Tag Archives: Office

Is SPA Just note taking?

I have written this post for various reasons. I have spent the past two years studying an area of what I think is connected to an important area of the paperless office not only to the office environment but to the paperless environment.

I still think that this subject is very important not because I have provided calculations that it exists and tried to bring it to the attention of anybody who is connected to the paperless environment but as a building block to try to understand how an interaction of written communication which is not directly connected to your computer main frame or connected to the office PC can be classed as a paperless system.

And to this day you can not state that you are running a true paperless system if you still perform SPA’s within your work office or environment.

Could you state that SPA’s are just a form of note taking ! to a certain degree this could be true but there is an underlining point to make that if these items are still performed within the office and people are still using paper to perform these actions, why have we not found an answer to the problem ? 

Most of the people who will read this post will probably say that there is not a problem with this area and if you look at it on the surface then you will be right but if you look at the whole of the area within this field you just might open a door to find the answer with regards to a bigger picture.

Could this be the interaction between people in the office which are still using written communication between colleagues and not having the software or hardware that is commercially acceptable and commonly used within the office.

Then it might just make you think about what a paperless office or paperless system is or what it should represent.

I think what we all agree that SPA’s or software programmes by themselves are not just the answer for a better paperless system it can cover all areas from management and attitude and a way of thinking to really bring the message home that the paperless system could and will benefit companies from saving money, ROI, work flow efficiency, better working conditions and also a greener environment and all these things are connected to a paperless system.

I write this post because it’s time to move to the next satge SPA’s will still play a big part of the site and certainly will still be used as the foundations of what I have mentioned above.

If you still believe that SPA’s are still just a form of notes then you will be pleased to know that I have enclosed some links to say exactly that.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/note-taker-hd/id366572045?mt=8

The above links are apps that you can buy for your I pad and they represent exactly that, software that has been designed to take notes and small messages which you can use with your I pad.

Have a look at the links and see what you think ?

My background to the paperless system is that of an academic back ground and with attending university next year will continue for another couple of years yet with hoping to look at the paperless system once again in a different view.


Paperless and ISO 1799 (27001) (27002)

If these acts are very broadly all to do with security (see early posts for a more details description) and in fact any organizations that handles and depends on information.

How can a paperless system assist these regulations?

I think we have to look at the wider picture and understand why we use a paperless system to try to find an answer for this area.

It’s certainly not a case to say that we have to design a special area for this act to take place within a paperless system as nearly all companies will be connected to these acts in some way due to the fact we must handle peoples information just to employ and of cause some companies will require a more complex system if they depend on peoples information.

So do we design a paperless system to accommodate these acts or do we try to place these requirements into an already paperless system which could be better known as a Document Management System with added security due to the possible sensitivity of the information.

Some of the companies who have installed a respectable Document Management system will be happy with the outcome and to a certain degree this is more than acceptable to a normal company dependant of the type of information and type of company who has to use these regulations to a great degree, these two statements go without saying and are pretty common.

But could we say that a process of actions and processors within a system is the best answer, I think it’s more to do with we have to use what is available to us at the time of installation and what has been designed and already accepted.

It obvious that security has to play a big part if we intend to use the computer as an office or to assist a paperless system, that it the main point of the acts to protect people information.

One of the better areas of these acts is that is more to do with a code of practice/guideline rather than a certification standard, organizations are free to select and implement other controls, or indeed adopt alternative complete suites of information security controls as they see fit.

We can all agree that technology will grow and become better as technology grows in time, so could you say that this will always be open to debate in the areas of acceptability and how this will react to a paperless system.

We could say that this will always be the case, simple because technology will always grow but we do have to find that intermediate where a practical solution will be available to provide a practical answer.


Paperless and the Data Protection Act 1998

We have stated that the DPA can be a complex act to process and can contain sensitive information and personnel information about individuals.

So can a paperless system assist this act?

I think the main question we have to ask ourselves is to what degree do we store or hold this type of information and for how long.

If you have read the post within this section you will know that there are eight key areas within this act.

  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processed for limited purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate and up to date
  • Not kept for longer than is necessary
  • Processed in line with your rights
  • Secure
  • Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection

I think the first four key areas are straight forward and are not really a key area to the paperless system although the process to achieve these areas must be given serious consideration when applying this information to a PC or to a system which has been developed for your organization or company.

One of the areas that sometime can be overlooked is that of first “input”, some system allow the person to do this electronically and this information is transferred automatically into the main data bank, but there are still a lot of paper information which has to be transferred manually into the electronic data system.

At this stage paper can cause a problem not only in the sense of a paperless environment but also transferring that information without paper and obtaining a secure transfer, this is a more to do with the Electronic Signature Regulations 2022 and the ESR Data protection which has been covered with an other section of the blog.

The next two areas: Not kept for longer than is necessary and processed in line with your rights, once again this will depend on the type of organization and company where these are used in the contents of there application.

The last two are certainly two of the main concerns within this act which have caused problems with the design and also its potential damage weather its long term or short term damage.

Secure can mean a lot of areas within this section, secure form hackers, secure loss of data, secure of storage, secure within a day to day usage. Secure of transferring and secure of non active viewing and usage.

One of the area that I am totally confused about is that, sometimes we read and see on the news, that a USB stick was left on a train or lost in a public place, its not the reason that the information was lost, unfortunately people are human and mistakes are made, but it’s the lack of protected procedures that companies introduce when applying this act, its knowing that these incidents happened not because of human or computer error but the procedures allowed this to happen.

How was the information transferred on the stick in the first place, you can say that its like a person working in a bank taking some of the money out of the bank, taking it home and saying that he or she has to count it while he or she is at home, it should not happen in the first place, it should not even entered the person mind, never mind carrying out the act

I think this act and the paperless system is difficult to separate, not because it is complex but it would be difficult to design a totally paperless system which is separate from the standard PC installation and keep it connected within the organizations computerized frame work.

We must also ask our selves do we want to separate this information, I think it can only be answered to the type of information you have in the first place, although storage and input and also day to day activities may benefit from totally paperless environment.

Once again this section is really dependant to the type of information and how the organization and company is using this information in the first place


Paperless and the Mobile

Just recently I have spent some time reading various articles and comments stating that the mobile phone can assist and is also used as a paperless office.

I must admit this statement makes me “shudder with horror”

I know you might say that the development of the mobile phone has helped with the general progression of the paperless system and you would be correct to state this, but in the next sentence the mobile phone has assisted the development of all most general gadgetry products that we used on a day to day basis.

If we are stating that the mobile phone is been used as a paperless office in what contents do we mean, looking and reading the articles it’s seems to be in the areas of convenience with regards to booking tickets and also paying bills through paperless transactions, this I would agree, but this is nothing new and we have been using this technology for some time now.

So what else could we be using this for with regards to the paperless office we must remember these are stating that your mobile can be your office.

We have things like apps for scanning so your mobile can scan any documentation , we all so have apps which are claiming to be paperless management documentation systems that you can down load into your mobile, we also have scribed I paper, which lets you down load individual documents into your phone and stores them into a file we also have programmes like OCR  (Optical Character Recognition) or Read Iris Pro which you can down load into your mobile read and view documents as and when required.

I suppose all these things are heading into the right direction and are assisting the development of the paperless system, I just have concerns that the general public believe that you could run your office from your mobile phone.

If you had to put your hand on your hart, could you realistically say that this is possible and is a realistic solution to a paperless office.

What I do like about the mobile industry is that it has been a great benchmarking product for the future of the paperless system, and we have to be gratefully that the general public are so fickle that they must have the latest and fastest technology that paves the way for development and progressive solutions that can be adapted to adjoining technologies within the paperless system.

 I could state that the advertising study that I carried out some time ago with Bradford University was correct, in that the terminology of the wording “Paperless Office” should be used with caution.

My personal belief this that this does not help the progressive development of the paperless office, it may assist the progressive development of paperless solutions which can help us in general termsc and that is a good thing to have as I have so many times stated that we must perceive the customer users perception  and not the technologies perception.


E Paper: Develop and Adapt

Just recently I have been spending a bit of time looking at the new areas of E paper, why because it will certainly play a part in the concept of the paperless office and also I have a general interest in new technology.

In some of my past posts I have indicated that E paper should take a closer look at its self and decide into which direct it should be travelling and also a small undertone that E paper could be a Roll Royce of paper and not E paper for the masses, a product that could change how we work and behave in a normal working office.

Should E paper look for a new direction, could it survive if a very simple product was designed and developed not just for social pleasure but a true working product that can be used in the work place which could be a replacement for paper.

Personally I do not think that E Paper should replace paper, when I say replace paper, I don’t think it has to replace paper in the sense of sheet paper.

Last year I carried out a survey with Bradford University, this mainly looked at SPA, Secondary Paper Activities within a work place, the general findings were that 63% of Paper Activities were computer based and the remaining paper activities were classed as small notary actions and came under the section of SPA.

What does this tell us, it tells us that 63% of activities within the work place is already performed using a standard PC so what we can use E paper for.

I think we have to forget the direct replacement for paper, writing on E Paper, is not in the forefront of our minds, and has not been development yet. I generally believe that E Paper will have to be categorised to the storage, viewing and display area if we are going to try to bring this into the work place.

I don’t think that this is a bad think, if you look at this and look at the whole picture, could we remove the paper file and lever arch files that are situated in all our offices.

One would assume that one of the reasons why we are developing E paper is to remove paper as we know it, in its traditional sense or is it to develop the computer device, we started with the computer and then the tablet and I pad, and now the E paper, could we view the E Paper as an extension development of the tablet and I pad.

 I personally hope not, I think that E paper will survive but only if we segment the product into a workable and practical solution that is cheaper and more user friendly that we have been used to within the work place.


E Paper : Should we stop ?

Why do we have to be careful, if we look at the steady progressive growth of the development of e paper form the computer screen technology to the present flexible readable sheets and wonder what this application can also be developed for?

A lot of articles and reports are indicating that it will assist the development of reading to the areas of down loading educational reports, manuals and scripts etc, this can only be a good thing or is it.

I say that not wanting to stop this technology advances but also have some concerns of how this has grown or developed and what will it develop into.

I have repeated this sentence in so many of my posts and I will repeat it again on how the customer perceives the product and not what the product has been perceived into.

If we have an imaginary world and e paper has been developed and all things are great, what is the next step ?

How can the e paper be manufactured at a cheap price and in the real world what will it compete with Paper products, books and printing in general etc?

The concept of the paperless office had the same problem and is only starting to be accepted as a real product will the e paper have the same problem!

I do believe that the e paper must stop, stop in the sense that technology must stop making in to a product that is not usable to the every day person.

What has happened is that as technology has grown from one product and transferred part of that technology into another product.

If we look at the e paper, it started from the computer screen and then went into mobiles phones and eventually turned into flexible sheets .

What will happen is that if the latest e paper or flexible sheet is not transferred into a commercial product that every person can use then we will throw more technology at it ,nobody will be able to use it because of what I have mentioned above and it will repeat it’s self and an other product will benchmark the latest version of the technology of the e paper.

They will place it into the computer device and the e paper will not be E paper, it will be an latest computer tablet that will allows you to read at a better resolution and quality.

The rolling technology situation will start all over again and this will keep repeating to the level that we will be reading articles that are stating that the e paper is pipe dream and will never happen in our life time.  

This may be a different view but if you look at this closely you can see this happening already, the e paper is starting to become recognised but we have not targeted a commercial market yet. I hope this does not happen and we stop and take a closer look and a person or an organisation takes this to the next step.

Before it’s to late !!!!!!


E Paper (Technical basics)

Electronic paper (Side view of Electrophoretic...

Image via Wikipedia

Electronic paper was first developed in the 1970s by Nick Sheridon at Xerox‘s Palo Alto Research Center. The first electronic paper, called Gyricon, consisted of polyethylene spheres between 75 and 106 micrometres across.

Each sphere is a janus particle composed of negatively charged black plastic on one side and positively charged white plastic on the other (each bead is thus a dipole. The spheres are embedded in a transparent silicone sheet, with each sphere suspended in a bubble of oil so that they can rotate freely.

The polarity of the voltage applied to each pair of electrodes then determines whether the white or black side is face-up, thus giving the pixel a white or black appearance. At the FPD 2008 exhibition, Japanese company Soken has demonstrated a wall with electronic wall-paper using this technology.

In the simplest implementation of an electrophoretic display, titanium dioxide particles approximately one micrometer in diameter are dispersed in a hydrocarbon oil. A dark-colored dye is also added to the oil, along with surfactants and charging agents that cause the particles to take on an electric charge. This mixture is placed between two parallel, conductive plates separated by a gap of 10 to 100 micrometres.

When a voltage is applied across the two plates, the particles will migrate electrophoretically to the plate bearing the opposite charge from that on the particles. When the particles are located at the front (viewing) side of the display, it appears white, because light is scattered back to the viewer by the high-index titania particles.

When the particles are located at the rear side of the display, it appears dark, because the incident light is absorbed by the colored dye. If the rear electrode is divided into a number of small picture elements (pixels), then an image can be formed by applying the appropriate voltage to each region of the display to create a pattern of reflecting and absorbing regions.

Electrophoretic displays are considered prime examples of the electronic paper category, because of their paper-like appearance and low power consumption.

Examples of commercial electrophoretic displays include the high-resolution active matrix displays used in the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony Librie, Sony Reader, and iRex iLiad e-readers.

 These displays are constructed from an electrophoretic imaging film manufactured by E Ink Corporation. Also the technology has been developed by Sipix Microcup[9] and Bridgestone Quick Response Liquid Powder Display (QR-LPD). The Motorola MOTOFONE F3 was the first mobile phone to use the technology, in an effort to help eliminate glare from direct sunlight during outdoor use.

Electrophoretic displays can be manufactured using the Electronics on Plastic by Laser Release (EPLaR) process developed by Philips Research to enable existing AM-LCD manufacturing plants to create flexible plastic displays.