We recently spoke with a customer that described the problems they were having managing 100s of copies of desktop software used to convert documents to PDF. A server-based approach to document conversion could solve a number of these headaches.
The necessity to install software onto the computers or laptops we use every day is going down all the time. With the rise of Software As A Service (SAAS), cloud computing, and server-based products, many of the shortcomings and challenges of deploying software to each users’ machine can be overcome. This includes the technology required to convert documents to PDF, OCR, and document assembly.
Typically, desktop products are used to handle PDF conversion when the number of users and the volume of documents to be converted are relatively low. At some point though, these numbers will increase and problems and inefficiencies in this approach will become apparent. These include:
- Consistency and compliance
- Cost to maintain and support
Consistency and Compliance
It is difficult to ensure consistency across different users if the setting for the software used to generate PDF files are local to their machine. This is an especially critical issue for regulated industries, such as pharmaceutical. Funneling all document conversion through a single point at which the standards are applied ensures a consistent and compliant output and removes the requirement that each content contributor understands and applies them. The reduction in user training further reduces the cost of maintaining a compliant environment.
Cost to Maintain and Support
Desktop management is an ongoing IT challenge at many companies. For example, whenever a new version is available, the task of updating employees’ desktop computers has many issues:
- How to update mobile employees
- How to update without negatively affecting employee productivity
- Updating computers with different versions of the OS (Operating System)
There is also the cost of maintaining support for all desktops, regardless of how much they use the software.
Another advantage of a server-based approach is that PDF rendering services can be extended to all employees within an organization in a cost-effective way. Rather than purchase a software license for each employee regardless of how often they use it, the needs of the entire company can be considered.