TORONTO, June 17 /PRNewswire/ - Allstream, Canada's largest alternative
communication solutions provider, today announced the launch of its newest
service Digital Ink Solutions - the first offering of its kind in Canada. A
revolutionary business workflow enabler, Allstream's Digital Ink Solutions is
the first product in the Canadian marketplace that offers electronic data
capture from pen and paper as an efficient and cost-effective means of
accelerating business processes. As part of Allstream's comprehensive IT
Services portfolio, Digital Ink Solutions provides enterprise customers with a
cost effective way for paper-based processes to enter the digital world.
Digital Ink Solutions is based on new, proven technologies that takes the
common practice of writing on a piece of paper to the endless possibilities of
near real-time data capture and conversion. Once written, the data can be
manipulated, stored, analyzed and shared as if it had been gathered through
other more expensive time consuming and often error prone electronic means.
Digital Ink transforms familiar pen and paper business activities into an
effective tool for accurate and reliable data capture and access using an
inexpensive ballpoint digital camera "productivity" pen, sophisticated, but
cost competitive "smart" paper, and data transmission and communications
hardware and software.
"We are very excited to be the first to market in Canada with an
innovative digital solution that streamlines data capture and digital
information access to meet the needs of customers whose business relies
heavily on paper forms," said John MacDonald, President of Allstream. "Digital
Ink Solutions targets a broad spectrum of industries and offers businesses the benefits of significantly reduced form handling costs, more accurate data
entry capture and overall improved productivity."
Digital pen and paper certainly can assist many companies in reducing
their paper handling costs by streamlining existing business processes without significantly altering daily work routines. Expensive hardware supporting imaging and scanning workflow can be eliminated or scaled back and duplicate data entry done away with. Lower cost records management options are also possible owing to the resultant pen generated digital copy of original paper contracts.
The technology requires a paper form printed with a watermark, a digital
pen and sophisticated ink recognition software which allows a user's written
entries to be recorded and passed to a desktop computer or server. From there, a set of business data processing rules is used to ensure the accuracy of the data capture and conversion process. The digital ballpoint pen uses standard ink and is equipped with a tiny optical camera to capture handwritten text, signatures and drawings when used in conjunction with digital paper. Digital paper is any standard business form printed with a special mathematical dot pattern unique to a customer application that appears as a faint watermark. The user's pen strokes are then recorded and stored in memory for secure transmission into a PC by synching the pen with a USB cradle, or in the future - wirelessly. Allstream's Digital Ink Solutions also supports companies attempting to remove office paper through other digital means as the software runs on PC tablets equipped with Microsoft's XP operating system. In this configuration digital paper is not required.
This new business solution offering is the result of partnerships with a
number of well-established companies in this field. Mi-Co, who will supply the
ink recognition software, is a leading maker of electronic data capture
software that enables users to digitally capture, on a number of devices, any
information that is handwritten. Anoto Group, a Swedish hi-tech company with unique solutions for transmission of handwritten text from paper to digital media, will provide the digital paper watermark technology. Logitech is one of the manufacturers of digital pens, which this solution can leverage.
"The growth in mobile computing and wireless networks has significantly
affected the way people want to deliver and access information," said
Mr. MacDonald. "Our Digital Ink offering supports Allstream's commitment to
deliver unique disruptive technologies. In the first phase, we plan to market
this innovative offering as part of our Solutions portfolio leveraging the
professional services expertise of our IT Services department and our deep
experience in designing customer specific communication solutions. We then
plan to launch a network-hosted offering leveraging our sophisticated secure
national network and data centre facilities. This will make this disruptive
technology available to companies who do not have large IT infrastructure of
"We are excited to bring our data capture software to the Canadian
marketplace through our new relationship with Allstream," said James Clary,
President of Mi-Co. "Using this solution, Allstream customers will benefit
from an easy-to-use digital writing process that will save time and money for
Allstream's Digital Ink Solutions delivers the following quantifiable
business benefits to customers:
- Implicit user acceptance - pen and paper is a universal interface
allowing rapid development with minimal user training without
significantly altering daily work functions;
- High mobility/low cost - handwriting recognition software provides
companies with a low-cost, non-keyboard solution for meeting the
demands of a mobile workforce;
- Accelerated workflow - solution allows for the capture, conversion and
integration directly into business information processes;
- Automated Scanning - solution facilitates the immediate capture of an
exact digital representation of the paper form for document storage
and retrieval over networks; and
- Cost Savings - by eliminating the inefficiencies and error prone
procedures inherent with data entry re-keying, business operations are
streamlined in a timely and cost conservative manner.
Allstream's Digital Ink Solutions will primarily target industry sectors
such as transportation, healthcare, energy and financial services. Many
companies in these sectors can realize the benefits of significant time, cost
and productivity gains.
For more information about Allstream's Digital Ink Solutions or its
overall IT Services portfolio, please contact 1-877-288-7253 or visit our
website at http://www.allstream.com.
For a demonstration of Digital Ink Solutions, Allstream will be
conducting sessions at the Canadian Telecom Summit on Thursday, June 17 at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon ET, Metro Toronto Convention Centre - North Building, 255 Front Street West, Toronto, Room 104D.
To download a brochure about Allstream's Digital Ink Solutions, visit
To view an image of Allstream's Digital Ink Solutions, visit:
Allstream is a leading communication solutions provider with a world-
class portfolio of Connectivity, Infrastructure Management and IT Services.
Focused on the business market, Allstream collaborates with customers to
create tailored solutions that meet their unique needs and help them compete more effectively. Spanning more than 18,800 kilometres, Allstream has an extensive broadband fibre-optic network and the greatest reach of any competitive communication solutions provider in Canada, and provides
international connections through strategic partnerships and interconnection
agreements with other international service providers. Allstream is a division
of MTS Allstream Inc., Canada's third largest communications provider with
7,000 dedicated employees focused on delivering outstanding value to its
customers. For more information about MTS, please visit: http://www.mts.ca.
Mi-Co, the mobile data capture company, provides digital writing software
to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire process of
capturing and using data. Mi-Co's end-to-end enterprise Mi-Forms Software
System enables flexible forms design and the capture, handwriting verification and communication of forms based and free-form pen-on-paper data for enterprise users. Mi-Forms supports enterprise data capture using Tablet PCs, Digital Pens, Pocket PCs and signature capture devices. Mi-Co's vertical markets for the Mi-Forms Software include healthcare and pharmaceuticals, financial services, public safety, and governmental services, and Mi-Co has a growing number of customers in these segments. Mi-Co is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. For more information on Mi-Co, visit https://www.mi-corporation.com.
About Anoto Group AB
Anoto is a Swedish hi-tech company with unique solutions for transmission
of handwritten text from paper to digital media and scanning of printed text.
All products are based on digital camera technology and image processing in
real time. The Anoto Group today has two brand names: Anoto(R) - a
comprehensive solution entailing paper, pen and server technologies, allowing
us to connect all types of writing paper with the digital world and C-Pen(R) -
a scanning pen that can store, interpret and transfer printed text. The Anoto
Group has around 110 employees, offices in Lund (head office), Stockholm,
Boston, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Major shareholders are Ericsson, Capital Group
and Logitech International S/A. The Anoto share is traded on the O-list,
Attract 40 of Stockholmsborsen (Stockholm Stock Exchange) under the ticker ANOT. For more information: http://www.anotogroup.com