Insightful Discussions: “Business Technology Trends & Challenges”

January 30, 2020 by Drew Smith

Technology is vital to companies that want to exist today and to a larger scale thrive in the years ahead. Drew Smith of Copiers Plus shares insights into the role technology helps his company — and his customers — do business today and plan effectively for their future.

What role does technology play in serving your customers?

Each of our customer’s infrastructure is different and continues to change seemingly daily with new technological advances. It is our job to adapt to each environment and offer solutions that will bring value to their office communication. One way we are able to achieve this is by integrating with the different software programs and applications currently used within their organizations. In addition, our ability to tap into the variety of expertise our vendors offer is critical in making sure the most versatile technological options are available and executed for our customers.

What technology trends are impacting your industry?

The ability to integrate with cloud applications is a top trend in our industry today. With the rise of mobile workers and non-traditional workplaces, it is pertinent that organizations have access to their documents wherever they are and whenever they need them. By allowing synchronization with cloud applications, users are able to ensure they are always working on the newest version of their documents and can collaborate with co-workers seamlessly.

What is the biggest challenge faced by your customers that your technologies help them overcome?

Governmental compliance, document security, and workflow bottlenecks are the biggest challenges our customers are currently facing. With the ever-changing landscape of technology, questions constantly arise on how to stay compliant and ensure your documents are safeguarded both internally and externally. We are able to help by looking into the document workflows of our customers to uncover their liabilities and see where we can increase transparency. One example is making sure each user in the organization has an individual login to copiers and devices within the organization. By allowing custom access, we are able to allow users access to their individual cloud accounts, folders and shared organizational software such as SharePoint, while also providing the organization with an audit trail of users that accessed specified devices, activity logs, and the time documents were scanned, copied, faxed or printed.

How has technology influenced the kinds of job skills you seek in employees?

Our industry, like many others, has changed significantly. In both the sales and service side of our organization, the specifications of our products and our knowledge of their capabilities was the most important aspect to ensuring success with our customers. Now, we must not only understand the products and software we offer, but the landscape in which we offer them, the regulations within those realms, and the individualization we can bring to each user within the organization. That is why it is critical our employees and prospective employees are committed to continuous training to stay up-to-date on software updates, security protocols and integrations we can pass along to customers.

In what major ways has technology made your job easier in delivering quality products and services?

Today, we are able to provide prospective customers with less “risk” than ever before. With trial versions of our software offerings and free demo periods for our devices, users are able to see how the solutions we propose will work within their environment before purchasing. In addition, webinars have been exceedingly helpful in communicating complex technical applications both externally with clients and internally with our vendor partners.

What does the next wave of technological advancements hold for your business?

I believe we will see even more advances in the world of automation and cloud integration. We have shifted from selling products to selling productivity so we will be focused on ensuring users are more secure in their document handling procedures, have access to their documents quicker, and are able to easily collaborate with fellow team members.

What is your business doing to maximize the next generation of technology for customers?

We are invested in training both our sales and service team so they are able to offer the best solutions available to our clients at the time. We are also ensuring we align ourselves with vendors that understand the importance technological advances play on our customers’ workflows. If we were to get complacent in our knowledge and offerings, our customers’ productivity would suffer and that is a non-starter for us.

How has technology improved your customer support experience?

There have been many advancements over the past couple of years that have allowed us to respond quicker and more effectively to our clients. One is our ability to remote into our customer’s device and automatically update firmware. In addition, we have software that automatically tracks the meters on networked devices we deploy so our customers don’t have to manually send in meter readings each month. Low toner levels and other maintenance-related alerts are now sent directly to our team without customer initiation being necessary. Thanks to these notifications, oftentimes we are able to have toner delivered to customers before they even know they need it.

Does your business employ automation technology, and if so in what capacity?

We utilize automation technology in our service department by having real-time data flowing in and alerting us when we need to make adjustments and take necessary action in the field. Though we welcome automation in most instances, we still believe in a live person answering each call to our organization.

What challenges does your business face with regard to protecting customer data, and what cybersecurity technology do you employ?

Customer data lives within most documents in an organization. It is how you manage the permissions and flow of these documents that make the most difference. We deploy services and applications that safeguard our customers against threats by focusing on the liabilities within their current landscape. Ensuring organizations don’t allow unvetted access to their devices and that they restrict or monitor usage is a key way we advise them to protect their data.

Want to learn to stay ahead of the technology curve and safeguard your data? Give us a call at 800-648-7081 or schedule an appointment with us here.

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