Tag Archives: Writing

SPA: How much money is it costing your company?

The last post I wrote was just a small note trying to explain what a SPA is and how is can effect the paperless system and also the office environment.

If I told you it could cost your company approximately £17.29 or should I tell you it is already costing your company £17.29 per month per computer.

Source of information company for the  employee average

www.census.gov

Year 2004 U.S States only (excluding establishments)

Employee (100 to 499) small companies                      86,538

Paid Employees                                                                        16,757,751

 16,757,751/86538 = 194

Average employees 194 say 20% have computers averaging it to 38.8 computers per company.

 Calculations from my Hypotheses Testing Frame Work

£17.29 per computer per month

17.29 * 39 = 674.31 *12 = 8091.72 * 86,538 approx £ 700,241,265

So from the above figures and the average calculation, it’s costing  approximately £ 700, 000, 00 a year in a less efficient system just because we have ignored the small notary paper items such as SPA.

I have just designed a template which will be available in the New Year which will be free to down load when my new website will be launched both will be available in the New Year

If you know that an every day routine or action within the work place is costing you money would you like to know about it.

Would you have a closer look at this information I think in general you would.

I think the main thing about this activity is that it’s been within our work environment for as long as we can remember so to have an answer over night would be quite difficult to predict, although this has been the first stage of what I believe may be one of the problems for the development of the paperless office.

There will be a few more posts before this site changes to a new site and by the way the new site will be called The Paperless Endeavour.


Office Pc and the Paperless Interface

I have often wondered how the paperless system will become a more common factor and more usable within the work place. I have mention a few times now that it’s not a question in just designing a better software installation and simply down loading that onto your PC.

I do believe that the progression of the paperless system has passed that stage were we would just design a better software programme, that might have been the answer a few years ago but there is nothing wrong with trying to achieve a better software which will help and increase all areas concerned.

What you could say is that has the paperless system reached to a saturation point as a product or a service, I suppose that this would be a question that we could disagree with and I am sure that  some of you could have a serious discussion about.

I personally don’t think that we should stop the software development and realistically the software development that you transfer to a disk and you down load to your PC .

This will always be in the mind of developers not mentioning all the other factors which are connected to this subject.

But if we have reached a so called milestone to the development of paperless system should we be looking towards a different direction but not forgetting about what we have mentioned above. Could one of the areas that we need to be looking at and start to question that of the interface with the computer.

This is not a new subject we have been trying to master this area for some time now and there are plenty of experts about this subject.

It’s not a question of trying to re invent the wheel but just a case of looking at things a bit differently, we have all seen the explosion of computer aided devices for a more social media, but have we seen an explosion for the traditional office PC.

I think we all could agree that we have not notice any major developments to a degree that might change the way we use the office PC, but if we look at the advances towards the office PC , then there have been far and few between, could this be a stumbling block in the future development of the paperless system.

I will put my neck out on this one and state that I do believe that the future of the office PC will be a tablet and touch panel devices complete with a traditional keyboard and I will also state that these will have to be priced to beat the second hand traditional PC that we see in computer shops who buy and sell these items in bulk, I am not talking about the few we notice on E bay, but the serious dealers who make a living form this professional trade.

I mentioned in some of my past posts that we should be viewing and looking at the computer in a different way, we should segment and separate social media computers to the traditional office computers.

You may ask yourself what this has got to do with the paperless office and paperless systems well I personally think that it has a lot to do with how the paperless system will have to be developed in the future.


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


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 History

1974-gyricon-material

There have been various reports about the history of E paper that it was developed in the late 60s and early 70s by Xerox PARC, who were developing and attempting to get Xerox management to appreciate the Alto personal computer; they never did.

It was the world’s first office and word-processing computer, but this remarkable machine had one serious drawback: the cathode ray tube display it used was not the best; the problem was that the contrast was not bright enough, and the contrast was not great.    

A major improvement to assist this problem was the introduction of Gyricon; this was used with a rotating-ball and was based on a physical phenomenon called “electro capillarity.” The electro capillarity display worked by moving colored liquids against a white background as you can appreciate that this was back in the 70 and 60 and it was really a very basic spin of to what we seen on the screen today.

As time pasted the concept of E Paper slowly declined and the birth of the computer was born, and that area is history, it’s not really since the birth of the e reader that we see the development of E paper in its present form to which we own this to the potential growth of the electronic reader.

Since this time there was always the back ground research and development of e paper form all the usual companies, the various report where been published indicating that this development  was and still is a thing of the future.

Two articles were published, “E Is for E-Paper: An Electronic Paper Primer for the Graphic Communications Industry” and “E-Paper Technologies and Opportunities in Publishing, Communications and the Graphic Arts”  this examined the two major products releases by (the iRex iLiad and the Sony Reader) it also looked at the other potential devices waiting in the wings.

In 2006/2007 Sony started to develop a so called Sony Style e-store to where the e reader could down load various books to read etc. We have to be very carful here for most of the reports and articles are stating that the e books have elect iconic paper , could that be an misleading phrase, the device that they were reading form was to replace books ,it was common sense to think that the e books have e paper, the question of what you would class as e paper really has to spring to mind, we have seen this development before to the concept of the  paperless office, were terminology has been placed in to a section and in time the design process has lost it’s true meaning.

If we look at the years of 2008 to present and break it down to its Utilization then Electronic paper is the way out for people who read a lot off their screen. But there are also big expectations on the field of replacing printed newspaper, school books and manuals.

Advantages of the eBooks reader are, besides a handy, light size, the largestorage capacity and the fast and easy adaptation of the content. Additional advantage is that some models have the option to make notes that can be transformed into printed text.

A promising development of electronic paper is the flexible e-paper. Philips spin-off Polymer Vision presented in 2007 a first commercial utilization of flexible electronic paper in the form of the Readius, a smartphone with foldable screen. This makes it possible to equip a small device with a relatively large screen.

This has mostly been carried forward and developed commercial with the introduction of the skiff, which is a flexible sheet that can be used to read newspapers and more sheet design in reading , rather than the a traditional book design.

Although the skiff was never a commercial success, this was not to the problem of the material design of the product but a more commercial failure in how to market the product as a multi functional reading tool and acquiring the appropriate networking solutions to capture a new type of reader, some of the reports state that it was ahead of its time, I must disagree with this, it is only a question of time when a design concept will look and feel and the same size of a piece of paper, to what we are all used to and not a small computer device replacing the book.

Vizplex is another development with regards to eInk displays which are equipped with this technology and have a greater contrast and the pages can be switched faster. Vizplex is also more suitable for larger screens and therefore more suitable for a A4 size piece of paper.

One of the problems trying to trace back this history is that the E paper really has come from how this product has developed within the existing technology, it’s hard to state that the e paper was developed in the 60s and 70s, where it was the development of the computer screen that started it, can you class the e paper as a computer screen and once again the major leaps and bounds of this products has come from the mobile phone industry with a foldable screen.

 I think that in the early days it should have been called an e display( which it was) which has changed and developed into a piece of e paper.

So to try to track down a precise date has become difficult and I think its still an area to say that this is an ongoing development so has the e display finally turned into a piece of paper, I do believe that it will, but it will certainly taken more time and alot more research before we can clearly and confidently state this.

sony electronic paper

 


Paperless and the Civil Evidence Act 1995

We all can agree that the concept of the paperless office is becoming a reality as more systems and programs are been designed but do we have to consider the legal and compliance requirements when thinking about preparing for a paperless system.

The answer is yes we do, but unfortunately there is not a yes and no situation in how you design this, as you can appreciate companies and organizations will have different system and processes .The self employed person with a small company will not have to worry about this area, the main area is the items that we would recommend not to copy or transfer into a electronic document.

If we look at the Civil Evidence Act 1995, you could be right in assuming that this is really for the laws, courts and soliciting professions and in most cases this will be the case.

How can this Act assist the paperless system, the main area is that if you want to introduce a paperless system, transferring paper into a electronic document may have to follow certain guidelines. The problem with this is not that you can not copy paper documents in to electronic documents but it’s the area of integrity and authenticity, i.e. proof that it has not been tampered with and that it still retains its integrity as an original record.

We must also remember that at this point that they are so many ISO and BSI rules and guidelines that certain areas will cross over into each sections so therefore compliance can be covered from one guide line to another.

Most of the information will tell you that the guidelines are set out in BSI DISC PD0008, the British Standard (see older post) which relates to the Legal Admissibility of Evidential Information Stored Electronically. It provides a framework and guidelines that identify key areas of good practice

So in real terms what are the guide lines, Audit data requirements, Access control considerations, Interface requirements and backup obligations?

In very English terms it’s the Big Brother of the office, all documents are traced and tracked so if any printing, scanning and copying happens to a document it can be traceable and auditable.

So how is this connected to the paperless system and how does it assist this concept the main question you have to answer is? What is the original documents in the first place, is it an electronic transaction or a paper document that will have to be scanned.

To place this act in any category with the paperless system there are many areas to take into account and Audit trails are one of them. So if one of the answer is that the original document is presented in an electronic form then this has crossed over, to what you could say is a start of the paperless system to what degree do you conduct this audit system, This is really dependant to the type of business you control.

I do believe that every small business should have a basic audit program, we are not talking about the expensive and complicated bespoke systems, but to have a simple system within your structure is a good house keeping practice.

I have placed a few links, showing the basic systems which are designed for the smaller organization and Equitrac is probably a system that is used for the bigger and more professional organizations.

http://www.q-pulse.com/audit-management-system.asp?gclid=COXJ0YmEsKQCFYn-2AodEDtQzw

http://www.bitrixsoft.com/products/intranet/features/files.php?r1=enadwords&r2=doc&gclid=CKrLub6EsKQCFZL92AodAmdczw

http://www.eqmltd.co.uk/dolphin_software.htm

http://www.equitrac.com

We still must remember that the audit trail is only a small part of the act and all other sections must be taken into account.

The other areas will be posted later in the same category.