Few companies can avoid a 'leaked' document that may prove embarrassing. It may not be that they are doing something illegal - though often it is - but it may be information that, in the hands of a competitor, can be damaging. Controlling the management of documents has been something of a dream for many managers after they realise that, with computer networking, the possibility of following the documents is at least close if not actually here.
Mark Tan, director of business planning and marketing at Fuji Xerox Hong Kong, believes his company has solved this problem. With a combination of technologies, Fuji Xerox has created a series of solutions called Apeos. ApeosWare handles the software side.
'Fuji Xerox is doing more than showcasing what businesses can expect today. In a real sense we are inventing the future - innovatively creating new solutions such as the ApeosWare Image Log Services (AWILS) which can track document movement and prevent information leaks through multifunction devices,' Mr Tan said.
The system follows all documents that are copied, printed, faxed or scanned. They are all saved as images and put through an optical character reader, indexed and stored.
'The benefits of AWILS include easy tracking, the ability to find out who, when, where and how documents were copied, printed, faxed or scanned. Such close tracking creates a deterrent effect, helping to deter staff from leaking information,' he said.
Mr Tan said that the global services division of Fuji-Xerox was gearing up to help with document management and compliance. One big problem for many companies dealing with America is compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley. 'Global services is already helping a host of global businesses, including Sun Microsystems, Owens Corning, the InterContinental Hotels Group and Rolls-Royce (Allison), ... manage [Sarbanes-Oxley] compliance,' he said.
Managing all of this - and more - can be quite a headache for some. Mr Tan said: 'Our goal ... is to show local and regional businesses how they can achieve the same outstanding results,' he said.