Key Considerations for Implementing Document-to-PDF Conversion Solutions
By Mark Presutti | December 4, 2018
4 minute read
Today’s businesses require a method of sharing and exchanging content in a way that combines divergent file formats into a single common format, ideally while providing the standard for archiving data, meeting compliance requirements, ensuring quick access to information and collaborating among business units.
This is why document conversion solutions are gaining traction across multiple industries that deal with high volumes of files every day. Industries from Energy to Utilities, Life Sciences, Financial Services and Insurance are finding the features of automated document conversion solutions to be useful in working with a universal file format while reducing both costs and time in their file-centric processes.
But, before an enterprise implements (or switches to) a document-to-PDF conversion solution, there are key considerations to contemplate. Read on for an overview of the key factors decision-makers need to understand before selecting a long-term document conversion solution for their organization.
Diversity of file formats and content
Content exists in a variety of different file types, and there are hundreds of popular and legacy file types used by organizations today. The most common files types include those generated by Microsoft® Office’s various applications, email, jpeg and HTML. However, enterprise organizations must be equipped to deal with the less common and legacy formats as well because many of the businesses they work with have specialty needs that go beyond simple Microsoft Office file types.
When it comes to conversion support for different formats, there are a number of factors to consider:
- How will you share divergent file types with external stakeholders who don’t own the same authoring programs?
- Are all file types shareable and viewable on mobile devices and tablets?
- Which applications will be available 20 years from now, and is there any guarantee that files will be viewable on those applications?
An organization must consider these factors when looking at the list of file formats supported by their document conversion solution. The most effective solutions will convert an overabundance of file formats (literally, hundreds) into one universal, searchable file format.
Click here to learn more about why PDF/A is the standard for creating and storing content for the long term.
Why “free” PDF solutions aren’t really free
Modern business processes have advanced needs that basic PDF-conversion solutions simply cannot support. Free PDF tools that come with office software can lead to complications down the line, such as poor document quality. These hiccups will mandate manual hours and costs in order to rectify the situation and implement a more advanced solution. Nothing is ever free, as the age-old saying goes.
Organizations dealing with large volumes of content require advanced PDF solutions that support document fidelity. True fidelity means a 100% faithful or accurate copy of the original source document. Free conversion solutions lack many of the advanced features necessary to achieve true fidelity, resulting in loss and degradations in the end PDF product.
Maintain operational efficiencies with high availability failover
Automated document conversion is a mission-critical operation for organizations in many industries. High availability is essential to ensuring that this crucial process continues unhindered so that businesses remain not only operational, but successful.
Consider the cost to an enterprise when a critical business application is down or unusable. Hundreds of thousands of dollars could be at stake for many enterprises if their documents can’t be converted with high quality and high efficiency, as required.
Imagine the following scenarios:
It is critical business reasons like these that require enterprises to consider document conversion solutions that support high availability.
Ensure zero job loss with robust system reporting
IT departments are often inundated with support and service requests when something goes wrong with enterprise-wide software. While having high availability architecture and monitoring and alerting tools help to alleviate this problem, selecting conversion solutions that include system reporting will take it one step further.
Job processing times can vary greatly due to the type of job that is being processed. In addition, the demand on the document conversion system can be heavy at times, which makes it difficult to predict the system size required to meet end users’ expectations. This is why enterprises should consider document conversion solutions that provide a number of reports to help IT departments prevent job loss and better manage their systems.
Eliminate additional set-up costs with easy integration
Enterprise organizations can improve efficiency and optimize document centric processes by integrating a common, shared document conversion system directly into their existing business systems. When considering various solutions, it’s important to factor in how flexible a provider is in making integration with existing business systems as seamless and cost-effective as possible.
Integration can be as simple as installing a connector and incorporating the correct triggers to initiate content transformation within the business process. In most cases, the business system user interface allows end users to make ad hoc document conversion requests. The end users are rarely aware of the complex back-end process in place to produce high-fidelity PDF documents using document conversion technology. This can spare IT staff from the additional costs associated with training end users to use a new system and spares themselves from having to learn to manage a new technology.
Hundreds of millions of high-quality PDF documents have been created over the years in the Life Sciences, Banking, Insurance and Energy industries. When selecting (or switching to) a new document-to-PDF conversion solution, it’s important to be cautious of so-called “free” software and instead consider providers that will not only optimize productivity but mitigate risks and prevent you from incurring additional costs.