The words ‘paperless office’ have been bandied around for decades, but it’s only in recent years that digitalisation of physical data has finally taken root and become the first choice for many organisations. For others it is, at least, becoming necessary thanks to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Making Tax Digital scheme being implemented. However, dealers should be reminding their customers that legal obligation isn’t the only reason they should be adopting digitalisation – there are a host of other advantages. Andrew Cowling, channel marketing specialist at PFU EMEA LTD, a Fujitsu company, explains.
“The argument we get from some end-users is that they do scan already, but they use a multi-function printer (MFP) to do it – with a dedicated scanner, you get that best scan first time due to a wealth of intuitive automated clean-up features. The operator involvement is minimised throughout the process and content is created, rather than just an image – which is as worthless on a drive as it is in a filing cabinet when it comes to speedy retrieval and extraction into daily work processes.”
He continues: “It’s also about efficiency when it comes to MFPs being located in a different part of the office; there may be queues to use it or even distractions on the way. Regarding technical specs scanners offer faster speed, faster processing, mixed batches are possible and bundled impressive software suites allow for the seamless distribution to multiple locations.”
There are a number of major drivers behind why scanning is beneficial for a business, including:
“One reason to scan is the issues that come with paper,” Andrew says. “The cost of paper itself, the cost of storing it, the cost of printing and some of the indirect costs such as time wasted printing off and collecting a piece of paper, putting it in an envelope and posting it. Dealers selling to accountants, solicitors and estate agents can utilise the angle of them being able to respond a lot quicker to customer requests. Companies like the idea of customer acquisition and retention by saying, ‘we’re modern, we’re digital, we can instantly send you things that you need via an app or e-mail – you don’t have to wait several working days for a paper copy.”
The paper issue leads into another huge driver – security. “People not knowing where data is within an organisation, or how many people have access to that, is a problem,” Andrew continues. “If you’ve got loads of HR records or invoices in a filing cabinet it’s cumbersome, time-wise, to file them in the first instance and at a later date to have to find them. There’s also the question of how many people could potentially see something they shouldn’t see, and how many copies of that document exist.” This ties into GDPR, which includes a rule where organisations have to be able to find any information on a client that they request within a month. Customers also have the right to request that all of their information be destroyed – something which is incredibly difficult to guarantee when hard copies are involved.
“Scanning not only allows you to create something that’s searchable,” says Andrew, “but gives you a complete audit trail where you can see exactly who’s edited the data, who’s seen it, where it has been sent and even who has printed it out. It also offers the guarantee that your data will continue to exist even if the worst happens and the office burns down. Some customers will say they’re worried about getting rid of original documents after scanning because they are supposed to keep them for a certain period of time; what we say is that once the data is scanned, specialist software will find the date on that document and you’ll get notifications saying, ‘you don’t need to keep this document any more’. Then, the original can be shredded.” GDPR is not just about being compliant but proving it in a court of law.
A changing landscape
As well as GDPR and Making Tax Digital coming into play, the future is set to bring digital courtrooms in which people will no longer be able to take a single piece of paper into court. That will have a knock-on effect throughout the entire business world; “People need to get their house in order now,” says Andrew.
How can Fujitsu help?
Fujitsu is ideally positioned to help dealers break into some of the biggest markets for scanning, including legal, financial, healthcare and education. On 8 October, it’s launching a new scanner which will have a different concept to traditional flatbed scanners and will be ideal for any customer-facing office environment where there’s a need to scan documents quickly and reliably. “It’s ideal for anywhere there’s a need to take ID off people – it’s a very exciting product,” says Andrew.
“We’d love for dealers to join us on 8 October, either at our physical launch at our office on Baker Street or for the virtual launch. There will be presentations about the opportunities that this new product can open up, and those visiting the office will be able to have a play with it for themselves.” Sign up today via the URL at the bottom of this article.
Dealers can also take advantage of the opportunities afforded by Fujitsu by making sure they are signed up to the Channel Enablement portal, where there is a wealth of material to help understand and better position the scan opportunity, upskill staff and boost your business. Take advantage of product and promotion toolkits, insightful webinars and scanner configurators. Dealers can also co-brand marketing material, request evaluation units, get preferential demo unit pricing and take modules in their ranges. Those signed up will also receive regular email comms which will notify about new products, promotions and events – including a major channel conference coming up in February.