Paper is an Asset

image Quick --- Raise your hand if you wrote something or read something on a piece of paper in the last 24 hours.

OK – Put your hand back on the mouse and continue reading.

Of course, Paper is easy to use, it’s readily available, it’s portable, and most everyone is familiar with how to use it.

Paper is Pervasive. Paper has been around for thousands of years and I suspect it will continue to be around for a long time. In business and perhaps in your everyday life … Paper is an Asset.

But … Paper doesn’t Scale?

While it might be true that paper doesn’t scale it’s still the tool of choice for most everyone – even those that try to go 100% digital. Will this change in the future? Maybe. In the meantime … Paper is an Asset. An asset that needs to to managed. At least in the corporate world.

In the business world the task of managing paper is about to get a little bit easier thanks to Microsoft SharePoint.

Big ECM or little ecm – It Doesn’t Matter!

Businesses using traditional BIG ECM and little ecm are starting to adopt Microsoft SharePoint on a broad scale. Not just for their core mission critical business functions, but for processes that span the business.  With the release of SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) there will no segment of the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) market or business segment that cannot benefit from the addition of SharePoint.

imageSharePoint is flipping the ECM Triangle upside down. In the old days of ECM the Big Three vendors lived on the upper end of the pyramid serving the top 20% of the market (Probably really only the top 10% of the user base).

SharePoint is turning that model upside down by helping Small-Medium Businesses (SMB) to collaborate, gain insights, and utilize their digital and paper assets more effectively.

Traditional ECM Market The SharePoint Effect
on the ECM Market
image image

SharePoint is Becoming Ubiquitous

No matter what you think of SharePoint it is going to touch some aspects of your business. Maybe not directly within your business (for various reasons), but SharePoint will continue to gain wide adoption in the enterprise with “On Premise” servers and in Small – Medium Businesses with “Hosted” servers. In the coming months Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) will start to blur the line between “Hosted” and “On Premise” solutions. That’s a topic for another post.

SharePoint is Everywhere You Want To Be

image SharePoint is gaining ground. The path has been set. Very much like Windows as an operating system has become pervasive so too will SharePoint. Sure, there will be the naysayers and sure there will be companies that do everything they can to avoid it --- and that’s OK --- but in the future SharePoint will be pervasive across Small-Medium Businesses and Enterprise accounts. As I said in a recent post There is a SharePoint in your Future.

What does this have to do with Paper?

The Next Billion Dollars

imageThere is a huge segment of the ECM market that Microsoft has not incorporated into the SharePoint platform. That segment is the “Capture” segment. My definition of Capture is that it is the first of four pillars in the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) space. It’s what I call SharePoint’s Next Billion Dollars

There are a few companies focused on this space today. I suspect there will be a few more in the coming months and years – especially as Small-Medium Businesses (SMB) start to adopt or at least become participants in SharePoint driven processes. While digital assets (“Born Digital content”) will certainly be a part of the SharePoint experience. Paper assets will be a critical part of the SharePoint success story. The companies that build these “Capture” solutions and the businesses that adopt them will be ahead of the curve and have a strategic advantage. (The topic of another post)

Paper is an Asset

This post is about paper. It’s about Migrating Paper to SharePoint. It’s about SharePoint’s next $1B market opportunity. It’s about how companies of all sizes and in all industries will be able to use SharePoint to manage their paper based assets.

What do you think?

  • Is Paper an Asset, a Liability … or both?
  • Do you think companies need to handle paper with care?
  • How have you seen companies Taming the Paper Tiger?

I’d like to hear your thoughts. Please share them in the comments or contact me via one of the options below.

Note: This will be the first in a series of posts on the topic of Paper in an Asset and how companies can take advantage of the Power in their Paper.

clip_image002About The Author:
I have spent the better part of the last 20 years working in various aspects of the ECM industry. I am currently with Kodak as a Director of Business Development. In my past I have spent time at
Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and at Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text in Nov 2008). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.


Brian K Seitz said…
IBM did the Paperless Office and Paperless Factory in the 80s to discover that is wasn't going to be PaperLess but Less Paper, now we're looking at paper as just another media to manage in the Info-Ecosphere