Return to Sender

Posted 6 January 2011 8:43 PM by Jean Ouellette

You’re sitting in the airport when your assistant emails the Word document of a contract for you to review. You make a few more tweaks to the document on your smartphone, then check your watch. The client is waiting for this contract, and you’re about to board a long flight. Company policy is that contracts always go out in PDF format, and it has to come from your own email address to be official… what to do?

No sweat. You simply email convert2pdf@yourcompany.com with the Word document of the contract as an email attachment. Take a sip of your coffee, find your passport and… two minutes later, the contract returns to sender – right back to you in email, the contract attached as a PDF. A little bit of magic - fast and easy and darn convenient!

This cool feature has long been a part of Adlib Express; we were the first out of the gate to offer email attachment conversion and/or optical character recognition (OCR, for image conversion) as an integration feature. Its business advantages include:

  • Email is ubiquitous – it remains the leading form of communication across business (and personal use) despite the challenges email might pose around records management
  • No new infrastructure is required; the feature works across a broad swath of platforms. You can send email from any device, anywhere in the world – whether that’s your iPhone, Blackberry, scanner, heck even your Kindle.
  • Easy to implement: just follow the email processing settings in the Adlib Express User Guide.

I was talking with an executive at a giant retailer and one of his first questions was whether our software integrates  with Microsoft Exchange. He told me that email integration would make it easier for him to roll out Adlib technology to his more than two million employees.

Other companies are required to archive all their emails (for legal and compliance reasons), and obviously that’s easier to do when emails are converted to PDF or PDF/A.

For those companies concerned about unauthorized users  making use of the email address from other servers – such as cloud accounts like Gmail (email from Google) and Hotmail (email from Microsoft Windows Live) – business rules can be used to filter these out.

And your company can choose whatever email prefixes they wish, depending on the action being taken by employees. For example:

  • convert2pdf@yourcompany.com – straight conversion of any document format to PDF
  • merge2pdf@yourcompany.com – merge several documents into a single PDF, either from multiple email attachments, or a zip files of all the docs bundled together
  • ocr2pdf@yourcompany.com – convert any image to a searchable PDF

The freedom and flexibility granted businesses and their employees with the email attachment feature is a beautiful thing. As with most processes today, PDF conversion and OCR can be one short email away!

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