Help cutting down on information duplication - send pointers rather than documents

Many people are very helpful and attach documents to e-mails.  This is convenient for the recipient who needs them to complete the task the e-mail asks for. However, for many other people and for the organization, every document attached to an e-mail can have negative effects.


For people who aren't so lucky to have an e-mail archiving system the documents help reach their inbox quota much more quickly. Many times users put emails in which they were cc'ed into a low priority pst file, where they can read them at a later point without losing valuable server space.


For the organization, any document attachment that gets downloaded into a pst file means another uncontrolled copy of the original. If the e-mail was seen as low priority initially, it is highly likely that the recipient forgets about it altogether, or doesn't get around to it until a really quiet time sometime around the holiday season. That means that thousands of uncontrolled copies of documents float around the organization at any particular time - a nightmare for anyone thinking about e-discovery and records management.


To solve that problem we need to start right at the beginning.  Why did the sender attach the document in the first instance? Documents are usually sent by email because it is easier than sharing them by another means. This is commonly the case where a document crosses the boundary and firewalls between two businesses, but there should be no reason for this to be the case inside an organization, where it is much easier to set up document management systems that allow all staff to access a shared copy of a document. Of course, it must be easier to save a document to the shared system than it is to save the document to "My Documents" and email it from there. This is why we integrated HP TRIM very tightly into the Office applications.


Once the document is available in a shared system, we then need a means to let everyone else know that it has been added.  In HP TRIM we provide an alert function that notifies users when new documents or versions that meet their alert criteria have been added to the system. In cases where the author still wants to send an e-mail, they can use HP TRIM's "send to e-mail recipient" function.  This function sends a pointer to the recipients that allows them to access the document directly from the shared area, preventing copies of the document from being sent around. In the case where the author uses the function to send a document to a whole list of recipients, some of which are HP TRIM users and some of which are not, HP TRIM intelligently sends a pointer to users and the actual document to non-users. 


Aside from cutting down on uncontrolled copies, sending pointers instead of documents has additional benefits: 




  • The document is protected with HP TRIM's extensive security features at all times


  • The HP TRIM audit trails log exactly which recipient has accessed the document


  • The recipient are guaranteed to be aware of all versions and know which one is the authoritative one


  • The recipients can easily navigate to related material inside HP TRIM

The sending of pointers can also be used by HP TRIM's workflow module to deliver the right information to the right person at the right time, without having to create unnecessary copies.


 

Comments
(anon) | ‎08-27-2009 06:38 PM

Cool,

good tips on saving the documents

Thanks

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