ECM Moves to Simplicity

A trend worthy of mention in the ECM industry is the move to simpler-to-use products. ImageSource is answering the demand for these streamlined products, not only from an integration point of view, but also by developing our ILINX product line. What is really worth noting is that the products mentioned below are streamlined without sacrificing performance. Let’s explore what simple ECM means for organizations.
Users
From a user’s perspective, ECM is becoming more intuitive, accessible and affordable. Heavyweight capture players like Kofax are applying their expertise to products like Kofax Express, geared for small to mid-sized organizations. It is functional without requiring a lot of training or know-how. Another capture application, ILINX Capture, is web-based, enabling capture at any desktop browser. It has a mobile app, ILINX Capture Mobile for capture without the desktop or laptop. In yet another mobile development, ImageSource recently announced the launch of their ILINX Tablet, the first business-centric tablet to hit the market. Users also appreciate ILINX Integrate, which image enables their line-of-business systems. They can view content from within their primary application without having to open a content repository.

Administrators and IT Professionals
Thin client apps, like ILINX Capture, allow for administration, deployment and maintenance from a central source. Graphical user interfaces allow workflows to be created effortlessly, automating rules and decisions. ILINX Content Store is a supercharged, yet streamlined content repository that is as easy manage as it is to master—and it’s also a web app. The simplicity of all of the products mentioned above mean fewer resources are spent on training and administration.

Organizations
Simple ECM benefits the enterprise on many levels. First, fewer resources are used to deploy and manage information systems. Secondly, as complexity decreases, user adoption improves. Lastly, as ECM is distributed, organizations are able to ingest content from a much wider variety of sources, sooner, so information is available more immediately.

Carol Carbone Jellison
Creative Director, ImageSource

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

  

Spotlight on the new Fujitsu 6800

Overview
Engineered from decades of industry-leading experience, the fi-6800 is fully-loaded with productivity enhancing features based directly on customer feedback. The fi-6800 scanner has the perfect blend of performance and functionality for production scanning environments.

> Incredibly fast color landscape scanning of up to 130 ppm / 260
ipm in 200/300 dpi
> New compact design makes it the smallest in its class
> New intuitive LCD operator panel
> 500-page Automatic Document Feeder (ADF)
> New functions for enhanced automation, power efficiency and
productivity: automatic sorting, automatic stacker and automatic
image quality checker
> Paper protection and Intelligent Multifeed function
> Long document scanning of up to 120 inches
> Daily duty cycle of up to 60,000 sheets
> Multiple interface: Ultra Wide SCSI / USB 2.0 / Kofax Ultra Wide
SCSI and Kofax USB 2.0
> Includes Adobe® Acrobat® 9 Standard, Kofax® VRS 4.2*
Professional, ScandAll PRO with Scan to Microsoft SharePoint,
QuickScan Pro Demo

For more information contact InsideSales @ 360.943.9273 insidesales@imagesourceinc.com

How Many Organizations Have Initiatives to Truncate Content at its Source?

I’m sitting in the local IBM ECM UserNet conference in Irvine and David Caldera, Product Marketing,  is speaking about the IBM/FileNet road-map.  He has communicated, and it is proven, that there is huge ROI in deploying ECM solutions in an enterprise.   Many companies have jumped on the ECM bandwagon and have implemented storage and retrieval in their enterprise.  But, how many have taken the initiative to actually truncate content at its source?  What does this mean: truncate content at its source?

To truncate content at its source,  I am referencing an initiative to keep electronic documents as electronic documents (i.e. not printing out the Word Document or Excel Spreadsheet for review), utilize fax server technology and ingest faxes as images (ingesting faxes directly in to a capture application so meta data can be attached to it and accessed through a repository),  take in outside content as EDI and leave it as EDI (by utilizing COLD technology and storing it with users being able to view the content with template overlays),  and leave email messages and their attachments in their electronic format (by capturing the email, ingest the email’s content and strip off the attachment so that it can be preserved in the repository in electronic form).  A truly GREEN organization.

How can we help enterprises achieve this?  One method is to simplify the process that content is captured at the end user.  This may include embedding capture technology in every day applications like Word and Excel.  A simple to use “button” placed in the application that evokes a simple window that allows the user to fill in one or two key meta data fields – like Kofax currently offers with Kofax Desktop and ImageSource offers with ILINX ® Capture.  Another option is to leverage existing multifunction devices, having a capture application sweep the directory and push some light indexing or not, back to the submitter or sending it to a central data processing center.  Most importantly, capturing the content in-process!

In-Process Capture through thin client applications is the most consistent and efficient way to truncate content at its source.  Enabling knowledge workers to submit content as part of their process, versus at the end of their process.  All knowledge workers, not just high volume workers, having this capability.  Leveraging ad-hoc, highly distributed capture processes throughout an enterprise.   For example, the executive assistant who has contracts, high dollar Purchase Orders, NDA’s, HR documents, or regulatory submissions being able to commit these documents right in to the repository or workflow.  Another example, to enable agents or sales people in the field to submit claims, reports or expenses from their automobile, prior to leaving the customers parking lot, so that financial transaction can be processed immediately.

Some organizations “think green.”  Its time now for these companies to go to the next step and put their IT projects behind these eco-friendly initiatives.

Three Essential Components of ECM – Capture, Connect and Share

At our recent ECM Solutions Conference, Nexus, ImageSource announced the new brand strategy for our ILINX product line – Capture | Connect | Share.

The three word tagline was chosen because it so accurately describes the critical comments of an effective Enterprise Content Management system.

Capture:
The more effectively an organization can get information into their system the better they are able to manage that information. Critical content comes into organizations every day. How are you capturing your information? How effectively are you managing all types of content (paper, electronic content, video, pictures, etc)? What technology are you embracing to enable electronic information? Fax machines? MFPs? Desktop scanners? Production scanners? Because Capture is the “on-ramp” to any ECM system, having the right tools (ILINX Capture Products) will enable the success of your ECM system.

Connect:
Seamless integration with line-of-business systems is essential for user adoption, simple end-user training and overall Change Management. With the use of ILINX Connect products, organizations can access all critical documents from one central ECM repository without ever leaving the LOB system they are familiar with. ILINX successfully integrates ECM systems with SAP, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and others.

Connectivity between different ECM systems is also essential in order to maximize the benefits of all the various technologies. ILINX integrates technologies such as SharePoint, Oracle, LiquidOffice, Kofax, and more.

Share:
Business operations depend on getting the right information to the right people at the right time. Having the right tools to access that information easily is the functionality built into the ILINX Share products. Organizations must be able to export targeted information effectively for public disclosure requests, specific agenda items, invoices, and much, much more. Having that information easy to retrieve in a well organized, usable format is essential.

ILINX products are the cornerstone of many successful ECM solutions. Visit the customer success stories page on our website and see how organizations, both public and private, are creating effective ECM solutions utilizing ILINX technologies.

Debbie Horton
Corporate Communications Director
ImageSource, Inc.

 

Document Capture Tools

Scanning your documents into a Document Management System is a great way to improve efficiency and reduce the amount of paper in your office.  And, depending on what kind of paper you are scanning, there are lot of document capture tools available.  Tools such as Full Text OCR, Zonal OCR, and ICR can greatly reduce time spent indexing and validating your documents once they are scanned.

Full Text OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is software that captures every character in the document being scanned and processing it into a fully searchable PDF.  One effective use of this technology is when government users needing to search hundreds of pages of agendas and meeting minutes for a certain topic.  The process of searching these documents is quite time-consuming and most OCR processing occurs overnight when there is less use on the company’s day-to-day activities.

Zonal OCR is similar in that it captures information, but in this case, the software is programmed to look in the same location or “zone” every time.  This is helpful when scanning in documents where the information is in the same location, such as an invoice number.  Most invoices are in a set format so zonal OCR is very effective in this scenario.  When the operator is validating this information, the Zonal OCR zooms in on the zone area that has been predetermined where the information is captured from so they can easily read if the information captured is correct or not.  Hence, one of the biggest advantages of Zonal OCR is that it improves the efficiency of searches which translates into a savings of both time and money.  Some software available that features Zonal OCR also allows the user to draw a box to establish a zone around required text rather than typing in keywords therefore allowing the document to be automatically indexed.

ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) is the ability for the software to read hand-written information and process this into searchable information.  This is especially beneficial in the financial industry.  And although this tool can be very useful in some situations, the error rate is much higher because handwriting is so varied from person to person.

Andrea Latham, CDIA+
Inside Sales
ImageSource, Inc.
Phone 360.943.9273
www.imagesourceinc.com

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Microsoft SharePoint 2010 – Las Vegas Conference Day 1

The 2009 Microsoft SharePoint Conference held at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas has officially kicked off.  It has attracted around 6,000 attendees from around the world.

SharePoint 2009 Conference Badge

SharePoint 2009 Conference Badge

ImageSource exhibited recently at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, we will round out this month with attendance at Kofax Transform in San Diego and we will be exhibiting at IBM On Demand at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, which begins October 25th and runs through the 29th.

Then the Annual Nexus Enterprise Content Management conference begins November 2nd and runs through November 3rd.  I look forward to seeing you there and hope you can attend some of the breakouts that I will be speaking at, check out the agenda here.

I attended several break-out sessions today at the SharePoint conference and wanted to highlight some of the exciting announcements coming from Microsoft & KnowledgeLake.  First I attended ECM for the Masses – How SharePoint Delivers on the Promise.  Key areas that everyone who has followed Microsoft SharePoint has considered as gaps in true ECM functionality are starting to be addressed.

  1. Records Management:  SharePoint 2010 comes completed with a revamped Records Center, that includes the ability to create taxonomy schedules and import existing schedules using CSV files.  Microsoft is calling this Managed Metadata.  More importantly there is now a Unique Document ID that is created for each content item.  This Document ID is stored in the database and follows the content item regardess of where the original content is stored or migrated to.  This will also make integrating with 3rd party Line of Business applications such as ERP, CRM or Cloud based computing platforms.  Other key features include Document Sets that allow you to create work packets/packages, Advanced Routing to determine appropriate library or folder with predefined RM metadata.  Check in / Check out, Legal Holds, Folksonomy (tags created by individual users, that can be re-used)
  2. Web Content Management:  In context editing, by implementing the Ribbon UI, familiar to Office 2007 users, authoring and editing exisitng web content is a snap.  Rich media support for photos, video and audio files has been updated with a new slice of cool SilverLight that allows web developers to skin the player to match the rest of the sites branding.  Also included are web analytics that allow site owners to monitor traffic and size of the site(s).
  3. BLOB: binary large objects, for years ECM practitioners and tenured professionals have known that storing large image files in the database is a no-no.  This architecture created real scalability problems for SharePoint 2003 & 2007.  Although it was somewhat addressed with EBS, external blob storage support in 2007.  It was still a sticking point for enterprises looking to deploy large SharePoint solutions to support 100’s of millions of content items like TIF files.  KnowledgeLake did a nice job of using EBS techniques in their software to bridge the scalability issues.  With SP 2010, RBS or Remote Blob Storage is now support at the API level.  This will allow third party storage vendors to create fully pluggable storage architectures that can be used to reduce SQL database growth, advance SP scalability and much more.
  4. Workflow:  For many who have used third party workflow engines and tools, the out of the box capabilities of earlier versions of SharePoint were lackluster.  In SharePoint 2010 you can build rules based workflow routing for individual content items and document sets based on document actions.  Most of the workflow demonstrations I saw were modeled around records management processes.  I will have to seek more information on this as the conference progresses.

I also attended KnowledgeLake: ECM on SharePoint 2010 – Features that rock!  by Chris Caplinger.  This was very well attended and I learned about some of the key Server & Scalability improvements to Indexing, Search/Query and the aforementioned EBS/RBS architecture.  Chris gave a sneek preview of the new KnowledgeLake Viewer based on SilverLight, very cool.

Shadrach White
Chief Technology Officer
ImageSource, Inc.