The new Fujitsu Scanners consisting of the fi-7160, fi-7180, fi-7260 and fi7280 combine new features such as “Acoustic Paper Protection and Skew Prevention” technology with faster speeds. The fi-7180 and fi-7280, which includes a flatbed have speeds of 80 pages per minute and 160 images per minute while the fi-7160 and fi-7260, also includes flatbed, have speeds of 60ppm and 120ipm.
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.
I found the latest research paper from AIIM “Winning the Paper Wars – capture the content and mobilize the process troops.” to be an interesting read, especially since I have seen many of the points discussed when working with our customers—specifically with growth areas in mobile capture, OCR, BPM/Workflow and AP/AR processes.
I am happy to say that the report addressed not just scanning paper records but also looked at the hundreds/ thousands of external paper documents that flow into a company every day.
At ImageSource we help address capture via ILINX Capture® Many of our customers have experienced progress towards “paper-free processes” and are achieving payback of their investment. If you are looking at addressing some of the issues that were discussed in the report – feel free to reach out to ImageSource…or me…
Inside Sales Account Executive
As 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.
Distributed scanning and capture provides employees the ability to scan or capture information from individual stations and file the documents in a shared folder or into a central location. The documents are captured and indexed at the source, generally by the department or workgroup that created them and where the workflow is initiated. Distributed capture is becoming more prevalent as companies are increasingly deploying teams in offices spread across geographic locations.
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?”
Does your organization waste valuable time and resources to manually prep documents? Are you tired of manually typing in data which oftentimes isn’t inputted accurately and error-free? If you want to venture away from these tedious slow processes, there are solutions out there! Advanced capture technologies will streamline and automate the transformation of documents into structured electronic information for your business processes.
AIIM’s (Association for Information and Image Management) research reveals that 40% of organizations that implement a Capture Solution will achieve a ROI within 12 months. AIIM separates capture software into 3 categories: Ad-hoc image, batch image and batch transaction. There are many capture products available but one in particular I would like to discuss is IBM Datacap Taskmaster Capture software which is classified as batch transaction.
If you haven’t seen our National Frozen Foods customer success video yet, take a break for less than 3 minutes and see how this corporation that produces over 300 million pounds of frozen vegetables a year utilizes their Enterprise Content Management system to increase their business efficiencies.
Whether you are dealing with student records, registration forms, accounting files, financial aid or any other departmental processes, the most efficient way to use the information and get it to your main system is to scan the documents at the time they are created or received.
If you wait until the end of the process, many people across your organization will have photocopied, faxed, emailed, sorted, filed and re-filed, creating massive amounts of unnecessary work, expense and wasted resources.
I have a challenge for the readers of this blog. Are you ready? Take deep breath. I want to challenge you to, DO MORE WITH LESS. I think we are often taught to want more, that we “need more”. I am challenging you to someone that can do MORE with Less. I am sure you are wondering how this relates to content management, the topic I was asked to write about. Well I think I can bring you to that reality, so continue reading. Today we face an economic reality that is forcing us to do more with less. It makes you think long and hard about what is important and what is needed. This concept can be taken all the way to the documents that we deal with for our business processes. Often we create business process around what we have “always” done. I think it is time to stop and relook at your business. How can capturing data as it is created and making it electronic increase productivity as well as reduce costs overall? Many studies share the ROI of this fact. Do more with Less. Stop making more paper, and make Less. Stop doing more work and do less. If this is something you are ready to talk about, I know that our team of consultants are the right people to help you conquer that task. It is a daunting one, but it must be done and you want the right people to lead you through the challenge. We have done this for many years and have proven to be true professionals and experts at the task.
Please take a minute to read a Case Study done for the City of Kennewick .
“We’ve comfortably taken the leap to a paperless environment. Departments are much more self-sufficient in finding content. I no longer spend countless hours making copies & distributing them.”
– Valerie Loffler, City Clerk, City of Kennewick
Simple, Easy, Efficient –
Imagine having information at your fingertips.
The power of a piece of paper? Often what you need to get your job done exists on a “piece of paper” somewhere other than your very own desk. Think back to life before working in the Document Imaging world and the amount of time wasted trying to gather information. If that was true for me, even in very high tech companies, imagine how it is for others. Often the things we need to access are very similar between companies and industries. We all need access to customer information: invoices, P.O’s, shipping information, approval documentation, etc. etc.
ILINX Content Store provides one place to keep this information and a searching capability similar to a “google” search for your internal documents. It is truly one of the most user friendly efficient software that I have seen. How do you make a decision to begin turning the paper in to “less paper?” Without a doubt in the long run it will save you time and money. Two things every company can have more of!
I am a big fan of HGTV, especially one particular show “Holmes on Homes.” For those of you who are unfamiliar, it is about a general contractor who is on a crusade to weed out bad contractors who take short cuts when performing the job they were hired to do. Because the “bad contractors” took short cuts and didn’t do the job right in the first place, they created more problems over and above those which they were originally hired to fix in the first place. “Doing it Right the First Time” has become the mantra of the show.
By now, you may be asking yourself what one of my favorite TV shows has to do with ECM…well, frankly, everything. After 43 years in the computer industry and having worked in many aspects both in the technical and sales side of the business, it will still continue to amaze me that I see as many failed implementations as I do.
The sad part is that it does not have to be if customers would take more care in the evaluation process and place more focus on the integrator who understands solutions and less on the software vendor who provides a tool.
First let’s define an expert. An “expert” is someone who does 12 things, 12 thousand times, not 12 thousand things 12 times. A good integrator is just that, they are” good” and can be an asset to the customer looking to implement any ECM solution. Many times a customer will focus on the software vendor to provide this expertise. Software vendors sell software. The problem with this is the software vendor is interested in selling their software or selling you additional software and possibly ignoring the fact you already have what you need or supplying you with the incorrect software for the solution you need.
I have witnessed this many times and to say it can create a messy situation is quite an understatement. In one such case, the customer purchased well over a million dollars in software, but the software vendor and his reseller never understood the requirements of the implementation and certain costly components were left out of the solution. Worse yet, false expectations were set for the customer regarding professional services and implementation costs.
How does this happen? First and foremost, neither the software vendor or reseller had any actual experience with ECM nor the costs associated with implementation. Neither understood the solutions requirements and they purposely deflated the services costs fearing they would jeopardize the software sale. Using an “expert” integrator would have provided the necessary solution, protected the customers’ interests and a positive experience would have been the outcome for the customer.
Another unfortunate circumstance we all share is the state of our economy. Economic times like the one we find ourselves in have a way of bringing out all kinds of new so called “experts.” In this environment the customer must make sure they are able to separate “the contenders from the pretenders”.
I am a firm believer you get what you pay for. It continually irritates me to see a customer pay for the same real estate multiple times because they hired someone unqualified to implement their solution. Following a few simple steps can prevent this from happening.
- Remember the definition of an expert
- Check multiple references
- Ask for a list of customers with similar solutions and have honest and open conversations with these customers about their experiences
- Beware of the integrator who tells you they can have someone on site in just a couple of days to begin work. Any integrator worth working with will be worth the wait. An expert integrator will typically have a 30 – 90 day interval before project start date.
- You get what you pay for
Senior Account Executive
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
Utopia ECM (Enterprise Content Management) can be defined many different ways. My definition is when the ECM system is so intertwined with the business process and business software applications that one really can’t exist without the others. The users of the systems don’t even think about the fact that they are using ECM technology. Here are some examples:
- The sales rep submitting an expense report and scanning their receipts into an electronic workflow, doesn’t even think of the technology that they are using to start a business process.
- Traveling executives can retrieve, review and approve invoices and expenses from their laptop computer in a hotel room anywhere there is an internet connection.
- The employee on the order fulfillment line pulls up the supporting documents for the order details and instructions directly from their business application, but the source of documents were really from an integrated ECM system.
Remember how things like this used to happen without imaging, document management, workflow and system integration?
This concept of Utopia ECM became very apparent to me recently in an upgrade and migration project for an existing customer who is moving from an antiquated ECM application to ILINX. It made me actually stop and wonder how they went from the simple concept of creating an electronic file cabinet, to a system that is virtually integrated into every department and many of their business processes throughout the company. What I found out is that they took things one step at a time and have been sticklers about the following: 1) You get what you plan for, not what you pay for and 2) select vendor/supplier partners who have your best interests at heart. The rest is just details.
Utopia ECM, isn’t that what we all want for our businesses?
VP, ILINX ECM Sales
The goal of any Enterprise Content Management initiative should be to provide business value that aligns with the overall business strategy of your organization. Our goal with our customer engagements is to help them become more operationally sound by implementing application solutions which enable our customers to serve their customers better. We recognize that the four most important aspects of any business are:
- Business Processes
- Business Content
The last three on the list service the first one and if a company’s customers are dealt with in an effective manner that company will grow and prosper and everyone will share in the rewards of that effort.
Over the last 17 years, the biggest challenge we’ve seen our customers and potential customers face is figuring out where to begin in initiating content and process related projects. It is for that reason that we have developed the ECMEcosystem™ methodology and service offering to help eliminate the complexity associated with that task. The objective of our ECMEcosystem service offering is to provide your organization with a road map outlining the hi-value content and processes that either drive revenue or incur cost so that you can make the most informed decision on which projects to initiate first and how to go about executing those projects.
The final report we generate from our ECMEcosystem engagement will outline current processes and also provide recommendations for improvement based on industry best practices and benchmarking, a business case is also included which is almost always necessary for ECM project justification. The final document can be used to identify which departments and processes to target for operational improvement first and / or used as a Request for Proposal (RFP) template to engage software and services vendors.
VP, Oracle Solution Sales
The more I work with customers, the more I’m learning about the importance of building strong, lasting relationships based on honesty and a mutual trust. Since I started at ImageSource, these are the relationships that I have found to be the most rewarding, both on a professional and a personal level.
I believe there are some key points that I have found to help with building the kinds of relationships that we all strive for in business.
- Be Real. Nobody likes a person who is fake. I believe customers appreciate someone who can sit down and have an honest conversation with them and be legitimate. We all know the kind of people I’m talking about when I say “fake.”
- Share Your Knowledge. I’ve been in a number of instances where customers have asked for my opinion on certain topics or products. Even if it’s not a product we sell, I have tried to educate myself and inform them of what I believe to be the pros and cons, as well as my recommendation based on what they’re looking for. Sometimes it’s not even that. Sometimes they’re asking about industry trends or what other customers are doing. I try to be open and share my knowledge with them.
- Be honest. I truly believe that customers appreciate vendors that are honest with them and give them a straightforward answer, without the runaround. Vendors that aren’t honest about offerings or product capabilities will damage the trust and relationship with the customer. It’s important to be truthful or you risk losing future business with the customer.
If we follow those three basic points I outlined above, I believe that our customer relationships will be stronger and more fulfilling in the end.
If you are looking for a production scanner, make sure you review the Fujitsu fi-5950C. At 135 pages per minute in color, this is Fujitsu’s top model. You will want to bundle this scanner with Fujitsu’s ScanCare package. ScanCare is the most comprehensive maintenance plan on the market. Aside from a variety of responses time to fit your budget, it also includes Preventative Maintenance visits and a generous supply of consumables to keep you scanning for the year. If you need more consumables they offer the ScanAid kits. If you would like more information contact us or come to Nexus 2011 where the full line of Fujitsu scanners will be on display.
The PeopleSoft ERP system you use for Student Information Services (SIS) has been built to support nationwide and world wide applications. As such, it cannot provide unique challenges for each business need.Typically, we see IT shops and business directors working around the deficiencies in the product in an attempt to meet specific business objectives. We also see universities purchasing complimentary products to try to meet specific needs and requirements.
From an IT perspective, the cost to write custom code to modify PeopleSoft is prohibitive, or the software simply cannot meet the business objectives. With this in mind, ImageSource, a systems integrator for Oracle, has built several modules for higher education that will have a dramatic effect on how universities conduct business. The integration is codeless, so although we “talk back and forward” to PeopleSoft, there is little requirement to have PeopleSoft technical staff supporting the project.
This new module provides true business workflow that can be designed and built by the business unit, allowing work to be pushed out to the specified knowledge workers. The pilot project recently completed at major California University has been deemed a complete success. This solution now allows them to provide critical real time service to students, parents and faculty. With the initial implementation in Finance and Student Services, this university is ready to implement the program campus-wide and gain substantial ROI.
If you’d like to know more about how this solution works please email Lynne Butler, ImageSource Higher Ed Business Consultant, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) can provide a host of benefits to Higher Ed Institutions. Efficiencies can be found in Admissions & Registrar, Financial Aid, Accounting & Reporting, Human Resources, Marketing & Communications and more.
ImageSource Customer Partner, San Jose State University, is utilizing ECM technology for creative automation solutions in several departments, with plans to expand university-wide. Besides automating Finance’s requisition to PO process, a unique solution in Enrollment Services has created one of the most advanced transcript automation processes available. Utilizing PeopleSoft as the core engine, ECM technology automatically extracts almost all data from paper and electronic transcripts and uploads the data to PeopleSoft. The system provides coordinators, evaluators and auditors with concise, consolidated information, allowing them to calculate credits at the touch of a button and make enrollment decisions quicker.
“You may have read about Kodak in the news lately. CEO Antonio Perez commented on the Document Imaging division in his recent address to Wall Street Investors highlighting this division’s market growth and solid cash flow generation.” Again Kodak executives focus on the Channel Partner message. “We need your help to extend new solutions to our customers.” – Tony Barbeau, General Manager
Mr. Barbeau made sure to be specific about the needs of customers in the document imaging solution space. This was well received by the partners as enthusiasm spread throughout the room. Bud Webster and Russell Hunt did a tongue in cheek ‘cheesy’ unveiling of some of the new scanner models being released. Mr. Webster introduced the i5000 will deliver superior productivity with advanced features. This scanner doesn’t slow down when you turn on the advanced features; dynamic flow technology allows the scanner to deliver enhanced image quality and performance. Mr. Hunt introduced the i2600 workgroup and department scanner, this unit delivers the sharpest and clearest document image clarity on the market. The ease of use has been increased with one button scan to SharePoint and an LCD operator panel for the user. When the scanner is not in use the unit swivels upright to provide a near zero footprint this makes the scanner ideal for tight workspaces. Some have said all it needs is a handle for easy portability. Kodak provides a three year worry free warranty term for the Kodak i2000 scanners. This gives customers the peace of mind to purchase a world class scanner that provides 3yr advanced replacement.
Kodak continues to deliver high end microfilm solutions with the i9600 ImageWriter. I know this is still an important function for long-term archival of historical or vital records but it sure seems old school. Nevertheless the Kodak ImageWriter leads the market in performance, durability and feature set.
Russell Hunt went on to comment that, “We remain committed to improve and enhance our process for deal registration to protect opportunities. We are committed to communication about our programs and products. We want you to understand our vision and corporate strategic direction. We will provide you with effective tools to drive business.” “Kodak wants you to be loyal to Kodak, to be a strong ambassador of our products and services. The Channel Partners can help foster open communication and increase sales to help Kodak document imaging group drive growth”.
According to Mr. Hunt no competitor offers what Kodak does in terms of Industry Commitment, End User Knowledge, Technology and the People to help drive customer satisfaction and growth. We are focused on helping you be profitable and successful; in turn this will enable us to drive our growth and goals for revenue targets.
Next up SharePoint took the spotlight with Mike Gannotti; Senior Collaboration and Technology Specialist http://www.seproductivity.com with Microsoft. You can find him on facebook http://facebook.com/samurai.mike and twitter http://twitter.com/gannotti
Opening SharePoint facts from PowerPoint 2010 Slide Deck:
• 100M+ seats of licensed SharePoint software and growing
• Windows for the Internet
• 1900 publicly reference able internet sites, Ferrari was used as sexy example
I thought it was cool that that Mr. Gannotti shared Microsoft’s internal nickname for SharePoint, ‘Pac man’. Just like the video game of the 1980’s SharePoint gobbles up other Microsoft technologies and is positioned to be the cornerstone of everything Microsoft does for Web2.0. After Mr. Gannotti’s presentation I asked Mike what he thought the single biggest revenue opportunity was for the Partners in the room. He stated that he thought Workflow consulting was a big area. This is important because Systems Integrators like to consolidate Software Sales, Maintenance Contracts, Professional Services and Hardware to give customers a single point of access. Personally we have found that the revenue opportunities around SharePoint services are valued at a much lower rate than other project work our company does. There seems to be way more buzz around SharePoint than actual Partner revenue being generated. Eventually Partners have to see the dollars come in before a wholesale shift to focusing on SharePoint solutions occurs. As a Microsoft Gold Partner we are skeptical that the revenue opportunity is significant, we have invested time to generate revenue around SharePoint services and projects without much return.
In Conclusion I must first thank John O’Grady, Tony Barbeau, Russell Hunt, Sophia Marchi, Jeff Shuey and the entire Kodak team for the hospitality they showed me as one of a thousand attendees. I was surprised at the amount of focus on the Latin American Region (LAR) in terms of excitement for growth and revenue generation. I believe the America’s partner community and region has much to offer Kodak in terms of innovation, sales and growth. The event continues through the end of the week for Kodak Employees with the Circle of Excellence Awards. Check out http://twitter.com/jshuey for more updates throughout the event.
Defining Enterprise Content Management One-Hit Wonders
As I go about my every day sales and business development activities to evangelize ImageSource’s ILINX Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software products, I am amazed to see just how common it is for the originally installed ECM software system to be pretty much unchanged. The use case is the same (e.g. Accounts Payable, Human Resources, Customer Service, etc.) and the system is used by mostly the same people. Maybe a new application was implemented for Accounts Receivables, but by and large it is still the same system. In some cases, the software has been up updated only once or twice, the scanners are original, the servers and workstations in use are running older operating systems and databases and the system might still be using a juke box for archival purposes. This is very similar to what one might call in the music business, a one-hit wonder. If you were to ask people in the music business, they would say a one-hit wonder is a very common tale. And, so it seems that we have the same thing happening in businesses when it comes to Enterprise Content Management.
How did we get here?
What I have observed is that enterprise content management has become pervasive; however, it is actually a series of one-hit wonders. Meaning it is managed and implemented differently by department and/or line-of-business. For example, the Accounts Payable department might use the originally installed ECM system, but the Marketing department uses nested shared folders on the network that also requires one to name the files in a certain manner; the Engineering department might be using some document management module that comes with their engineering software, but for imaged engineering drawings they go to the ECM system the Accounts Payable department uses; and the sales department had their CRM software integrated with a different ECM software application that is “cloud based”, as well as, they have become masters at using their network attached multi-function printer (a.k.a. MFP) to scan-to-email and ad-hoc scanning for imaging. And, when things don’t work as they are expected to or malfunctions, the information technology department is supposed to pick up the pieces, work some magic (and fast) and “ta-dah” everything is back in working order.
What needs to change?
So how did we get to the point where we have so many different ways to image, file, store, retrieve and process documents and content in our businesses? More importantly, what can be done about it to improve the situation to drive out duplication, increase efficiency and lower operating costs and risks? First of all, let’s cover how we got here or better yet, what needed to happen first keeping in mind there is no one to really blame. A large part of why businesses have not centered their businesses on a single ECM software system is that some evolution needed to take place. First and foremost, the ECM applications themselves had to evolve from client-server and thick clients to be being truly web-based built on Web 2.0 technology and architecture; it is important to note that not every ECM software company has taken this step. Secondly, the internet had to become as pervasive as the telephone (land line and/or mobile) and the bandwidth to support business use. Thirdly, the ECM applications had to become less specialized in just performing one thing, such as, imaging, web content management, digital asset management, etc. Fourth, the computing platform from which we access the information had to become a non-factor; this means that I can access my information from any device: a PC workstation in the office, a laptop in a hotel, a tablet device like the Apple iPad and/or a smartphones. Lastly, the investment of ECM software systems needed to scale to based upon the size of the business to actually be affordable and cost-effective which has largely not been a reality.
A new reality is possible today!
It is from ImageSources’ collective experiences of its employees and the 17 years of being in the Enterprise Content Management business that it can confidently and successfully assist companies and organizations of all types create a new paradigm. Simply put, we make it possible to take disparate ways and systems of managing documents and content into a single system that serves every department and line-of-business of the enterprise. It first starts with making document capture so simple and so accessible from any device. ILINX Capture works with any TWAIN compliant scanner and can be configured to work with virtually any network attached multi-function printer (MFP). ILINX Capture Mobile and the ILINX Tablet make it possible to capture documents and content in the palm of your hand. ILINX Content Store is ideally positioned for those companies that need a complete, full functioning, user pleasing and straight-forward approach to Enterprise Content Management. It must also have the option to be integrated with business applications (ILINX Integrate) and does not burden the IT department with system management and administration tasks. Mainly because it is built on Microsoft’s .NET web-based architecture; therefore, updates, changes and new applications can be deployed from a single-administration console and users can receive those updates via their intranet or internet. If the existing content, documents, images and data in your current “dot.90’s” ECM system is a concern for you, ImageSource has the services and the tools (ILINX Export) to make this all important and critical step of migrating your information into ILINX Content Store. The remaining question that you might have is this: is it really affordable and cost-effective to consolidate disparate ways and systems, migrate the information and implement a new ECM software system? And my answer to that is, “ImageSource’s approach and ILINX has proven to be so for many others, I have no reason why to think the same is possible for you and your company!”
What was your “ah-ha” moment in communicating ECM?
Working in Enterprise Content Management for over 12 years often times I have found it somewhat difficult to explain what we do and/or sell. Have you?
I have found that who your audience is often dictates how you explain it. To an IT group I have described ECM in terms of storage and retrieval of images in to database/repository with searching capability, ability to apply rules for authentication and accessibility, removing silos of information, ability to do workflow and BPM, and other things like Meta-Data, networks, through-put and HA/DR. Sometimes their eyes gloss over and other times they “understand.”
To some business folks when I’ m talking ECM I most usually reference things like accessibility of their documentation, being able to search on key fields and automatically route work/documents/content without the use of email or paper files (at its simplest form) and its all stored in a database otherwise known as a “repository.” Or, when describing workflow, using the old analogy of a restaurant. When you go in to the establishment a hostess seats you, then you get a menu, a waiter comes up and then you order, that order goes back to the kitchen and you get your meal prepared, then after you have dessert, you get a bill, pay and get a receipt then the bus boy comes and cleans everything up – that’s a workflow.
But what do you say to your mother or father, sister or brother and even children (aka the layman)? I’ve tried things like, “I sell software that lifts information off paper or documents and puts that data in a data base that allows people to find it. Then the people can see the documents on their computer necessary to do their job.” But I still get a ‘blank stare.’
Then one day, maybe three or four months ago, my dad was asking me for his usual P.C. help and he said, “my printer/scanner isn’t reading the words as well as it used to.” Of course, that got my attention! Could my dad know what O.C.R. is? After 12 years of me talking about IBM, FileNet, EMC/Documentum, Microsoft , Captiva, Kofax, ImageSource and ILINX(r) and him saying, “I still don’t get what you do.” NO WAY! How could my dad possibly know about O.C.R?
So I asked him, “Dad, you know what OCR is?” Guess what, he replied YES! “Its that software that I use when I want to take words off my documents that are PDF or Tiffs”. BAM! He knew! Finally after 12 years he “figured it out” partially what I did for a living. Putting this in context, my dad is an automotive guy, first sales and then executive, who had never a need to do any “computing” most of his professional career.
We have a lot of acronyms in our ECM vocabulary: OCR, ICR, OMR, BPM, OSR, ODAR, HIPI, TIFF, etc etc etc. (I can go on for a lifetime of our acronyms). But what do you say so that IT people get what ECM is? What do YOU say to a business user, who never ever ever thought of this stuff day to day? What do you tell your mom, dad, brother, sister, what you do every day? What have you said that brings blank stares? But, most importantly, what have you said to a customer and then you saw the “light bulb” go off? It appears O.C.R. is making it in to the mainstream vocabulary, if my dad is any example, because he knows his, “HP MFP does OCR.”
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.
ImageSource proudly released ILINX® Capture Mobile, an iPhone app to quickly and easily capture information on the go!
ILINX Capture Mobile allows users to capture an image of anything – receipts, notes, etc. – attach keywords or index values to the document, and email a copy back to yourself. ILINX Capture Mobile is a mobile accessory of ILINX Capture, a browser-based capture software tool that automates the capture of information from both paper and electronic sources. Once the document is processed, it can be delivered to a variety of digital formats to systems that manage business processes. Images capture with ILINX Capture Mobile for the iPhone can be further indexed, grouped, converted and routed with the full version of ILINX Capture.
Check out ILINX Capture Mobile and make sure to download the app to your iPhone!
For more information on document capture, going paperless and to get information from experts in the ECM industry, then you don’t want to miss Nexus ’10. Nexus ’10 is ImageSource’s annual ECM Solutions Conference. Right now, Nexus ’10 is only $295 until June 15! However, for an additional $100 off, use discount code BLOG100. For more information about Nexus or to register for the event, visit http://NexusECM.com.
Although I have always worked in the IT industry, I have never been what people call an early adopter. As an example, I was still one of those people with a standard cellphone (you remember? the type that only lets you place a call and receive a call) until last week when I received an iPhone for my new job at ImageSource.
I will adopt a technology when I can easily and quickly identify the benefits it will bring me, which usually means it has to be affordable to begin with. The cool factor wears off after a while… I have to say that within the last 10 years, we became spoiled with an abundance of “freebies.” With the advent of freemium business models, it is now easier to find free applications, services or products over the Internet. Need free email? Sign up for Gmail. You need more storage? Just pay for it. That is why I will always spend some time trying to find a free solution to my problem first. Only when I can’t seem to find a good enough solution for free will I explore the possibility of paying for it. Call me cheap, I call this common sense!
With an initial cost of zero dollars, you might be tempted to think that Return on Investment (ROI) would be infinite. However, you have to factor in time and switching costs in the equation. If I realize it will take a long time to find what I want, or learn how to operate a free application in comparison to the benefits a non-free solution can bring me, I will gladly pay for it. However, if I can’t find a free or reasonably priced solution, I will choose the status-quo solution and will wait until the switching costs decrease. As an example, I recently paid $15 for a video screen scraping solution after I spent 30 minutes trying to find a free solution that would be good enough. I am still not fully satisfied with Jing, the solution I eventually purchased from the makers of Camtasia, but it was good enough as a solution to my problem for the financial and time investments I made.
Every day, we are discovering new ways to do old things that may not change our life dramatically but definitely contribute to making it easier and more enjoyable. I was among the people who were reticent about the idea of going digital when it came to photography back in the early 2000s. I felt like I needed to have printed photos in order to enjoy them. To me, if not on paper, they could not be called photos to begin with. Fast forward to a few years later, and I probably became the biggest proponent of digital photography. When I moved from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2008, I scanned all of my older photos from the 90s and disposed of all of them as I realized it was easier to access them on a computer rather than having to access and sort through them in stored boxes. I used the move event as an excuse to go all digital. When you think about it, there are probably more chances of my pictures fading, getting destroyed, misplaced or lost in these boxes than if stored digitally. Obviously, those precious photos (most of them taken at the time when I had hair) are now scrupulously stored on (1) my external hard drive for easy access, (2) DVDs for backup, (3) a (very inexpensive) external backup service for disaster recovery. Welcome to the digital age!
As we all know, paper will not go away any time soon and the volume of physical content even continues to grow. However, the volume of electronic content grows at a faster pace than paper content. With ubiquitous capture devices such as digital cameras, smartphones, as well as desktop scanners, everyone is now a contributor to the explosion of rich media, including photos and videos.
ImageSource just released the first version of a free iPhone app (you should know I like freebies by now) for distributed capture called ILINX Capture. It is a very simple and intuitive, yet very powerful application that allows users to capture a photo with their iPhone, index it and have it sent to their email in a PDF format. The enterprise version of this distributed capture solution is obviously more advanced but we can imagine future versions of the iPhone app that would complement the enterprise version and allow users to send the photos of scanned documents to particular server locations, repositories or send them in formats other than PDF. What is interesting about this is that we are slowly but surely covering the “last mile of digital distribution.” What I mean by that is that the distribution of content had traditionally and historically been addressed by larger operations such as newspaper editorial staff or broadcasters. The largest staff in the world will never be able to cover every event and breaking news at the time they occur. We are now putting all the tools and applications in the hands of the consumers so that everyone is potentially a content contributor, be it text, photo or video content.
You can imagine all sorts of use cases with an application such as ILINX Capture for iPhone. On the Menuism website, for example, users can not only write reviews of the restaurants they frequent, but also upload photos of the establishment as well as the menus. With applications such as ILINX Capture for iPhone, it is easy to imagine all sorts of other real business or consumer applications, including expense receipt submission that would allow users to store and index receipts at time of purchase before they are consolidated and submitted as part of an expense report. Consumer-oriented companies such as Shoeboxed built a service business around scanning, indexing and validation of receipts and business cards to make it easier for end users to retrieve this type of information after it is categorized. Can you think of other business-oriented or consumer use cases for ILINX Capture for iPhone?
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.
“First I believe that selling anything to anybody, if it’s done with integrity, is actually an act of respect. It acknowledges that the person you’re trying to win over is freethinking and autonomous”
– Bruce Philp, The Orange Code
When I read this statement by Bruce Philp, I smiled. For over 16 years I have been selling as a profession – this statement above sums up nicely how integrity and respect is possible in a sale. The key component from the selling standpoint is you MUST have respect for your customer (or potential customer) and be willing to see them as “freethinking”. Especially when you are questioned and challenged. By having an uncompromising focus on the customer through the whole process – listening and understanding their perspective is imperative in a Enterprise Content Management Project.
Every day we are challenged as professionals to listen and understand someone else’s perspective, as well as add our opinion and expertise to the mix. Seeing customers and colleagues as partners (with their own level of expertise) is a key component to success, especially if it is practiced from both perspectives.
Looking at how we as a company communicate to our customers and talk about our customer partnerships does display many of these elements;
- “ImageSource works relentlessly with our Customer Partners to build a relationship of ongoing success and trust. The collaborative approach…”
- “What has followed has been an extremely successful business venture that has its spirit deeply rooted in a love for entrepreneurship and innovation”
- “We take pride in our ability to overcome business challenges with integrity and sincerity. Our success is testament…”
- “… This standard results in strong and collaborative customer relationships that are ongoing.”
Do we walk our talk? Some days better than others.
Do our customers walk their talk? Some days better than others…
In the long run the best measurement of success of a sale is long-term customer partnerships and successful ECM projects…from both perspectives!
The Network Products Guide, the industry’s leading information technology research and advisory guide, annually recognizes and honors both large and small vendors from all over the world with innovativ products and are bringing changes and setting high standards for others in the information technology field. ILINX Capture was one of five products selected in the Software Category. To read the full press release, visit http://imagesourceinc.com/News/index.htm.
ILINX Capture is a web-based capture product that streamlines business processes and allows users to capture information anywhere with an Internet connection, regardless of physical location. ILINX Capure requires very little end-user training and is simple to deploy and easy to configure. For more information about ILINX Capture, visit http://ilinxcapture.com.
Personalized scanning – Fujitsu Style
Fujitsu is about to release the new ScanSnap S1300, and scanning just got a little more personal. Canon has recently entered this arena and low and behold, Fujitsu is on their heels. This mobile scanning solution is ideal for professionals on the go and is easy to transport at only three pounds and can easily fit in a briefcase or laptop bag. The ScanSnap S1300 is the smallest Fujitsu multi-page duplex scanner for one-touch ease of use – either on the road or in the office.
With distributed capture on the rise, here is another tool that allows the busy, mobile professional the ease and convenience of capturing the information. This of course lends to improving productivity and efficiency of the individual with little effort.
This scanner can implement cross-platform functionality which increases its value and versatility. It is compatible with a PC or a Mac giving the customer maximum flexibility and does so seemingly – without any software changes. Up until now, one had to either purchase a ‘PC’ version or a ‘MAC’ version of scanners in this class. In addition, it can be powered by either USB connectivity or an AC adapter.
The scanner’s performance is robust too for its size (up to 8 pages per minute) and it even has 10 page automated document feeder. The scanner can handle documents as small as a business card and up to 34 inches in length. The software offers several image enhancement features including automatic cropping and color detection, blank page deletion, and de-skew. As an added feature, it features one button searchable PDF creation, PDF and JPEG and will scan to editable Excel and Word files.
This scanner offers a lot for its size and its price. Please contact our Inside Sales Team here at ImageSource at 360-943-9273 for more details and upcoming delivery date.
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
Enterprise Content Management for the most part has become mainstream business. The ability to scan documents from remote locations has been made increasingly easier by applications such as ILINX Capture and other web based scanning applications. Indexing documents has been simplified with ODBC compliance and the maturity of systems integrators capabilities of integrating with ERP table structures. System standards have allowed for ECM repositories to interface with ERP sessions where the users can work heads down in their legacy application and retrieve / view images from their desktop with little to no knowledge of the ECM application – see ILINX Integrate.
Accounts Payable has been the traditional starting point for most organizations in testing the waters for document imaging because it has a definable process, set business rules, and shows a reasonable ROI depending on the number of received images, discrepancies, and time it takes knowledge workers to process invoices. Other repeatable processes include Contracts, Sales Order Processing, Legal, Shipping / Receiving, and HR Personnel Files.
What will be the next Killer App? In the past 2 years we at ImageSource have seen a great deal of consideration in HR on-Boarding process. Understandably, it costs a lot of money to bring in new employees and involves a great deal of resources. From the application process, to the processing of I-9 information, setting up payroll and direct deposit, insurance, issuance of equipment (laptop, cell phone, scanner) it is no slight undertaking. Standard ECM solutions as well as products from Autonomy (see Liquid Office), this process can become automated and affordable for most organizations.
From there, where do we go? With the adoption of smart phones, almost everyone has a camera in their pocket at all times. This can allow for the capturing of data – snapshot of a document, whiteboard drawing, and presentations can be captured immediately and then fed into the indexing process for ECM. This expands the reach of content capture and protects the loss of important information. Technical architecture is now compatible and flexible to allow for almost anything. Nexus 2010 will provide some great ideas and visions for upcoming solutions.
What is next? Feedback is welcome.
Senior Account Executive