From zero to mobile: Reminiscing 30 years in the workforce

OnBase Mobile

Yep, it’s true… I joined the workforce in the mid-nineteen-hundred-and-eighties, a time when work life and home life were just that—two separate states of life with clear boundaries. Leave the house in the morning, close the door and head to work and then do the opposite at the end of the day.

Fast-forward 30 years and not only is ALF the alien a distant memory, but the lines between work and home life have been completely blurred.

Back in the day

In 1985, I began working full time. I’d show up at the office, punch in, stop by the reception desk to pick up any phone messages, drop by the mailroom to check the box labeled with my name and then head to my desk. Throughout the day, the mail cart would appear frequently, dropping off interoffice mail in my inbox and collecting the work I completed from my outbox. I had a desk phone and that was it… no voicemail, no email, and when I left the office, I left work behind.

Then, in the 1990s, everything began to change with the advent of the internet, email and a pager my boss gave me.  Now when the second shift needed my assistance or a server went down, my pager went off and I had to find a phone (the good old days) or jump in the car and head to the office. By the end of the decade at my next job, they gave me a Nextel radio cell phone which offered the option to short wave radio or call my co-workers after hours.

When I moved from Chicago back home to Northeast Ohio in 2005, I began a new job as a Product Evangelist for Hyland and was issued a BlackBerry phone (remember calling them “crackberries”?). With all of my co-workers at my fingertips, now I could text, call or check my email at any time. Work life and home life began to blend closer together.

It was okay though. I enjoy helping people and Hyland was beginning to grow internationally, opening an office in London, England. So I was able to provide answers to questions sent by my co-workers overseas before the end of their workday—allowing them to move forward with their work! That’s the payoff of being connected.

The last three years: the rise of smartphones and tablets

In 2013, smartphone sales surpassed the sales figures of standard cell phones. And YES! My telco department issued me an iPhone, which was fantastic as I’d already had a personal iPad for a couple of years and immediately knew how to use it.

And then, businesses (hotels, airlines, and more) began to get on board, allowing me to do things like capture receipts and submit expense reports, book my work travel and so much more with all of these wonderful, easy-to-use apps.

Now, we want to do as much as we can on these devices… and it’s not just for those traveling the world for business, but those traveling between meetings with an extra 10 minutes to get things done. Or those who need to access content and processes to make decisions while they’re not physically in the office.

That’s the great thing about mobile solutions, they allow us to get work done wherever we are.

OnBase Mobile out in front!

As the Product Evangelist for OnBase Mobile, I like to mention that we’ve been on this journey since 2009, when we first introduced mobile workflow management for BlackBerry. Then in 2011, we took what we learned and released mobile apps for Android, iPad, iPhone and Windows devices. Five years later, and with the release of OnBase 16, we’ve taken another giant step forward.

Now, from my iPad or Windows tablet, I can retrieve documents and process workflow items, create and modify forms, upload multi-page images with crop, auto-deskew, rotation and color adjustment options. And, when I create a new form or upload an image, my current geolocation coordinates are automatically saved into OnBase and can be used for reporting and mapping documents!

With ease and convenience, I can get my work done from anywhere… at home, at the office or when I’m on the go!

So even though the mid-80s were a good time, I would only want to visit for a few hours. And I would bring my phone with me to call when I’m ready to leave.

Tom Vitale is the proud manager of Hyland’s Product Evangelist team of which he’s been a member for over ten years. Spreading the word of all things Mobile, Web and WorkView | Case Manager, Tom relishes any and all opportunities to evangelize OnBase and it’s taken him from Hyland’s headquarters in Ohio to as far as Perth, Australia. Outside of all things OnBase, Tom stays on top of the local Cleveland foodie scene and likes to travel.
Tom Vitale
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Tom Vitale

Tom Vitale is the proud manager of Hyland’s Product Evangelist team of which he’s been a member for over ten years. Spreading the word of all things Mobile, Web and... read more about: Tom Vitale