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ISM Article

Selling Safeguarding Solutions

14 May, 2004 By: Bob Sostilio imageSource

Selling Safeguarding Solutions

As I
prepared this article about making a case for selling connected, multifunctional
peripherals that scan, fax, print and copy, I was reminded how prosecutors in
the Martha Stewart trial extracted an edited e-mail from a disk drive and
presented it to a jury. They were able to show exactly when it was accessed,
edited, altered and then restored. I was also reminded of an errant fax that
landed in the lap of the Wall Street Journal from software maker Oracle. The
transmission listed the company’s twenty largest customer purchases and the
discounts each received. There is also, of course, the cigarette litigants who
were able to build a case against big tobacco companies by scanning through
millions of documents in a matter of days.

examples exemplify how errant messaging and poor recordkeeping with electronic
imaging and digital documents can seal the fate of even the most powerful people
and corporations. Yet, each of these gaffes could have been prevented if they
utilized existing software along with the functionality of a MFP.

Historically, businesses have tried to balance records management and regulatory
compliance by storing copies of corporate intelligence on paper in file
cabinets, which periodically were transferred to different storage containers
and sent off to a remote warehouse. This very expensive and labor-intensive
effort to maintain the paper trail was arduous, but critical. To many executives
and managers, their role was to ensure that the company met corporate, local,
state and federal regulation compliances, a portion of which dictated how to
manage paper. They had little control over scanned documents or data that was
faxed. And yet that seemed to work for many years until corporate documents were
created and stored electronically. With the introduction of electronic imaging
and the utilization of e-mail, scanning hard copy into digital documents needed
new rules.

Compliance Concerns

The federal government’s Patriot Act impacts the financial industry and how it
handles digital identification; Sarbanes-Oxley dictates how to capture and
securely maintain a proper audit trail in the financial markets; Security and
Exchange Commission Rule 17 instructs brokers and traders on how to maintain
records for six years; Gramm-Leach-Bliley instructs corporations and businesses
how to capture and handle employee records; and HIPAA instructs care givers how
to protect patients records. In addition, there are regulations issued by the
Food and Drug Administration and the IRS.

new regulatory and legal requirements have created a wealth of opportunities for
imaging dealers that have a secure fax, security software and scanning strategy
to augment the copy/print functions. These dealers are expanding their role
within their client base to include consulting for document management. They
offer shredding, security, document routing, document storage, remote
diagnostics and image conversion, just to name a few.

Customers are attempting compliance with many of the above-mentioned
regulations, but they have no plan to reduce their paper archives or manage the
conversion of hard copy to digital files. They are conducting business as usual
while trying to maintain security and compliance. A recent survey conducted by
Cohasset Associates, a Chicago-based research firm sponsored by the Association
of Information and Image Management and the Association of Records Managers and
Administrators, revealed some interesting facts about this very topic and
concluded that many companies will have to make significant changes in order to
achieve compliance with the regulations. One glaring fact was that 65 percent of
the survey respondents did not include electronic records in their organizations
records retention policies and 70 percent did not have a records migration plan
(upgrade documents stored in older digital format). The data supports that not
only do customers continue to build paper repositories, but they are also
mishandling e-mails and sensitive corporate intelligence. Ultimately this
mishandling by your customers can result in fines, penalties and a loss of
valuable data.

Imaging Opportunities

As an imaging dealer, you have an opportunity to help your clients handle their
overall growth rate of digital documents and assist them in becoming compliant
by offering tools to convert paper to digital format, secure faxing and password
protect output. In the process, you can charge for the service and increase your
value to each customer. Sit down with your clients and conduct document audits
that will result in significant and immediate savings to their bottom line. The
easiest way to start would be to address the expense issue of storing paper

Consider the following facts:

  • A single
    four-drawer file cabinet holds on average 10,000 pages

  • The average cost of
    a basic metal four-drawer file cabinet can range from $80 to $150

  • A file cabinet
    takes up 2.2 square feet and needs an additional three feet in front to open
    and access the drawers; therefore the total square footage is 5.8sq. feet.

  • Cost per
    square-foot of office space, according to ONCOR International, which does a
    yearly survey of major metropolitan areas, ranged from a high of $49 square
    foot in New York City to a low of $10.50 in Little Rock in 2003.

  • On average 10,000
    pages equal 500 Megabytes or 1 CD

  • For every 10,000
    pages scanned and stored to a CD, the results can save your customers
    significant dollars.

the math! By converting hard copy pages stored in file cabinets to digital
format, a real savings from $141 to $434 per file cabinet can be generated
depending on your location. On top of that, a lost document can cost a company
hundreds of dollars to replace. You can even include the cost of the retrieval
from an off-site storage, the storage rental and the paper and folders used in
creating the file. When you have concluded the analysis, you will be able to sit
down with your customers and explain the value—in dollars—of scanning, secure
faxing and printing with the MFP.

Virtually every copier/printer manufacturer offers scanning software that will
preview the document, provide security and allow some form of indexing, coding
and encryption. All offer e-mail/network faxing and some type of security when
it comes to printing out documents. Begin with your customers that have the most
amount of pages or messaging, and are being forced to comply with these new
regulations. Those markets should include legal services, financial industry,
insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies. Don’t overlook the data
security that many of the same manufacturers offer. Some have removable hard
drives and password protection.

what can the MFP user expect in real savings and better productivity. Primarily,
customers will see a reduction in expenses in storing paper, time to retrieve
files, elimination of storage costs, easier document access by more individuals,
and an increase in office space. Network faxing will reduce the number of phone
lines, increase distribution proficiencies, as well as lower postage expenses.
Keep in mind that the goal of any document audit is to uncover the real costs,
offer a solution that is measurable, and then follow up with a corrective action

new regulatory and legal requirements have created a wealth of opportunities for
imaging dealers that have a secure fax, security software and scanning
strategies to augment the copy/print functions. You have the right product to
sell today. Start working with your customers, they are looking to you to help
them grow their business as well.

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