Paper to digital workflows: eCopy broadens accessibility of document capture

Source: Quocirca Business and IT Analysis

With businesses striving to find ways to increase efficiencies, lower costs and improve productivity, many are looking towards leveraging their investments in digital multifunction peripherals (MFPs) to merge their paper and digital workflows.

Whilst many businesses are moving towards digital document workflows, paper continues to play an important role in many business processes. It is now widely accepted that the paperless office anticipated by the digital age has not materialised, as glancing around any office environment will illustrate.

Growing usage of technologies like email, online collaboration and electronic documents, has driven an increase in paper consumption rather than a reduction. Paper remains the preferred choice of medium for consuming and digesting information - people prefer to read from paper rather than a screen, it is tangible and easy to annotate and is personal and portable. Despite technology advances in e-paper display technology to mimic paper readability on-screen, and e-paper reading devices such as Amazon's Kindle e-book, our attachment to paper is likely to long continue.

Paperless office: Myth or Reality?

It is estimated that less than 20% of all records that have traditionally been paper-based have been converted to electronic formats. For example, according to AdvancedMD, only 10% - 15% of medical records are handled electronically.

This tells me that the paperless office is a myth and just a vision… we have a long way to go before we get there.

I found a case study on how a law office in Illinois is moving to a paperless environment. We have helped a few law offices here in town with the same type of conversion. Take a look at the case study titled Lawyers win document case.”

HP Cuts Color Printing Costs for SMBs, SOHOs

By Daniel P. Dern

BOSTON—Quality color printing has historically cost too much for small and midsize businesses or branch offices to do in-house. Hewlett-Packard is out to turn that history on its head, announcing on March 4 that it is slashing costs for quality color multifunction printers capable of printing, copying, scanning and faxing.

HP made the announcement at the 2008 AIIM/OnDemand event taking place here between March 3-6.

HP's new color inkjet and laser MFPs range in cost from $100 to $600, aimed as they are at the SMB, SOHO and consumer markets. HP also announced related supplies, service and branding announcements.


Faster Canon Multifunction Printers Help Cut Costs

By Daniel Dern

Canon U.S.A. announced March 3 four new black-and-white multifunction laser copiers in its imageClass line, intended for use in small and home offices: the MF6540 ($599), MF6590 ($699), MF6595 ($999) and MF6595cx ($1,145). All four models are scheduled to begin shipping to retailers in April.

By replacing separate single-function machines with a higher-speed MFD (multifunction device), smaller offices or branches can reduce the cost and complexity of managing several devices, according to Canon. Commonly cited benefits of consolidating and replacing slower, single-function devices with MFDs include reducing the amount of table or floor space required; service costs and labor; the number of types of consumables such as paper and other supplies that need to be stored; and the per-page cost of consumables.

Electronic Data Discovery

If you are smart, you’ll prepare for the event that you might need to be ready for electronic data discovery.

I read an intereting post at Computer World. Robin Harris wrote a post called the Two-minute guide to Electronic Data Discovery. There is some pretty interesting points in there that I believe everyone responisble for data in a business should understand.

Electronic Data Discovery Image

I think that this is a prime example of how IT and business managers really need to work together to be ready for eventualities in business especially when it comes to document management policies.

One thing that struck me was that it is not IT responsibility to define data retention or destruction strategies. She made three important points:

  • Your company’s lawyers and record management folks are responsible for setting electronic data retention policy - not IT

  • IT must take the lead, working with policy makers, in architecting an economic and effective infrastructure to ensure compliance

  • IT needs a documented process whose ownership lies outside IT for unscheduled data destruction - such as when a VP wants all their emails to a client deleted - and staff must be trained on it.

Your document is not as secure as you think

You may think that your PDF or Excel Document is secure… but…

I lost a password for a PDF file and had to have it to make a quick edit. I did a search on Google and in about three minutes found a a little application that simply removes the password. No password, no problem.

I got to thinking a little about it and wondered if password protection on an Excel document is any better. Nope… same thing. I did a quick search on Google and found that I could crack that password just as free.

What is the solution?

Well, if document security is that important, you really need to look at a document management system that tracks versions and changes. Then, if the change occurs, you can track it. Moreover, users have to have access into the document management system in the first place to be able to even access the file in the first place.

The deep and delicate art of ECM

By Jim Murphy

The enterprise content management (ECM) market is at a critical turning point where it must prove itself or be lost altogether. Over the last 20 years, widely disparate business demands for content management, the stubborn resistance of antiquated practices, widely different methods of handling content, technology growing pains, the slow maturation of standards, the whims of investment Paper and Laptophype as money flits from document management to Web content management to Web 2.0, and conflicting definitions of what content management is, have led us to a rocky, complicated and still wildly dynamic vendor landscape.

No matter how loudly the vendors tout the notion of a unified ECM system, no matter how many vendors consume each other, the ECM market has defied complete consolidation. Having covered the market for eight years, I’ve kept a simple list of every content management-related vendor that has crossed my desk, noting when they emerge, when they’re acquired or when they disappear. At 316 as I write this, the list grows daily.

An Introduction to ECM

ECM or Electronic Content Management allow for the storage of images and information on your network. Byron Aulick at Datavault posted an introduction to ECM at the Datavault Blog.

Enterprise Content Management, by definition, is the ability to gather, organize, and distribute corporate information, regardless of its original format. The ECM industry is rapidly becoming the most highly sought after service for 'Corporate America'. Having said that, let's first understand that ECM has no ‘vertical' market. Simply stated, this means that there is no one type of business served better than any other. ECM can help a medical facility handle its knowledge base just as quickly and efficiently as it can help an attorney's office manage their legal documents.

Mono Lasers Reviewed by PC Magazine

Vince Ferraro of the HP Laser Jet Blog points us to the PC Magazine Review of monochrome laser printers.

Here is what Vince said in his blog post:

eCopy Analyst Briefing Reveals News on Several Fronts

February 26, 2008 - eCopy Inc. used its February 13 analyst briefing to make a number of announcements related to its popular eCopy ShareScan and eCopy Desktop lines of document imaging solutions. Chief among them: a new distribution relationship with Xerox; new packaging and pricing schemes for the company's flagship ShareScan offering; new scanner-based solutions; and a repositioning of its eCopy Desktop client software.