Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How do you get the most out of your document scanning copier?

The copier manufacturers (Konica, Sharp, Canon, Kyocera) have really stepped up to the plate in recent years, and focused on the scanning capability of their copier scanning hardware. Connecting to the network with your copier used to be a costly option, but would enable the unit to print and scan. Almost all the copiers today are sold with built-in network capability, and you instantly have network document scanning capability.

Most of the MFD/MFPs allow scan to email, scanning to SMB or network folders and scanning to FTP sites. It is interesting, and I find that most organizations will only setup scan to email. Users email themselves documents, open the attachment, rename it, create a folder and then save. As you can imagine, this is a time consuming, very manual process. The scan to folder function on most models is also a very manual process, as with most models you have to "hard code" the folder destination, and you cannot navigate folders on your network.

So how do we improve the scanning process, and make our document imaging simpler and more efficient? Through the use of document capture software.

In utilizing intelligent capture software in the scanning process, there are two schools of thought: 
  • Scan to the network, and then go back to your desk and desktop software to process the document 
  • Process the document at the Copier/MFD at the time of scan 
Let's look at these in more detail.

Desktop Processing

Let's look at the flow of this solution: Walk up to the copier, press a one touch button, walk back to your desk and open the software to process. The majority of the Document Management and ECM Software vendors have realized the enormous potential in enabling the use of copiers as a "front-end" for capturing documents, and have "copier-enabled" their applications. Once you scan from the copier, the document is placed in a queue for indexing/processing at your desktop. You can view the document, enter index or keyword values, and then submit the document to your Document Management System to be shared. Document Management Software vendors such as inForm Decisions have built simple, easy to use Copier capture modules. If you have some heavy duty processing needs, you can use iCapture products and their document import function to process copier scanned documents.

If you have more basic needs, all of the Desktop scanning manufacturers have great feature sets for processing and working with scanned documents (eCopy Desktop and Nuance PaperPort to name a few). 

Processing at the Copier

The flow for this solution involves a touch screen and keyboard at the copier: Scan your documents at the copier, touch a button on the screen for the document destination, enter your information and click done.

These solutions are very convenient and allow you to finish the scanning process at the time of scan. You can scan to email, scan to network folders and browse the network, scan to fax, scan to your desktop, and even scan into a variety of Document Management and Imaging Systems through the use of pre-built connectors. The two market leaders in this category are eCopy ShareScan and EFI SendMe. They both have similar feature sets, but eCopy definitely wins the race with the partnerships it has established with Document Management Vendors. 

In summary, scanning with your copier is a great way to leverage your existing investment in office equipment. The process can be streamlined, and efficiency can be gained through the use of software.  
inFORM Decisions


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