With the rapid strides in document management offering a multitude of benefits to enterprises we ask Paul Brown, Regional Sales Manager Middle East, PFU, how CIOs can make the most of their data.
Can you tell me how you help businesses focus on productivity and reduce costs in the workplace?
No matter what kind of company, large or small, paper is always a media that’s being used to either start a transaction or end a transaction, it could be an application or it could be a receipt.
Depending on where in the cycle that piece of paper is involved, it’s always a very difficult media to actually manage properly and keep secure. So we offer a solution to actually easily digitise any piece of paper and allow companies to easily take it into their workflows, distribute it as necessary for whatever business processes and then, if the outcome is a piece of paper, to once again scan it and have it available electronically for later reference.
By doing so we can really speed up processes. We’ve got a number of customers in the banking sector where they want to get services up and running as quickly as possible. For example, with credit card applications if the customer has to wait a week or 10 days before they can start using it, it’s 10 days of missed opportunity. So we’ve been able to reduce the time frame to get from the application to the actual card issuing by more than 50%. That’s the kind of business that we’re in.
How do you help businesses become paperless?
No matter how hard we try, and we do work very hard with our customers to try to minimise paper flow within their organisations, you see no matter how hard they try re-engineer business processes, paper always remains a factor in their business. So what we’ve tried to make sure is that whatever point of entry a document has we have a solution there ready to capture that piece of paper and basically transform it because a sheet of A4 with printed text means nothing to anybody until you read it. So what we do is we enable that transformation from hard copy to digital as quickly and as easily as possible so that basically people can then convert that into usable information.
Can you mention a few of your products?
We’ve basically got three product lines. We’ve got ScanSnap which is a personal productivity tool. So this is a product for the people that don’t have to scan as part of their daily work routines. So it could be a person taking notes. You can either keep it as a hard copy or you can decide to scan it. It’s not that you have to do it but it would be nice to do. So that’s what we specifically designed ScanSnap for as a product to facilitate document imaging and document scanning to a wide range.
Then we have the SP series of scanners which we launched about two years ago as an entry level product for document scanning. SP sits in between personal productivity and professional – where people are maybe dipping their toe into document management or the volumes are a little bit less and don’t require a heavy-duty machine.
We have a lot of people that buy our professional. FI series of scanners. These are the real professional document scanners where scanning is a must. They have high volumes.
For CIOs who are intending to improve the document management what advice would you give to them?
Now with the ever-changing technology you can prepare a strategy as best as you possibly can and what you see is from within six months to 12 months whatever you put down as a plan you’re having to change. You can’t always predict what you’re going to be needing in the future. One thing you do know is that you’re going to need to scan paper because it’s going to be available in your organisation.
That’s what we design specific products for. The fi-7300NX is to made to be futureproof. The hardware is an important component looking at how things could be managed more centrally with a software application so that’s why we’ve developed a server-based application, completely web-enabled so no matter what a CIO is planning to do with whatever line of business application he has, he knows that whatever he’s purchasing from Fujitsu he’ll be able to adapt that to different business processes, to a different line of business applications that they will be using or modifying or whatever.
So I think now where people need to really think is just to make sure that the flexibility is always there. Because it is an investment and you don’t want to invest in technology that’s going to be obsolete in six months time. So you need to be able to purchase products that are flexible that you can use in the future without knowing really what the future is going to hold.