Business documents are created primarily for distribution. They can be attached to workflow's to follow specific routes and reach specific people. They can be sent via e-mail to one or more recipients. They can be produced during document discovery or made available for inspection during a due-diligence study. Different kinds of distribution typically require different practices for effectiveness in each context.
Business documents typically require the involvement of more than one person before they serve their intended purpose. For example, one person might create a document, others might review it and add or change content, and a manager might then approve it for publication. This is a typical example of a document workflow.
A PRESENCE document management application comes with the facility to create workflow's and attach documents to relevant workflow's The document will then be available for the required persons to work upon. The system can also monitor whether all concerned persons have received, actioned and passed on the document.
A typical feature of workflow distribution is the facility to check-out and check-in documents. When several people need to work on a document, it's sometimes necessary to lock a document when one person is working on it. PRESENCE Workflow Applications can lock documents to ensure they cannot be modified by others, so the danger of one person's modification being overwritten by another is avoided.
In addition to automated workflow-related document distribution, PRESENCE can be used to develop applications for internal document distributions that tend to be ad-hoc in nature. For example, during a conference, relevant documents can be distributed to attendees. This distribution can take the form of on-line distribution through devices such as bulletin boards or as a video presentation where all attendees can see the document.
Business correspondence involves another kind of document distribution. In this case, the document typically originates in one organization and moves to another. The movement can occur through e-mails, instant-messaging chats, fax transmissions, or postal mail. Each of these methods has its own best practices to ensure effective distribution. For example, e-mails require specific attention to the issue of deliverability with consideration given to spam filters.
PRESENCE applications can smooth out business transactions that involve the movement of documents between the parties involved. Invoices, payment advices, and delivery notes are examples. These can sometimes move directly from system to system as when systems are integrated under supply-chain management (SCM) and suppliers access the production plans of their customers.
Documents can also be distributed widely to the public, as when an organization allows downloads of whitepaper's by prospective customers. In these cases, document readability becomes a critical issue. Documents created using proprietary formats might be unreadable if the recipient does not have the relevant application. Applications such as Adobe Acrobat, which produce PDF documents, and the freely available Adobe Reader, seek to address this problem.
To ensure authenticity of the documents, they can be protected against further changes. Protection can also prevent unauthorized access by requiring passwords to open and view the documents. For example, PDF documents can be locked against modifications with password protection.
Documents need to be distributed under very different contexts. The varying requirements can pose special problems that can easily be addressed with PRESENCE. Readability, security, unintended disclosure of protected information, and deliverability are some of the issues that PRESENCE can help you improve.