The Future of Work – Welcome to the Office of the Now
Thu Oct 29, 2020 | Genesis Technologies
As many organizations work through the difficulties that COVID-19 has presented such as staying safe and healthy, they are also trying to understand how to stay productive and how to help their workforce continue to perform their jobs remotely just as if they were in the office.
Tami Beach, Head of MPS Channel Sales at HP and Michael Kahn, CEO of Genesis Technologies talk in this video meetup about the future of work and how it’s been impacted by COVID-19. Read the transcripts below or watch the video here.
Justin: HP has been discussing Office of the Future for quite some time now. How has this been impacted by COVID-19 and how that has changed how offices are evaluating their office use?
Tami: It’s not about the place, it’s about the people. The physical workspace has been shifting for a long time as tech enabled mobility. Covid accelerated the concept of work from anywhere. And now focus on the WORK and the people doing the work is the imperative. I’m not saying that office space can’t or shouldn’t be part of the discussion, I’m just saying I don’t think it’s wise to build any IT strategy, print included with a building as the primary design center. People just want to have the same experience at home AND where ever they generally work.
Justin: How has COVID impacted the urgencies for tools and technology in order to connect with customers, co-workers, and clients?
Tami: Most organizations are not prepared for their business to flex where their employees are going (either as a result of covid or other mega trends we see). Part of that is because the jury WAS still out as to whether or not employees can be productive in a remote work environment? Does it really work when they aren’t sitting in the office? There are two major pieces to making that work 1. The human element and the cultural acceptance of remote work and 2. The Technical enablement.
From an intellectual and cultural perspective, the transition has occurred at warp speed. Covid forced us to re-think where and how we do our work in a matter of days, not weeks, not months not years. The urgency is to catch up technically. We’ve talked for a long time about digital workflows, process automation, cloud services, and other forms of digital transformation… but there wasn’t the sense of critical urgency that Covid created.
Before Covid IDC was reporting that almost half of NA companies were still digitally distraught, meaning that had no cohesive or coherent strategy to digitize their businesses for their customers or their employees Now it’s a full-on race to digitally enable the business if for no other reason to flex where the workforce is going.
Justin: I think a lot of focus during the rush to remote work has been around computers and laptops, but how has printing changed for users who relied heavily on it in the office?
Tami: As the urgency to transform increased because of COVID, print WAS de-prioritized and/or band-aided. The leading reasons being a perceived lack of need and they figure most employees have home printers. What we’re starting to see now is that:
Employees are asking for “business optimized” print/scan capabilities in order to be more productive, using your home photo printer works in a pinch, but is not long-term replacement.
A) We know that recall is 70% higher from printed materials vs. digital.
B) And when employees are online all day, every day … digital is exhausting … printed material can be more engaging.
C) Print and scan capabilities also bridge that physical to digital gap, whether you are taking notes on paper that you want to archive digitally, or needing to print a document to mark-up then rescan and distribute.
D) MFPs enable the movement from paper to digital and back as needed – easily and securely.
E) Employees are definitely starting to recognize they are missing these tools when they are not in the office …. so
- They either use their own, which can become a huge security risk for an organization… or…
- They start buying printers and supplies on their own… still a security issue, and now you can add a cost management issue to the top of that.
So, companies now really need to start thinking about intelligent ways to provide work from anywhere “business optimized” print & scan access, that is personalized and/or relevant to each user based on need, that is inherently secure and that is deployed in a way that allows that organization to manage costs and uptime for their users.
Justin: How are some organizations adapting to enable these types of users remotely?
Tami: Successful organizations are working closely with their managed service providers to define new use cases and adopt new technologies, services & business models to adapt.
Those that were, or have already, undergone a print transformation project typically start with understanding user needs and then developing print policies and standards for the number and types of devices they want in their environment, how they will be purchased, who has to authorize what, how they will deploy and support software, get supplies, secure and maintain devices…. and so forth…
Companies typically turn to managed service providers who are tracking and trained on the latest developments and best practices to help them define and deploy these strategies successfully.
In order to adapt to this new normal… and this idea of work from anywhere… organizations need to expand their use cases to include WFH, work remote, work from the office with social distancing ….
Working with managed service providers like our HP Premier partners, organizations should outline their new user requirements that match their business objectives, overlay their business policies and standards to drive a new cost effective and secure print infrastructure that can scale and adapt to changing business conditions.
Justin: What technology is now available that can help us provide better solutions permanently?
Tami: To really transform customers need to consider what is available from a HW or device perspective, what they need in terms of SW applications and, and what services they will need to support these new use cases manufactures and managed service providers are rapidly re-engineering all of their offerings as well as purchasing and fulfilment options to meet the new need…and to be simple, transparent, and built to flex.
Justin: How is HP in particular looking to continue to evolve printing and scanning technology in this new normal?
Tami: Smart devices a full line up of cloud connected devices, with sensing and predictive capabilities that make setting up and using the device more intuitive, secure and supporting the devices more predictable and with fewer interventions needed driverless printing, always on security, and integration with the leading industry application providers, customized home screens for custom messaging and alerts and frequently used apps, workflow quicksets with auto start to minimize touch.
Supplies innovation with things like tanks or high yield cartridges that again limit the need to interventions and new supplies fulfilment/replenishment options.
Accessibility assistant for voice commands, sanitization guidelines, limited interventions!
FINAL MESSAGES FROM TAMI
- It’s not about the place, it’s about the people and the shifting mindset to work from anywhere
- Most organizations are not prepared for their business to flex where their customers or employees are going (either as a result of Covid or other mega trends we see) – to steal some phrasing from IDC. make a shift from being digitally distraught to being digitally determined
- As the urgency to transform increases because of COVID, do NOT de-prioritize and/or band-aide print
- That will only translate into productivity, security, and cost risk for organizations
- Successful organizations are working closely with their managed service providers to define new use cases and adopt new technologies, services & business models to adapt
Justin: Thank you all once again for joining us. I'm now joined by our next guest he is the CEO of Genesis technologies, please welcome Mr. Michael Kahn. Michael, welcome to the show today. How are you doing?
Michael: I'm doing great, thanks Justin for having me.
Justin: Absolutely Michael before we dig into things, do you mind first telling us a little bit more about yourself and what y'all do at Genesis technologies?
Michael: Sure. I founded Genesis technologies in the early 90s. I'm also the CEO. Currently we're a national managed print service provider. We've been at this a long long time we've seen a lot of different things and we really are experts in print and managing print environments.
Justin: Right. Wonderful. Well, we just wrapped up talking with Tami from HP and I was hoping you might share with us a little bit about your thoughts on the issues that she's raised and how that seems to be impacting the customers that you've spoken with.
Michael: Yeah. So, I listened to Tami and she had a lot of great insights and I thought she was really dead on in terms of what she had said. We're seeing a lot of customers who are having challenges, frankly, adapting to work from home. Print from home is an afterthought for a lot. A lot of people do have home printers. But companies haven't really thought out the security issues, or just the basics like how do my home users get supplies, how do we pay for it, things like that. So, I think her comment about flexing, being able to flex, unless you have someone who already had a mobile workforce was spot on. It was just kind of like every man for themselves, just kind of figure out how to communicate with zoom and how to print and use your home as a digital work environment.
Justin: When you guys do encounter customers that are facing some of these issues, how do you guys typically help them? What is your approach to people working from home who no longer has technical support?
Michael: Things like that we’ve added to our services. We do have a technical support help desk. So, any customer who's working from home who needs help printing, scanning, just basics like that. We are offering that assistance to them. We also are offering them an extension of our MPS program with them so if you're under a contract with us, you're going to get very good pricing and supplies for the home or remote office. The service support and for the customer, really it is consolidated billing, which, if you think about it, if you have 100 people working from home now. Do you want to process, 100 expense reports, or do you want just one consolidated bill? So, we really just tried to put ourselves in their shoes which is quite easy because we were going through a lot of the same issues. And, you know, those are some of the things we offer to our customers.
Justin: And as far as how Genesis excels compared to other service providers that folks have an opportunity to work with where would you guys say that you excel the most.
Michael: I think we excel, really in being holistic and how we treat the customer. We're not a manufacturer who only wants to sell boxes. A lot of our competition are manufacturers and copier companies and their main focus is to sell equipment. We know at some point in time, people will upgrade their equipment, we want to be that person when that happens, but it's just really looking at listening to our customers and what do they need right now. What are they going through what's their biggest need and just working with them to assist them.
Justin: Sure. Michael, thank you again for joining us today as we start to wrap up here. I was wondering if you had any final advice or takeaways that you'd like to share with our audience today?
Michael: Yeah, I think my final thought having, you know now that we're about six months into the pandemic, is there was different phases really in my mind there was kind of the initial freakout that everyone went through like oh my god we all have to work from home, will I be healthy, will I be safe to kind of getting used to it. Now everyone's kind of in this mode, when will things return back to normal, there's a big uncertainty if that's going to be a year from now, will that be sooner, when that will be. To me, the big takeaway is COVID has given us a view into the future. I think when it is safe and we all get to return back to the office, what you're going to see as some people will continue to work from home and some people will work from home in a hybrid fashion. And some people will return to the office full time, but you will see an increased amount of population working from home. So, we have adjusted our program to have a work from home option that includes the features that I'm talking about and also we're really changing our way of doing business working more in security issues that, if you think about the office environment, everything's very secure. But when you look at home, the home office environment now you're starting from scratch again. So we think, providing options best in class curated solutions where all that works been done will help our customers quite a bit and then I can't emphasize enough the technical support, because now you get workers working from home, and who need someone to call for just basic stuff, because it's a lot of technology to deal with.
Justin: For sure. And if folks that are watching today feel like they could use some assistant as we move towards the future. What is the best way to reach out to you guys at Genesis Technologies?
Michael: I think the easiest way is to go to our website which is www.genesistechnologies.com and just reach out to us, we'd be happy to have a conversation with anyone who wants to learn more.
Justin: Wonderful. Well, once again, Michael, thank you so much for your time. I definitely learned a lot and I believe our audience did as well. And we hope you'll come back and join us again soon. But until next time everybody please stay safe.
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