Which "Pad" to buy?

What a difference 30 months make!  In May 2010, I wrote about my initial experiences with the first Apple iPad. I was really excited about what it could do and how content could be read or consumed nearly anywhere.  There had been a few “pads” built prior, but nothing like the iPad.  All the big pieces came together with a very readable color screen, highly accurate touch technology, a fast processor, plenty of storage, and thousands of available “apps”.  Access to information happened  over WiFi or a cellular connection.  Most everyone raved about the iPad and it validated what has become known as BYOD (bring your own device) to the corporate world. 

So, here we are 30 months later.  There are now over two dozen different choices in tablets from virtually every major computer and consumer hardware manufacturer.  Even Google and Microsoft have entered the fray.  Apple has two different iPads out there and the iPad mini.  Google, Samsung, Kindle, Nook, and many others have competing models.  Not surprisingly, the choice of what to buy isn’t so obvious any more.

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Are re-manufactured toners really cheaper

Editors Notes:  We get questions regarding the use of re-manufactured toner cartridges all the time.  This article is written by Hewlett Packard specifically about their toner cartridge program and HP's position on re-manufactured toner cartridges.  To be clear, this discussion concerns re-manufactured toner cartridges, not refilled cartridges which we never recommend or sell. The Computing Center does sell certain re-manufactured toner cartridges as well as the full-line of Hewlett Packard and other Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) toners. We are always available to discuss your toner needs and finding the most cost effective ways to manage your printers.

In order to increase their bottom line, many businesses are making an effort to cut down on printing costs. There are several ways to do this, including printing on both sides of the page, printing drafts in draft mode and shrinking your document to fill fewer pages.

Some businesses also choose to purchase remanufactured toner to reduce printing costs. But this could be a mistake—in the long run, refilled or remanufactured cartridges may end up costing more than you think.

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A business continuity plan - Reduce your worry

 used with permission from HP Technology at Work

When a business’s data is compromised, it’s just a matter of time before things begin to fall apart. As a result, the importance of having a business continuity plan in place is never clearer than during times like those. Sometimes known as a disaster recovery plan, a business continuity plan not only prepares your business for how to protect its data, but also how to prepare itself in the event of a catastrophic power failure or natural disaster. 

As far as protecting your business is concerned, a business continuity plan is also the least expensive option for small companies because it costs virtually nothing to produce. Utilizing tools such as HP Business Continuity and Recovery Services, and putting the plan into practice, will dramatically improve your chances of continuing operations during a significant event.

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Futureproof your business

 

(Editor's Note:  It doesn't matter whether you are involved with a for-profit business or not-for profit organization, figuring out ways to stay relevant to your customers is crucial.  Our friends at Hewlett Packard have written this as a way to take a look into the future from a technology orientation.)

 

If there’s one constant in business, it’s change.

Knowing what your business will look like in five or ten years is important, but your long-term goals should never detract from your short-term objectives. If you don’t have specific, measurable, action-oriented and—most importantly—realistic short-term objectives in place, your business may not have much of a future. 

One technique that businesses can utilize when looking to the future is called “flash foresight.” This way of thinking allows businesses to look forward and unearth previously invisible opportunities, as well as transform their findings into a model that they can use to solve any problems. By knowing what to expect down the road, businesses can future-proof their technology and staffing needs accordingly, ensuring they’re prepared for any obstacles they may encounter. 

Here are ten things you should consider when preparing to future-proof your organization:

1. Outline your needs

Take a look at your business’s main functions and growth plans for the next few years. By doing this, you will reveal what your needs are and how your current technological priorities will line up with them.

2. Use hard trends to see what’s coming

Seeing trends before they happen can often be invaluable to your business. For instance, HP was able to foresee trends of accelerating smartphone usage amongst businesses and was able to successfully utilize that knowledge to create options like HP ePrint for most of their new printers. On the other hand, companies like GM failed to recognize certain trends like rising gas prices, resulting in the discontinuation of many of their larger automobiles.

Being able to differentiate between cyclical changes (stock market) and linear changes (population growth), and hard trends (aging baby boomers) and soft trends (not enough doctors to treat aging baby boomers), will help your company make accurate predictions.

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HP combines PC & Printer divisions

The Computing Center has been doing business with Hewlett Packard (HP) since 1984.  We began by selling a desktop computer called the HP-150 and shortly thereafter began selling and servicing the first Laserjet which began the printing revolution.   We now sell, service, and support, virtually the entire line of HP network servers, desktop and laptop computer, printers, plotters, switches, and routers. Over the years, HP has greatly expanded its business to become the world’s largest computer company by sales volume.  Not a bad legacy for a couple of engineers who started out in a garage in Palo Alto, CA building audio oscillators and who’s early customer was Walt Disney Studios.

Large companies typically have many divisions and it’s common for each of those divisions to have separate profit and loss financial statements.   HP is no exception.  Many of us in the computer business have gotten used to HPs “alphabet soup” of ESSN, PSG, IPG, EB, etc. and exactly which division handles particular products, services, and programs.  Most of our clients don’t care…they care about getting the right product and services, appropriately designed for their needs.  

This past week, HP announced that PSG and IPG (printers) would be combined into a single division as a way to reduce some of HP’s internal complexity.  From our client’s perspective, there will be virtually no changes.   Inside, HP, the “merger” will allow overhead expenses to be trimmed, a gain operational and manufacturing efficiencies, and hopefully build on the successes inside the printer division.  

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