Xerox through the specialist ICT and customer interaction solutions company XRX Technologies introduced an innovative new software service that is designed to enhance cost and operational management locally.

Xerox DocushareThe service , Xerox Docushare, is an internet based electronic filing and storage solution and is expected to replace the traditional manual filing systems and transform the exchange and storage of business documents.

Xerox Docushare system will work together with NetApp, an hardware storage solution  to bring together all of an organisation’s sources of knowledge- email communications, paper documents, online documents, images and videos plus everything else that  can be stored as a file in a way that they can be created, shared, organized and kept efficiently and appropriately.

Speaking during the official unveiling and educational workshop in Nairobi, XRX Technologies Managing Director Lucy Njoroge asserted that the service was a solution that every business needed, regardless of its size or sector.

“It is a timely technology that has been developed to coincide with a strong organizational focus on content management and reduction of customer service lead times,” she said noting that the pressure to reduce turnaround time in accessing and retrieving business information was driving the shift towards higher automation.

The ability to provide immediate response to customer inquiries or to retrieve relevant documentation while directly servicing the customer is primary as it directly enhances efforts to improve overall satisfaction.  Xerox Docushare, she added, provides immediate and direct accessibility to required information at the servicing workstation.

The largest single benefit to installing Docushare and NetApp is the increase in the speed of information retrieval so that it is virtually at the fingertips.  “It arises from the fact that the systems completely eliminate the use of traditional filing cabinets which typically occupy between 7 and 8.5 square feet of floor space, including the working area. If done away with, this rental expense is saved,” said Ms Njoroge.

“Docushare is designed to digitise documents, images and even video footage for safe and easy storage and retrieval. NetApp gives peace of mind by providing ample and safe storage space”.

In addition Docushare also extracts information from scanned documents, a feature that government agencies could use for virtually every service. “While computerization of information has made the task of capturing and retrieving data easier, much of the information is in coded form, not original image. Yet often the original business documents are needed to clarify information”, she added.

In reference to Xerox industry statistics, she said that document handling had generally become time consuming. On average 10 % of all documents developed get lost or misfiled. Typically 12 minutes are spent on each document, 9 of them wasted in searching, filing or refilling and then only 3 minutes or even les are used effectively. Then again the average document is photocopied 19 times in its lifetime while each worker generally has a backlog of 34 hours on working documents.

She added that the rising use of larger attachments on electronic mail was also putting pressure on organisations storage capacity. “As it is, most corporate users receive an average of 24 MB of email daily, a measure that is expected to nearly double to over 35 MB by 2011,” said Njoroge.

“Through the course of business, hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and correspondence are generated, received and exchanged. This sheer volume forces firms archive files and keep only the most current documents at their immediate vicinities. It is expensive and causes unnecessary delays,” she explained adding that filing was naturally time-consuming and prone to error.

She said that Docushare and NetApp were available for installation and could be integrated into existing enterprise resource applications.  Ms Njoroge added that many organisations had adopted technology but still churned out even more paper.

The initial step in the process is digitization by imaging followed by automatic routing to electronic “folders” of the appropriate individuals, through the normal work cycle after which it is either stored or discarded.