There are many studies about the Return on Investment (ROI) of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems and the overwhelming consensus is that ECMs are a wise investment. What is often overlooked in the discussion, however, whether or not the ECM in place or is being deployed, is what types of incremental investments are justified.
It is easy to forget that the original access and mobility solution for archives was paper. And there are some very good reasons why this is the case. Paper is sized for the human body and for reading. It is designed to be held and viewed at arms-length with ease and is engineered in a variety of sizes and formats to suit the different needs — books, magazines, letters, documents, and so on. Paper is an ideal medium to be sequenced (as a book) and is indexable (through page numbers). It is these very fundamental characteristics and often un-appreciated characteristics that modern digital document archives struggle to reproduce.
What to consider when offering accessible documents.
Having worked in the accessibility space for many years, I get a chance to talk to many corporate organizations that need to provide accessible documents. They typically view accessible documents as being singularly focused on a single format such as braille. Braille is very tangible and identifiable as a tool of communication for those that are blind. However, the reality is that people with disabilities require formats that meet their individual needs. If we look at the landscape for those that are blind, partially sighted or have a cognitive disability, we find that there is no one single format for documents that meets the varied preferences and needs.
Duplicate documents have long been an issue for transactional print and mail operations. The cost to create and mail duplicates, along with public relations issues, customer perception problems, and remediation activities makes producing identical mail an expensive mistake. As transactional document printers migrate towards white paper environments they are changing traditional workflows – and making it harder to discover unintended duplicates.
In the past, document centers employed rudimentary methods to prevent or detect the production of duplicate documents. They might move or rename files after processing them, reference a job log, or compare machine counts to control totals. These methods were partly successful in reducing the risk of printing an entire job twice. Errors still occurred though, due to trust in procedural compliance by imperfect humans.