1. What is UNIDACS
UNIDACS is the name of the trans-european services The Prize Consultancy delivers. Typical for a UNIDACS system is:
The great merit of the new media in a European setting can be their impact on efficiency: they speed up communication. Information can travel instantaneously from one end of Europe to the other, reducing fax, copier or mailroom bottlenecks and delays to a minimum. A twenty-page document can be sent from one office to dozens of different people in only a few minutes, and response can be instantaneous. Postage costs can also be reduced, as well as stationery and other office expenses.
In a UNIDACS project the technical variables are left to the technicians. More important is the flexible organisation of the implementation of the new media. Besides this consultancy The Prize Consultancy also offers tailor-made multi-lingual training and long-term support.
Although the Internet World Wide Web is a great opportunity to give more publicity to The Prize Consultancy's UNIDACS services, it is difficult to generalise what the services can mean for your organisation. Therefore we will only give one example here.
UNICE is the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe. Founded in 1958 it represents the interests of European business and industry. It is formed by 35 federations in 25 European countries. The headquarters are in Brussels.
In 1991 UNICE started the feasibility study on installing an internal network at UNICE with communication facilities. The aim of the project was to bring about a number of improvements including:
Additionally, there was a need to respond to the large increase in the number of documents produced by the European Union institutions.
UNICE's aim is to use electronic mail to replace ordinary mail and fax for working documents. A major advantage of this apart from speed and efficiency is that electronic mail makes it possible to check whether a message has been received by the addressee: the sender can look to see whether a message placed in an addressee's mailbox has been taken out.
Because of the active cooperation between the staff of the UNICE Secretariat, the member-federations, the members of the Working Groups, The Prize Consultancy and the other participating companies (amongst which ENTER) in the middle of May 1994 a total of 756 individual working-group members had access to the system, either via federations, the companies where they work or sectoral associations.
There are two types of documents sent by UNICE:
3. The Prize Consultancy's role
Although the project was started at the end of 1991 by the UNICE Head of Information and a German consultant, since March 1992 the project implementation was gradually taken over by Mr. Smits, director of The Prize Consultancy. Key software solutions were developed, organisation and methods improvements constructed and training programs set up.
The UNICE Secretariat moved from a dozen dedicated wordprocessors to over 30 Windows PC's in a Novell network. The old daisy wheel printers were replaced by high power network printers. The address system that existed before on 30 diskettes now moved to a relational database. The offset machine was replaced by more flexible photo copiers, thus liberating the offset operator for scanning jobs.
The other important partner for UNICE in their project was ENTER Telecom Solutions.
Since August 1995 The Prize Consultancy is less involved in UNICE's project. The main targets were reached by then.
4. The UNIDACS text format
In 1993 UNICE had as most important problem the transfer of documents from one wordprocessing system (at the Secretariat) to 15 others (at their contacts). The Prize Consultancy found a solution in this by developing the UNIDACS text format. It had to answer to the following requirements:
The basis of the UNIDACS text format is extended ASCII, and a system of escape codes. Some older wordprocessing systems and the Internet HTML (which was not very widespread then) also use this system.
In its most basic form the UNIDACS format means that all "bold text" will be reconstituted to "\B;bold text\b;". There are fifteen other formatting codes which work in the same way.
The Prize Consultancy developed software to support the UNIDACS format for the most important wordprocessors at that time.
Related information: I&E Web
The best way to reach The Prize Consultancy is by e-mail:
(c) by The Prize Consultancy
UNIDACS is marketed by The Prize Consultancy since October 1993, and is on the Web since January 1995