If any of the following processes are happening at your enterprise – document collaboration, ingestion or publishing – then you’re in the market for some magic. Those are three main processes that suit content to PDF transformation. It will be easier to demonstrate this with a commonplace activity – the hiring of a new employee.
1. Document Collaboration (and Publishing)
- The Sales Director needs to hire a new sales person; she uses Microsoft Word to write the job posting
- She converts the Word document to PDF and sends it to the VP, Sales for review. A PDF is used since the Sales Director wants to maintain control of the job posting content. In addition, converting to PDF means that any document format can go through this collaborative process
- The VP adds comments to the PDF and sends the PDF back to the Director
- The Director updates her Word document to create a revised job posting
- Once the job posting is complete, it is converted to PDF and an emailed to the recruiters as an attachment, and is also converted to HTML to be posted on the corporate website. (We term this “publishing” since it is provided to a different audience.)
2. Document Ingestion, (and Collaboration)
- Thousands of candidates submit resumes as well as other documents (cover letter, skills summary) in various formats – Word, Open Office, RTF, etc. This is document ingestion into the information system
- Each applicant’s documents are merged into a single PDF, which triggers the review process. This also allows the Director, VP, CEO, etc. to review the resumes and add their comments to the PDF
- The Sales Director gets back the collaborative comments left by the VP, CEO and others on the PDF
3. Document Publishing (and Collaboration)
- A candidate is selected, and the Director writes up an offer letter in Word
- The Word document is converted to PDF for internal review/approval process (now including the CFO since salary is involved)
- The collaborative review begins again, via PDF mark-up changes
- The Sales Director amends the Word document of the offer letter based on her colleague’s changes, and the letter is converted to PDF
- The offer letter PDF is published, i.e. emailed to the candidate
- A star is born!
This is a handy little demonstration of the document collaboration – ingestion – publishing circle of work. If it seems like a lot of steps and time – it’s not.This type of process is typically automated using workflow technologies which automatically perform the conversion to PDF and automatically notifies users about each individual’s activities, such as in the document review process described here.