Automated Workflows Developed as Flagship Feature for Leading Document Management System by DSR Corporation

A document management system (DMS) provides businesses with efficient tools to securely manage, store, and share documents. According to QYResearch’s (https://www.qyresearch.com/) latest report, over the next five years, the global DMS market is expected to reach $7 billion with a projected annual growth of 15.0% from 2019-2025. To stay competitive, a DMS has to provide its users with up-to-date features like enhanced security, integration with cloud services, and complex, yet easy-to-use, workflow systems.

DSR corporation recently developed a few exciting features for an industry-leading DMS solution, making their document management system even more advanced, secure, and user-friendly. 

Our customer’s solution is a powerful system with a rich feature set, including file requests and sharing, configurable guest access, powerful templates, solid optical character recognition, advanced version control, and automated workflows. The document management software is used by accounting, healthcare and insurance companies, HR departments, law firms, and other businesses with complex document workflows.

The automated workflows system is a flagship feature which helps businesses streamline their routine document management processes. It enables users to create sophisticated, automated scenarios for requesting, approving, and sharing documents. Automated workflow tools allow users to customize their workflows to fit a customer’s specific processes. Moreover, developed by DSR Corporation with ease of use in mind, the automation tools don’t require any IT background. 

For example, the following one-stage workflow can be created to automate the approval process:

Step 1. A DMS’s power user (PU) assigns a workflow step to a selected user who will upload a document in the specified directory.  

Step 2. The PU adds the user who needs to give approval to the document. In this instance, they should choose a user different from the document uploader.

If the approval is rejected, the stage will repeat. If the document is approved, the workflow will be completed successfully. 

In this case, the workflow contains only one stage, but the new workflow system, developed by DSR, allows the user to create sophisticated scenarios with several stages and steps to automate complex document workflows, such as mortgage approvals

Mortgage Approval Workflow Example

Typically, mortgage approval is a document-intensive process involving up to 150 types of documents and multiple, sometimes concurrent, steps and complex stages. It requires the collection, review, management and approval of large amounts of information from different parties.

Automated workflows as a part of the DMS greatly increases the efficiency of the mortgage process, eliminates data-entry errors, and significantly reduces the overall cost of mortgage processing. Several workers are able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, such as preparing the necessary forms; payment schedule, home assessment, tax and insurance forms, etc. 

Different roles can be assigned to different users to keep sensitive information protected. Moreover, file requests can be sent to non-DMS users via e-mail with a guest access link to upload a specific document. 

Benefits of Automated Workflows

Using the automated workflow feature from DSR’s customer document management system, a business receives numerous advantages:

  • Flexibility to automate almost any document workflow. 
  • No special training or certification for staff required to create and manage automated workflows. 
  • Ease of information sorting and packaging for different involved parties. 
  • Access controls for confidential data.
  • Notifications about new document uploads, changes, approvals, etc. 
  • Access to a necessary document anywhere, anytime by using the web-based DMS.
  • Eliminate data-entry errors.
  • Greatly reduce your company productivity losses which happen due to document challenges. 

DSR Corporation was excited to develop this cutting-edge, automated document management system; one that is simple for end users and powerful enough to add competitive functionality in the space. Our company is now working on and supporting the customer’s DMS to make it an even more compelling solution. 

Smart Lighting Evolution: From Obedient to Intelligent (Part 2)

In Part 1, we covered the history of smart lighting technologies and key milestones in the industry. Today we are going to focus on the advantages of LED, which led to explosive growth in the smart lighting ecosystem, and also take a sneak peek into the future.

Why Has LED Drastically Transformed Smart Lighting Ecosystem?

A number of LED’s unique properties make the technology well-suited for the
rapid development of smart lighting solutions.

These are some key advantages of LED lamps in comparison with
traditional light sources (fluorescent, incandescent, etc.):

  • Increased efficiency (90-112 lumens per watt vs 10-17
    lumens for a traditional incandescent bulb).
  • Digital control
  • Microcontroller (MCU) placement inside the bulb.
  • Lower voltage. Devices produce less heat, are more
    compact, and are safer.
  • Simle Control. LED’s can be dimmed and change color
    with no additional standalone hardware.

Smart lighting solutions based on LED lamps are more energy-efficient,
occupy less space and, most importantly, can be integrated wirelessly into the IoT
system of an office, house, or building. Connected capabilities allow for
control and management of smart lighting systems with the help of dashboard, be
it a consumer app or enterprise-grade cloud-based software.

Wireless connectivity along with MCU capabilities allows not only for
the management of modern smart lighting systems, but also helps make them more
intelligent with the help of AI and ML algorithms and various sensors
integrated into IoT solutions.

There are many wireless communication protocols that can be used to connect and make smart LED lighting installations. Some of them, like Zigbee, are matured and widely used, others, like Thread, are just now starting to evolve.

The current, key wireless communication protocols for smart lightning
are:

  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • Thread
  • Wi-Fi
  • Zigbee
  • EnOcean
  • Z-Wave
  • 6LoWPAN

All of the above-mentioned technologies have their advantages and
disadvantages, but there’s no single wireless protocol which fits all the
specific requirements for a given use case.

One trend, though, has emerged and is gaining momentum. The shift from
proprietary protocols (Z-Wave, Lutron) to open ones (Zigbee, Thread, BLE). The enormous
and fast-growing smart lighting market dictates the need for interoperability,
transparency, lightning-fast bug fixing, and cost-cutting. All of these are
achieved by open communities of companies that share expertise, create common
platforms, and standardize different aspects of the technologies under the hood
of smart-lighting solutions.

According to a recent study (https://www.gminsights.com/pressrelease/smart-lighting-market) by Global Market Insights, LED lighting’s share in the global lighting market was 40% in 2019 and is expected to reach 80% by 2025 and in that time, the smart lighting market will surpass $23 billion. One of the key drivers fueling this growth will be a surge in wireless technology usage and the integration of smart lighting systems into IoT solutions for building automation, smart homes, and cities.

From Smart to Intelligent Lighting

Thanks to wireless technologies and internet connectivity, the smart
lighting of tomorrow will not just be a separate system to turn the lights on
and off with a tap on the phone screen, but a component of a more complex IoT
solution with sophisticated usage scenarios, powerful AI- and ML-driven data
analytics engines, and a vast array of sensors. Moreover, light sources
themselves will help to gather additional information such as the location of
people in the building for security purposes.

Though there are lots of challenges to overcome, such as security issues
and a lack of interoperability and a common platform, smart lighting of the future
will provide us with numerous possibilities to make our homes and workplaces
more personalized, more “green,” and more comfortable.

Imagine a day in the near future – the smartwatch on your wrist monitors
your heart rate and motion-monitoring capabilities paired with an AI-powered
health service, identifies the most appropriate time to wake you up. The smart
lighting system will be there to help you start the day refreshed and full of
energy, gently waking you from the sleep by imitating the colors of a sunrise in
your bedroom.

During the day, while you are away from home, your smart lighting and
the rest of your smart home system shift into a “green” energy-saving mode,
keeping the lights and the thermostat on at the levels required to keep your
energy costs and carbon footprint the lowest.

Later, a security camera with face recognition capabilities identifies
you as you approached your house, and the smart lighting sub-system of your
smart home switches to your favorite lighting scheme with personalized colors, intensity,
and locations, depending on the time of the day. This scheme is created with
the help of AI, which analyzes your behavior at home, gathering data from
numerous sources, including motion sensors and even your calendar.

AI-driven smart lighting connected to smart home/office solutions will
also help to resolve purely technical issues, such as new device commissioning
and setup.

So, welcome to the next stage of the smart lighting evolution: wireless,
intelligent, and human-centric.

Smart Lighting Evolution: From Obedient to Intelligent (Part 1)

The term “smart lightning” is widely known nowadays, though the history of the technology dates back to the late 90’s. The first solutions were quite primitive. About 20 years ago light timers connected to outdoor lamps started to be used to turn them on and off at certain times, and this solution might have been called “smart”. 5 years later, with the introduction of motion sensors, lighting systems became more complex and evolved. Half a decade later, motion sensors have combined with daylight sensors to switch the light on only when it is dark.

Modern sophisticated smart lighting solutions have come a long way from those basic systems. Let’s dive into the history of the technology to discover the key turning points and contemplate the bright future of smart lighting.

To begin with, let’s review some key milestones in the evolution of
smart lighting:

1959 – Joel S. Spira, the founder of
Lutron Electronics Company, invents the dimmer switch.

1989 — Ericsson Mobile begins the
development of a “short-link” radio technology, which in 1997 is named Bluetooth.

1992Blue LED is invented by
Shuji Nakamura, The University of California, Santa Barbara. A breakthrough in
lighting technology. In 2014 Nakamura was awarded the Nobel Prize for the
invention.

1998 — Codification of DALI, the
most popular smart lighting control protocol, is made.

1999 — The term “Internet of Things
is coined by Kevin Ashton, a creator of a global standards system for RFID
sensors.

2003 — The Zigbee wireless
short-range protocol is standardized, a key technology for modern smart
lighting solutions.

2006 — Wibree communication technology,
the predecessor of Bluetooth Low Energy, is launched by Nokia.

The Prehistoric Age of Smart Lighting

While consumers enjoyed basic dimmers and timers, the DALI (Digital
Addressable Lighting Interface) control protocol was the most popular wired
solution for commercial projects, such as office lighting automation. The
technology is quite flexible, components are cheap, and the installation is
easy (if it is part of the consideration for a new building).

Nowadays it makes sense to use DALI only for new commercial buildings, otherwise
the price of installation may skyrocket due to the required routing of wires
through preexisting electric cable networks and reconfiguration of the existing
installation. For home use, it’s not a viable option.

There are also some challenges that the industry is working to overcome when
using DALI for the modern smart lighting industry:

  • It requires wires. Though with the help of gateways
    it’s possible to connect DALI with a wireless protocol of choice, the lighting
    control system will be cumbersome and not easy to manage. Moreover, the area is
    not standardized.
  • The commissioning process is far from simple. DALI
    groups are quite complicated to configure and thus require more resources for
    the system reconfiguration.
  • Component and network testing, as well as fault finding, is challenging.
  • Interoperability issues. DALI products might be not
    interoperable, even though the technology is standardized.
  • DALI doesn’t support the confirmation of the sent
    messages. So, if a system sends a command to turn on a light and there is a
    collision with another command, there is no failsafe for the light to in fact be
    turned on.

DALI is still quite widespread, but wired protocols are gradually
stepping down from the smart lighting stage.

Back then, smart lighting solutions were cumbersome, costly, inefficient
and could hardly be called smart.

And Then There Was LED…

The era of traditional incandescent light bulbs is almost over. LED has
begun to revolutionize smart lighting in the last decade. Since there’s a
low-voltage semiconductor inside LED bulbs, it’s quite obvious to control it
digitally. LEDs work with microcontrollers exceptionally well.

The first widespread use of this combination began to emerge at the beginning
of the 21st century, when color-changing LEDs took the planet by
storm. Spectacular lightning installations fascinated consumers and were the
first real step towards smart, and later intelligent, wireless lighting
solutions.

The LED revolution has accelerated with the decreasing prices of
different sensors, network chips, and microcontrollers. At the same time,
humanity has stepped into the wireless and connected world.

In the next article, we will focus on a range of advantages that LED has brought to the smart lighting market and try to identify LED’s key advantages that helped to make the transition from obedient to intelligent lighting.