Mastering complex processes with the aid of digital documents

(PresseBox) ( Hannover, )
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- New hall concept: Hall 3 becomes the central platform for document management systems (DMS), mailing solutions and professional output
- Relocation endorsed by industry association VOI
- Not just for big players: DMS helps companies of all sizes

The processing, management and archiving of digital documents is one of the key disciplines for any corporate organization. A company that performs efficiently in this area will often gain a significant competitive advantage over its competitors. Document management systems are a tried and tested means of setting up the necessary processes, linking them together, making them fully transparent and archiving them in a tamper-proof form.

At CeBIT 2009 Hall 3 will be the central platform for DMS as well as for mailing solutions and professional output. "The new concept for Hall 3 embraces not only mainstream DMS solutions but also - and this is new - all those other categories of exhibits that are closely related to DMS. These include solutions and concepts for digital mail handling, multifunctional printers and copiers, and professional output management systems. And in the neighbouring halls visitors will be able to find the latest data storage systems along with solutions in areas such as customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), business intelligence (BI) and enterprise content management (ECM)," explains Dr. Sven-Michael Prüser, Vice-President of CeBIT.

In business enterprises, organizations and the public sector alike, there is a universal need to streamline and speed up business processes in order to reduce administration costs in the medium and long term. And a well-designed document management system is the right place to start.

Hospital administration processes can be speeded up and simplified

In hospital, for example, the process begins at patient reception. A digital patient file is set up, which then follows the patient throughout his or her hospital stay. As well as personal data, the digital file contains the results of investigative and diagnostic procedures, X-rays, operation reports and medication protocols. During ward rounds reports are digitally added to the patient file directly at the bedside. Hospital staff no longer have to input the information by hand. Patient records can be consulted at any time by doctors treating the patient, safe in the knowledge that they are always up to date. So modern document management in hospitals helps to ensure that patients receive the best possible treatment and care. It is even possible to exchange data electronically between different hospitals or clinics. The process of billing health insurance providers is also made much easier by digital patient records, as all stages of treatment are fully documented and cost-coded.

Are the days of paper numbered?

For decades company archives have been home to the filing media we are all familiar with - box files, lever arch files, pocket files. All the relevant data were recorded on paper and filed away in basements or storerooms. It was often hard to keep track of what was stored, and retrieving information from storage was difficult and tedious. Issues of security or fire protection were often forgotten or ignored. Now digital archives are taking the place of paper as the traditional medium of record. The benefits are obvious: paper is expensive and bulky, and paper archives take up a lot of space. At a time when business rents are rising, this is a major consideration. Digital archives, by contrast, can easily be put onto digital storage media or high-capacity tape drives and housed in the company's existing server room or computer centre. The ability to cross-link different applications such as ERP for financial controlling, financial accounting or CAD programs - as used in the design and development department - means that different types of information relating to the same project can be made available for direct access at a single point. This obviates the need to spend time searching through a whole series of paper files.

CeBIT 2009: the short route to knowledge

The list of DMS applications and their related applications goes on and on. At CeBIT 2009 from 3 to 8 March visitors will have an opportunity to learn about DMS solutions that will help them make their business processes more efficient. The options covered range from document-based processes and workflow to professional output.

Bringing together the displays of DMS, mail processing/mailing solutions and professional output in one hall at CeBIT 2009 serves to show how the different systems involved combine and interact. This begins with the digital logging of documents in the mail despatch office. Here letters, receipts, invoices, drawings or other items of paper documentation are scanned and placed in the appropriate electronic letter trays for further processing. Document management systems can be adapted to the specific requirements of a company or an organization and used to integrate its workflow. Cross-linking with critical company applications such as the ERP system or financial accounting ensures an uninterrupted electronic process chain. Other components of professional DMS solutions include an efficient output management system or individual electronic archiving.

Detailed study prior to purchase

"DMS is not an off-the-peg solution. It calls for multidisciplinary knowledge and a deep understanding of the internal relationships and organizational structures of a company or administration", says Prüser. "Because the presentations are geared towards practical solutions, visitors to Hall 3 get a chance to see DMS software and the matching hardware working together in a real-life problem-solving context. That allows them to see the bigger picture in terms of what organizations can expect to gain by introducing this kind of system."

The industry association VOI, representing manufacturers of organizational and information systems, is endorsing the relocation of the DMS exhibits to Hall 3 at CeBIT 2009 by an increased presence at the show. Together with its member firms, the association is responsible for organizing both the DMS Area at the east end of Hall 3 and the DMS Forum. One of the highlights of the DMS Area is the showcase "Digital Mail Processing". In addition guest experts will speak on various DMS-related topics.

The west end of Hall 3 at CeBIT 2009 will be devoted to displays of mail processing/mailing solutions and professional output.

"DMS is a very complex area, with many different aspects to it", says Prüser. "At CeBIT 2009 visiting professionals can find out about solutions that meet their specific user requirements. DMS is not just of interest to large corporations. Far from it: today's market offers a host of solutions that are suitable for smaller and medium-sized companies too, and are designed to help them prepare for the commercial challenges of the future."
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