5 Reasons You Need to Meet in Person

I have been with ImageSource for almost 11 years and in the computer industry almost 47. My journey has taken me from field engineer, to systems support engineer to management and finally to sales. To say I have seen it all is an understatement. Anyone who knows me has always heard me say that email, voicemail, Twitter and Facebook are all great sales tools, but that is exactly what they are – tools. There is no substitute for face-to-face meetings.

Just this past week the ImageSource executive team and I completed our third week of Nexus ’14; a week of personalized, private sessions where we meet with customers to discuss their unique ECM needs. We met with all of our customers face-to-face; listening to them, (I repeat: listening to them), taking notes and presenting the future direction of ImageSource. The results exceeded any of our expectations.

My clients are just like yours: They want to Skype, email and text. But here’s why you still need face time. Continue reading

ILINX – the new ECM software kid on the block!

Since my entry into the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) industry in 2001, the biggest challenge that I see for any company is to turn their ECM investment into one that is utilized across the enterprise, and not just for the benefit of one department. After all, that is the whole point of an enterprise system solution. When the whole enterprise benefits, it reduces total cost of ownership and the promise of a return-on-investment (ROI) is realized.

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I Am Not a Fan of the Cliché

I am not a fan of the cliché “Best Business Practices”. It is a very over used term and seems to imply there is some magic solution out there that will make everything better. The truth be known, best business practice is leveraging knowledge gained through experience at someone else’s expense. Why would you reinvent the wheel if someone has already figured it out? You wouldn’t. Many times I see companies selling software to customers for the sake of selling something, only to have it sit on a shelf and collect dust.

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10 Ways to Improve Capture OCR and Indexing

The recognition phase of capture may seem to be the most important step relevant to automated indexing – since it is, after all, the phase where OCR is performed. But at least half of the factors relevant to successful indexing occur during the pre-recognition steps, particularly in obtaining appropriate image quality for OCR and indexing.

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Busyness is killing Business

People seem to be busier than they ever have been. One result we have experienced due to the decrease in hiring over the last few years is that employees are taking on more work and working longer hours. Some people are doing the work of two people.
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Leadership: It’s Not All About You

As a 46 year veteran of the Electronics/Computer Industry, I wanted to share this article I came across from two of the most respected people in business. No matter what you do in your career, at some point we are all faced with role of providing leadership. Whether it is a promotion to management or just mentoring someone with lesser experience, trust me,  it’s not always going to be about you.

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130708115451-86541065-how-to-think-like-a-leader

Bob Garrido
Senior Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

Rock, Paper, Scissors

rock paper scissorsAs the Fourth of July approaches, we reflect on the formation of our government and the fact that the 3 branches of government are co-equal, as laid out in the first three Articles of the Constitution and several amendments.  If you think of Capture, Content Management Repository and Business Process Management (BPM) they are the three pillars of successful ECM in the enterprise.  Having one without the other does not give the enterprise the full benefit and ROI the technologies have to offer.

Sometimes explaining the value of utilizing all three of these to customers can be challenging.  So, here’s a fun and simple way to think about it:  The concept is best illustrated by the game, “Rock, Paper, Scissors“, which is a game everyone knows.  Depending on circumstances, each application has a chance to provide more ROI than another one, but without one the other cannot truly provide processes efficiencies.  Just like our government and if any one branch vetos or stops a bill.
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ILINX Capture 5 – Do you need to capture information anywhere, anytime?

ILINX Capture 5 upcoming Webinar

The ILINX suite of products are flexible, lean, and highly adoptable web based tools. You can capture information whether electronic or paper on a desktop, multifunction device, scanner or mobile device. Capture anywhere, anytime!

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Shar Pei, Weimaraner, or Rotweiler…Which Breed Are You?

Whenever I hear the word “breed” in any context, my mind automatically goes to dog breed for some reason. I can’t help it, but my mind starts to wander and think of Miniature Pinschers and Bloodhounds. At my company, we tend to use the term “best-of-breed” to describe the types of systems and solutions that we implement for our Customer Partners. This simply means that we determine what their needs and goals are, where their pains lie, and decide what the best technology is to fit those needs and goals and to hopefully reduce a number of their pain points.

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Are you “Powered by ILINX?”

Organizations are realizing more and more every day the need to reduce paper, automate labor-intense processes and eliminate duplicate tasks. Since we all know time is money, this is important now more than ever. But how do you choose the right technology to assist with this? We hear quite frequently that users are comfortable working within their line-of-business systems and that bringing in a large, complicated content management system will only confuse them. My response to this is, “Are you Powered by ILINX?”

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5 Reasons You Need to Meet in Person

I have been with ImageSource now going on 9 years, any of my peers that know me have always heard me say at various meetings: e mail, Voicemail, Tweeting, Facebook are all great sales tools, but that is exactly what they are – TOOLS. There is no substitute for Face-to-Face meetings. I recently came across this article that I wanted to share in my blog with my peers. I think you will find it helpful and practice it in the future.

5 Reasons You Need to Meet in Person

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Conversion of Documents at California County Assessor’s Office Creates Paperless Office

ImageSource was the privately contracted vendor for a California County Assessor’s Office that embarked upon a major project designed to create a paperless work environment. The project processed and imaged 25 million pages of file documents. Documents were scanned at the rate of 125 images per minute, 8 hours a day. The County also implemented day-forward imaging rather than filing incoming paper documents. The entire project was completed in approximately one year.

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If You Don’t Have Time to do it Right the First Time, When Will You Have Time to do it Over?

Growing up, we learn that it’s important to plan for certain events. We plan for moving, vacations, presentations, and even certain disasters. Planning for an IT project is just as important. I recently saw a statistic that said 62% of all IT projects fail to meet their stated goals, and that more than 50% of all Enterprise Content Management projects fail. This means that it’s more important than ever to make planning your Enterprise Content Management projects top priority.

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ImageSource® Awards Customer Partners for Innovative ECM Solutions

theme imageImageSource recently announced the winners of the 2011 Nexus Customer Partner Awards. The winners all show exceptional and innovative ways of utilizing Enterprise Content Management (ECM) technologies and include San Jose State University, ESCO Corporation and Mira Costa College.

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Big Enough to Do the Job, Small Enough to Care

Last month we just completed our annual Customer event NEXUS, as usual the event was excellent. During some downtime in the Exhibit Hall I got a chance to chat with one of our ECM Partner Representatives from IBM. During this conversation I was struck by some of the comments made to me, particularly about our customers. During the conversation they said that they have never seen such loyalty from customers towards a company (ImageSource). I can assure you after 43 years in the computer industry & many years competing with IBM, comments like that are far & few between. Over the next couple of days I continued to think more and more about the comments and its true, then I asked myself why, what do we do different that inspires that level of loyalty? The answer was actually pretty simple, “We Care”. In all my presentations I usually close by saying something along the lines, “We are big enough to do the job, but still small enough to care”. From Sales to our Professional Services team and throughout every person in the company we all care.

Bob Garrido
Senior Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

Shedding a little more light on the new Fujitsu fi-6800

I have blogged before about the Fujitsu fi-6800’s reduced footprint, the LED technology that it uses, and the many environmental friendly qualities it has, but there are other features that must be pointed out.  As you can imagine, when a company so well respected and influential in the ECM world as Fujitsu releases a new product, a lot of thought and engineering goes into it beyond just making it faster.  The fi-6800 is packed with features that enhance productivity that was based directly on customer feedback.

I saw a recent live demo of this model and it is impressive.  It’s look, size, footprint.  How quiet it is.  It also became evident, that this scanner is also easier to use than the fi-5900C, the previous mid-volume production heavyweight manufactured by Fujitsu.  This scanner weighs a mere 70 pounds compared to 100+ pounds of other scanners and its compact size makes it physically the smallest in its class.  This scanner was designed with this in mind:  bring production scanning from out back to up front without obviously disturbing the front of office business environment.

This scanner was also designed with batch scanning efficiency in mind.  For example, it can be equipped with a pre or post scanning imprinter depending on the need, and features an active stacker which controls paper speed as it exits the scanner to keep documents orderly and neat.  The front operator panel has a document counter and a batch counter too.  It is intelligently designed featuring an intuitive LCD operator panel which can be programmed in seven different languages.

Speaking of intuitive technology, the scanner offers Intelligent Multi-Feed Function (iMFF) and Automatic Image Quality Checker (aIQC).  According to Fujitsu, “iMFF allows for instant detection of a multi-feed or multilayer document, such as taped-on receipts or sticky notes added to a document. This function transports the document that has caused the alert to the exit path of the scanner, and presents both the physical document as well as the scanned front and back side images to the user so they can decide whether rescanning is required.”  The Automatic Image Quality Checker allows for document batches to be processed without interruption because it marks images virtually with potential missing data (for example folded corners) and others that might indicate multi-feed incidences.  This allows the user to check through the earmarked images and either re-scan or validate without interrupting the image order.

Lastly, the scanner comes equipped with an impressive full suite of bundled software including Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard, Kofax VRS 4.5 Professional with enhanced barcode recognition, ScandAll PRO with Scan to Microsoft Sharepoint, and QuickScan Pro Demo.  The fi-6800 fits well into any Document Management and Enterprise Content Management solution.

Once again, Fujitsu steps out into the limelight and into the front of the pack with production level document scanning for the world.

Ian Hundtofte

ImageSource

  

Excuses, Excuses…

There are many different excuses for not considering a document management system.  Some of the more common ones all revolve around change:

  • “change is expensive”
  • “we have to prioritize our expenditures and that document management isn’t near the top”
  • “we don’t want to change the way we do things – if we need to find something, we can.”

As we all know, humans are generally afraid of change.  We also know that the only thing constant is change itself – so the successful adapt and change.  Leaders in any industry have all adopted some sort of document management system.  It seems like no matter how simple or complicated your business process is, all have greatly benefited from a document management system.  The hard truth becomes that in order for one to plan for the future, one needs to be proactive.  When document management has been integrated with content management and workflow, the result is Enterprise Content Management.  In a nutshell, this encompasses all of the issues related to use and preservation of data within an organization in all of it’s forms.  The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) International defines Enterprise Content Management (ECM) as;

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the strategies, methods and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes. ECM tools and strategies allow the management of an organization’s unstructured information, wherever that information exists.”

While one uses the above ‘reasons’ in resisting implementing a document management system or putting it on hold, one should also consider the numerous benefits of such a system.  It is essential to identify the major points of pain in a company.  Benefits of ECM include:  cost reduction, security, disaster recovery, compliance and risk mitigation, and efficiency improvement.  When choosing the best specific system for one’s company, the following criteria should be considered:  ease of use; ease of integration with other enterprise systems; and ease of implementation.

Once the numerous aforementioned benefits are considered and analyzed, the decision should be clear to move towards the implementation of an ECM system and in doing so, filing the excuses away forever.

Ian Hundtofte

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

Phone 360.943.9273

www.imagesourceinc.com

Do These Documents Make My Scanner Look Small…?

Is this a common question in your organization?  Well, good news.  There are scanners that can scan documents that are larger than 8 ½” by 11”.  Even 8 ½” by 17”!  In our industry, we call them Large Format Scanners.

Large Format Scanners can scan documents up to 58” wide and up to several feet in length.  The scanned image can also look better than the original – just like with production and desktop scanners. Large documents can be scanned in resolution of up to 600 dpi.  The speed of these scanners is impressive as well – up to 16” per second.  Another great feature of these scanners is that they require few or no consumables to maintain their performance.  The manufacturer leaders in this industry include ImagePRO and Contex/Vidar.  Both of these manufacturers ship equipment with a standard 2 year on-site warranty agreement – a great add-on feature.  The ImagePRO line also uses LED technology which provides instant-on color calibration translating into no waiting time for calibration.

Businesses/organizations in which Large Format Scanners are commonly found include Architectural firms, counties’ assessors’ offices, galleries, geological surveyors, companies that produce maps, public utilities divisions, photography studios, manufacturers of airplanes and trains, etc.

The scanned image can be seamlessly imported into your existing enterprise content or document management system.    Typical software shipped with these scanners allows you to scan the document to a JPEG, PDF, or TIFF.  You can also scan-to-net as well.  In terms of drivers, most large format scanners work with TWAIN and in terms of interface, they use SCSI III, USB 2.0 and/or Ethernet.  These scanners ship network ready.

At the end of the day, feel confident that no matter how physically large yours document are, there is a scanner out there that can capture them, and give you the benefits of digital storage and deliverability that you have grown accustomed to in your normal day to day business with normal sized ones.

Ian Hundtofte

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc. 

ECM – From the Eyes of the “New Kid on the Block”

Intro – to Enterprise Content Management (ECM) in 7 days.

I started the journey in a new town, new company, and new industry on Sunday, November 1st. It has truly been one of the most exciting first weeks in the history of my career. ImageSource hosted Nexus 2009 at the Hyatt/Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, WA. This is an industry driven conference that is held annually and focuses on timely and relevant ECM topics. This two day conference is a top notch event. I attended as a new employee but more as if I was an outsider looking in. I have learned everything from a whole new set of acronyms to a more responsible way of consuming and sharing data. I have attended conferences all over the nation with hosts as large as Johnson and Johnson and this event ranks above and beyond the rest. Each moment for me was relevant, educational, and worthwhile. I believe customers left understanding the importance of how we should manage our data in a corporate environment, and how to take control of it. It isn’t about solving the overall problem, but accepting that this is part of something greater. It was summarized in a funny yet concise way when Pam Doyle, Director at Fujitsu said that “Implementing an ECM solution is similar to eating an elephant one bite at a time.” As the new kid, full of excitement I have tasked myself with raising awareness about this event and gathering the best people to join us for next year. One of the folks that have chosen to join me in my journey is Jeff Shuey – industry blogger. Jeff is a technology expert and his knowledge ranges over many topics. I want to thank him for being willing to take me on as a mentee in this new world! To read Jeff’s blog, visit www.jshueywa.blogspot.com.

Register for Nexus for only $195! Use code NEXUS10SPL

Geetha French
Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

Geetha

  

Who Needs a Scanner? I Think I Need a Scanner…

The answer is almost everyone!  From scanning bills and statements in your home office to full Imaging Departments in the largest of companies, digital images are the way of the future.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have room in my house for filing cabinets full of old mortgage, power, auto, insurance and all the other bills and statements that I get every day!  Many State, County, and City government agencies have also run into the same problem as they are keeping 100+ years of all different types of paper documents.

A lot of people today want to start digitizing their documents, but don’t really know where to start.   If you need some help trying to find out what type of scanner is right for you, there are a few simple questions you can ask yourself.  How many documents per day/week do I need to scan?  Do any of them need them to be in color?  Are any of my documents double-sided?  Are any of my documents of unusually large or small size?  What paper types and of what quality will I be scanning?  All of these questions are important and can help narrow down the size and type of scanner that will work best for you.   There are many manufacturers that produce scanners that range from home office/portable to the highest production scanners available.  Companies like Fujitsu, Bell & Howell, Canon, Panasonic, and Kodak all provide full lines of scanners to fit most every need.  Don’t let this unfamiliar territory intimidate you, there are companies like ImageSource, Inc. that know about and sell scanners to help you out along the way!

If you’re interesting in viewing muliple scanners at one time and location, sign up to attend Nexus ’09.  Some of the major manufacturers will be demoing their scanners there and answering the types of questions we talked about above.  Good luck and start scanning!