companies can help cut the office paper chase
Alan Zisman (c) 2005 First published in Business
December 12-18, 2006; issue 894
High Tech Office column
business and home users churning out seemingly ever-increasing stacks
of paper printouts of digital documents, the long-promised paperless
office seems as far away as ever.
Paper has advantages: it’s high resolution,
portable and needs little training to use. Paper is like comfort food.
paper in large quantities requires a lot of room for storage and gets
increasingly hard to search. Misfile a paper document, and its contents
can effectively disappear.
even in this digital age, we’re addicted to paper. Often I receive
e-mail that I’m asked to print out, sign and fax back.
1993 New Yorker cartoon featured a clever canine pointing out that
“on the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.”
anonymity can be a barrier to conducting business. As a result, it has
seemed easier (and more legally binding) to work with printed documents.
company Recombo’s Waypoint
service allows businesses to dispense with
signatures on paper while knowing whether someone online is a dog or a
allows organizations to use verifiable and legally binding digital
signatures to complete contracts and other agreements.
updated to version 2.0, Waypoint integrates with Microsoft Outlook or Salesforce.com software, adding
Recombo’s plug-ins to securely send
encrypted Word or PDF documents as attachments. The original documents
are not stored by Waypoint, but a record of the transaction is kept
centrally using Waypoint’s “Transportable Agreement” process.
partner, Equinox, verifies
that customer’s, partner’s or supplier’s
identity in under 20 seconds. This allows digitally signed or initialed
documents to be legally binding; no printed or faxed copies needed.
signatures and signers are supported, allowing for co-lessees,
guarantors or partners. Real-time reporting lets users track who has
received the attachments, who has signed off and which signatures are
keeps a complete audit trail. Detailed records of all interactions are
readily available. The sender receives notification when all parties
Only the originator of the documents needs to
be a Recombo customer.
have no need to download anything to sign on the digital dotted line,
though they will need to register with Equinox for identity
to Innovative Innovations Inc., a typical businessperson spends an hour
a day searching for paper documents. Paper documents cost companies
money to print, store and mail or courier to clients.
Innovations is helping businesses eliminate storage of paper by
scanning correspondence, receipts and more while providing certifiable
(and searchable) digital copies that are stored off-site. Clients range
from one- and two-person companies to the Vancouver Port Authority and
the provincial Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
documents are stored as high-quality TIFF graphics. At the same time,
optical character recognition software creates an index-able text
version of the page.
gives users of the service easily searchable access to all scanned
documents any time from anywhere using any web browser. Documents are
backed up across multiple servers for reliable access. Encryption
ensures that your stored documents are not available online to just any
and Innovative Innovations Inc. prove that digital replacements for
paper can help businesses improve their bottom lines.