To Switch or not to Switch: Paperless Environment

How much money has been spent on copies between faculty reports and department reports? It is difficult to say, but I am willing to argue that the price is not low. Even here on campus there is very few recycle bins for paper. We must waste and spend so much money on paper between administrative employees alone, that it is scary to think about how much paper the students waste. Have we ever considered even simply thinking about cutting down on copies and the money spent to make these copies? How can we improve business intelligence, while cutting down on paper copies? Between business plans, strategic plans, and annual reports thousands of dollars are spent on copies.

Cornell University’s IT department realized that they were spending an overwhelming amount of money on these copies and figured that it was time to critically think about how to stop it. Bob Bourdeau, assistant director of marketing for the university’s IT department, admits that they have been looking to update their system as far as the interchange of copies is concerned. After many hours of discussing the potential ideas to decrease the amount of money spent on copies the IT department discovered www.flipviewer.com . This offering converts all of the paper reports into electronic versions. The users can access these converted documents using a special reader that can be downloaded onto their computers. The software can be downloaded directly from Flip Viewer and once the software is on the computer the user never has to download it again. Bourdeau comments “ The fact that our people can download the viewer and read these documents electronically, without ever having to think about a printed page, is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Although Bourdeau admits it was difficult getting users to embrace the switch was challenging at first. Because colleagues were comfortable and happy with using the old system they grunted at the idea that they would have to access documents on their computers. Bourdeau admits it took a lot of “cajoling and internal marketing” to convince them that this change was necessary. Although it was a challenge, in the end people embraced the change “ people thought they liked the old way, but now they can’t believe we’ve ever done anything else”, Bourdeau states.

A lot of individuals frown at the idea of technology. As Bourdeau noticed it takes convincing and a lot of effort, but once the initial effort is out of the way things become simple and easy. In order for school to stay in reach of today’s changing technologies a paperless environment will become essential.

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Categories: technology

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