While we might have begun over a decade or two ago to utilize newer methods of information exchange in the form of “electronic representations” of documents, and our collective intent was to consume “less paper” within the business community, 20 years later we certainly still have a long way to go in order to achieve utopia. Even with a viable alternative technological based platform, the business reality is there are many paper documents used during the course of daily business transactions – as hard as we may otherwise try – because of economic, process or technology-based reasons that simply cannot be captured into a business workflow by any means other than a document scanning and indexing process.
What can realistically be done to better address the seemingly growing appetite for paper consumption in business? Is there really an effective alternative to paper? How does a business handle the intermixing of paper, electronic, and paper replacement technologies into their daily operations? Is there a cost effective, acceptable electronic alternative that truly will allow the actual “replacement” of physical paper documents? What about the practical and legal issues businesses face when presented with establishing intent, the four corners rule, wet signatures, and assuring the authenticity of original documents?
Imagine this opportunity for a moment. What if, for example at your local Doctor's office instead of being handed a traditional clipboard, pen and a multi-paged structured form you were handed a "device" that contains all the characteristics of a structured, paper based form, and a writing instrument that has pen/pencil like qualities and was about the size of an Amazon Kindle or Apple iPad? And, the content produced by this device is considered legally binding, eliminating the need for hard copy documents?
About six months ago, we were privileged to be introduced to an organization called Ricoh-EWS that have developed a very interesting piece of technology coupled with a rich set of Web Services called eQuill. We think the Ricoh's eQuill + Cloud Services offering has tremendous potential in the marketplace across many industry verticals.
Connect this device and its rich set of services up with CAPSYS CAPTURE powered by Microsoft Windows Azure, and you have a very powerful Cloud-based means of processing structured, semi-structured and unstructured content.
Check back soon for complete run down on Ricoh's eQuill coupled with CAPSYS CAPTURE in an upcoming co-authored whitepaper. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about this offering, contact us.