In my industry, magazine publishing, we've nearly gone paperless. Nearly. But in the legal, insurance, and financial industries, achieving the goal of the paperless office is still ongoing. How do you capture all the documents and get them into SharePoint?
A Vision of Paperless Nirvana, Perhaps?
Recently, Dean Misenhimer, Kofax senior director of product marketing, showed me some of Kofax's SharePoint-integrated image-capturing solutions that aim to get you to that paperless nirvana.
Kofax Capture lets you collect documents and forms, transform them, and deliver them into SharePoint or other business applications or databases. Kofax Web Capture lets companies send information into their business processes directly from documents received from customers via their Kofax Web Capture-enabled web portal. Kofax Mobile Capture lets customers use the camera in their mobile devices to capture images of documents, photographs, and other data, and pass that into workflows for processing. All these capture products fall in line with what Kofax calls a "point of origination" strategy.
Point-of-Origination Image Capture
Until a few years ago, scanning of documents in document-heavy industries was a back-office, production operation, Misenhimer said. "Now with the point of origination strategy, it's all about exposing capture back where the business processes are."
"Point of origination is about capture in the front office, through things like multi function printers (MFPs)--being able to walk up to an MFP, authenticate yourself, and get a personalized UI, so you see a set of buttons applicable to your job function. Now, say I'm an AP clerk with a stack of invoices, I put them in, hit a button that says Invoice, and they're in SharePoint by the time I get back to my desk and log in--with all the column data applied."
The company also uses technology gained with its acquisition of Atalasoft, a developer and marketer of imaging software development toolkits, and wraps it up as Kofax Web Capture. "Now I can take any web-based app such as a self-service customer portal or government benefit assistance portal, I can have you sit at home, log in to the portal, and scan and submit documents. I've got the customer starting the process," Misenhimer said. The UI can be as simple as the need calls for, with purpose-built links, and it's integrated with Capture on the back end and is a secure transaction, with Kofax managing the chain of custody.
Mobile Capture Challenges
Kofax Mobile Capture is currently for Android and iOS and addresses several challenges with capturing images via mobile phones. One challenge is the large size of image files. Kofax has embedded its VRS--virtual rescan—image-perfection technology in the app to make the image file small enough to send. To address the challenge of less-than-perfect images, Kofax lets you run image enhancement on the phone, taking advantage of the phone's gyro to reduce image "shake." After the image is processed—in a secure area on the phone that's encrypted--and the user enters any required metadata, the image is submitted to the Kofax Capture server on the back end. When the transaction is complete, the image is deleted, thus addressing the final challenge, security.
Kofax also helps with "touchless processing," helping reduce the amount of keying in of data that people have to do, through its Tranformation Modules add-ons. These add-ons do automated document classification, based on the layout of the document. "Now we've eliminated the step of keying in the data and which SharePoint library to log into and upload to," Misenhimer said. "Now I'm exposing capture to the front office, mobile devices, and the web, and I'm minimizing how much information I'm asking you to type on the keyboard." To learn more, see the Kofax website.