Small tool, big impact: Automatically convert documents to PDF

Geberit is committed to optimizing processes for Lotus Notes.

Businesses face a truly gargantuan task when handling the daily flood of e-mails and documents. And it’s not just the volume of data to be processed that is problematic, but the different quality of electronic documents as well. Here there are two considerations of importance for the responsible employees in a company’s IT department: First, they need to ensure the secure and long-term storage of information. And second, they have to select the most appropriate format and software that will provide a smooth and automated conversion process. In order to best satisfy these requirements for storing all its documents, the Geberit Group chose a tool that automatically – and with no additional effort or expense – converts mails and files from Lotus Notes to PDF documents.

The Geberit Group with its headquarters in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland, is a globally operating leader in sanitary technology that employs some 6,200 people in 41 countries. The company, which was established in 1874 and has been listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange since 1999, generated revenues of 1.2 billion Swiss francs in 2013 and is the European leader in sanitary wares. A company of such magnitude naturally raises the question of how to most efficiently and economically manage the daily deluge of e-mails and their attachments. Too often IT departments have to deal with the problem inherent in receiving incoming correspondence in different formats and how these must be manually processed for further action.

Easily generate PDF documents

The search for the right tool to automatically convert mails and documents to PDF was understandably driven by the underlying idea of “finding a software that will generate PDF files in the background in as uncomplicated, fast and automated a way as possible,” said Sascha Troll, Senior IT System Engineer the officer responsible for the company’s IBM Notes/Domino infrastructure. It didn’t take long before they discovered n2pdf from SoftVision. “Essentially there was no other solution that so fully satisfied our requirements and could meet the need to also run on a server-based environment.”

n2pdf: the complete solution package

The n2pdf software solution from SoftVision Development GmbH is specially engineered for integration in Notes applications and automatically converts documents and file attachments to PDF. This tool not only eliminates the need for any external applications to generate PDF files from within Lotus Notes, but also keeps sources of error to a minimum. n2pdf creates value in another way: Standard Notes navigation elements, such as links to documents, views and databases, are fully adopted and supplemented by new and practical structures, including a table of contents. It even lets you merge multiple documents and adjust PDF-relevant settings, including features for securing and encrypting data. “Previously this work was done manually and entailed a tremendous effort in terms of time and expense. Today these processes run automatically and the workflow is centrally managed and maintained,” explained Sascha Troll.

Smooth implementation and perfect support

The implementation was unproblematic in every respect. After a brief test phase, the solution was rolled out to all the group’s locations worldwide in 2005. The launch went very smoothly and because the tool is so intuitive, the administrators needed no detailed training. And since the solution for Geberit is server based, the other employees only see the final product within the archive system itself. This tool also eliminates any need for additional work to process and standardize incoming documents and e-mails. The company also has only favorable comments about SoftVision’s support. “There have really been no significant problems since the launch, and we can always rely on competent support whenever questions arise,” said Sascha Troll. As an IT manager, he is highly satisfied with having introduced this software solution at Geberit. “Overall this tool makes the everyday work a lot easier. And updating the server to 64-bit performance really increased the processing speed.” What this means is that the company is ideally positioned, even if the flood of information increases in years to come