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Chapter 14. Printing Basic Reports and M... > In the Real World—The Apocryphal Pap...

In the Real World—The Apocryphal Paperless Office

Business magazines of the 1980s and early 1990s touted the forthcoming "paperless office." Articles envisioned scanning incoming documents, storing the images in disk files, and handling all document processing on PC workstations. Document imaging and storage system vendors introduced a wide range of expensive hardware to support the paperless office concept. A new breed of consultants arrived on the scene to develop the workflow systems required to integrate document processing hardware with existing business processes. Document imaging and workflow systems have become a multi-billion dollar industry.

The automotive and other large firms developed electronic document interchange (EDI) to process orders, invoices, and payments electronically. E-mail became a top contender to eliminate ever-growing piles of interoffice memos. Now the Internet and corporate intranets promise to reduce the exchange of paper between business partners engaged in electronic commerce.


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