Office automation system refers to computer software and mechanical devices used to electronically create, manage, store, analyze, and transmit office data needed for accomplishing various tasks and specific goals. Office automation system includes basic computer applications such as document management systems, teleconferencing systems, word processing systems, and databases that are required for organizing office files and organizing employee work schedules.
In its most basic form, computer software or hardware has three major components – software programs, a control unit, and a data acquisition device. The software programs may be installed directly onto the workstations or on a central server. The control unit is typically located within a company’s main building or office. It controls all the hardware and software components and transmits data to the data acquisition device.
The data capture device collects data from employees while they perform their duties. The data is transmitted to a central data warehouse. A central data warehouse provides access to company data sources for the management of all company operations. Office automation system stores and retrieves all necessary data when employees access the system via their desktop or laptop computers.
A variety of companies provide computer software to manage office productivity. Many companies offer software solutions that include a document management system, scheduling and billing software, time clock software, database management software, data conversion software, online file sharing and file retrieval software. Each of these software programs has specific functions and different requirements and can be customized to meet certain company specifications.
Some software solutions are designed specifically for specific departments within an organization, such as accounting, human resources, technical support, finance, marketing, manufacturing, or logistics. Some Office automation system include several applications that integrate with each other. Most companies choose a single company that specializes in designing and developing custom software solutions for office management needs. For example, a bank would use one company to develop software for payroll and another company for banking functions.
Custom-designed software solutions also allow for flexibility in the number and type of users. An organization may have one or more employees who need to access the system at any given time. Alternatively, the system may only require a single employee or manager to access the system at all times.
The more users an office has, the more complex the system becomes. The complexity of the system is based on the number of users and the amount of data that is required to access the system. For instance, if an organization has twenty employees, it will take more than twenty different programs to access all the data within the organization at the same time.
Office automation system can be made more effective by combining certain elements of traditional software solutions with computer technology and other technological innovations. Some examples of these innovations include wireless access, Internet access, web-based data analysis and reporting, networked collaboration, and easy integration.
Most companies that provide software solutions will design the software as a solution for the company. Some companies may focus on one department and develop a complete software solution for the company. Other companies may develop specialized software solutions for specific departments. Some companies may create software solutions for specific product lines, while others may develop software solutions specifically for specific departments within the company.
Companies that focus on one department or specific computer applications usually create a customized solution that meets the needs of the company’s particular requirements. This approach can be cost-effective since most companies are able to buy their own computer equipment, install the system, and maintain the system as needed of Office automation system.
Some companies will use computer software to automate specific computer applications. Automated programs can be designed to help an employee to perform specific tasks such as entering employee data into a secure database or setting up a business network. Automated software can also be designed to help employees enter data and submit reports to the management.
Most companies can use one or more of several methods to customize software solutions to meet Office automation specific needs. Some companies choose to purchase software for a general purpose office automation system. Other companies may decide to use software as part of their overall office management solution.