IBM Helps Clients Reduce Costs Associated with Paper Consumption

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BERLIN - 03 Jun 2009: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new offerings to help clients address the costs, risks and efficiency challenges associated with using and storing paper. IBM is helping clients assess their rates of paper consumption and evaluate the benefits of eliminating the paper burden within their organizations.

The typical office worker uses about 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year – enough to cover a three- by six-foot desk more than 360 times. People rely heavily on paper to perform everyday duties, despite the high costs associated with lost documents, risk of document obsolescence and labor inefficiency. Paper is becoming a bottleneck for business processes and its excessive usage is also becoming a clear impediment for organizations that are embracing greener IT. 

To boost productivity and reduce costs, more organizations are digitizing information. By doing so, they can reduce paper clutter and reduce their carbon footprint, while enabling today's digital generation to gain quick access to information from virtually anywhere. 

For example, the State of North Dakota, Renewtek and VR Kreditwerk have chosen IBM technology to help them in their efforts to lower paper consumption costs and improve business efficiency. These new clients add to the growing list of thousands of clients that are already collaborating with IBM to make their businesses more efficient by reducing their use of paper. 

“Today, most documents are created digitally in business operations, but many clients revert to printing and filing paper copies costing them time and money,” said Ken Bisconti, vice president, products and strategy, Enterprise Content Management, IBM. “Our new offerings help clients work smarter -- and greener -- while enabling them to do their jobs more efficiently as the focus is shifted to more effectively managing, digitally storing, classifying and retrieving large volumes of information.” 

Measuring the Success of Paper Reduction Efforts

Many clients have already turned to IBM to help reduce paper usage cost while also lowering risk by capturing only the documents required within an organization and destroying them when retention requirements have been met. IBM technology is also helping clients perform these tasks automatically, enabling organizations to better manage growing content volumes and provide backup and disaster recovery functions that are often not possible with paper records.  

State of North Dakota - Improves Response Time to Citizen Inquiries from Days to Seconds

The State of North Dakota has reduced response times to citizen inquiries, including Job Service Unemployment Claims, State Tax returns, and Child Support and Workers Compensation claims, from days to seconds while increasing operating efficiencies and decreasing overhead expenses. For example, with IBM software, the Office of State Tax Commissioner was able to streamline the filing and management of tax returns to reduce paper storage requirements to a minimum, significantly improve access to records, and decrease the amount of time required to gather information and process returns. Before the online system was in place, it could take more than 24 hours before employees had the documents they needed to respond to citizen questions. By moving to a paperless environment, they are able to access the information in seconds, dramatically improving staff productivity and customer service. 


Renewtek, an IT firm based in Australia, was able to substantially reduce paper usage. With the help of IBM Enterprise Content Management technology, Renewtek met carbon neutral compliance regulations and became the first IT firm in Australia to achieve the Australian Greenhouse Office’s Greenhouse Friendly certification, setting the standard for other IT firms in Australia and the rest of the world.  

VR Kreditwerk – Reduced Loan Process Times from One Day to One Hour

Using IBM technology, VR Kreditwerk, a German-headquartered financial services company, was able decrease their paper consumption by automating businesses processes and more efficiently managing and transmitting approximately 20,000 documents per day. With a new automated process in place, they were able to cut the time to process a loan document from one day to one hour, increase the security of their information and maintain high standards for client satisfaction and quality of service, while continuing to meet regulatory compliance demands. 

New No Paper Weight Offerings

IBM’s No Paper Weight initiative is designed to help organizations cut costs caused by the paper burden, reduce risks by relying on paper less, rescue information trapped in paper processes and eliminate unnecessary waste. IBM’s No Paper Weight Return on Investment (ROI) tools, solutions and expertise can help organizations keep digital content digital and drive wasteful paper out of business processes. 

As part of today's news, IBM also announced new offerings that will help clients assess their use of paper. They are: 

The No Paper Weight Half-Day Checkup: A free half-day workshop conducted by IBM ECM subject matter experts at no cost or obligation. The workshop format follows a questionnaire-based method designed to estimate the cost impact of paper burden for an organization. The result is an estimated cost analysis, including current costs associated with paper usage, and potential cost savings, to be used to scope and validate an organization’s paper burden. 

The No Paper Weight Prescriptive Assessment: An in-depth, fee-based solution assessment available from the IBM Center of Excellence for Compliant Information Management. Using a proven assessment methodology, actual paper-handling lifecycle operational costs and risks are diagnosed within three to four business units. The result is an assessment report and ROI analysis outlining opportunities for cost savings and risk reduction to be used as a prescription to relieve the paper burden. 

Additionally, Enterprise Archive services from IBM Global Technology Services can help clients assess the current state of information management and archiving, and develop comprehensive archiving strategies to align with business goals. 

IBM Software Offerings Help Clients Move to Paperless Environments

IBM and its business partners are continuing to expand their portfolios to help enable clients to improve business processes while reducing the burden of paper. For example, using IBM Tivoli Monitoring software, Ricoh has demonstrated an embedded intelligence system for monitoring networked multifunction products that offer print capabilities. The solution can help reduce paper usage by enabling a company to apply print rules and generate alerts based on excessive or inappropriate paper use. IBM Tivoli Monitoring offers the capability to set thresholds and automatically make adjustments based on settings that can force users to duplex or limit prints in order to better manage and improve the company's carbon footprint. 

Additionally, IBM Lotus Forms software helps organizations easily move all of their workers towards a paperless environment, freeing them from the burden of slower business processes and tasks encumbered by storing, printing and filing paper. With Business Partner EIM Corporation, IBM is helping the U.S. Army automate processes. The U.S. Army represents one of the world's largest e-forms installations. IBM Lotus Forms is currently used by more than 1.4 million Army personnel worldwide, yielding an estimated $1.3 billion in cost savings to the U.S. federal government. 

With IBM’s breadth and depth of product and service offerings, IBM is continuing to help organizations in their efforts to reduce their reliance on paper, improve business efficiencies and lower operating costs. 

For more information about IBM’s software offerings, visit: 

For more information on IBM’s No Paper Weight initiative, please visit:

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