Protecting Critical Information

There is a cyclical problem occurring in businesses worldwide. Employees want to use collaborative tools to help with their workflow. Companies are not providing them with these tools so they are turning to so-called freemium products such as Dropbox and Google Drive to share and collaborate files and documents. But, as soon as employees use public cloud tools the company effectively loses control of business-critical information, which of course, the employers are not comfortable with.

One insightful statistic from a survey conducted by AIIM is that 56 per cent of businesses around the world have banned the use of freemium accounts. This shows two things, use of these free collaborative tools is already rife and that businesses are aware of the dangers of such tools.

The simple solution to this is for businesses to provide a secure managed solution that will increase work efficiency in an environment where business-critical information can be stored and shared safely. Sharp has developed a business-class cloud solution, Cloud Portal Office that solves this problem in the rapidly changing world of business.

Cloud Portal Office allows members of staff to collaborate easily whether they’re in the office or working remotely. It brings together all the information that one needs to work on a daily basis into one structured and secure location allowing staff to access information, update this information and post it back again to the cloud.

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More and more businesses are giving employees the option of working from home. In addition, the rise of tablets and smartphones has meant that people have the capability to work outside both the office and home. While this presents opportunities for a more flexible way of working, Cloud Portal Office is there to facilitate this in an entirely secure manner.

Even if you are working from the office, many companies have documents in various formats and places. A typical business will have information in lots of different areas and often even in paper format. This means you could have unstructured information in shared drives, filing cabinets, people’s local devices.

Cloud Portal Office provides a secure structured repository for all that information, bringing it into one centralised place. You can then make it available to authorised users very easily, either to PCs, laptops and even mobile devices. According to research firm Gartner, employees spend between 15 and 30 percent of their working time searching for documents, so this provides the opportunity to significantly speedup efficiency a good deal.

To further speed up workflow, Cloud Portal Office uses Optical Character Recognition software (OCR) that recognises content in documents and works much like a search engine to bring up files instantly. There are other features that increase productivity and collaboration, including version control, enabling members of staff to ensure they are accessing the latest version of a document. You can also opt to be notified when a document you are collaborating on has been changed by other members of staff.

While Cloud Portal Office can be used in its own right, it has also been designed to work in conjunction with Sharp’s hardware products such as its photocopiers and interactive displays to create a secure, easy to use ecosystem. For example, the photocopier can act as the hub for the documents in the cloud, from which you can easily access and print them off without needing to connect to the printer with a computer.