BDIAS Manager Denitza Tzvetanova: Bulgarian Firms Start to Value Electronic Archiving
Interview with Denitza Tzvetanova, Manager of BDIAS (Bulgarian Document Information and Archiving Services) for the Dutch Survey ("International Survey: Bulgaria-Netherlands") of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency). BDIAS is the first digital archiving bureau in Bulgaria set up largely with Dutch help and knowhow.
What is the essence of the services that you provide? Is it fair to say that your firm is unique for the Bulgarian market?
The Bulgarian Document Information and Archiving Services is the first private archiving center in Bulgaria. It was set up in 2000. BDIAS offers scanning and electronic archiving, and the physical storage of documents. We also perform overall compiling and management of electronic document archives, and the preservation of archives in premises owned by us.
We provide our clients with the opportunity to find their documents quickly and easily, and to use them for reference through keyword searches. BDIAS carries out the scanning and inputting of the information in databases instead of the clients which saves them the buying of scanners and losing time by inputting key words in order to search for documents later. For those using our scanning and electronic archiving services, we develop software which are in accordance with their needs and requirements. If there is a large volume of documents, the software is free.
How did you decide to set up this kind of business? How much have you been influenced by the Dutch experience, what role does it have for your company?
We started the scanning and electronic archiving activities in 2000. It is a rather amazing story. We got the idea from the Dutch archiving bureau Van Buuren. Van Buuren was the sponsor of a Dutch rally driver who is married to a Bulgarian friend of my family.
Upon setting up our firm, we got in contact with the Van Buuren bureau who helped us with training internships in the Netherlands for our employees. In addition, the owner of Van Buuren, Johan de Lange helped us get the opportunity for a CDIA+ training in the USA.
We have a business partnership with the Van Buuren bureau, and the overall equipment that we use is incorporated in Bulgaria thanks to the Dutch experience that we got, and to our desire to offer the latest services in this industry.
So how do you go about transplanting Dutch knowledge onto Bulgarian soil?
Whenever there is a desire and will for a change, it can actually be achieved. We know what we seek. Our team is made up of young and ambitious people who are ready to apply the latest technologies.
How popular are your services? Would you say that Bulgarian companies are willing to use them, or is it mostly foreign-owned firms who resort to them?
Since electronic archiving was something totally new for Bulgaria, at the beginning we needed more time in order to convince the companies of the advantages of having us scan and store their documents, and to help them understand that in this was they don’t waste their time with untypical activities, reduce their costs for office space and staff, and at the same time maximize their efficiency.
At the beginning, our services were mostly demanded by foreign firms operating on the Bulgarian market but at present we are getting more and more Bulgarian clients.
How would you summarize the benefits of what you offer? Would you say that Bulgarian companies are starting to view your services the way Western companies do?
The benefits from our services are immense. BDIAS organizes the archives of its clients, creates new software for bookkeeping, archives, and management of documents. Certainly, a growing number of Bulgarian firms are starting to realize the advantages of electronic archiving and storage. Of course, the difference is that in a country such as the Netherlands, archiving centers have been around for long time, whereas in Bulgaria this type of service has gained some ground only in the last few years.
Have you taken part in projects of Bulgarian state institutions? How can the state bureaucracy improve the quality of its services with your help?
Yes, we have participated in many projects of Bulgarian state institutions. We are currently working in 27 cities of the country on a project of the Registry Agency for scanning company documents of all firms in the country that have renewed their registration under the new legal requirements.
We have also scanned and archived payroll sheets of the Ministry of Economy, documents of Health Ministry, and of many state agencies such as the National Accreditation Agency, the Institute for Nuclear Physics of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Medications Agency, among others.
We have also worked on World Bank-funded pilot projects for scanning the real estate register.
Most of the Bulgarian state institutions have huge archives with documents, and it is extremely important to be able to find the necessary documents quickly and easily so that they can serve the citizens in an efficient way.
Our goal is to archive their paperwork electronically so that they can search their databases by number, date, topic, or another search indicator, whatever they choose.
How have the library projects you have realized in Bulgaria improved the public access to information? What do Bulgarian library centers need in order to offer a quality corresponding with need for information of the Global Age?
We have been involved in a number of library projects, our goal being to make the documents accessible on the Internet. Libraries also use microfilming and the scanning of microfilms. A number of Bulgarian libraries offer quality services corresponding to EU standards. Those are usually very active in applying for EU funding, and thanks to it, they are able successfully to preserve electronically the national cultural heritage.
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