I love Paper. Yes, I sell Document Imaging Hardware and software that converts paper documents into their digital representations, but I love paper. I love the tangible reminders to go online and pay my bills. What’s that? Exactly, I pay my bills online, so why do I need paper? I grew up with paper. Apparently it makes me feel good to throw out a mountain of tangible junk mail, and it makes me feel important. Paper is what I know, and it’s what we all know.
This is a question we ask our customers when choosing scanning hardware for their Enterprise Content Management solutions. It is easily overlooked when reviewing the specifications of a scanner, as it is a separate hardware purchase and generally is a business process requirement not a scanner specification requirement.
When there is a need to “imprint” or “stamp” a scanned document, it is required to have the date of the scan on each and every page that is processed. This requirement usually is used for tracking purposes or compliance to show that the document was scanned.
Do you Pre or Post-Scan Imprint?
Pre-Scan imprinting is the most common option that allows the organization to have the stamp on both the physical paper copy and the scan. The pre-scan imprint will print on the document PRIOR to the image reaching the scanners imaging lamps. So the imprint stamp will also be a part of the scan image.
Post-Scan imprinting is generally utilized when an organization needs the data or tracking mechanism on the physical paper after the scan. This is mostly used to indicate if a page of paper has been processed or not. The stamp is NOT on the scanned image.
Can I automatically imprint on a flatbed scanned documents?
Keep in mind when purchasing a scanner with a flatbed – either integrated with the scanner or as a detachable USB connected flatbed – there is no automatic imprinting option for the documents scanned using a flatbed. Flatbed scanned documents will need to be manually stamped to meet requirements – either pre-scan or post-scan.
Another option for imprinting is “Software Annotation”…
If only a data or tracking on the scanned image is needed, software annotation could be considered. With software annotation you have greater flexibility on where the imprint data can be placed on the image. Keep in mind software annotation needs to be part of your batch scanning process and is a separate software purchase to your hardware scanner.
So keep this information in mind when considering what is the “best fit” for imprinting based on your business process AND scanner requirements.
As budgets get tighter it’s inevitable that the need for hardware maintenance will come into question. It’s like insurance in your own personal life; nobody likes to pay for it but you definitely dont want to get caught without it.
If your equipment is mission critical, you need to keep it covered under a service contract.
If you don’t have the budget to replace it immediately, you need a service contract.
If you are unsure what model it would be replaced by or where or how to get it you should definately maintain your service contract.
There does come a point in time when it is more practical to put those renewal dollars towards a replacement. If you’re working with a good company such as ImageSource we will let you know at renewal time that you should be planning for your replacement either this year or the year after. We can help you select a model and also review compatibility.
Upgrades can be tricked and can trigger software upgrades at the sametime, these are best planned for rather than inadvertenly discovered.
If you need assistance planning, renewing or replacing your scanner please give us a call.
Thank you for your time!
Inside Sales Manager
Working with other companies and their staff to deliver a product and service to a customer can be an enlightening experience. I have recently been working with 4 of the top leading scanner manufacturer partners to assist a healthcare customer with their distributed capture initiative-with the evaluation and the purchase of 160 desktop scanners for capturing patient intake information.
The customer evaluated the 4 manufacturers’ desktop scanners. A number of factors influenced the healthcare customer on their decision to work with ImageSource and to purchase the following scanner evaluated:
- The ease of use of the scanner equipment and software
- Availability of the manufacturer’s sales person and sales engineer to be on-site to install the scanner, the numerous conference calls to answer questions that unfolded due to the testing of the scanner and every question was treated with utmost importance.
- The attention to detail by both ImageSource and manufacturer to modify the demonstration of the scanner and that the scanner software solved a number of their various documentation challenges (for example – the patient intake documentation varies is size, thickness and also includes plastic cards)
- The high level of thorough communication between ImageSource and manufacturer (In the customer’s eyes it seemed they were working with one company, not two!)
The greatest learning experience and also the most important factor that made this a stress-free process was the level of trust that was initiated, grown and experienced by all parties involved;
- From the customer perspective: Working with two teams from different companies- it did not matter who they called (whether it be ImageSource or the manufacturer), they received the same high level of service from both companies. Both companies kept each other informed of the conversations etc. they had with the healthcare customer, therefore alleviating any miscommunications or misunderstandings.
- From the Reseller vendor (ImageSource) perspective: The high level of communication and interaction with the manufacturer’s sales team created a streamlined cohesive focus to ensure the customer received what they REALLY required from a scanner.
- From the Manufacturer perspective: Being able to rely on a vendor partner that has the knowledge, expertise in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and initiative to go the extra step – to focus on how to solve the customer’s challenges, not just sell a scanner. It gave us the manufacturer room to really excel in presenting how the scanner and software was the solution to the customer’s challenges.
It is refreshing to experience this unique partnership among the customer, vendor and manufacturer. And I know from all involved, that it set the stage for a high level of expectation in the future opportunities to do business together. This experience reminds me of this quote I saw recently:
“If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” Winston Churchill
I am quickly discovering that many of the scanners I sold a few years ago are not Windows 7 compliant. If your scanner connects via Fire wire, SCSI or Kofax Adrenaline board, there is a good chance that there is a new scanner in your future. The good news is that the speeds and feeds you paid for originally can now be obtained for a lower price. If you would like to refresh your technology, give us a call for a review to ensure you will not get stuck.
Inside Sales Manager
When purchasing a scanner for document imaging, software is bundled with the scanner that automatically examines documents and applies the correct settings to deliver high quality scanned images. Or in simple terms – it enables image clean-up and clarity to occur automatically at the point of scanning the document. This software SAVES a great deal of TIME and is EASY to use…This little piece of magical software is called Virtual ReScan or VRS.
Many scanner manufacturers include the Kofax VRS software in the scanner purchase price. Fujitsu includes Kofax VRS Professional software with their scanners and Panasonic includes the latest version of Kofax VRS called Kofax VRS Elite bundled with their scanners. Other manufacturers do offer the software at an additional cost (Canon, Kodak etc.).
Some of the features in Kofax VRS Elite software:
- Hole punch removal
- Blank page deletion
- Color detection
- Color smoothing
- Automatic crop and deskew
- Improved recognition (increases the accuracy of OCR & ICR software)
- Scan at the scanner’s rated scanning speed
- Network-friendly images
Take a look at the Image Processing video on Kofax VRS Elite to get a visual on some of the functionality. I have customers that use the software and will not purchase another scanner without it!
Canon ScanFront 220 & 220P Embedded with ILINX Capture provides seamless and secure, all-in-one solution to scan, index and route documents across an entire operation for advanced information exchange and maximized coordination
Companies are always looking at how they can run more efficiently and one way to accomplish this is to provide end-users with the ability to scan, index, send and store documents regardless of physical location. The integration between ILINX Capture and the ScanFront 220/220P gives organizations the opportunity to capture information at the source and direct it to the next process, significantly reducing employee error and the amount of time needed to route documents and information.
Administrators can customize the scanning experience for the users and create buttons that send data through Email, FTP, to a file folder, or they can choose to store the documents on a USB memory stick. Once released from the scanner, documents enter the ILINX Capture workflow system, which is fully customizable and extensible, allowing access to documents and batches from a web browser.
The Canon imageFORMULA ScanFront 220/220P, a powerful network scanner with a small footprint, provides customizable Job Buttons that allow for one-touch access to routine scanning tasks. The scanning process can be as simple as pressing a single button, but can also provide the power and flexibility of a fully functional scan station. Once a document is scanned, ILINX Capture allows index values to be entered at the scanner interface, auto-filled or input at a later time.
The ILINX Capture and imageFORMULA ScanFront 220/220P integration provides secure distribution of documents across a network, improves company wide information dissemination, eliminates information handling errors, mitigates records management risks and a reduces costs associated with sharing information.
This week I wanted to highlight a great ImageSource combo that delivers an All-IN-ONE system that is perfect for Workgroup Capture. This blended technology provides a comprehensive state-of-the-art scanning solution for any organization, regardless of size.
ILINX® Capture is a powerful web based application that allows you to capture information any place, any time. It can be used for ad hoc and production scanning and indexing. All you need is access to a browser and you can capture documents from anywhere in the world!
With ILINX Capture you can import and process emails, faxes and business documents and it is easily integrated with third-party and legacy systems. Once released from the scanner, the documents enter the ILINX Capture workflow system; allowing access to documents and batches from a thin web client. ILINX Capture was a winner of the 2010 Product Innovation Awards – Network Products Guide.
Now blending ILINX Capture with Canon ScanFront 220 / ScanFront 220P scanner, this allows you to plug your captured information directly into your office network. With the user-friendly touch screen, you can scan directly to e-mail, FTP, shared folders or USB memory and it releases to a comprehensive workflow system that is assessable from any browser.
Check out the demo of how it works on You Tube – you will see how easy it is to apply innovation in your workflow processes!
For more information see the PDF below.
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.
Goin’ Green with a Scannin’ Machine
We all know that document imaging demonstrates the capacity of “going green” just by definition. It is inherent in concept. Technology expands so quickly and in the world of document imaging hardware, there lies no exception. The most respected manufacturers like Fujitsu, Kodak, and Canon make the entire scanning process, from pre-scanning to post scanning, more automated and efficient for the end user, while also providing the latest in document imaging features and functionalities.
A couple examples of some of these particular technological advancements take are new LED’s replacing traditional lamps in scanners as well as production scanners with smaller footprints. For instance, LED technology is featured in the Kodak/Bell &Howell Ngenuity as well as the new Fujitsu fi-6800 production scanner. LED technology helps significantly reduce the scanner’s power consumption during operation and as well as in “sleep mode.” Also, LED’s are designed to last the life of the scanner thereby eliminating the cost of replacement bulbs and the production costs and waste of replacement bulbs as well. Since there are no replacement bulbs needed for these scanners, there’s nothing new to throw away. Speaking of consumables, like scanner bulbs, companies making document imaging scanners are also manufacturing other consumables (pad assemblies, pick rollers, roller assemblies) with longer life spans. Fewer consumables are needed and the ones that are needed, last longer. The manufacturer’s that are seemingly taking the lead on this front include Fujitsu, Canon, and Kodak/Bell & Howell.
Better materials used in the manufacturing of document imaging scanners is not the only advancement that is happening that exemplifies this industry embracing green initiatives. The design of the hardware is changing as well. Manufacturers like Fujitsu are designing and building scanners that have significantly smaller footprints – the space they take up on the desk or the tabletop in the working environment. Take for example the Fujitsu fi-6800. This is a full–fledged mid-volume production scanner that is the smallest document scanner in its class. The trend is moving toward fewer materials being produced to make these machines and therefore less energy is being consumed. This translates into less waste and fewer emissions into the environment, as is obvious.
Since these new scanners are more intuitive as a result of new technology and better design, they can recognize in advance multi-feed issues, so the user can adjust settings as necessary. Bottom line – the user can become more efficient at document scanning and do more, in less time.
With new technology and better design comes new efficiency and related side benefits including using fewer materials and generating less waste and fewer emissions. It’s encouraging to know that the ECM Industry continues to do its part.
Portable and mobile with a compact design capable of fitting into briefcases and laptop bags
USB powered scanning, making it possible for the scanner to be operated without an AC adapter. Currently no other scanner in this market segment is capable of scanning using only one USB cable. For more information contact our Insides Sales Team @ 360-943-9273
Network attached scanners have been available for quite a while. But the early version were extremely limited and didn’t always work as expected. The current version of network scanners come with a good sized user interface, touch screen or Keyboard and usual have a version of windows imbedded allowing for an easier setup and a familiar feel. These new units allow for quick deployment in a low volume setting and they are easy-to-use and they manage, secure, and operate as stand-alone solutions.
Many different manufacturers offer a network version of their scanner line. Canon offers a great Network Scanner, the ScanFront 220. With Fujitsu’s networthis scanner, you can simplify and standardize document management across your local branches or across the globe. Simply load your documents, log into the network, select the destination, and press the scan button. It allows many users to access the network via one scanner using their person authentication logons. Specific user settings can restrict the types of documents the user has access to scan, index, and view.
k scanner, the fi-6010N, includes many enhancements for greater ease of use, simplified device management and additional security feature for compliance or to assist with adherence to regulations. This network scanner provides functionality including scan to e-mail, network fax, folder, printer, FTP website, and searchable PDF in a small footprint which enables document sharing amount departments or the entire enterprise.
The Kodak Scan Station 500 is designed as a walk-up capture station that requires minimal user training and is easy to use. The Scan Station 500 is a standalone solution that works with an existing network and makes use of existing network shared services to communicate with other network devices or destinations. The color touch screen is easy to use and allows you to
No matter which network scanner you think might work best for you or your organization, having the ability to scan directly to your network without the requirement of a PC is a great innovation in the document imaging environment. You can purchase all these types of network scanner at ImageSource, Inc.quickly send your documents via email, fax, to networked drives, networked printers or USB flash drives.
Andrea Latham, CDIA+
This week we are going to talk about Canon and their line of High/Mid/Low-volume, and check scanners. Canon scanners are usually priced very competitively. At ImageSource we also manage scanner service repair and Canon’s are just as reliable and have the same loyal following as other brands.
Canon scanners offer the kind of high-performance features that make converting paper documents easier. Like high-speed precision feeding technology, compact design, high-speed color capability and even flexible configuration options.
Canon’s highest volume scanner is the newly released DRX10C, which rivals the competition with an impressive 128 pages per minute scanning speed in both color and black and white. Great image quality comes from the onboard image processing chip that can handle multiple image processing functions. It also boasts the industry’s first dust-free scanning system which prevents dust particle from adhering to the sensor glass. This minimizes manual cleaning for the end-user thus reducing time spent maintaining the scanner. This robust design allows for up to 60,000 scans per day meeting the demands of production level scanning.
The rest of the Canon scanner line includes 18 models ranging in speed from 20 ppm up to 112 ppm. This expansive variety of models allows the end user to find the perfect fit with speed and design for their document capture or distributed capture solution. Canon also provides 3 different models of check scanners, which is a niche that most of the other well-known scanner manufacturers do not venture into. This can be very beneficial for those in Billing and Accounting areas of business that deal mainly with processing large quantities of checks. Having a true check scanner give you the option of reading the MICR codes on the bottom of the checks.
One noticeable difference with the Canon scanner line is that they do not ship with Kofax’s Virtual Rescan (VRS) technology that many of the other manufacturers include as a basic with their standard packages. It can be added on to any of the scanners as an aftermarket upgrade, so not bundling it with VRS cuts down on the cost. Talk about flexibility.
And…Finally network scanners with new technology have arrived! Stay tuned next week for our blog about Network scanners, including those offered by Canon.
Andrea Latham, CDIA+
When you own a scanner, or multiple scanners, you are responsible for keeping that equipment running efficiently by keeping consumables on hand. The components of a scanner that touch the paper and are designed to wear out and be replaced every 3-6 months are called “consumables.” They are different to what are referred to as “parts” of a scanner. Consumables are designed this way to maximize the performance of the scanner and are end user replaceable, meaning you don’t have to be tech savvy to perform the operation.
The most common types of consumables are rollers, lamps, and pad assemblies. Depending on the scanner manufacturer (Fujitsu, Bell & Howell, Canon, Panasonic, Kodak, etc..), you may have to replace one or more at least a couple times a year. When a scanner starts jamming or double-feeding paper, the most common cause of this problem is usually worn out consumables. Other imaging problems like: no longer reading bar codes, poor OCR results, or getting an optical alarm can usually be solved by replacing the lamps
When a scanner has a maintenance contract in place, it usually just covers the parts and not the consumables. ImageSource receives a lot of calls from customers asking why the consumables are not covered and parts are. The answer is because the consumables are almost always end-user replaceable and must be replaced much more often than parts. And if your scanner is under maintenance, it’s usually required to have parts replaced by a certified technician. See our blog on benefits of having a maintenance contract.
Not sure where to get parts or consumables for your scanner? Contact ImageSource, they are happy to help!
Andrea Latham, CDIA+
Over the course of my time selling imaging hardware, i.e. scanners, many customers ask me which is better…SCSI or USB 2.0? Actually some don’t even ask, they insist that SCSI (small computer system interface) is still the fastest option. Unfortunately for them, almost all scanner manufacturers have moved to using a USB 2.0 interface as option on their scanners and some are USB 2.0 exclusively.
When the first USB (Universal Serial bus) it was slower than SCSI and at times Flakey. Anyone who has ever installed a SCSI device knows that there was definitely room for improvement in this technology as well. Between double checking SCSI ID’s and triple checking the Termination you could spend quite a bit of time sorting out a SCSI install if it didn’t go right the first time. But when USB 2.0 came out it was stable and fast. In fact there is little to no degradation in speed with the scanners. In fact, Kofax has stopped manufacturing SCSI cards all together. VRS used to be a limitation of USB in a production environment because it required a SCSI adrenaline board interface, but now the latest versions of VRS are more versatile and work with USB 2.0 just as well if not better than SCSI.
USB 2.0 is working its way to becoming the standard in imaging technology because it less expensive than SCSI and so much easier to work with. You also have one less point of failure with the USB 2.0 vs. the SCSI card. So for those people with the common misconception that SCSI is faster and better, I’m here to tell you that USB 2.0 is just as good when it comes to speed and less expensive for your pocketbook. It also opens up the door to using laptops.
ImageSource, Inc. offers the all of the best names in imaging hardware – Fujitsu, Bowe Bell & Howell, Panasonic, Canon– each one with their own strengths, but all equipped with the newest and latest connectivity of USB 2.0
Andrea Latham, CDIA+
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!