HP Flow CM Professional

HP offers a complete, cloud-based content management service, with direct access from a wide variety of devices.

Many people make use of services like Dropbox and Google Drive to store and retrieve their files from servers on the Internet in the cloud. In essence HP Flow CM Professional is an enterprise version of this kind of service, but with commensurate security and storage capacity.

This is only the start, though. The CM in the product name stands for Content Management and the system is based on document handling, as much as file storage.

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The benefits of using cloud storage in a business environment are many. On an individual level, files can be backed up online to protect against loss or theft. As an extension, they can be synced with PCs or mobile devices, to keep files up to date.

Once you start to share documents from HP's cloud servers, your employees have the ability to work in collaboration, no matter where they're based. They can share documents, make changes, comments and resync the results, whether they're in the office, on a train or sitting in a hotel room.

New documents can be added to the cloud storage in a number of ways. They can obviously be created with traditional applications, such as Word or Excel and uploaded, but they can also be captured. They can be, for example, photos from smartphones or tablets, converted to searchable PDF documents, using OCR.

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The OCR software for making this conversion is held within the Flow CM Professional cloud, along with the structures for filing and the ability to create and index documents. Documents can be stored in more than 1,000 formats.

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Another way of adding files to the HP cloud is via scanners. Traditional network scanners that are unaware of Flow CM Professional can be set up to scan directly to a specific folder in cloud storage. Flow-aware machines, such as the HP LaserJet flow MFP M880z, can access the cloud directly from their control panels, so anybody using them can create and select whichever folders they want, before scanning to them.

Storing files in the cloud opens up security worries, but Flow CM Professional uses 256-bit AES encryption, as used by banks. HPs servers run in secure data centres certified to ISO, SAS70, SSAE16, SOC1 and SOC2. The service includes access control, identity management and authentication, too.

Flow CM Professional cloud storage is accessed through a web browser and Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari are all supported. It can consolidate file storage across multiple company locations, without the cost of leased lines or multiple, site-based storage and release resources as well as providing a more flexible document solution.

For more advice on transforming your business, visit HP BusinessNow

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