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76% of respondents use email as a document exchange - Harvard Business Review

76% exchanging documents

When I distill the reason that certain technologies become ubiquitous and other (seemly good ideas) languish in the paperless adoption chasm, the ‘real’ issue comes down to the network.

Traditionally, documents have been distributed by the postal service. This worked because the postal services around the world had a working network. There are multiple input points and universal service – meaning 100% coverage of the end points (customer).


Billentis Blog Infographic Desktop 1

The digital network exists. As the digital age takes over and the need for physical documents diminishes, the replacement of the postal service with a similar service has been the economic pursuit of many companies. But the creation of a new network from scratch is one of the hardest things to do. Facebook and Twitter have recently achieved this – but think of the thousands of attempts that have failed.

Similarly, the requirement to get every customer to register and login to a document consolidator is an attempt to create a brand new bill distribution network – from scratch. Every biller will have to have a relationship with every consolidator. Every customer will have to register with every consolidator. Building this network will take a huge effort, as well as considerable time and resources.

And it will ultimately fail.

Because there is already a network that is quietly becoming the document distribution alternative to the postal service – it’s email.

The #1 finding from a global survey published in the Harvard Business Review:

76% of respondents use email primarily as a document exchange.



Exchanging documents

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The next generation document distribution network already exists and is in use – people are using email as the de facto electronic document exchange. Small businesses have already made the switch – they create a PDF invoice and email it to their customers – it’s pretty manual – but it’s highly efficient. Medium businesses are finding the functionality increasingly provided by their accounting software – just the link to their email server is a bit technical (ED’s hint: we’re fixing that).

Large business is next in line to latch onto this document superhighway. It’s a little more involved for them. They have multiple transactional systems and document composition tools. They need enterprise level solutions that can provide the audit trails, deliverability and management information. They need robust security, ISO27001 and PCI-DSS compliance, as well as 24/7 support.

They need strategic advice about user adoption and a trusted partner in the whole process.

They need Striata.

If you are ready to ride the email document superhighway in order to reach your paperless destination – then buckle up and get in touch with us