• Four Important Questions for your Service Provider

    You’ve done your research, and know what you want out of a copier or printer. Your needs assessment is complete, you’ve taken into consideration things like your network, expendables, and user requirements. Now it’s time to decide where to get that new piece of office equipment.

    Lots of places can sell you a new Kyocera or Canon MFP. But what about service and support? Here is a list of questions you should ask:

    What kind of training do the techs receive?

    At Ameritel, our service technicians are factory trained. As an authorized Canon and Kyocera reseller, our techs have access to genuine parts and supplies. Our technicians spend weeks each year in training, usually directly from the manufacturer. Both our Rockville and Frederick facilities have achieved ATSP (Association of Technical Service Professionals) certification from Canon, and Ameritel recently was awarded quality service distinction from Kyocera.

    2 . Are your technicians company employees or freelancers?

    At Ameritel, our technicians are all full-time, salaried employees. They don’t receive commissions for parts, so they have no incentive to sell you stuff you don’t need. On average, Ameritel technicians have over fifteen years experience, and more than one has over thirty years of hands-on experience.

    3. Does your service department keep spares on hand , or do they have to order everything?

    Ameritel’s technicians travel with a vast majority of the parts needed for maintenance and repair. In addition to our two offices in Rockville and Frederick, we have parts depots scattered throughout the Washington DC metro area, where our technicians can quickly pick up a part while on remote service call.

    4. Do you offer phone support?

    In addition to our field technicians, Ameritel has full-time support professionals in our Rockville and Frederick offices. We can quickly diagnose issues over the phone, and are adept at helping customers resolve minor issues themselves.

    Conclusion : At Ameritel, we long ago dedicated our corporate culture to achieving an unparalleled level of customer service. So we’re happy to answer those four questions — or any others you might have when you’re ready to buy or lease a new copier or printer.

  • What do your MFP, your computer, and your smart phone have in common?

    Once upon a time — let’s say, the year 2000 or so — electronic devices and office equipment did what they were designed to do, and little else. A mobile phone basically made and received phone calls; a TV received images; a copier burned images onto paper.

    Today, with microprocessors so cheap, devices everywhere are “smart.” That is, they have full-blown computers buried into them. Sometimes, the computing platform is obvious; that is, no one buys an iPhone to just make phone calls. Others are more subtle: My parents were surprised to find that their new LED TV had Netflix and Amazon prime built-in. And of course what makes these new platforms so dynamic is that you can load new features onto the devices. Often free, these applications — apps — allow a so-equipped device to offer new features down the road. Sometimes, these features haven’t even been thought of when you purchase the device.

    A lot of people don’t realize that their modern MFP from Canon or Kyocera has a powerful processor built-in, which is why it’s able to handle print jobs while you’re copying documents, able to send scans to specific email addresses, and so forth. They can also learn new tricks, because there are apps for many MFPs. That’s because underneath the hood, these MFPs

    have a an application programming language built-in (for the technically inclined, it’s Java, the open source, platform-independent application programming language that powers lots of mobile apps as well). This allows your MFP to have new programs loaded on — just like an iPhone or your coputer.

    Kyocera’s Taskalfa models include a solution called HYPAS (Hybrid Platform for Advanced Solutions). Your Ameritel sales consultant can get you a complete list of available apps, and arrange to have them installed on your new equipment. Highlights include one geared towards teachers (it helps create and process multiple-choice tests), others, such as the apps that allow users to review and approve scanned documents from a mobile phone, or to use an MFP as a fax machine, are geared towards the office environment.

    Canon’s customers have a similar range of apps, such as their Direct Print and Scan for Mobile app, that links a Canon MFP to an iPhone or iPad, supporting printing and scanning.

    New apps are coming out all the time, and Ameritel is here to help you find the right solutions for your needs. Unlock the hidden power of your Kyocera or Canon MFP today.

  • Managed Print Services (MPS)

    Pretty much every business is looking for ways to reduce expenses, and improve productivity. What if one solution could do both? Managed Print Services can help!

    Garnter Research tells us that a typical office spends 1-3% of annual revenue on printing and other forms of document production, which might come as a surprise to you, as Gartner’s survey also tells that the typical organization doesn’t really know how much they spend on document production, and have no print strategy in place. Often, the expense associated with hardware acquisition, repairs, and supplies are spread across various departments and different vendors. Pinning down these costs, and identifying areas of improvement with a managed print solution strategy, can offer tangible benefits: a considerable improvement on the bottom line, reduction of waste, improved use of mature technologies, and better forecast future expenses.

    Ameritel’s Mike Hamilton, our MPS specialist, has published a white paper that describes the benefits of MPS, the path to integration, and offers solutions that your organization can use this year. To request a copy of the whtie paper, please contact Mike at mhamilton@AmeritelCorporation.com , or call us at 301-251-0222.

  • “It’s not like there’s some magic machine that makes identical copies of things.”

    “It’s not like there’s some magic machine that makes identical copies of things.”

    The line, delivered by “Mad Men’s” ad executive Don Draper, gets a chuckle out of us, viewing it as the 21st century technophiles that we are. Indeed, the episode takes place in March, 1960, coincidentally the same month that Xerox started shipping the Model 914 — the first commercially successful modern copier. Weighing over a quarter ton, with a propensity to catch fire if overtaxed, it cranked out a reasonable image every 26 seconds. To get that kind of performance, you’d have to spend $29,500, or a little over $200,000 in 2013 dollars.

    But Don was right; the modern copier took the business world by storm. Sure, prior to 1960, Don’s secretary could use a carbon paper if she only needed one or two copies (and she didn’t make any mistakes). Or she could make purple-inked, chemical-smelling mimeographs with a hand crank (anyone who graduated from high school prior to 1995 or so can remember the smell). And there were predecessors to the 914 dating back over a decade — Don’s art department probably had one — but they often used chemically-coated paper, required multiple mechanical moves, and/or required mixing up toxic chemicals. The idea that you could put a piece of paper on a flat piece of glass, press a button, and get a copy half a minute later was indeed revolutionary. Xerox sold over 200,000 914 units over an extraordinary sixteen year run.

    And the basic technology is still with us with modern copiers: Charge a drum (or belt) with a negative static charge, project an image of the original with a positive charge, which makes dry powder stick to the drum. The drum transfers the powder to paper, and a heated process locks it onto the paper. Over the last 53 years we’ve seen improvements in performance and reliability, and added thousands of features, like collating, document feeding, two-sided printing, scanning, and of course the digital features that we rely on today. But inside the machine the basic principles of the 914 live on in the most advanced copiers on the planet, like 105-page per minute Canon ImageRunner 105. It’s also what makes your laser printer work.

    Xerox owned the copier market until 1975, when a Federal Trade Commission consent decree declared them a monopoly. Within a few years, multiple competitors entered the marketplace, giving us the incredible advances in technology that we’ve seen since then.

    It’s easy to take modern office equipment for granted, but 50 short years ago, the humble copier in your office really would have been “some magic machine.” Imagine what kind of new features the next 50 years will bring…