Virtual reality is a term the general public likely associates with movies like Avatar, which blend real humans with imaginary ones and computer-generated graphics, or with alternate worlds where we, as humans, can interact with other humans through avatars. In other words, it combines the human with a representation that behaves as a human. Likewise, a virtual network is a mix of servers, combining real, physical servers with virtual servers. The virtual servers must exist on one more physical servers, so pure virtual is not really possible.
So what does all of this have to do with paper? Basically, although a 100 percent paperless office is possible under the right conditions, generally, you will need some paper – just like a virtual OS requires that a physical server be located somewhere in the network. The real goal is to increase efficiency (see Part 1 of this series), not necessarily to be “Pure and Paperless.”
The key is to use as many tools as possible, including leveraging Cloud technologies like hosted services and virtualization technologies like Citrix, VMWare or Microsoft (News - Alert) Hyper-V, to run your network. Of course, the side benefits of going green – in addition to creating process efficiencies – include enhanced business continuity and reduced energy costs.
Paper will still be a component of most solutions, but businesses can still increase efficiencies by utilizing the latest imaging technologies from companies like Xerox, Sharp, Canon and HP. Imaging vendors are really trying hard to help you go green. Implementing these solutions not only increases the overall efficiency of your staff, it actually does reduce paper usage.
If your company does not have the resources to research the technologies that can make your operation more efficient, perhaps it is time to consult some resellers for advice. The economy continues to struggle, but many companies are actually showing higher profits and increasing market share by taking advantage of technologies like Fax over IP, VoIP, UC and hybrid solutions.
This coming Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day and if you run into Seamus O’Shea in a pub, buy him a Guinness and listen to what he has to say. Sometimes he has some great Green ideas.
Edited by Jennifer Russell