As a great example of the Kindle being used in a professional application, Lions Gate has adapted the technology for reading and distributing scripts. Now, lucky employees no longer need to lug around briefcases full of scripts, only the lightweight Kindle.
The upgrade to eReaders seems to be a hit. Lions Gate executives love the simplification of being emailed PDF files and having needed documents at the tips of their fingers. But I’m sure the real reason for Lions Gate’s adoption is the obvious one: the Kindle must be saving them boatloads on paper costs. More and more, offices will also see this advantage. Buying a Kindle may be a little expensive up front, but it is an investment that will pay off as it is used day after day.
Of course, script reading is perfect for eReaders in that it’s not much different than reading a book. A document that’s strictly textual is exactly what the Kindle does best. When it comes to charts and diagrams, cheap color eReaders will need to be available before the average office is willing to go paperless.
ZDNet has posted an article about the benefits of an eReader in a business environment. The gradual inclusion of eReaders in a more corporate environment has been discussed on this blog before and I think it is an important issue for the future of digital readers.
The 10 reasons listed are as follows:
- Cost Savings
- Greener Business
- Space Savings
- More Efficient Workers
- Increased Professionalism
- Staying in the Know
- Higher Morale
- More Documentation on Hand
- Reduced Eye Strain
- In-House Publications
Right now, the most successful eReaders are devices like the Kindle which target a consumer audience. This could easily change, however. While someone’s decision to use an eReader at home is based on personal preference, a business could see very tangible benefits in adopting the technology. Plus, as businesses start to use eReaders, it could very likely bolster the entire eReader market. Someone who is used to using a Kindle at work is more likely to buy one for at home. There is a good chance that corporate environments could someday be at the forefront of eReader adoption.
Business intelligence software vendor, MicroStrategy, has decided to make its reports available to the Kindle DX. Now, any company that is a client of MicroStrategy’s services has the option to download Kindle DX friendly pdfs directly over Whispernet.
While this announcement only applies to those who already buy services from MicroStategy, I think it’s worth mentioning for a couple of reasons. This is an example of a company targeting the Kindle specifically for use in a business environment. This is markedly different from the current, consumer-centric marketing Amazon has done. Thus far, eReaders have been essentially thought of as a toy (not that that is a bad thing) that people use for their own enjoyment. Using the Kindle for work is a somewhat novel idea, if only for the moment.
But while the Kindle’s use by MicroStrategy is fairly rudimentary, it demonstrates the potential of eReaders. They have turned the Kindle DX into an office on the go. The wireless capabilities allow employees to download needed documents from anywhere, and the large eInk display provides and easy to view and easy to share alternative to office paper.
Right now the only downsides are lack of color and the general spottiness of the Kindle DX’s PDF support. These are temporary issues, however, as eReaders will continue to develop. At some point in the future, it’s likely that more and more businesses will move towards some sort of eReader standard. The idea of a paperless office, which has long seemed unlikely, may not be too far off.