Decision-makers in companies and authorities are faced with the challenge of how to convert existing communication solutions, which have grown almost organically over the years, into new, sustainable, digital structures in a future-proof and legally compliant manner – without it taking forever or costing a fortune.
For this task, it is best to look for partners who already have experience in the field of business communication, think holistically and know the market and the actual needs of the users.
The corona pandemic was and is a “technology acceptance driver”. In the meantime, the working world without video conferences is no longer imaginable and most employers and employees have now come to terms mentally and technically with the home office, so that corporations are now establishing this as a permanent solution.
Cultural change in the world of work – it’s all in the mix
All work equipment that is used in the private rooms of the employees must permanently and reliably meet data protection and data security regulations and at the same time they should be user-friendly, affordable and stable.
In private life, time-delayed voice messages and short texts are popular, but in the business context, the written form is considered the ideal communication format – texts can be edited discreetly (without relatives in the next room overhearing) and audit-proof. Business and government communication will continue to rely more and more on e-mails and documents – and thus on Document Management Systems (DMS) – but many other forms of communication will continue to have their right to exist and new ones will be added.
The entire business or administrative communication infrastructure must remain flexible in order to keep up with the constantly changing world of work. So back office automation solutions must never be rigid.
Professional business communication simplifies processes
Many laws and guidelines regulate business and official communication, above all the GDPR for the protection of personal data. Some perceive this as a regulation frenzy, but one must not forget that this set of rules is intended to protect consumers, citizens, employees – and also employers – from harm. The law against unfair competition, for example, curbs spam. A blessing. The online access law should finally make the interaction between citizens and companies with the administration faster and more user-friendly, just like the EGVP, i.e. the electronic court and administration mailbox for the encrypted transmission of documents and files between authenticated participants. These laws and regulations offer the opportunity for sensible, uncomplicated workflows that make life easier – if they are set up correctly.
Slim, elegant and light: cloud solutions
Cloud, portal and SaaS solutions do not take up space and are always up to date. A prime example of this is the “electronic signature”. She’s booming. Contracts, applications, attestations, tax returns or certificates are no longer printed out, signed with a fountain pen and sent back and forth by post – you can save yourself the effort. A document is now digitally signed within minutes. It is then possible to assign it to the corresponding processes within a DMS, ERP or CRM system and to store it in an archive for decades.
The basis is the eIDAS regulation of the European Union, which regulates electronic certification and trust services for electronic transactions.
Trust, control and smooth interaction
Trust in working electronic transactions is hardest to gain where analog processes have worked brilliantly for decades. Was the idea of the “paperless
Office” until the 2010s was mostly just talk, but in recent years document management systems (DMS), customer relationship management systems (CRM), content management systems (CMS) and digital archives have finally prevailed across the board because they are now are so far that they simplify the work instead of complicating it.
In addition, increasing networking of objects via the Internet of Things (IoT) enables the end-to-end digitization of work processes, such as the recording and billing of energy consumption values of buildings in the real estate industry. Basically, the digital transformation has long since taken place in many organizations, now they still have to ensure that all systems interact in a meaningful way in order to offer real work simplification – and remain open to new things.
It doesn’t (yet) work completely without paper
In many sectors and authorities, paper letters are still a thing of the past, and even when working from home, you have to somehow receive your physical business mail. Such tasks are solved by service providers who either bring letters from the office to the employees in their home office on a daily basis or hybrid services that collect physical documents centrally, scan them and forward them digitally to the addressees. Also the other way round: Digital correspondence is printed out inexpensively either in the company or at a central collection point, put in envelopes, stamped and then delivered. Thanks to volume discounts at Deutsche Post AG, these service providers can offer their services more cheaply than if you bought stationery, envelopes and stamps yourself.
The input and output management can be tailored precisely to each company.
Small companies and freelancers will soon no longer need a printer: if they occasionally have to send a letter, they too can use such hybrid services at low cost to have their digital design printed, enveloped, stamped and sent. This service is already available for 80 cents per letter (as of March 2022).
The art of finding good partners
Decision-makers and IT professionals should engage in a holistic approach that takes into account the needs of all stakeholders and the corresponding solutions are sensibly interwoven with one another.
Good service providers offer consulting packages and first analyze the previous processes and structures. After that, they give recommendations on how to use which means gradually to meaningful
switch to new systems without disrupting ongoing operations. The new solutions should not only save time and money, but also be easily integrated into the existing software architecture or use interfaces – and at the same time be secure. Certificates offer orientation here: If a service provider has ISO 270001, for example, you know that you are dealing with real security experts.
A communication system must meet five criteria:
1. security, 2. user-friendliness, 3. affordability, 4. flexibility and 5. anticipation of future developments, because what is the point if the new system cannot keep up with the technological developments of the coming years?
FP Digital Business Solutions GmbH