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    Enterprising CIO’s at ACN Summit 2013

    At the ACN Enterprise Computing Summit 2013 , held at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, around 90 CIOs, CTOs and senior IT managers were present for some in-depth discussion of the trends and trials of their industries, as well as to examine proven strategies and working examples of the most useful technology and operationally efficient practices in the Middle East. As a staunch supporter of cost- saving and efficient business practices, shown in our Print Smart campaign, OKI exhibited the C301 network colour printer and the MB451 mono Multifunction printer at the event. OKI Team hard at work

    The challenges that were considered in the round table sessions obviously inspired the audience who came out to the exhibition area very interested in how OKI could help provide solutions. The excellent quality print samples and range of media shown (business cards, POS banners, CD labels etc.) made it easy for the end-users to see firsthand the benefits of in-house printing on an office printer. A recent study by leading business research body the Centre for Economics and Business Research (cebr) has suggested that businesses in the EMEA region could save a staggering $25,000 million by changing the way they manage their printing, and in particular by bringing more of their print requirements in-house.Delegates buzzing with energy

    The Summit provided an excellent opportunity for OKI to explain their principle of printing just what you need, when you want it and where you want it. This not only boosts cashflow, saves storage space and distribution costs, it also ensures accuracy and timeliness, boosts efficiency and greatly reduces environmental waste. So, in addition to stimulating discussions and the delicious lunch that was served, the attendees left with plenty of food for thought from us.

    For more information on how in-house printing can help your business, please read Why Switch to In-House Printing?

    Ask OKI. You may just find your solution.

    Thoughts on your office environment for Earth Day 2013

    earth day.jp

    Today is Earth Day, and all over the world more than 1 billion people are celebrating by driving green initiatives like cleaning, planting and recycling. On this special day activists, governments, and NGOs try to drive more awareness about the current environmental issues and what we can do to help protect our Earth and preserve our natural resources.

    Though green issues such as climate change have become a major part of our daily life, many people still find it difficult to sustain it in their working environments. Business Printing is one of the areas where you too can make a difference. We can’t give up printing and in fact it is our duty not to, but how we print is what makes all the difference when it comes to our impact on the environment. So today we are going to show you in three simple steps how your business can score double by cutting down its printing cost and carbon foot print at the same time.

    Smarter printing

    At first glance it may be hard to see how moving print from a specialist supplier to in-house could have such a dramatic impact both on costs and on carbon emissions. The explanation, though, is simple: if you print in-house then you print precisely what you want, when you want it and where you want it. You might call this smarter printing.

    Every business requires stationery: letterheads, invoice blanks and so on. Traditionally this stationery is pre-printed in advance, and because of the economies of scale when using an external supplier, items are usually ordered in large quantities. You pay for a large amount of paper, tying up cash. You spend energy moving it from the print shop to your premises and, if you have multiple locations, to probably pay again to move it from the headquarters to these other branches. You have to provide storage for it and if any detail changes – a new address, membership of a new trade body, an update in the corporate identity, maybe the addition of your environmental certification details – then the paper is just scrap to be delivered (more carbon) to a recycling plant.

    So, why outsource when you can do it in house?

    Online information

    The last few years have seen a marked change in the way that brochures and data sheets are used. Gone now are the days when if someone was interested in a product they called the company who put a glossy brochure into an envelope and mailed it. Today the expectation is that all this information will be available on the web, and while brochures still exist they are formatted to be downloaded and printed out remotely.

    Again there is no need to print large quantities of brochures in advance. If you need ten copies to display in a reception area, print out ten copies. If you need 100 copies for an exhibition then print out 100 copies. And if the exhibition is in Las Vegas or Beijing then print them there, rather than shipping them around the world. This provides more benefits than you can shake a stick at. It saves money and it reduces the carbon footprint, but it also means that you can make changes to your document as they happen.

    Managed printing

    These real savings are realised readily, by taking a managed approach to printing. Identify what your requirements are and install the hardware you need to support it accurately. The network design will ensure that staff has access to the right printer at the right time. Multi-page documents should be routed to duplex devices for double-sided printing to halve the paper cost.

    These are simple steps but can deliver cost savings to a business of as much as 30%. By printing what you need exactly when you need it you eliminate waste, and by printing what you need at the exact location you need it you save the cost, and environmental impact, of shipping it.

    While achieving best environmental practices can be challenging for a business, particularly in the current climate, there are areas where going green does not inevitably cost money. Taking a fresh look at printing can be good for your business while fulfilling your Corporate Social Responsibility at the same time.

    Colour me cost-effective..

    With people around the world celebrating Holi, the Festival of Colours this month, see below for some tips on how to make the most informed decision in your choice of colour printer; for whatever size of business you are in.

    OKI Holi festival

    In the print industry, cyan, magenta, yellow and black are used as the primary colours. Most printers use the CMYK colour model.

    CMYK refers to the four inks used in most colour printers: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). The “K” in CMYK stands for key since in four-colour printing cyan, magenta, and yellow printing plates are carefully keyed or aligned with the key of the black key plate. Some sources suggest that the “K” in CMYK comes from the last letter in “black” and was chosen because B already means blue. However, this explanation is incorrect. Of course, as most of you know, OKI was the first to bring out CMYW for white toner based printing.

    We once lived in a blacGraffitik and white world. TV was black, printed publications were predominantly black. All of that changed in the 60’s and has created a chain reaction that holds true today. Less than ten years ago, in-house colour printing was still an expensive hobby. Today, businesses in the Middle East are using printers that produce their colour documents quickly, consistently and cost-effectively and are hence able to communicate more effectively with their own customers.

     Studies in a major publication revealed that the use of colour increased readership by 40% or more. A university study showed a 65% increase in the retention of material when full colour was used instead of black and white.

    Some businesses are perhaps put off by using colour in their printed documents as it creates a dent in their budgets. This is a misconception. Using colour is not as expensive as you may think. If you need the highest-quality colour pages-say you print out presentations and brochures or you’re an organization who needs top-notch flyers-spending the extra cash for a colour toner based printer makes sense. These printers give you the cleanest and sharpest results. Also, toner based printers print out long documents quickly, at roughly twice the text speed of typical ink jets.

    Whether your printer costs $40 or $400, the purchase price is only the first item on your new list of ongoing printing expenses. Over time, buying the consumables or toner and acquiring media (paper, envelopes, card or transparencies) will very likely make a far bigger impact on your wallet. These costs will vary depending on what you print, how much you print, and what kind of media you use.Bastakia nights

    Shaving cents off  colour printing involves just a little thought, effort, and advance planning. It is a bigger issue than many companies think. With a set of replacement ink cartridges for inkjet printers costing anything up to $55 a time, an office of 20 ‘heavy’ users could be spending over $1,000 a month on ink!

    • Know Before You Buy – Saving money on printing starts (ideally) before you buy the printer. Before you begin researching new models, make sure that you’ll be getting the best printer for the types of documents you plan to produce. Once you start looking at specific models, make a point of checking the recommended print volume; if you typically print 100 pages a day, for example, don’t buy a printer that’s rated for 500 pages a month.
    • If you do a lot of document printing, don’t use an inkjet printer. Use a toner based printer. Toner based printers cost more to buy but much less to use. With all costs figured in, each document page printed on a typical toner based printer costs from 2 cents to 5 cents; on an inkjet, the cost per page can run from 10 cents to 15 cents, depending on the model. This does not even count the cost of photo printing, which can cost up to a dollar per page on an inkjet when you include the high cost of photo paper and the additional ink that’s used in that mode.
    • Know your hidden costs – Choose a printer not only on the basis of its performance and speed but on the cost of the consumables and not on the cost of the printer. Ink costs swallow up all other expenses over a couple of years of use. Even machines using similar technologies can have very different operating and consumables costs. Evaluating the ongoing costs of a printer can produce some surprising results.
    • Don’t judge a cartridge by price alone; its efficiency, or page yield—the number of pages it can print–matters just as much. Of course, that figure will vary depending on how much ink you use on a page, but the industry standard assumption is 5 percent coverage per page for each colour. Some companies make yield information available on the Web along with other printer specifications; others will provide it if you ask, either by email or phone. You can use yield information to calculate per-page costs, which can be useful in determining what your printing costs for different printers would look like over time. Toner based printer toner cartridges may cost a lot more than ink jet cartridges, but their higher yields make per-page costs lower.
    • The incredible shrunken ‘starter’ cartridge – Many lower-cost toner based printers come with starter cartridges that last anywhere from 60 percent to as little as 33 percent as long as a regular cartridge. Granted, if you don’t print much, that first cartridge could last you a while; but if you know you’ll be printing at least 100 pages per month, either find a printer that comes with a full-size cartridge or factor in the cost of an early replacement. Of course, if you get a great deal on the printer, your overall cost may still be quite affordable.
    • Using standard paper for the job – The heavier, brighter (whiter), or more specialized the paper is, the more it will cost. You’ll generally pay as little as a half-cent per page for typical, 80gsm office paper, or as much as a dollar for an A4 sheet of glossy photo paper. Save the pricey stuff for final prints; for everything else, use decent quality standard copier paper. It will affect the print quality from your toner based printer minimally, if at all.
    • Print using “Draft” mode whenever possible – This won’t help when printing photos, but can save a lot of money over two or three years when you print everyday documents.

    Do you have any tips on choosing a printer for your office? Let us know!

    Show off your true colours with OKI

    OKI goes on the road..

    Examples

    In the last few months, OKI has organised roadshows across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to educate more people about the benefits of our amazing printers while keeping existing customers up to date with our latest innovations.

    KSA is oMahmood with exhibitne of the major countries in the region with a huge potential for expansion, the size of the country, the industrial cities and the massive government spend on IT are all factors that contributed to us wanting to do these events, meet the people and hear what it is they really need in terms of printers in their workplace. It was really exciting to see how many people are looking to increase efficiency and productivity while keeping costs down!

    The industries represented included Governments, Hospitals, GA and Education. They were extremely interested in our latest advancements in printing solutions; especially the ground-breaking White Toner. Chairing the talks was Abdallah Obeidat, Sales Manager for KSA, who spoke of how our new generation printers and MPS efficiently manage work flow while remaining being fast, robust, reliable and environmentally friendly.Boudi Sleeman and winner

    The events ended with a raffle draw for 50 printers of various models. The winners were presented with a model printer to hold onto until the real printers were delivered to their companies the next day. Boudi, here on the left, from our distributor Al Eqtessad, making it look very easy!

    Would you like an OKI event in your country? Let us know by leaving a comment.

    Look out for our roadshows happening soon near you!

    From Innovation to Recognition

    CIO 50 Awards on table

    What do you get when you have become a leader in your field, an innovator in ways to deliver business advantages either through optimising business processes, enabling growth or improving relationships with customer?

    A CIO50 award, an acknowledged mark of enterprise excellence.

    OKI Stand at CIO50OKI was very proud to be a category partner for the CIO50 Awards event held at The Address Dubai Marina. The top CIO innovators in the region listened to keynote speeches from:  Joe Tesfai, Senior VP-Information Technology; Atlantis the Palm Hotel, Ali Almazrooei, CIO; Emirates Aluminum (EMAL), Arun Tewary, VP-IT and CIO; Emirates Flight Catering, Muhammad Ali Albakri, CIO and CFO; Saudi Arabian Airlines and Ali Sajwani, CIO; Emirates NBD, on topics as diverse as the Consumerisation of IT to the major IT challenges during acquisitions and mergers.

    In response to the strongly recovering Middle East economy, many of the CIOs present at the awards have been responsible for massive implementations in the last 12 months and many of them travelled from all over the region to network with their industry peers and be honoured by CNME.

    If you have used IT to get more from existing customers, pursue new markets, save money, or make more, your company too could be in line for a CIO 50 award…

     Congratulations to all 2013 award winning companies!All 50 award winners

    New Oki “Print Smart” Range Launch event

    Image

    Yesterday we held a big launch event at the prestigious Armani Hotel in Dubai to unveil Oki’s expanded printer range to our channel partners in the United Arab Emirates, led by our very own John Ross, general manager for the Middle East, India and Africa. The new products launch comes as part of OKI’s Print Smart strategy to offer competitive, cost-effective solutions to businesses of all sizes across a range of industries in the Middle East.

    We’ve completely revamped the range and are proud to offer cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions that will help businesses Print Smart. Over half of the revised product range consists of new or upgraded products, creating the opportunity to significantly increase our footprint in critical markets.

    With the launch of the new range we aim to improve green practices in businesses across the region as carbon emissions become a growing concern for leaders and decision makers and we hope businesses will realise that the use of green technology will ultimately cut costs and carbon emissions simultaneously. With our new products businesses of all sizes are set to benefit from the energy saving benefits and our green technology products, which are now in compliance with the latest European regulations and are based on the company’s unique proprietary LED technology.

    The extended OKI range boasts improved product performance and upgraded features that will help micro-businesses, SMB’s, and larger businesses Print Smart. We’ve had some great feedback from the market so far and look forward to your comments on the ASkOki blog!

    The new products range includes the following:

    Colour/Mono Multi-function products (MFPs)

    MB491, MB441, MB451, MB461, MB471,  MC352dn, MC362dn, MC562dn

    Colour/ Mono Single Function Products (SFPs)

    C301dn, C321dn, C331dn, C511dn, C531dn, C822, C831, C841, B401

    You can watch John’s recap of the launch event here

    5 simple tips to getting the most out of your printer and printed documents

    1.)    Do your research before buying a printer: You might think that choosing a printer is easy, but its important to do your research beforehand not only to save money, but also to pick the best printer for the types of documents you plan to produce. An office printer that is capable of mass producing different types of documents in a short period of time for instance, might not be suitable for someone who only prints a few pages on A4 paper a day. Read up on various models and make note of how often you print and on what types of media.  A simple tip for those who do a lot of document printing is to go with a toner based printer rather than an inkjet printer. While toner based printers might cost more, each document page printed on a toner based printer will cost a fraction of the price of each document printed on an inkjet.

     

    2.)    Know your technology: Understanding the technology behind printing is essential to getting the most out of your colour printer. Things like LED vs Laser technology and the type of toner used can make major differences in the final outcome of your printed document. At OKI, the combination of LED technology and toner technology are carefully constructed for precision placement of toner on the documents to create enhanced images that can be printed on a variety of mediums.  LED printers are also more reliable than laser printers and produce higher resolutions and better colour definition.

    3.)    Understand the role that colour psychology plays in business communication: Contrary to popular belief, colour goes far beyond cosmetic appearance. Doing some research into colour psychology in business will give you insight into how colour can be used to influence specific responses from customers or clients. For instance, did you know that invoices printed in red get payed 70% faster?

    4.)    Adjust your settings: Know that changing print settings on your computer can actually help you get the most out of your colour cartridges and save energy and money. Make sure you optimize the energy saving settings on your printer in order to consume less energy when the printer is idle. Many people who use printers also don’t know that adjusting the dots per inch ratio on your computer will help you use less ink and get the most from your cartridge. Printing using “Draft” mode on toner printers will also help you save money in the long run.

    5.)    Take a little time to evaluate the software that came with your printer: Oki printers ship with hundreds of dollars’ worth of free software to help you manage your printer, optimise performance and simply do more with it – getting more ‘bang for your buck’. Software such as Template Managerr, which helps you quickly and effortlessly print labels, letterheads, business cards, CD labels, fridge magnets and others for a huge range of other useful applications.

    Print Smart, Print OKI!

    John Ross, General Manager at OKI Middle East recaps his experience at the Oki Smart Business Conference 2012 in Barcelona Image

    Last week, OKI brought together Channel Partners, Press, Industry Analysts as well as senior members of the parent company in Japan, for the first time in a number of years. A total of over 430 people gathered in Bercelona for a key event: Oki Smart Business Seminar. A critical objective of the conference was to address the issues of the recent supply shortages due to the floods in Thailand and to reassure all parties that, to quote Morioka San Deputy President of ODC, “Oki is back in the game.”

    The event started with Morioka San advising the audience that in the space of 4 months since the flooding in Thailand, which were the worst for over a century and resulted in about 30% of Thailand being underwater, the Thai factory was back in production catching up on back log and with the increased capacity the expectations are that within the next few weeks all backlog will be effectively reduced to zero and the new products announced today would be in free supply.

    Throughout the rest of the conference, attendees were engaged with a number of interesting and insightful presentations covering  topics ranging from the issues facing the SMB sector today to smart printing and the latest statistics on the print industry (Most interesting was the confirmation that the single function inkjet market is declining at around 19% per annum whilst at the same time the toner based multi function segment was growing at over 20% per year). It was also revealed that according to a survey done in December 2011 and January 2012 regarding what is important to the SMBs, environmental considerations such as low power consumption are at the top of their consideration list, making Oki an ever more obvious choice.

    The multi-media presentation was slick and contained multiple positive messages regarding Oki’s commitment to both the Channel and Customers, principally SMBs.  With a refresh or completely new set up, products unveiled that results in Oki having updated 50% of its product range, it became obvious why this event was held.

    In the words of Takao Hiromoto, President of Oki Data Corporation, “After today you will be in no doubt that Oki is your smart choice as a printer supplier.”

    Print Control: How to Manage your Printing Cost

    There are lots of ways through which businesses can save on printing cost. Print Control, a utility provided by OKI for free, allows you to track printing operations at the office and provide reports and stats on printing usage. It allows you to monitor the usage of both individuals and groups of people.

    Print Control helps you to plan your printing policy and decide who get to print what.  For example; it allows you to grant print access to authorized personals only or restrict printing to monochrome. You could also assign a limited number of printed pages for your employees and also limit the number of pages printed in colours or even limit the time of print use.

    Print Control provides various options that help you manage you printing and hence achieve effective cost control. It is particularly useful for small and medium businesses which follow strict budget.

    Watch the video below to learn more about Print Control and how it can help SMBs

    Why Switch to In-House Printing?

    It’s no secret that in-house printing is one of the messages we keep emphasising everywhere we go. But with the research, surveys and constant dialogue we have with business owners, we always get the same result – lots of money is being spent on outsourcing business printing requirements that can be easily avoided by switching to in-house printing.

    The problem here is that many business owners still think that it is hard to move printing in-house and that it won’t provide the same high quality results outsourcing does.  Could they ever be more wrong!

    In-house printing is doable with the right tools and Oki’s Template Manager makes undertaking a wide range of printing tasks almost ridiculously simple. Template Manager comes with ready designed templates  for banners, business cards, letterheads and many other example as shown below

    In-house printing is not a hassle, it’s quite the opposite; you can avoid printing in large quantities which you are forced to do when out sourcing. So with things like letterheads, invoices and  business cards, you can exactly print the amount you need when you need it and where you need it. Your marketing materials such as; banners, flyers and brochures can easily be printed in-house with utilities like Template Manager.

    In-house printing  helps you save lots of money wasted on stack of printed materials saved in storage till needed and which you might end up throwing anyway if you changed any of the information like your P.O.Box, contacts or logo …etc.

    So why should anyone switch to in-house printing? Because it helps you become more efficient and it saves you both money and time.

    If you still have some second thoughts about in-house printing listen to our John Ross elaborating  more on in-house printing and template manager.

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