You’ve seen the change from the paper office to digital media for years. If you haven’t seen the transition in your own office, think about your favorite movies and TV shows.
File cabinets are disappearing. Plans for complex buildings aren’t carried by courier to clients anymore. Documents are shared online more often than through the mail—or even by fax. When an executive requests a file from a clerk, it’s rare to see the clerk head to a credenza instead of clicking a computer mouse.
Web repositories are replacing some company libraries. Account executives grab meeting presentations from e-mail inboxes at the last possible moment, ensuring that client information is up-to-the-second. How did it all happen?
Through intelligent digital media solutions. A number of technologies have combined to make file and image management faster and more powerful than most of us could imagine even a few years ago.
Here’s an introduction to those issues, and the reasons intelligent digital media can make a business more profitable today than in the analog age.
Intelligent Digital Media
Even five years ago, most pictures were analog. Image documents, like the JPG, TIFF and PDF formats common today, were reserved mostly for visual art and media. For many businesses, voice mail was preserved on tape. Today, over half of business media is digital.
The digital media universe is huge—and still expanding. “Digital media” covers any technology that can be used to create and manipulate digital content. Digital video, digital audio, information for transmission on the Web or on your office intranet all fit under this category.
What makes digital media “intelligent” is its ability to manipulate digital content to even greater efficiency and use. Electronic file size, universal accessibility, character recognition, automated file watching and sorting are just a few parameters that can make or break the “digital IQ” of your business media.
For example, you can address file size through compression, a technology that allows the same digital information to be retained even as the total storage size is reduced. Because PDF is currently the most universally viewable file format, businesses utilize it for the distribution and viewing of important documents. But one of the problems associated with PDF, particularly for transporting data, is the large file size. As a result, one clear objective is to compress PDF documents for effective Web hosting and transmission.
We got into the file compression and conversion business for this very reason. Businesses use our technology to convert files from JPG and TIFF into PDF both to save file space and to make them easily accessible. Then there’s another step to compress the PDF itself, saving even more file space—in fact, up to 100 times the file space.
Why compress digital files? Companies are storing more data than ever. Document image databases clog storage devices, are slow to transmit, and are becoming costly. Reduced file sizes simply save your business time and money. And you can be confident that compressed PDF files will, indeed, maintain their original quality if compressed with the proper technology. After all, if you gain space but lose vital information, you really haven’t gained anything.
That being said, companies want to do more than just store documents. They need to make them available for instantaneous search and retrieval, which introduces another set of problems. To do a text search on a TIFF file, you must create a separate, external text file. You cannot search directly on a TIFF. PDF, on the other hand, directly supports OCR (Optical Character Recognition), creating a hidden text layer and thereby making your PDF file fully text- searchable.
Yet intelligent digital media solutions involve far more than compression and formatting alone. In fact, some very intelligent digital media solutions can bring your business the ability to not only scan, convert and compress documents for digital optimization, but also to sort and file them—automatically and electronically.
Digital Media Directions: Stay Ahead of the Curve
Intelligent digital media solutions are evolving quickly. Some truly amazing options are at your disposal to keep the digital IQ of your business media at its peak.
For transferring files between databases, technology exists today that can automatically recognize cover pages, fixed-forms, and semi-structured documents. This recognition technology, applied correctly, can automate your database conversion workflow with support for efficient classification, name assignment, and importing files into the new database.
What if you need the capacity to seamlessly view and print a large number of electronic and image file formats? Not a problem. Software viewer technology is available that gives businesses the means to batch view, batch print, and remotely redact their database files from a host of formats, including TIFF, JPEG, Adobe PDF, and Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint.
Converting files from one format to another can be a point of stress for anyone. We’re all familiar with the document conversion phenomenon of “lost in translation”(LIT). The fact is that most file conversions experience this problem. Now, solutions are available that actually certify that the conversion is correct by confirming that the output you see after a file conversion matches the input that came into the conversion process.
Added to always-improving compression, scanning, OCR, and automated workflow technologies, these breakout developments attest to the fact that the future of digital media in business is bright. So is its impact on your company’s time and money.
It All Comes Back to Time and Money
You may not be familiar with file formats, digital media terminology, or exactly what makes products like these matter. But I know you’re familiar with spreadsheets, cost benefit analysis, and return on investment (ROI). And, of course, in justifying any technology expenditure “it all comes back to time and money.”
So here’s some bottom line information: Intelligent digital media solutions save you time and money.
Years ago, IT efficiencies in business were all about the database. Now it’s all about making the most of digital media. Your business’s “digital IQ” has to include far more than database manipulation.
How do you convert, compress, Web-optimize, index, and control digital content? The answer is likely as unique as your business. That’s why, at some point, you’ll probably need to consult with an expert in intelligent digital media solutions.
CVISION is a company focused on intelligent digital media solutions. We certainly hope that you’ll choose to contact CVISION to solve your company’s digital media problems. But wherever your journey toward optimized digital media takes you, get ready for some pleasant surprises on just how comprehensive the solutions are—and how profitable they can be for your business.