Pushing digital pen and paper to ease forms processing

KUALA LUMPUR: BIG’ant (M) Sdn Bhd is pushing a pen and paper combination for the Internet age — a data-capture solution called Digital Pen and Paper (DPP).

David Tan, chief executive officer of BIG’ant, said that with DPP, handwritten forms can be filled up and submitted within seconds over a mobile network, then quickly processed by the backoffice system.

This eliminates the need for faxes and puts less pressure on backoffice staff to sort through stacks and stacks of paper forms.

“Data management is a tedious and fragmented process,” said Tan. “Form filling, form delivery, data entry and integration are some of the daunting tasks in data management. Not to mention, the constant worry over data errors.”

He explained that the speed of the DPP system could be beneficial to people like insurance agents and credit-card salesman, who are under constant pressure to rush back to their offices to have their clients’ paper forms processed.

With DPP, he said, the electronic forms can been transmitted to a backoffice for processing, and that’s much quicker.

“If you’ve applied for a credit card, you may no longer need to wait three weeks to know if it has been approved. It could be a matter of one day (if DPP is used),” Tan said.

He said that even in the digital age, people cannot escape from filling up forms but the DPP can help smooth out the processing work.

However, while the system can process forms with signatures, someone will still have to physically verify the documents.

In use

Some of BIG’ant’s local customers for its DPP solution are British American Tobacco Bhd, construction firm Gamuda Bhd and the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM).

LKIM has to handle and archive of thousands of paper receipts per day from fishermen, in order to allocate fuel subsidies to them.

“It took weeks for LKIM to process the receipts because they must be sent from its employees at the ports in rural areas to LKIM’s backoffices. Now, the job only takes a day because LKIM has provided the DPP solution to 450 of its staff nationwide.

The solution consists of an ink-pen with built-in infrared optical camera that scans the writing via a composite of dots on special paper pads, which is later converted into electronic data on the backend server.

The pen uses Bluetooth wireless technology to transfer the information to a smartphone (after some software is installed on it), which in turn transmits the information via GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) to the backoffice.

Alternatively, the pen can be placed into a docking station that is connected to a personal computer, which can transmit the data to the backoffice via the Internet.

Cloud, too

BIG’ant developed the DPP solution over a technology that was licensed from Swedish company Anoto Group which specialises in digital pen and paper technology.

BIG’ant has announced a cloud solution for the DPP, called iForms2U On-Demand.

It is offering a limited promotional package, where the first 10 subscribers will be charged RM99 monthly for a duration of six months. The fee will be charged per licence, which is per pen.

Meanwhile, the standard package for iForms2U On-Demand will cost RM159 monthly per licence for half a year.

Both packages involve a sign-on fee of RM699 per licence. The fee to renew the six-month subscription varies.

++++ www.ebigant.com.

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