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Subject: Re: "Paperless" - Preserving Media as a RM - How to impress IT and the CEO
From: Hugh Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 7 Oct 2003 12:19:41 -0400

text/plain (107 lines)

On Tuesday, October 7, 2003, at 12:03 AM, Automatic digest processor

> From:    Chris Flynn <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: "Paperless" - was Preserving Media Forever
> So what
> Container ships replaced how may existing ships when they became the
> standard? Without container ships how many ships of the previous type
> would
> be needed to replace them?
> When was the last time you took a train to a conference?
> I can remember riding a bike for fun.
> Yes paper will exist until Larry cuts down the last tree.

Interestingly enough, I just saw Larry headed toward Idaho with an ax!

I think the quotes about bulk paper use increasing as a statistic are
worthless in this argument. I probably have 50 pounds of paper piled
around my office surfaces all stacked in true records manager retention
schedule method. The old stuff is near the floor and the newer stuff is
near the top. But I print out of habit but I carry all discourse on
progress on quotes, orders in entry, ship dates ,etc. through email or
electronic communication. (Someone should invent a storage unit of some
type with drawers. Then we could put different stuff on our desks and
credenzas than piles of paper.)

A lot of paper is printed because we can't break the habit. But saying
that increased use of paper is an indication of its value is a
wrong-headed and stubborn argument. Cars are more fuel efficient than
in the 60's but we use more gas because we have more people using it.
Paper usage is up because marketing is up, more brochures are printed,
more electronic stuff is shipped in boxes. Without getting out of the
chair I can count forty boxes in my office area that hold software, the
paper that comes with it is junk it is the software that has value.
Look at all the massive book stores. Look at the growth of the Global
community. People who grew corn and worship cows now write source. (
Larry and I also worship cows but mostly through a drive through window
and congregation can we all recite the verse "Supersize Please!" )

I don't care how many trees they make into paper, unless you want to
manage cardboard boxes, old journals, magazines and McDonalds wrappers,
get control of the media. That is what the information is stored on!

Also, look at what is happening in the Media Storage Community. A whole
new line of high security Data Vaulting Providers  is putting pressure
on some of the larger companies. Each month brings new initiatives that
offer a more diverse product offering for those who want to protect
their media. Remember when ARCUS was the only name people knew. But the
international players will soon be trying to raise rates, lock in
longer terms and add "Evergreen Clauses" to prevent movement from bulk
warehouse type conditions to companies who offer secure media storage.
I have heard from a number of RM's that notices of large price
increases are already on their desks.

Evergreen Clauses, Average Minimum Storage Volumes, Split Fees all work
to make Media Storage Contracts incomprehensible! These efforts to do
to the media storage industry what "Hostage Fees" did to paper storage
need to be discussed with your executives. Attempts to lock in clients
into inflexible contracts so media cannot move to better security,
better environmental control and better service open the door for price
increases without improved service or quality.

Records managers need to seize the initiative here! Explaining to
management how hostage fees and automatic contract renewals will put
them at risk!  In a World where the CEO & CFO will suffer severe
criminal penalties for allowing media to be destroyed is an issue that
will get their attention.  ARMA witnessed how Hostage Fees degraded
quality while restricting freedom of movement. This is an issue that
you can speak to!

Security has ratcheted upwards each years for the last decade. Locking
yourself into old technology can put IT and Management in an
embarrassing or worse....... criminal situation. Strategic planning
should be directed to securing records, protecting your ability to
select the best vendor and achieving competitive pricing without tying
your hands. The loss of image of having your media unreadable because
of poor storage conditions is one they should be aware of, if they will
be punished for allowing it to happen. At the very least, due to the
"Digits to Dust" Media coverage they will be considered grossly

In one market where almost all the storage companies were bought out,
the IT manager was ready to sign a long term contract extension with
large price increases. When the records manager provided information on
a new high security storage company and management decided to not sign
the price increase contract, they were offered pricing at half the old
level. They opted for the new higher security company and avoided the
price increase. Now that is a records manager who is a hero!

If ARMA can get their new Service Contract Guidelines done, you will
have yet another tool to get management's attention to the expanded
role records managers should play in media storage. Larry
Medina.....where is that new contract in development?  Will it be
discussed in forum in Boston?

Hugh Smith
FIRELOCK Fireproof Modular Vaults
hsmith @[log in to unmask]
(610)  756-4440    Fax (610)  756-4134

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