Capture More Sales by Offering the Right Scan Workflow Solution

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05/03/2013

Jamie Bsales

Document capture, routing and workflow solutions are an integral part of many MFP sales and a sure way for resellers to add value for their customers. But no document imaging solution category has a more varied landscape of offerings, which can make matching a customer’s needs with the right offering daunting. BLI recently evaluated four solutions that cover the spectrum from simple MFP-based capture/routing to enterprise-level business process automation, so one of them is likely to be right for any client need.

Ricoh GlobalScan NX Serverless 2.0 takes an MFP’s native “scan to” functionality to the next level, without requiring the IT overhead associated with most capture/routing platforms. That’s because GSNX Serverless runs completely on Ricoh-family MFPs equipped with the company’s ESA (Embedded Software Architecture) platform. This makes it ideal for small offices (or departments within larger organizations) that need specialized scanning workflows to automate the distribution of critical documents, without the advanced processing offered by more costly and complex server-based middleware platforms. An administration utility makes it easy for a reseller technician or customer IT personnel to construct and deploy custom routing workflows, which are then accessed by end users via intuitive one-touch icons on the MFP’s touch screen. Is GSNX Serverless perfect? No. But read BLI’s Solutions Report to see if it is a perfect fit for some customers.

For clients with higher-volume document capture needs, Drivve | Image 5 may be the right platform to recommend. Designed to meet the capture needs of most document-intensive scanning environments, the solution helps knowledge workers transform paper documents into indexed electronic information for easy management, storage and retrieval.  Unlike GSNX Serverless, though, Drivve | Image works with hardware from a range of manufacturers. It supports Canon and Fujitsu network scanners and any TWAIN-based scanner, as well as Samsung XOA, Sharp OSA, Xerox EIP, Toshiba e-BRIDGE and Kyocera Mita HyPAS-enabled MFPs. (Drivve also offers a generic, non-manufacturer-specific version for customers with cross-platform environments or with other brands of devices.) Features include OCR functionality, barcode recognition for batch scanning and indexing, Bates stamping and file conversion to more than 30 different file formats. In addition, this solution connects with any ODBC-compliant back-end system. Details can be found in the BLI Solutions Report.

No discussion of capture/processing/routing platforms would be complete without touching on Nuance eCopy ShareScan Suite 5.1. It is arguably the preeminent document capture/routing platform available for organizations that need robust document processing and delivery, and especially so in environments where MFPs from multiple OEMs are in play. This server- and MFP-based solution enables networked MFPs and scanners to serve as the entry points for documents to merge into an organization’s digital workflow. Custom workflow buttons can be created for the device’s control panel to simplify complex multi-step tasks to just a few button presses. Thanks to processing features and application integrations in the server software, those scanned documents can be processed in any number of ways and delivered to a range of output destinations. Nuance has added eCopy ShareScan support for the embedded application platforms of HP and Xerox, augmenting the existing roster of MFPs supported from Canon, Konica Minolta, and Ricoh. (And as before, most MFPs that are not yet supported via an embedded application can be equipped with ShareScan via a ScanStation kiosk.) BLI’s Solutions Report shows the pro—and cons—of this class-leading solution.

Moving up in complexity, Lexmark Distributed Intelligent Capture (LDIC) is a completely custom platform aimed at Global 2000-class enterprises that need to fundamentally transform inefficient paper-based business processes. Because 80 percent of business documents are unstructured (meaning they do not follow a set pattern) traditional capture and forms recognition products may be ill-suited to extracting data from the majority of documents. The result is a lot of manual intervention to verify and often re-key data. LDIC combines several Lexmark technologies—an MFP equipped with Lexmark’s embedded Solutions Framework (eSF) software platform, Lexmark Document Distributor+ and Perceptive Intelligent Capture (powered by Brainware) software on the back end to eliminate physical movement of batched documents from branch offices to centralized processing centers, while also significantly reducing manual data entry for unstructured documents. LDIC is unique among capture/processing platforms BLI has evaluated to date and its strengths make this 2013 “Pick” winner an impressive offering for large enterprises, but its complexity and cost put it out of reach for smaller companies. See the full evaluation here.