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Today, local governments face security, document management and remote work challenges. Canon USA has several digital imaging products and systems that address these organizational tests.
Canon USA’s state and local government solutions division provides a portfolio of imaging solutions and software offerings. These include its black-and-white and color multifunction devices as well as production center and large format solutions. The firm is positioned to ensure successful, consistent and secure implementation across each agency.
Canon offers a host of large format printer software programs that ensures each customer has a software product that suits their specific application. For instance, its Direct Print Plus software is a batch-printing setup that enables one to streamline printing large sets of drawings efficiently. It enables governments to insert required accounting fields (i.e. project ID, department code, etc.) so they can effectively track internal print activity within the agency.
“Regardless of what one might be using their Canon large format printer for, a host of free software programs are available to make this as easy and productive as possible,” says Mike Betsko, senior director, integrated marketing (BICG) at Canon U.S.A. Inc.
The firm’s Publisher Select software is a job-submission tool that gives one the ability to view printer features all on one screen, and templates you can create for frequently used job settings. Accounting Manager is a software package that allows one to closely monitor all printing costs, with the ability to enter costs and track all media and ink-related costs overall. Device Management Console allows an administrator to monitor a fleet of devices and maximize uptime of its printers.
On the graphics side, Professional Print & Layout is a software package that enables one to efficiently lay out images intuitively. The system offers preview and color management; all are supported in a seamless photo printing experience. Free Layout Plus allows one to nest, tile and create custom layouts before printing your files and to print directly from Microsoft Office programs. PosterArtist software, now available online, allows a novice user to easily select from many templates, photos, clipart, backgrounds, etc., or import their own, to create posters, banners, calendars and more.
A remote workforce may change requirements in your agency, Betsko tells Co-op Solutions. “With employees working in different locations, capturing, processing and sharing documents might be difficult, unless you have a complete document management workflow.”
He says solutions such as uniFLOW Online can assist in enabling and supporting customers’ digital transformation initiatives and can help improve document workflows while providing cost management and control features.
Canon Office Cloud, a FedRAMP-authorized service, can efficiently manage print infrastructure, gain print activity insights and use security features while printing and scanning. FedRAMP authorization denotes its accreditation by a federal government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring for cloud offerings such as Canon Office Cloud. Betsko adds that systems that offer numerous security features as part of a FedRAMP-authorized cloud service may be even more important as hybrid work environments becoming more prevalent.
Betsko tells Co-op Solutions that the pandemic has affected the way governments manage documents. “We saw more scanner purchases during the pandemic, along with many people who work in procurement for state governments working from their homes. Canon’s workflow allows multiple users—from regional offices and headquarters—to collaborate regardless of their work location, either in the office or remotely.”
The Canon organization has strived to continue to grow its support systems during the pandemic, Betsko says. “Our firm has utilized its resources to maintain high levels of support, as evidenced by our staffing levels for our customer service centers.”
Betsko predicts more governments will be adopting his company’s solutions in 2022-23 because of the breadth of Canon USA’s offerings. “As more state and local government (SLG) customers adopt a cloud strategy, looking to reduce IT administration and save costs, Canon Office Cloud (with its existing FedRAMP authorization and security features) will make an attractive choice for cloud-based output and device management.” He adds that Canon’s robust lineup of office and home office equipment and solutions allows SLG customers to provide employees the ability to be productive in a variety of locations.
Betsko sees several trends in local governments’ futures. He says security concerns, document management and remote work will have an impact on local governments down the road. “Regarding security, information and cybersecurity is at the forefront of most SLG agencies. Canon’s imageRUNNER ADVANCE DX series offers a number of standard and optional features that can help address security needs. From user authentication and access to network and data protection, Canon’s A3 and A4 product lineup help administrators integrate multi-function printers and copiers into their security strategy.”
Betsko believes many SLG agencies are looking to adopt (or have already) a cloud strategy. “But with that comes more security issues,” he cautions. “The federal government has mandated a standardized approach to determining security authorizations for cloud service offerings called FedRAMP. State agencies have begun to implement similar security authorizations of their own based on the federal program.”
He says his firm has a noteworthy solution: “Canon Office Cloud, a FedRAMP-authorized service (moderate authorization), offers subscribers centralized control to enhance productivity, help ensure document security, and monitor costs. With an existing FedRAMP authorization, SLG entities can subscribe to the Canon Office Cloud service knowing the federal government’s security validations for the service have already been completed. That can save time and money for agencies.”
Yes, cooperative contracts can provide several pluses, Betsko says. “Local governments, with many employing smaller staffs, can use cooperative contracts to benefit from assistance with the sourcing process and putting together the standards for what should be included in a bid or contract. Using a cooperative can be a boon for governments that do not possess plentiful resources because of the time, money and effort that goes into solicitation in the contracting process. It can cost a lot of money for governments to do their own bids.”
Betsko says his firm is ready and willing to help. “Canon understands these needs and offers a variety of GPO (group purchasing organization) and state-sponsored contracts supporting state and local government customers across all 50 states.”
Betsko cites one additional benefit of cooperative agreements: “Going through a cooperative could also help procure better pricing, as a smaller group might mean fewer customers and less opportunity. Subsequently, local governments using cooperative contracts can often get better pricing that way instead of going out on their own.”
As technology advances, cooperative agreements are keeping pace, says the Canon executive. “Many GPOs are starting to include categories for emerging technologies and are setting up a process in advance where, during an active contract, new technology can be embraced. They may have opportunities to acquire the technology quicker versus a local bid that might not be able to address new technologies until the current contract expires.”
Michael Keating is senior editor for American City & County. Contact him at [email protected].
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