I just came back from holiday. Getting away from the normal daily activities gives you a chance to look at things in a different light once you return to the regular routine. My first project back has been to finish up a document management system expansion redesign for a client project.
Office Document Strategies Blog
File storage in the cloud is becoming a popular tool for many people and businesses. There are many services which offer you free or low cost storage for video, pictures, and other digital data. In addition there are many online backup systems available which permit you to store your critical data on remote servers as part of your backup strategy. These can be very valuable and worthwhile tools and are not to be ignored.
I really never thought this could happen but courtesy of the author of the Death of the Copier Blog I am now not so sure. He recently featured a presentation made to TED in September 2009 that kind of blew my mind. Maybe a paperless document strategy is really possible.
Converting a paper filing system into an electronic record system requires several steps and impacts the workflow of the office. Here is a case in point.
Consumer and business buying patterns are changing as a direct result of access to the internet.
A recent article in the Action Line column of the Hamilton Spectator outlined the problems experienced by a Hamilton area business who's phone number was mistakenly associated with another business from Brantford in the Google Maps listings. The story talks about the frustration of trying to get this simple error corrected and the challenges it created.
The second part of the article outlines some interesting facts which show why the worldwide access to business information is so pervasive today. Stats Canada reported 80 percent of Canadians 16 or older spent time online in 2009.
The Green revolution is getting well entrenched in many offices. How many times have you seen the e-mail footer that says, "Save some trees. Please don't print this e-mail unless absolutely necessary."
I find myself constantly working with software tools to improve my document production or in my marketing role. It is remarkable what can be found if you go looking for a solution to a problem, and sometimes even when you are not looking. Managing your documents and information takes a variety of actions. These are some of the IT and computer tools which I have found valuable.
Document management is a long established tool of business. For many people though it remains a world of smoke and mirrors. One of the reasons for this is the proliferation of acronyms which the industry has spawned. It seems that keeping language precise and understandable was intentionally avoided and creating terms which are often little understood became the norm. In an attempt to clarify a little we offer our collection of 10 definitions or explanations of common document management terms. To help we have referenced wikipedia to obtain some of the short definitions.
Wikipedia defines a Document Management System (DMS) as a computer system ( or a set of computer programs) used to track and store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents. Smeadsoft defines it as the imaging, storage and retrieval of documents and information scanned into an electronic system. This includes both documents and files orginally created in electronic format as well as paper documents, photos and other items scanned into digital form and saved with keywords.
Both definitions start with STORAGE of documents.
If you want to store documents away- never to be looked at again - then get a brown cardboard box, fill it with paper, seal it up with tape, and store it in the basement- and in 20 years when you move- open it up- and finally decide to throw it out. Rather extreme case in point. Because if you really have documents that you will never have the need to look at again- shred them now.
But most documents do have to be looked at again for numerous reasons.
In your company is there any one type of document that seems to have the most “handprints” on it. Are invoices passed around for approval and payment processing? Is customer correspondence shared with different departments? Are meeting notes distributed to several team members.
Where to start- I’ll share my experience with Accounts Payable.
- some have made removable hard drives available as options
- all major manufacturers offer some form of security option which will provide levels of encryption and file removal
- there are reformating options which are available through the service settings on machines which will overright the hard drive and return the device back to factory settings.
- at minimum we reformat drives at the end of a lease and return the multifunction copier back to factory specs.
- for some brands we can remove the hard drive from the device, connect it to a computer and use drive overwrite software to wipe the data more securely.
- for clients who have concerns about security during the active use of the device we will configure equipment with the encryption options available from our suppliers, Kyocera, Samsung and Ricoh.
- if clients are exceptionally concerned about the potential of data on hard drives then we will offer to the client the ability to "buy" the hard drives from the device and we will put new drives into the device before returning. The costs of this option will vary depending upon how the manufacturer has dealt with their hard drive design. In some instances the drives have proprietary boot formats and are only available from the vendor leading to a more costly replacement.