Solutions for managing knowledge in content & print
Key info for users and decision makers for Xerox DocuShare and ABBYY recognition products.
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DocuShare 7 is now undergoing beta testing
How many document management systems should you have?
It's been a trend in the last several years for various products to store their own documents and to say that it includes document management. These products generally include accounting systems, ERP systems, customer relationship management systems, case management systems, and human capital management systems. The embedded document management system rarely turns out to be anything more than just file storage. There's little to no library services offered in the form of versioning with check-out and check-in. You generally can't customize the system to create a standard set of folders to use or to set permissions so that partners or customers can access your documents for retrieval and collaboration. Can routine workflow operations be triggered when certain content is filed? Can you manage the document life-cycle? One way around weak file management is to embed the files in the database so that old records can delete their old files with them, but then you have a bloated database to contend with.
It would seems that a better way to address this is to install a robust document management system and plug your various other systems into it. It takes oversight to manage your documents so it makes sense to manage them in one location. It's more efficient to manage one database, one repository, one set of life-cycle management policies, and possibly one archive server. Consider the work involved in setting up disaster recovery for all these systems - why set up mirrored embedded file systems rather than one document management system?
For example, we've integrated DocuShare with Salesforce and take a system-generated "opportunity number" to create a set of DocuShare collections where the parent is named by this number. You can click on a button or link and view the search results for this collection set or just open the parent collection for access. If you want the account name as the collection title, the opportunity number can be placed in the summary, description, keywords properties or a custom property for making search results quick and easy.
We've not had to integrate some applications by simply copying and pasting links from DocuShare into an html field for the application. We connect our ACT! customer resource management system with DocuShare by copying a collection link to a field in the customer profile we label DocuShare. (Click - I'm in their files.) We also don't load projects and troubleshooting files in our case management system; we put them in DocuShare and copy a link into the notes for them. The editor recognizes we're copying in an html link and immediately makes it live so no one has to copy and paste it into their browser. We never lose anything in DocuShare and that saves us wasted time trying to use the weak search features in these other products.
You've probably noticed how expensive vendors' connectors are. If you want a solution that implements quickly then a vendor supported connector is generally the way to go. Keep in mind that your needs may differ from the vendor's design for their connector, so ask your value-added reseller and integrator for a discussion to see if it can be created quickly enough and for less. I benefit from the simple click-on-a-link method many times a day and see no need to spend thousands of dollars to tighten up the integration a little more.
ABBYY FlexiCapture for Mailrooms
Wouldn't it be great if you could just have the company mailroom open and scan the documents and letters than come in and let computers sort out the filing and distribution to people throughout your office and into their remote offices and while they're traveling? It's possible. ABBYY is releasing their new system which comes as an add-on module that will enable you to do just that with a little help from your document management system. Rather than email all these documents, file them and let DocuShare notify the users and groups that they have new mail and let them access their mail and documents via the embedded link DocuShare emails to them. Email attachments are insecure and add to your overall network traffic. Your users can access their mail through PCs, Macs, tablets, and phones wherever they are. They can easily copy, move, and share mailed documents with others without dragging them around the network.
FlexiCapture for Mailrooms analyzes, classifies, categorizes, and queues documents for accurate capture. You can then export your documents and data for automated filing when coupled with our versatile DAVupDoc upload tool so that documents are filed where they belong with a proper title, metadata, and predetermined permissions. The standard DocuShare notification and subscription features will send email and could trigger a document routing process for some. The Content Rules feature, native in DocuShare Enterprise and available for the DocuShare Standard offering, can trigger more articulate business processes. The Lifecycle Manager can virtually shred your uninteresting mail after it's been ignored for a period of time.
At what point does data capture for invoices pay for itself?
Sometimes we focus too much on licensing tiers and if we need to process 15,000 pages with a license that allows 60,000 pages per year, then we begin to think we're overpaying by four times. The real point is - can we save enough time and money processing our 15,000 pages to justify the cost of the license and realize one or more benefits? People ask, "What is the ROI for FlexiCapture?" We'll, the actual answer is, "It depends on your situation." We can pass along generalized information and make a wild guess at what you'd save, but you have to determine what your costs are and weigh that against the productivity improvements garnered by FlexiCapture to say for sure.
Determining your ROI begins with knowing the average and peak levels of the documents you want to process. Let's take invoices, for instance. Determine how many invoices you process in a month on average. How many pages are in a typical invoice? How long does it take to open and enter all the data from your invoices into your accounts payable system? I'll be you don't know. Even the person who does this work has never kept records of their time. Do this first so you can avoid measuring against a guess.
Next, note the pay and other associated costs for the employee(s) doing this work. If you were to free up their time, what would you have them otherwise do? If the answer is nothing, you'll save nothing. If you know of other tasks they could be doing, the answer is you won't need overtime pay or another person to get someone to do that work.
Do you send invoices around for approval? If so, digitizing and automating this process should make this go much faster and allow others out of the office to continue to approve or reject invoices rather than waiting for them to return to the inbox on their desk.
If you can input and respond more quickly to your invoices, you may find that you're able to take advantage of the early payment discounts that many companies offer for timely payments. You may also avoid penalties. If your bill is due at the end of the month and they receive your payment on or prior to that date, they may offer you a discount or rebate. If you pay late, especially by credit card, you may find that you're paying a penalty for that. Accounting managers don't generally like to bring up this point as inefficient processes around the office take this out of their control and they don't want to have to constantly remind people to respond in time.
The bottom line is if you can show us your costs for processing invoices now or let us gather than information on your behalf then we can show you where your ROI will be for investing in a properly configured and delivered data capture software solution. For more information on ABBYY FlexiCapture for Invoices, see: http://www.abbyy.com/en/solutions/accounts-payable/
AIIM Industry Watch paper titled Connecting and Optimizing SharePoint
In this article from AIIM some interesting themes emerge:
- Only 11% of respondents see their SharePoint deployment as a success.
- Most organizations use SharePoint primarily for collaboration, with only 30% using it widely for document management, and only 11% using widely for records management.
- Only 13% say SharePoint aligns with their information governance policies.
- Only 6% have true federated search, or the ability to search across both SharePoint and other document repositories and silos.
This could be true to some degree for DocuShare installations, so if you would like to discuss such concerns, call us.
Nuance Power PDF Advanced connectors for document and content management systems
If you're looking for a PDF editing tool like Adobe Acrobat that can open and save files in DocuShare, then consider this fairly new product from Nuance. It can interact directly with the following repositories: DocuShare, Dropbox, EMC Documentum, Evernote, eDOCS, iManage, LiveLink, NetDocuments, SharePoint and Office 365, Therefore, and Worldox. It also has a very strong set of features and is generally easier to use than Acrobat. The retail price is $149.99. We don't sell this, but it's worth knowing about.
An alternative to buying a new editor is to try the DocuShare Drive interface from Xerox is universally works with all applications by mapping your DocuShare server(s) to a drive letter.
PaperStream (included with best-selling Fujitsu scanners)
Fujitsu now offers image correction software enhances standard TWAIN and ISIS applications by integrating cutting edge image processing technologies without the need to change or modify any software. PaperStream IP TWAIN and ISIS saves both time and money with simple profile setup and powerful image handling that reduces the number of rescans needed to produce desired image clarity. This is similar to Kofax VRS which has a more awkward interface. There's no charge for PaperStream. You may be able to download PaperStream for use with an existing Fujitsu scanner. For more information, visit this Fujitsu PaperStream page.
If you're looking for a new scanner, be sure to shop with us for really good prices and the best side-by-side comparison page anywhere. You'll find this and our unique application enablers for DocuShare and ABBYY products on our CriteriaFirstWare site.