The show Star Trek always had the coolest futuristic technology. For example, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I could tell Scotty to “Beam me up!” and be teleported back home. Another thing that really caught my eye on that show was their “universal translator.” It was basically this handheld device that allowed you to easily communicate across any language – be it human or alien! The official fan definition is: “The universal translator (also referred to as a "UT" or translator circuit) was a technology used to decipher and interpret alien languages into the native language of the user.” So, when I heard that this same type of technology is coming to light in today’s world of business, it caught my eye (and all 4 of my nerd eyes!). Using a combination of technologies like machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and newer linguistics are giving birth to automated translation.
Many of us find ourselves working from home – often rather suddenly and unexpectedly. Organizations of all sizes and in all industries are now in the position of figuring out how to ensure that the business of the business continues while staff stay home and practice effective social distancing. The good news is that the technology needed for effective working from home exists and is generally mature – though some providers have found that the sudden surge in volume can cause issues with particular solutions or capabilities. But there’s a much more significant issue that will prevent many employees from being as effective as they possibly could be in their home offices: paper. No, not the paper products that have been scarce for weeks now, but all the paper documents and records that are still prevalent in so many organizations. There are a number of issues associated with keeping information in paper format – or worse, printing born-digital documents – and I’ll address some of them later in this post. But in this context, the key challenge is that your paper documents are at the office, where you can’t get to them. Now what?
For many across the globe, limiting their human contact, the home has become…well, home base for just about everything. Folks are taking advantage of virtual meeting software like GoToMeeting and Zoom to video chat with friends, host virtual dinner parties, and even play board games! And that’s just in our personal lives. In our work lives, companies are piecing together Digital Workplace strategies to allow their employees to work from home. Today, workers everywhere are booting up their laptops at kitchen tables and temporary home offices – many for the very first time. And with this change comes some new challenges like – deciding where in your home you should work from, how to deal with the new distractions, and more. Here at AIIM, remote working has been a priority of ours for many years now, and our staff has experienced it all when it comes to working from home. So, we thought we’d gather our best WFH tips for those newly remote workers.
It's no secret that I'm passionate about training and information management. I delivered the first AIIM public training course in the U.S. in January 2006. Since then, I've delivered more than 400 workshops, seminars, breakout sessions, and training courses relating to information management – almost all in person. Enter the coronavirus and COVID-19. As cities, states/provinces, and entire countries seal their borders and prohibit large in-person gatherings, we've had to rethink...well, almost everything in our daily lives. Universities and schools have gone entirely virtual on very short notice, panic buying has made bathroom tissue and other paper products scarce indeed, and in business, organizations are having their staff work from home.
I don't know about you, but when I think of Pepsi, I think of cool and refreshing. In fact, the last thing to come to mind is labor-intensive. But, for the staff at PepsiCo's Imaging Technology - the creator of document imaging and management solutions for PepsiCo’s worldwide network of business entities - labor-intensive, time-consuming, and error-prone were exactly what they were experiencing. The company's four largest European entities were still keying invoicing and credit memo data manually for all of their accounts payable processes.
It seems like everyone is talking about coronavirus: what it means to the global and local economies, how it impacts different industries, even how to make your own hand sanitizer to combat it. One of the key approaches many organizations are taking is to minimize sustained contact with large groups of people. This has led to the cancellation of numerous conferences and other events; many schools and universities are asking students to stay home and participate remotely. Similarly, organizations are thinking about whether it makes sense to have employees come into the office and run the risk of getting infected or already being infected and, in turn, infecting others. Maybe it’s time for organizations to more fully explore the idea of a digital workplace.