Automatically filing Notes documents as PDFs

How a uniform system of data management makes offices more efficient

It was in the 1980s that the document-oriented, collaborative database system called Lotus Notes began transforming the way people do office work around the globe. Its messaging functionalities and ability to flexibly integrate and manage the full range of business-related calendars, to-do lists, and other organizational functions, has made it an extremely versatile tool. However, Notes is not the only system used within most companies, but simply one province of an enterprise’s unique information technology landscape. This kind of situation gives rise to many different and often incompatible file formats, which have to be elaborately exported and converted in order to be effectively managed, processed and used, such as for creating reports. The only way to bring order to such chaos is through an intelligent information management system that automatically archives files to the Portable Document Format. The Italian company NAeS Consulting S.r.l. recommends to its customers that they use n2pdf from SoftVision as the ideal way of structuring and converting complex Notes documents and databases, such as manuals, product catalogs, and ISO and other documentations.

Headquartered in Milan, NAeS Consulting S.r.l. is a classic consultancy that specializes in networking, cabling, security optimization and collaborative computing. This family-owned firm develops cutting-edge technological solutions for the B2B sector that are designed for process optimization and improving workflows within their clients’ businesses. Its professionals not only provide advice and expertise about perfecting an organization’s internal information management and systems infrastructures, but are specialists in the field of e-commerce as well, where there is often the need to refine and optimize online store and shopping programs. The company has been working together closely with the German software developer SoftVision in Fulda since 2003. “We first learned about SoftVision and its Notes/Domino solutions at a trade show in 2003. The solutions we had in our portfolio at that time were just not quite adequate. So, we did a few initial projects using SoftVision’s products and saw that our customers were very satisfied,” explained Andrea Mezzanotte, the managing director at NAeS Consulting. “Our clients mostly want a tool that unifies and simplifies printing and reporting, which is exactly what n2pdf and NotesToPaper do,” added Mezzanotte. SoftVision’s products have such an intelligent and flexible design that they can be easily customized to accommodate specific user needs and requirements, and be integrated into the most complex information landscapes. As an example, NAeS Consulting incorporated n2pdf within one of its client’s legacy system landscapes and added various extra features to connect it with the internal CRM system for more efficient report preparation and simpler printing operations.

Time for the important things

Clerical and administrative work consumes an enormous amount of time that could be spent doing more important things. The reasons for this include the wrong kinds of business applications or ones that are never utilized, a lack of tools for linking different software systems, and a confusing or disorganized program of data and information management. Here is where simplicity, uniformity and transparency are the keys to success.

“Sometimes workflows and business structures don’t need to be redesigned. Often intelligent software tools are all you need,” said Mezzanotte, “and yet many companies have no idea of what is possible.” This is what makes working closely with management consultancies so essential for software developers. NAeS Consulting has had n2pdf and NotesToPaper in its portfolio for a decade, and serves ten customers in Italy that have been enjoying the benefits of these products for many years. “Implementation is quick, no major changes need to be made to the IT structure, and the workforce requires no additional training. This is what our clients appreciate about these products,” explained Mezzanotte. Tools from SoftVision conveniently create an interface between Notes and other more mainstream software such as Adobe and Office. Tools similar to NotesToPaper and n2pdf not only save time and money, they also help lower your employees’ stress levels. Using them ensures a single corporate-wide standard, contributes to richer information security, and promotes collaboration between different departments.

Making information navigable

Why, of all things, should Notes files be converted into PDFs? Two reasons: One, the Portable Document Format is a global file standard that can be viewed correctly on any operating system. And two, PDF is more than just a display format. It enables you to embed complex structures, hyperlinks and references within documents, thereby making content, and ultimately knowledge and information, searchable. Creating such complex PDF documents, however, requires not only a considerable amount of knowledge on the part of users, but a correspondingly large amount of time and effort as well. With the click of a button n2pdf enables users to easily generate complex PDF files that include those well-known and functional Notes navigation elements, including links to documents, views, databases and more. The structures implemented in Notes are maintained and can also be supplemented with new and other useful features, such as a table of contents. Not having a tool like this makes the process extremely complicated and one that requires special skills. Software such as those from SoftVision close the skills gap, ensure more efficient workflows, and enable superior time management, so that your workforce can concentrate on their actual jobs and not have to unnecessarily busy themselves with administrative or information-management tasks. “We will continue to offer these extraordinary products from SoftVision as an essential part of our portfolio in the future,” said a pleased Mezzanotte about his company’s rewarding international relationship with SoftVision.