Sunday, November 14, 2010

How about some Pulp with that ePaper?

Nooooo! Don't Do It!
Dunder Mifflin's stock continues to rise despite an all-out assault by the entire ECM industry.  Are we going to continue to furnish paper executives' offices with rich, burled walnut, or will we finally wake up?  

AIIM says it doesn't look too promising:

- We now print 1 trillion pages annually
- 115 Billion of those pages are printed from personal computers
- Printing of web content is expected to triple
- Fastest growing devices initiating print: mobile devices - huh?

What in the world is going on here?  Are the Dunder Mifflins out there out-marketing everybody else?  Are paper printing and postage costs unexpectedly dropping?

Doubtful.  Our perspective on this is that it's generational.  Are Boomers to blame?  We Boomers built solid eDelivery frameworks, but the end result is merely an electronic copy of paper.  We call it ePaper.  Turn all your paper into a searchable, hyperlinked PDF, and guess what users do with it?  Print it.  We were in Best Buy last night, and some of us thought the coolest product was an iPhone printer which can wirelessly print photos.  Stop and think about this!  After spending small fortunes to develop 960x640 color displays on mobile devices, all we want to do is print photos at half the resolution!   

In order to break the Dunder Mifflin stranglehold, AIIM has some tips like "focus not on 'paperless' but instead on less paper.  "Focus on the the business process".  We agree, but there will have to be some paradigm-busters the break the hold, and we think we smell some on the horizon.

1. Proliferation of tablet computers.  When asked why users print ePaper, many responded that they could not easily view the information on their mobile phone and using even a laptop is too cumbersome.  Enter the Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle, and a raft of new entrants and we suddenly have ubiquitous instant-on delivery platforms for compelling information.

2. Interactivity.  ePaper will literally melt away if users are presented with a more interactive experience that THEY customize to their preferences.  The folks in finance don't want the boring AR Aging Report, they want the color chart that shows who is delinquent, past due and on-time with payments. 

3. Loss of opposable thumbs.  OK, not likely to happen but it would seriously reduce our need to get the paper in our hot little paws.

For more on this topic, please check out our upcoming webinar Wednesday, November 17th at 11:30AM.


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