“This is going to be the year that document imaging really takes off. This is the year…………. “. The adoption of storing files with a standard naming convention on shared drives is still being forced around corporate America when the technology has been around for 20 years to securely scan, index, store, and retrieve in a single repository. What makes us think that the concept of having scanners at every desk or even on the same physical floor is going to catch on in the 20 years?
“When it is easy enough for the CEO to scan documents from his office, we know that document imaging is mainstream. “ In the industry, we have all heard this claim of the past 20 years. We have had visions of every organization, big or small, regardless of industry, deploying scanners and efficiently capturing paper documents at the source of receipt. Multi-Function Devices (copiers that scan and fax) have now become mainstream where most people are comfortable in scanning a document and feel comfortable with the concept. – This is the easy part. The reason we still fight with adoption is that traditional document capture software that allows for the scanning and indexing, has been difficult to understand, use AND had to be loaded on every person’s desktop that wanted to scan and index their documents.
Internet security, reduced file sizes, increased bandwidth, web services, and development of web parts have all been in development high gear. Companies that have been focusing on these technologies and disciplines have made significant breakthroughs in the Distributed Capture / Remote Scanning marketplace. See Kofax, Cardiff, EMC / Captiva, ImageSource / ILINX, Oracle / Captovation, ReadSoft. Out are the complex interfaces that require understanding of terms such as batches, document classes, OCR. In are the simple interfaces that allow for the scanning at a push of a single button, simple drop down menus, and few key strokes. Web based scanning applications should be commonplace where the user can scan a document from anywhere, provide simple indexing functionality, start a workflow, and have the document committed to the secure repository. The concept of “collecting” documents and taking / sending / Fed Ex’ing them to the mail room or scanning supervisor for processing is now not necessary / antiquated / a big waste of time. The technology is here and now.
Distributed Capture solutions should be thin client, scalable, not linked to a page count, able to support multiple ECM systems, and require little to no training. This shouldn’t be too much to ask.
How long is it going to take to get the message out to the masses? Will this be the year of distributed capture? Comments and feedback welcome.