I was initially a bit puzzled by Meridian Systems’ latest news release. It has announced that its technology partner, Adenium Systems, has developed a document management and fulfillment product that integrates with Meridian’s Prolog software:
"Adenium’s Document Fulfillment System (DFS) enables scanning and indexing of a high volume of drawings, plans and other project documents, such as photos and spreadsheets. When integrated with Prolog, DFS allows project teams to view, modify and share these documents, creating a single, dynamic project and document management system that automates the entire project lifecycle."
The release goes on about how DFS will help Prolog users "add document storage and distribution capability to their existing processes", get "full version control of all documents" and "access the most current document available", and gain "a complete history of all related documentation". DFS also features an automated Notification System that allows contractors to contact their bidders when new documents are available.
“Prolog customers want to gain more visibility and efficiency across all their projects, so having a central repository for all project documents provides a significant benefit,” said Bruno Berti, senior director of product management at Meridian. “We’re excited about the value that our customers will gain from the joint integration with Adenium products.”
Why does this puzzle me? Well, I was under the impression that Meridian Prolog was a major solution in the US project extranet market-place, and I would therefore have expected it to have all of this functionality already (I clearly didn’t – and don’t – know enough about Meridian Prolog). Perhaps part of my confusion arose because I skimmed past the "scanning" aspect of DFS’s services – presumably Prolog is perfectly adequate for managing information already stored electronically, but the DFS solution now enables paper-based data to be captured and managed by Prolog users?
Looking at Adenium’s website, I see it believes "that information is most useful to people when printed on paper". With that in mind, it created DFS to "provide the easiest way to store information and provide that information on the Internet for viewing, printing, and distribution" (the latter being enabled through links with ReproMAX – "the largest international network of independent reprographic companies" – and Hewlett Packard’s “HP Instant Print” functionality).
In this latter respect, the DFS solution appears to have some similarities with the services offered by Océ Repro Desk Professional (see my 24 April post).