Customize and print Notes documents with integrated application
Many companies rely on Notes databases for task management, scheduling and document delivery. However, this practical solution has a decisive disadvantage: The printing possibilities from Notes are limited; a formatted print output of the documents and an appealing creation of electronic documents in PDF format is not possible. Printing a file - as it was viewed on the screen just a short time before - can quickly become a tedious task for the user that eats up valuable time. AGFEO, the Bielefeld-based manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, is solving this problem with an application that enables controlled printing directly from the Notes application - and is already planning to introduce a supplementary server-based solution.
AGFEO GmbH has specialised in the production of telecommunications solutions for more than 65 years. At its headquarters in Bielefeld and a second location in the Bavarian Forest, the company employs around 150 people who work on new products and, with the help of Notes databases, have access to all customer and supplier data, handle quality and documentation matters, organize the repair service, maintain web server content and create and manage all documents derived from it.
The NotesToPaper application is used for the provision of selected data as PDF or for controlled print output of Notes documents. With this intuitive tool, users can print all paper-based correspondence, certificates for training participants and specific reports directly from the Domino application. "This may sound obvious, but without SoftVision's solution it was previously an enormous effort to prepare the data for printing," explains Brian Koden*, IT Manager at AGFEO. "The software itself simply did not allow a controlled output of the data on paper."
The SoftVision solution quickly convinced with its functionality. "The product should enable us to make electronic documents printable from Notes. The tool fulfilled exactly this wish and relieved us of a lot of unnecessary work," says Koden. At that time NotesToPaper was the only solution on the market which could meet the requirements. And it is still convincing today: in addition to the individual adaptability and the simplified printing process, users at AGFEO are pleased with the integration of the tool into the Notes environment. If the user wants to print a Notes document, he is not forced to use another application, but can choose between the different print functions directly from the Notes frontend.
Implementation and operation very easy
Koden himself installed the application and trained the AGFEO staff. "SoftVision provided me with demo databases for this purpose, within which I could familiarize myself with the functions of the application. If I had difficulties with the operation or if specific questions about the functions arose during the test, I was able to contact SoftVision by phone and solve all problems with my contact person in a timely manner".
Since then, about 50 users in the company have regularly used the functions of NotesToPaper. Sales, purchasing and marketing in particular rely on the convenience that the application offers them in providing data. Koden also praises the user-friendliness of the application, which enables his colleagues to use the tool independently: "We are pleased not only about the time saved by the automatic data integration, but also about the possibility of creating visually appealing templates and making them available centrally in the databases in a convenient way. Before the application went live, employees at AGFEO often worked with different or non-updated templates. It could happen that outdated bank details or an incorrect VAT identification number was entered on a document. "With the templates which we can create with NotesToPaper, this no longer occurs. All employees can always access the latest version of the required template."
The software has been working smoothly since the go-live and continues to impress users with its diverse design options. If new demands are made on the tool, the IT manager and SoftVision can react to the changed conditions and adapt the application accordingly. This is why AGFEO will continue to rely on the SoftVision solution in the future. The use of a further tool is also already being planned. "With NotesToPaper we have a reliable user-related software. With webPDF we now want to introduce a server-based solution from SoftVision that allows us to dynamically create PDF documents also in the web frontend. In addition, this solution would also be interesting as an important step towards archiving," says Koden. "Then SoftVision's solutions would really provide all desired functions."
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* Name changed by the editors