Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy World PaperFree Day!

Did you know that today, October 28, is World PaperFree Day?! AIIM has declared it so.

AIIM, if you don't already know, is a non-profit organization community that provides education, research, and best practices to help organizations find, control, and optimize their information. AIIM is asking people to do the following today:

1. Conscientiously make a point to not PRINT
2. Investigate a business process or technology that can cut the paper waste in your office
3. Participate in or Produce a local Paper Free Day event

In the video AIIM created, there are 8 key tips to use less paper in the long term. I'm going to focus on number 3: Use Web 2.0 technologies like wikis and blogs for internal communication and collaboration.

There are a number of key benefits to organizations and enterprises with going to wikis and blogs in an effort to use less paper, including:

  • It saves money. There are so many affordable or even free web 2.0 options out there today, that the money spent on printing and reprinting customer materials and the like can be prohibitive.
  • It saves time. Changes and collaboration take place in real time. With a wiki, you don't have to worry if someone got your file attachment via email.
  • It's green. But don't take my word for it. “We’re in such a green environment now that when we’re able cost effectively cut out the printing and the shipping and save on all that paper, that’s a pretty big thing,” said DICE client services and head of marketing, Melissa Courville.
  • More content, less noise. The content development and collaboration process is centralized in a wiki. So there's no need for 5 people to print, edit and then email around for everyone else to do the same.
  • It's easier to maintain for the long term. The thought of moving all corporate documentation, or files, or whatever you're working with, into a wiki seems daunting and time-consuming. But it's not necessary to do it all at once. You can do it gradually, or as things come up, or hire an intern to scan and categorize everything and create quick wiki pages. whatever system you use to get it on there, the important part to remember is that once it's digital, it can live there forever - static or changing.
  • Less emails. This ties in to many of the points above in this list. There is a movement for email-free lives. I'm not ready for that myself, but I do love the idea of less emails with bulky attachments that people have to print to compare versions, review or otherwise work with.
  • It's the future.

I am prepared to live up to AIIM's three requests of me today. Are you?

Watch the video to hear more about AIIM's mission and the other 7 tips that will help you help your group or organization to use less paper.

Monday, October 11, 2010

It takes a village....or a community

There's a lot of talk these days about online communities. With the proliferation of social networks, these online communities are now so valuable for connecting with people we know or have known in our lives, people with whom we work and others we may not have ever met in person but with whom we share interests and other similarities.

It's a fun idea to think that someone in Idaho or Italy or Indiana can have the same challenge with a software or the exact same idea about how to do something better. And now, we can all share in that and learn from it.

That's a key reason we decided to make the SamePage online knowledgebase open to all users with the launch of our newest Community edition. Have you heard about it yet? SamePage Community is free and has many (but not all) of the features our customers love in the enterprise edition.

We think this is going to be a really valuable solution for small and mid-sized businesses, students, research groups, small groups within enterprises and others. Many groups like these struggle with some members of leaders not being confident about the benefits of an Enterprise 2.0 solution and all it can do for them. Now, they can try it with no risk at all. There's no time limit for use, so when they love, they can keep growing it and adding more users - expand it's use. And they can upgrade to the enterprise solution with full IT support at any time.

Highlights include:
  • Ability to scale and grow as the group or organization does
  • Operates from within the firewall, not from the cloud, providing customer full control of the deployment
  • The same level of functionality available in the SamePage Enterprise Edition
  • Ability to upgrade to the fully supported Enterprise Edition at any time
  • Complete access to the SamePage knowledgebase, where users can discuss issues, bugs and other topics
  • Free of cost
Our team is really excited about opening up our solution to many different users and groups. Try it! We think you'll like it.