code will ultimately allow these threats to force their way into your network, putting any contained information at risk.

These flaws are often addressed in software patches and system updates issued by the software developer, but tackling the updates in a timely fashion is a whole other monster. Managing all software updates is easier said than done, especially without a dedicated IT department watching over your technology. Regular maintenance is often pushed to the back burner, and dangerously close to being forgotten by all. Therefore, the best way to make sure that your systems are prepared to handle the threats that are found in today’s computing environment is to make upgrading your technology a priority for your organization.

Software Updates
There are several applications that your organization needs in order to stay functional, so your software updates aren’t limited to just your workstations’ operating systems. The fewer unnecessary security flaws that can be found in your IT infrastructure, the safer your information will be. Furthermore, users who are working with top-notch, optimized technology will be far more productive than they would be if they were using sluggish, bogged down computers. It doesn’t make any sense to let your employees use machines that hold them back from achieving their maximum productivity. In fact, sometimes you might encounter a situation where using a different software will be better for your business strategy. It’s always recommended that you consult with a professional technician before making drastic changes to your business’s software infrastructure.

Antivirus Updates
Your antivirus solution is often a software solution, but it’s worth mentioning on its own for the sole purpose that virus and malware definitions are continuously being updated. If your antivirus and other security software solutions aren’t properly maintained, it’s like you’re basically “leaving your keys in the front door,” so to speak. Your antivirus solution needs to be managed on all workstations, or better yet, centrally controlled from the server to ensure that all users are protected and up to date.

Hardware Updates
Older hardware that’s been around the block a time or two might have proven reliable, but it eventually starts to show signs of its old age. Hardware failure grows more likely, and you run the risk of losing information due to the degradation of your technology. This is why monitoring your systems for faulty tech, and periodically upgrading to more recent models is preferable, if not necessary.

Granted, all of the software and hardware upgrades your business might need may feel overwhelming. This is why Amaxx offers our remote monitoring and maintenance solution that’s designed to administer patches to your mission-critical systems remotely. This helps your organization ensure that your systems are always up-to-date. We can also monitor your infrastructure for any irregularities that might be caused by hardware malfunctions, hackers, and much more. Give us a call at 614.486.3481 to learn more.

Tip of the Week: 4 Windows 10 Features that Let You Do More

b2ap3_thumbnail_will_you_upgrade_to_windows_10_400.jpgWith Windows 10’s arrival comes all sorts of great new features, many of which are unprecedented. Here are four new features that you should check out on your Windows 10 device.

Microsoft OneDrive Integration
Microsoft’s cloud storage solution, OneDrive, is a major focus with Windows 10, especially with the cloud growing more important for modern companies. With Windows 10, OneDrive is far more integrated than it was in the past, all to handle your data-sharing needs. Now, rather than being forced to use OneDrive with a Microsoft device, you can access your files with Android and iOS devices. In fact, you can even use OneDrive to access any of the files on your Windows 10 PC remotely, adding even more value to the service.

Battery-Saving Features
One of the cool new features of Windows 10 on a mobile device or laptop is that you don’t have to closely monitor your battery levels like you used to. Windows 10’s new battery saver feature automatically detects when your power level reaches a certain point, and it powers down background applications that aren’t absolutely essential. In theory, it gives you a chance to save your work or plug in your computer, making the chances of an accidental power-down less likely. To enable Battery Saver, go to Start menu > Settings > System > Battery Saver.

Background Scrolling
One annoying issue for Windows users is when they are actively working in an application, then hovering the cursor over another open app that’s on the screen. When you go to scroll up or down, you can’t, because the app isn’t selected. While this is only a small issue, Microsoft still thought it should be addressed. To turn on Background Scrolling, go to Settings > Devices > Mouse and Touchpad.

Customized Start Menu Apps
Windows 10 practically got rid of the Windows 8 Metro interface, but it’s still available in the new Windows 10 Start Menu. Rather than a full screen interface, you have the option to place your most important applications in this easy-access menu. To do this, click the Start Menu and click on All Apps. Scroll to an application you’d like to add, right click it, and select Pin to Start. This puts an application shortcut right in the Start Menu for you. You can then edit the apps in the Start Menu by right-clicking them. You can change their size, or even remove them.

Windows 10 has proven to be an exceptional operating system for both the office and personal computing, and there’s sure to be more great new tricks out there allowing you to be more efficient with it. What are your favorite new features? Let us know in the comments.