Gestetner moves document management beyond the printer
NRG Gestetner South Africa is expanding its document management capability beyond the printed page and will now be providing local customers with secure electronic document delivery.
Through its partnership with Actnet Print Concepts, Gestetner SA will offer the locally-developed enterprise document delivery (EDD) software solution to its growing enterprise customer base.
But no, says Alan Austin, national sales manager at Gestetner SA, this doesn't mean we are one step closer to the paperless office.
"That's a fantasy cooked up by a Business Week journalist in the seventies and let's face it, it's never going to happen. The point is not to replace paper documents, but use technology to better manage the paper.
"In the end it could still get printed, the question is whether you want to do it in a large printing bureau or on the end recipient's desktop machine?" says Austin.
EDD ensures the electronic delivery of normally printed documents using secure e-mail, fax, SMS or a Web interface. Gavin Dunlop, MD of Actnet, says: "We have been developing and perfecting this software since its initial launch into the local market over a decade ago, and one thing is for sure: there is a growing need for this kind of solution, and not just because of cost savings.
"Faster delivery means more valuable documents. For example, a credit card statement that arrives in the middle of the following month is no longer useful. But the statement that arrives on the first day of the month is relevant and this adds to a general sense of customer satisfaction."
Gestetner SA chose EDD because of the simple implementation process. It does not require any redesign of existing documents or integration into existing data sources. "This means less headaches for our customers and a faster time between the decision to go electronic and the first document being sent," says Austin.
"We obtain the source data from the current print stream, convert the content into electronic form and distribute. It's quick, it's easy and it saves money."
The 100% dot-for-dot true rendition of the original printed documents includes all fonts, signatures, graphics and bar codes. "This is important," says Austin. "It means the technology supports SARS and ECT Act compliance and ensures both Gestetner and its clients don't fall foul of the law."
The addition of the EDD solution to the growing offering of document workflow services, which currently include document creation and document archiving, is part of Gestetner SA's long-term electronic strategy.
"South Africa is still a bit behind the rest of the world when it comes to transforming into an 'electronic everything' business environment, because the high costs of telecommunications have prevented most local organisations from access to the kind of bandwidth resources required for these solutions."
Gestetner believes the South African market is about a decade away from this e-everthing environment where the creation, distribution and archiving of documents all involves some form of digitisation. While the printed paper is not going to go away, it will become just one small element of a larger process," says Austin.
"Gestetner wants to be sure we are continually in a position to really add value to our clients by providing them with the products, services and consultancy they need to manage their, now electronic, document environment," concludes Austin