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Offloading Print Management Solutions

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DQC News Bureau
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Xerox offers facilities around the world which will be conducted directly

at customer's location

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Global companies are facing increasing pressure to integrate their paper and

electronic documents. In addition to ever expanding content volumes, external

forces such as government regulation, terrorism, cyber crime, and natural

disasters are creating new critical challenges.

For help, most companies are turning to trusted third-party purveyors of

print management. The typical first step by these professionals is to take a

macro view of the customer's organization and follow its records from creation

to final distribution, looking for better management opportunities that

otherwise would remain hidden.

Digital imaging and archive solutions, such as those offered by Xerox,

quickly integrate paper and electronic documents into digital workflows by

scanning, indexing and archiving vast amounts of a company's hard copy

documents. Once electronic files of the documents are made, they are available

to the customer in a variety of ways, such as through a secure website, compact

discs, or hard disk drives.

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Once established and operating, an imaging solution can link employees,

dispersed offices and partners to records that in the past may have been

difficult to locate, or difficult to share, once located. Indeed, findings from

a study by analyst firm IDC and Xerox Corporation indicated that knowledge

workers spend 20 percent of their day looking for information in documents.

About half of that time, they can't find what they're looking for. This creates

a ripple effect that wastes time-as employees toil to recreate missing

information, which leads to more printing, copying, e-mailing and archiving.

In addition to the efficiency that an imaging solution can bring, companies

should consider the large amount of physical space that paper documents require,

as well as the difficulty of indexing and retrieving them. Converting physical

documents to digital significantly reduces both internal and external storage

costs.

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Hosting the hassle



Imaging and archiving solutions can be conducted at a company's site,

remotely at a professional imaging center, or at a combination of both. But the

bottom line is, a company can gain much by offloading this otherwise Herculean

task to professionals.

In addition to being able to recognize operational and cost savings

opportunities and then strategize to achieve them, turning to a trusted partner

allows the customer to focus on its core competencies.

Technology providers, such as Xerox, offer imaging and archive services

through industry-accredited facilities around the world and some, will also

conduct such services directly at a customer's location.

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Utilizing a third-party for document imaging and storage services also

require a great deal of trust amid heightened security concerns and increased

corporate governance through regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley and Health

Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Responsible imaging partners must

not only guard against unauthorized access, they must be equipped with

sophisticated back-up systems.

Business benefits
  • Improved productivity: Manual, hard copy

    processes are streamlined, enabling immediate access to critical

    information. Employees are able to locate and obtain relevant information

    more quickly, allowing them to share information within the organization

    and with customers in a more efficient and cost-effective manner
  • Decreased cost: Warehouses of paper and

    storage costs disappear; saving money and helping an organization

    re-capture lost office space
  • Improved revenue: With information more

    readily accessible, employee decision-making and transaction processing

    are accelerated, bringing in additional revenue and providing staff with

    more time to focus on their core competencies
  • Added security and regulatory compliance:

    Security controls built into imaging and archiving systems ensure

    information integrity and accuracy

Xerox Global Services, for example, takes an integrated four-step approach

that consists of: (1) Sourcing, customers' structured data such as invoices and

payments, and unstructured documents, such as e-mail, and memos; (2) Capturing,

where scans the documents centrally at a facility or directly at a customer's

location, and then integrates the documents with the customers' business

processes; (3) Managing, indexes and stores a customer's documents in an online

repository and provides the necessary content and document management services;

and (4) Offering a variety of ways for customers to access their documents.

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Tearing down the document silos



The definition of the word 'document' continues to evolve, taking on a

variety of formats, including paper, electronic files and even e-mail records.

Compounding the challenge of managing various document permutations is the fact

that most companies printing documents at a multitude of geographic regions,

making any attempt to rein in costs difficult.

In fact, most large companies are not even aware of their total document

spend. The IDC/Xerox study found that document costs (from creation to

management) represent 10 percent of a company's expenses. Yet 65 percent of

respondents said that they do not measure their document management costs.

By imaging the variety of documents a customer produces and then creating a

centralized information repository that manages all records flowing in and out,

companies can eliminate the document silos that result from fragmented

ownership-allowing employees to work smarter.

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Organizations from small to large are realizing that a sound document

management strategy that incorporates the full spectrum of information will lead

to improved communication between employees and customers, cost savings and

increased productivity and profitability.

Documents are one of the most critical elements of business life. The content

they carry serves as the backbone of all work processes. As such, it's important

to consider the information, and not the physical paper, as the critical

component in any document management strategy. Contrary to popular belief, the

answer is not to eliminate paper, rather to understand how to best use, manage

and store the information residing in those documents. New technologies that

promise advanced capabilities and secure real-time access are being developed

and perfected with each passing year-bridging the gap between the paper and

digital worlds and helping organizations achieve and even exceed their business

goals.

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