According to a report from PC World, Japan’s Fuji Xerox has sent a team of 259 employees to Ishinomaki in Japan’s Miyagi prefecture to help digitize an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 documents that were damaged in last year’s disaster. The report cites company spokesperson Shungo Moriya as saying that this is just a test, but it could be the start of something bigger:
We sent the employees along with two of our scanner-copiers as a sort of trial. If this is successful, we will consider continuing and expanding to other regions
The company also launched an initiative last last year to launch a Dropbox-like cloud storage system that allows documents to be uploaded by scan or fax, and accessed by computer or phone.
For Japan, a nation which despite it’s high-tech reputation, is still very much dependent on low-tech paper solutions in the office (fax machines in particular), it’s likely to be a difficult adjustment for many.
But the need for decentralized and disaster-proof document storage has been discussed before – see this discussion of a ‘municipal cloud’ solution – and certainly local governments will clearly see the advantages of new document storage now more than ever.
It’s good to see this kind of effort, although the problem of restoring damaged documents must surely be an enormous task in affected regions given the scope of the disaster.