Archive for October 11, 2018

New Xerox ConnectKey Apps Speed Digital Transformation

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 11, 2018 by itnerd

Organizations can now better connect staff to popular business platforms such as Salesforce, QuickBooks Online and Concur, supporting customer relationship management, accounting and invoicing, plus  streamline additional processes with new apps for Xerox ConnectKey  devices. Purchasing and implementing the apps is simple with a new e-commerce-enabled site.

The Morrell Group, a full-service automation controls design and engineering services organization, has experienced the power of ConnectKey apps. The company saved 25 percent by automating its product distribution process with the Sign Me app, built by MidAmerica Technology, a Xerox Personalized Application Builder developer. The app digitizes the document-laden process, accelerating the speed in which products get out the door.

New apps make work easier

The ongoing development of its ConnectKey-enabled portfolio underscores Xerox’s position as a print technology powerhouse. The latest enhancements make labor-intense, time-consuming efforts easier and offer new twists on traditional ways of working.

The Xerox VersaLink and Xerox AltaLink series are the launch pads for apps such as:

·         Xerox Connect App for Salesforce: access to Salesforce’s Customer Relationship Management system right at the multifunction printer (MFP); upload and share sales management information to client folders by scanning the documents directly into Salesforce.

·         Xerox Audio Documents App: securely transforms hardcopy documents into audio files allowing commuters, multitaskers, or audio enthusiasts to listen on the go instead of reading.

·         Xerox Connect App for QuickBooks Online: offers a hassle-free expense reimbursement process with multi-receipt scanning. Receipt data is extracted into an expense report and submitted with notifications sent to reviewers for timely approval. For Concur users, a similar receipt management app will be available by year’s end.

·         Xerox Forms Manager App: simplifies management of multiple forms while reducing paper-based filing risks. With intelligent routing capabilities via embedded QR codes, scanned forms are automatically routed to the appropriate email address.

·         Xerox Quick Link App: enables a fast start to printing without IT support. This intuitive app sends an email directly from the device containing appropriate links to install, and connects computers or mobile devices with the drivers and configuration settings.

Making the grade with educators

With insights gained from working with thousands of education customers, Xerox responds with apps and solutions that increase productivity for teachers and students:

·         Xerox Connect App for Blackboard: provides access to an industry-leading learning management system; documents are digitized and stored into their Blackboard Learn account from the MFP.

·         Xerox Connect App for Remark Test Gradingsimplifies grading of bubble tests with the ability to print answer sheets, scan completed sheets back in for automated grading, and email students their grades or print the results right at the device.

·         Xerox Proofreader Service: checks for writing elements in the English language, such as spelling, grammar, style and plagiarism.

·         Xerox and SRC Inc.’s Gateway Capture to Student Information System: streamlines digitizing student records into mandatory K-12 information systems.

Xerox is also introducing its Instant Print Kioska self-serve document processing solution ideal for higher education institutions. Basic printing, copying, scanning and faxing needs are managed with a user-friendly touch screen, and secure credit/debit transactions happen seamlessly right at the printer. Students benefit by scanning and/or printing reading materials and class notes through touch-screen access to the most popular cloud repositories, including Google Drive and Dropbox.

Extra Value for Channel Partners

Alongside an improved design for a better user experience, the e-commerce-enabled Xerox App Gallery provides a global marketplace for channel partners to promote and sell apps. Also, channel partners can share in the revenue when their customers purchase an app.

Availability

Xerox’s newest ConnectKey-enabled apps will be added to the Xerox App Gallery in select geographies between fourth-quarter 2018 and first-quarter 2019.

 

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My Move From Rogers To TELUS Mobility [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 11, 2018 by itnerd

As many frequent readers are aware, I switched cell phone carriers in the last few months. For years I had been a loyal Rogers customer. While Rogers wasn’t perfect, I did have a comfort level with them that incentivised me to not make a move elsewhere.

That however changed recently when Rogers went through, and is still going through that fiasco related to the Apple Watch. It shocked me that a company the size of Rogers would not be able to support the Apple Watch, or more accurately the eSIM technology that the Apple Watch uses seeing as they were the first carrier to support the iPhone in Canada. Even now that they have support for the Apple Watch, business users need not apply. At least until sometime next year. Not to mention the fact that there were problems with run of the mill consumers activating their Apple Watch on the Rogers network. Some of which are still ongoing. Watching that episode unfold in front of me shook my faith in Rogers as I had always seen them as a leader when it came to this sort of stuff. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore and made me look for other options.

Now, I wasn’t going to go for one of the second tier carriers like Freedom Mobile as they don’t yet have the network coverage that fit my needs. And Bell wasn’t an option because of of some really horrific customer service experiences that I’ve had with them in the past like this one, combined with feedback from Bell customers that their customer service wasn’t any better in the present day. So that left TELUS. From everything that I have seen and heard about them, they have a great network and even better customer service. So I decided to make the jump. And to my surprise, it was insanely easy.

I went to my local TELUS store which was at Sherway Gardens in Toronto and one of the reps was able to do the following in less than 45 minutes:

  • Assess my needs from a data plan perspective.
  • Do all the “paperwork” to not only make me a Telus customer, but port my number from Rogers to TELUS. I say “paperwork” because it was all done electronically. Not one scrap of paper was used.
  • Have me sign off on all of the above on a tablet and have all the documentation  emailed to me.
  • Helped me to set up a My TELUS account to allow me to manage my account either online or via the My TELUS App.

The key thing that I want to point out is the fact that I never felt pressured and the process felt comfortable from start to finish. All my options were clearly explained and any questions that I had were fully and completely answered. Frankly, it was one of the better customer service experiences that I have had lately. By the end of it, I had a TELUS SIM in my iPhone 7 Plus that was capable of dialing out to other people, but not receiving calls because the porting of my number to TELUS wasn’t complete. That was taken care of just under an hour later when I got a text message to say that it was complete. I then ran a quick test to confirm that by calling my iPhone from my landline. Job done.

Now have I had issues with TELUS? None so far from a technical standpoint. The only thing that was worth mentioning is that my wife wanted to switch to TELUS from Rogers as she has her own Rogers account and found that the pricing was going to mean that she would pay more than what she was paying with Rogers because of the retition plan that she was on. That’s something that I have raised previously and I hope that TELUS can find a way to address that because from everything that I have seen over the last few months, they are rockstars and they could really make life miserable for Rogers and Bell if they focused having pricing that encouraged people like my wife to switch to them. What I may do is to put her under my Easy Share plan for Business to get her under the TELUS umbrella. But if someone from TELUS is reading this, you’d gain a customer for life if you could match her $65 for 5GB plan that she has with Rogers. Related to that, I am paying about the same as I did with Rogers. Though I will point out that the person who worked with me at the TELUS Sherway Gardens store did work to find me some savings here and there which I appreciate.

On the flipside the one thing that I do notice is how fast the TELUS network is. It is significantly faster than what I experienced with Rogers. In fact, I would describe the difference using words like “stunning”, “night and day,” “surprising” and “eye opening.” I can see why PC Magazine and OpenSignal rank TELUS as the fastest LTE network in Canada. And once you experience the speed that TELUS  has to offer, you’re not going to want to give it up.

The bottom line is this. I am really happy with my experience with TELUS. I am glad that I made the switch as it has been positive thus far. If you are Canadian and you want to be on a “big 3” carrier, TELUS at this moment is the best of the big three. While their pricing could be better, their customer service and the quality their network is top shelf. That makes it easy for me to say that TELUS is worth a good hard look if you’re in the market for cell phone service.

UPDATE: My Wife is now on TELUS as well. Click here to find out the details behind that.

Review: Tile Mate With Replaceable Battery

Posted in Commentary on October 11, 2018 by itnerd

I’ve reviewed Tile products three times over the years. In each review, I have had something like this to say:

The battery lasts a year and isn’t user replaceable. That basically makes this a subscription service as opposed to be something that you can use long term. 

As far as I was concerned, that was the number one weakness to an otherwise stellar product. That weakness has now been addressed with the release of the new Tile Mate and Tile Pro. It is the former that I’ll be reviewing today.

Now this looks like the original Tile from the front. But when you flip it over, you’ll see that it’s very different.

It has a cover that allows you to replace the battery.

It uses a CR1632 battery that should last about a year. And this one change solves the only weakness that this product ever had. Which is the fact that after a year the Tile would die and you would have to get another one because you could not swap the battery. Sure Tile has a program called reTile that allows you to replace your Tile at a discount of up to 50%. The new Tile will come with a prepaid envelope so that you can send back the old one to recycle. But that’s only true for those in the US. For those anywhere else on Earth, you can drop off your old Tile at your local e-recycling center. But that was less than ideal as the battery should have been user replaceable in the first place.

Besides the ability to replace the battery, there are other improvements to the Tile Mate. Starting with the fact that this Tile now has a range of about 150 feet. And the volume is 50% louder than in the past which is something that I really noticed. If those numbers don’t cut it for you, the Tile Pro does double those numbers. In either case those will make it much easier to find a lost item.

Another change that I noted since the last time I looked at Tile products is that the company now has a Premium service which gives you the following features:

  • Smart Alerts: You’ll get pinged on your phone if you leave someplace without items that are deemed to be important.
  • Free batteries.
  • Location history of your Tile enabled objects
  • Unlimited sharing of your Tiles with others
  • A warranty increase from 1 to 3 years.
  • Premium tech support

All of that goes for $29.99 USD a year. While I personally don’t see enough value to fork out the cash, you might. What hasn’t changed is that they are easy to set up, and you can use it to find your phone in a pinch. Not to mention that there are thousands of Tile users out there who can help you to find a lost item which while I’ve never had to leverage that is something that is nice to know.

In terms of pricing, each Tile Mate is $25 USD. But if you buy a 4 pack they’re $60 a pack. Which of course makes the latter a better deal. But here’s the bottom line. Tile has finally addressed the number one issue that this product had which is the lack of a replaceable battery. That makes Tile products something that I can finally recommend without reservation.