It’s been a veritable document management feast this week with new releases from Adobe for better PDF use, Cabinet NG upgrading its CNG-WEB, tweeting for records management and Microsoft upgrading its Docs.com for Facebook. Meanwhile, Uncle Sam just keeps wasting money through pointless searches. In fact, across all releases this week, the common theme seems to be effective document search.
Acrobat Offers Collaboration and Security
For those that love PDFs, but are concerned about security, Adobe (news, site) has just announced the release of Acrobat X and Reader X as well as new online document exchange services that the company says will offer better security and collaboration possibilities.
There are many things to recommend in this release including an offer of new guided Actions to simplify multi-step document preparation and publishing processes, as well as completely new customization capabilities in PDF Portfolios to unify multiple file types into presentations. It also has a strong focus on collaboration through the new document services available at Acrobat.com while integration with SharePoint ensures PDF document consistency documents across the enterprise.
For security, Adobe has added Protected Mode technology to Reader that places it in a sandbox, well away from bad vibes and bad code. Enabled by default on the official plug-ins of all major browsers, Adobe also says that it will offer security updates through Microsoft's System Centre Configuration Manager and will enable enterprises to install quarterly fixes with ease.
Acrobat itself has a new UI that brings functions together in one place and supports visual themes and layouts that can be user created and customized. A large amount of further information, including pricing, can be found on the Acrobat website.
MS Upgrades Docs.com for Facebook
Microsoft has also been busy improving some of its features, this time in its Facebook-based Docs.com, document sharing services, an offshoot of Office Web Apps that allow users to share and collaborate on documents in Facebook (news, site).
In addition, there is more good news for those who love PDF’s. Docs.com will now enable users to share PDF documents but unlike other applications including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, users will not be able to edit PDF documents. Microsoft will, however, offer search and the ability to download directly to the desktop as well as upgraded search facilities, enabling users to find documents that have been shared publicly, based on key words in the text.
Another new feature that is bound to please is the Silverlight-based bulk document uploader. This will make it easier to share several documents at once by dragging and dropping them onto the new Silverlight uploader.
Uncle Sam Wastes US$ 15.4 Billion On Search
On October 18th, MeriTalk announced the results of their study Uncle Sam’s Lost and Found: $15.4 Billion. The study examined the Federal government’s ability to access information from internal databases and quantified the time and money agencies spent searching for information they had already owned, leaving the feeling that search is not very efficient.
The study, underwritten by DLT Solutions and Google, revealed that Federal employees, who are employed, in part, to search for internal Federal files, lose on average more than a month of work time each year due to inefficient searches for documents found in internal databases. This inefficiency actually translated into $15.4 billion wasted per year in lost productivity.
Although blame is difficult to place, those that refuse to deploy effective document or records management may have some responsibility in this loss. Specific findings show:
- 44% of respondents don’t know what information is available to them
- Nearly half blame colleagues for not filing documents so they are easy to locate
- 46% of respondents say that they have not received adequate training
- Search tools vary even within agencies, with 36% of respondents using a combination of commercially available and/or in-house developed solutions
Putting aside the finger pointing and blame for sloppy filing, the problem appears to be institutional, rather than a problem with individuals or departments. In this respect, only 22% of institutions indicate that file search efficiency is a top priority at their agency while only 25% say their agency has improved file management in the past year. And this doesn’t even take into account the amount of unstructured data floating around. You can find the full report here.
Cabinet NG Upgrades CNG-WEB
In other news this week, Cabinet NG (news, site) has announced the release of version 6.5 of CNG-WEB and CNG-SAFE. Once again, a ‘search’ theme is present with this release, as CNG-WEB users will be offered multiple methods for locating documents. Cabinet NG indicates different situations lend themselves to different ways of locating information. With a click-through structural search of repository, cabinet and folder is often adequate to locate documents. Other times however, CNG-WEB's new Quick Search and full text search features are needed, providing more detailed and quicker results.
There are also improvements to CNG-WEB support for scanning documents via the browser. These improvements allow user’s to scan directly to CNG-SAFE without scanning to their local PC and then uploading the document with the browser.
Also, of interest will be CNG-SAFE's workflow capabilities, designed to accommodate virtually all processing procedures and scenarios. Workflow supports a wider variety of process situations by being able to send a rejected item in three different ways. They can send the item back one step in the flow, back to the originator as part of the approval or jump to a new rule segment. Again, there is a lot more information to see, so check out the website.
Tweeting for Records
This last bit of news came from an AIIM (news, site) community from Hans Kohler-Kruner and should create a bit of a ‘twitter’. According to Kohler-Kruner, there is an easy way out of the Library of Congresses aim to archive all tweets after six months.
Kohler-Kruner has revealed that there is a service that promises to delete all tweets before the six month deadline expires. All you need to do is add #NoLOC to your tweets and let the magic happen. If the only issue is losing 7 characters, the question asked is: "if you do not want your tweets to be archived by the Library of Congress, for what reason, would you want them to be visible and easily findable for 6 months through the use of the tag?"
Certainly, if you were looking for tags to follow, this would be one of the real crowd-pullers. Also, what about the needs of record management that, according to ISO 15489, talk about authenticity, reliability, integrity and usability? If Tweets are missing from the stream, it’s an interesting discussion hitting on both record management and tweeting, so take a look.