EMC Captiva is Named a Leader in latest Forrester Wave: Multichannel Capture

The latest Forrester Wave: Multichannel Capture is now available for download just in time for those trying to make heads or tails of all the different capture offerings in the market. Forrester confirmed what myself and others have been saying for the past several years: that capture has extended beyond the single dimension of paper scanning in one or two primary locations to become the multichannel, distributed on-ramp for acquiring information. Forrester goes on to say in the report that in the next five years, capture will incorporate advanced analytics, mobile solutions, business process management (BPM) and case management, and stronger integration with enterprise production platforms. I couldn’t agree more.

You may think capture and document imaging is old technology, and in many ways it is. The process of scanning and turning a piece of paper into a digital format so that it can be indexed and stored in a repository is not a new concept. However, there is still a lot of paper coming into businesses and the basic requirement for digitizing and storing paper electronically is still one of the key drivers for investing in capture.  Continue reading


Scanning in Next Generation Cloud-Based Business Applications

Today, scanning is often done in the context of a purpose-built scanning application  outside the context of a business application. This purpose-built scanning application is either rich client application that gets installed on user’s desktop, or a Web-based scanning application that users access through a browser.

How sophisticated the scanning application is will depend. Sometimes it is simply a desktop application that does not communicate with a centralized server, but with more sophisticated capture solutions the architecture includes either the thick or Web-based scanning client communicating to a centralized server. The server has several purposes including controlling the instructional information for processing a scanned batch and connecting that information with backend content repositories and business systems.

Regardless of the technical approach (thick or thin client), the scanning application serves a common function for creating a batch or performing ad hoc scanning (scanning a few pages). This type of scanning applications still serve a need in capturing documents given the nature in which documents commonly enter an organization and are processed.

Some documents are mailed into a centralized facility and others are put into a batch and captured remotely by a skilled worker/business analyst. In a centralized environment, a thick client scanning app is fine, but in a distributed environment organizations often opt for Web-based client. In both cases, the common goal is to digitize the paper, associated index data with the documents, and release the batch for final processing so that the information can be stored in a content repository and in some cases initiate a back office workflow process.

Scanning within next generation cloud-based business applications

So now lets imagine I’m an employee working out of a regional/branch office. During a typical day I frequently work inside one of our companies  cloud-based business applications. Now lets mix in a little paper into this scenario that has been provided to me via an interaction with a customer or partner, mail that was delivered to my office, or another employee who has hand delivered a document to my desk.

Upon receipt of a paper document, I need to get it scanned and associated with a case or record that lives inside this business application.  Rather than launching a separate scan application, what I want to do is perform the scan action within this web-based cloud application service and associate the document with a case or customer record that I’m currently working on.

The reality is this completely possible today, but you need to be using the right set of tools that provide a flexible development environment supporting the latest Web technolology (e.g. HTML 5), work with all standard browsers, and require no plug-ins (e.g. ActiveX)

Approaches like the EMC Captiva Cloud Toolkit offer software developers a quick and easy way to incorporate scanning into their cloud-based application services.

Examples of web-based scanning offerings

At EMC World, I demonstrated a couple Web-based capture solutions that have been built using the new Captiva Cloud Toolkit (see my post on May 23rd – Front Office Capture Highlights at Momentum Conference). These solutions were built by Business Imaging Systems and ImageAccess, and provide scanning, indexing, lookups, and field-level validation all within a standard browser.

Another partner which I have not written about is Accusoft. Accusoft Cloud Scan is a demonstration of the ImageGear for .NET v20 cloud capture capabilities, built on EMC Captiva Cloud  Toolkit. With this demo application the user can scan a document directly to their Google Docs or Dropbox account.  There are a few other cloud-based applications like SalesForce, that they plan to connect the scanning application too as well.

Accusoft Cloud Scan is available as a demonstration online, so if you have a scanner connected to your laptop or desktop give the application a try. All you need to install is the Captiva Cloud Toolkit runtime components. Starting this year, several scanner manufacturers will begin shipping the runtime components with the ISIS device driver that come with many scanners.

The future of scanning in any cloud-based application is not far off. Someday scanning could be as common and simple as printing.

Scan Enable Your Web-Based Business Application

I finished up a Webcast recently (March 6th) titled “Build Scanning into Web-based Business Application“, and we had a tremendous turnout for this Webcast and over 30 questions were asked.

So you are probably thinking, scanning is not new so why would this Webcast draw such a large crowd? Isn’t document scanning something we already perfected and isn’t it becoming used less often? The fact is paper is still an inherent part of how we do business today. It’s generated in all different ways and places, and is captured in many ways – fax, email, scanners, MFDs, and mobile devices (camera).  Still, the one primary  input source for how paper is transformed into digital content is still by way of using a scanner. Continue reading

EMC Announces New Imaging Cloud Toolkit for Developers

EMC is pleased to announce the release of the Captiva Cloud Toolkit, a cloud scanning and imaging software developer kit (SDK) that enables developers to build scanning into the next generation of cloud-based business application. You can download the new toolkit today for free and begin developing your scanning application.

Captiva Cloud Toolkit is the future of scan-enabling web-based business applications and is the imaging developer toolkit to support scanning within Web-based cloud applications without requiring an ActiveX or Java plug-in.

Captiva Cloud Toolkit is ideal for document capture vendors, commercial software developers, and enterprises that want to scan-enable their web-based applications to complement their business solution offerings.

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Don’t Miss the Upcoming EMC Webcast: “Capture in the Cloud”

EMC has an upcoming event that you won’t want to miss – “Capture in the Cloud”.  Click here to register on EMC.com. 

What you can you expect to learn

We’ll discuss the emergence of cloud-based applications, their benefits, and how you can take advantage of this new type of technology. You will also get a first look at the new EMC Captiva OnDemand (see my recent posting: EMC OnDemand Brings Captiva, Documentum, and Document Sciences to the Cloud). We’ll discuss how the new EMC OnDemand deployment model puts the full Captiva intelligent enterprise capture capabilities in the cloud, dramatically reducing up front and ongoing costs.

I’m sure many are being asked by their IT management to investigate ways to move applications into the cloud – public, private, or a hybrid cloud approach. If so, this Webcast will give you insight into: 

  • Why cloud-based applications are growing so rapidly
  • How you can benefit from Captiva OnDemand – whether you’re an existing Captiva customer or not
  • How to simplify and speed deployment with EMC experts who can get you up and running immediately

We look forward to seeing you at this online event!


Part 2: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – The Need for Redaction

Last week I posted a write-up on how document capture helps agencies respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Because FOIA requests continue to be paper intensive and requires searching for paper documents to satisfy a request, many agencies are making investments into document imaging for the purpose of turning paper into electronic information that can be quickly searched on, accessed, and delivered to the requestor electronically rather than through the mailing of paper documents.

How you turn paper into electronic information is the basis of what the goal is. But let’s not forget one key requirement which is how you will handle the redaction of sensitive data before sending those digital document images out. 

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Document Capture Helps Agencies Respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request

For those not familiar with FOIA, it stands for Freedom of Information Act, and helps create transparency between government and the public. For example, a citizen may request safety records of a nursing homes or information about bids for capital equipment purchases or other large expenditures. For some agencies, these request can number in the thousands per year and results in millions of documents being delivered.

Challenges with responding to FOIA requests

FOIA requests continue to be paper intensive and requires searching of electronic and paper documents to satisfy a request.  This has created some serious inefficiencies within agencies when responding to these FOIA requests including:

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