Upcoming EMC Webcast: A Strategy for Managing Paper Documents in Financial Services

EMC has a great Webcast coming up next week on June 23rd at 2:00 PM (EDT) titled “A Strategy for Managing Paper Documents in Financial Services”Click here to register for the event.

In this one hour event we’ll focus on the business environment and drivers around why financial services companies continue to invest in document capture solutions, and how EMC Captiva is helping these companies achieve their business goals. I will also be joined by one of our customers, the largest Credit Union in Canada, who will discuss what drove them to replace their legacy IBM-FileNet Capture system with the EMC Captiva solution, and the business benefits they have been able to achieve. You will hear from the customer about how the use of intelligent capture has enabled them to automate steps in the capture process, which has resulted in significant time savings.

If you are using IBM-FileNet Capture today, then you will not want to miss this Webcast.

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Don’t Miss the Upcoming EMC Webcast: The Latest Breakthroughs with EMC Captiva

As I highlighted in my last posting, EMC announced the newest version of EMC Captiva. To follow-up on this announcement, we have a Webcast scheduled for next week (April 6th) in which we will present the latest advancements in Captiva 6.5 along with a live demonstration. To register for the event click here.

Another big event coming up is Momentum at EMC World 2011 (May 8th – 12th).

This years Momentum is offering an exclusive Captiva Track and Luncheon! Now is the time to make plans to join us in Las Vegas as we present everything you need to transform your information environment into a true business asset.

Why should Captiva users attend Momentum at EMC World 2011?

  • Enjoy a full week of Captiva sessions: fourteen business, technical, and customer sessions.View the sessions here
  • Network and dine with: Captiva Customers, Executives, and Subject matter experts.
  • Learn about the latest EMC Captiva releases & experience live hands-on labs
  • Hear about real-world implementations from fellow Captiva customers

With that said, I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

This year Momentum is offering an exclusive Captiva Track and Luncheon! We are offering the most complete program for Captiva customers ever! Make plans now to join us in Las Vegas as we present everything you need to transform your information environment into a true business asset.

Why should Captiva Users attend Momentum at EMC World 2011?

Enjoy a full week of Captiva sessions: fourteen business, technical, and customer sessions.View the sessions here
Network and dine with: Captiva Customers, Executives, and Subject matter experts. Register for the Exclusive Captiva Customer Luncheon!  – RSVP Here
Learn about the latest EMC Captiva releases & experience live hands-on labs
Hear about real-world implementations from fellow Captiva customers

Upcoming AIIM Webcast: What You Should Know Before Investing in Document Capture

AIIM has a Webcast on September 29th titled “What You Should Know Before Investing in Document Capture”.

Harvey Spencer from Harvey Spencer Associates will be presenting on this Webcast. I attended Harvey’s annual capture conference a few weeks ago, and I’m sure Harvey will have a lot of great insight to provide on growing trends in the market, where companies are or should be investing, and where SharePoint fits into the big picture.

If you have a chance, I encourage you to attend.

Q&A From Recent EMC Document Capture Webcast

In a previous post, I talked about the latest Captiva 6 release that EMC launched back in November 2008. As a follow up to that announcement, I spoke on a recent Webcast about the latest release, EMC Captiva InputAccel 6 and Dispatcher 6: Setting a New Standard for Enterprise Capture, and thought I’d share some of the questions that were asked. Not all these questions relate to new functionality found in version 6, but they are worth mentioning.

Q:  If I have a stack of similar forms, can the system automatically break them up into separate files, without using a separate sheet/bar code?

A: Yes, this is part of the Captiva Dispatcher application which automatically identifies documents using either image-based or text-based classification. Utilizing Captiva Dispatcher, organizations can significantly reduce costs associated with document preparation. Manual task like pre-sorting documents by type or inserting separator sheets between documents to indicate different document types is a very labor intensive task.

Q: Does Captiva InputAccel 6 support Microsoft Clustering? 

A: Yes. In earlier versions of InputAccel, Active/Passive was supported. In InputAccel 6, we have since added support for Active/Active clustering.  With Active/Active cluster support, existing cluster nodes can be used as a failover option. If the primary InputAccel Server fails, then the Active/Active cluster option moves that server instance to another available cluster node even if that node is already running another instance of the InputAccel Server. The Active/Active cluster option ensures that no server is idle while waiting for failover recovery.

Q: Does the new Captiva Index client support custom hot keys?

A: Yes, the latest InputAccel 6 release supports custom keyboard mapping. This enables operators to perform all actions directly from the keyboard without the use of a mouse.

Q: Could you explain how Captiva InputAccel integrates with Microsoft SharePoint?

A: Captiva InputAccel provides an open architecture that can essentially integrate with any content repository. EMC provides several ‘out of the box’ connectors to various backend repositories including Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.  The InputAccel Export to Microsoft SharePoint, supports exporting documents dynamically to different locations and folders, automatic file naming, mapping InputAccel values to metadata values in SharePoint document properties, exporting documents in various file formats, and more.

Q: You talked about Service based architecture. Does it allow a Captiva InputAccel process to call an outside web service?

A: Yes, InputAccel 6.0 includes new XML-based web services framework to support Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) that enable external systems to interact with InputAccel processes and enable InputAccel to interact with the workflows of external systems.

This architecture enables the InputAccel system to either be a consumer or provider of web services. The following modules support web service functionality:
– Web Services Input module: An InputAccel module that serves as a web services provider, processing SOA requests from external web services consumers.
– Web Services Output module: An InputAccel module that serves as a web services consumer, using Internet protocols to access the functionality of external SOA participants (web services providers).

Q: Do you have the ability to pull emails and their attachments into InputAccel?  Can it take any type of attachment into account (PDF, XLS, Word document, etc)?

A: Yes, InputAccel includes an email import service module that polls an email box, and parses the incoming email, enabling the various parts of the email (message body and attachments) to be imported as separate items into InputAccel and processes them accordingly. Furthermore, there is an optional module that will take non-image files and convert them into a readable image files (e.g. TIF).

Q: If I have a document type that has multi-pages can Captiva Dispatcher automatically identify this as a multi-page document?

A: Yes, Captiva Dispatcher can be configured to help sort and combine multi-page documents into one set.

Q: Can you develop client side scripting using C#?

A: Yes, the new Captiva InputAccel 6 client-side scripting is based on .NET and supports programming languages such as VB.NET and C#. These scripts direct document routing, handle exceptions, perform database lookups, perform field-level validations, and more.

Recent Q&A from AIIM Webinar on Distributed Capture

I recently spoke on an AIIM Webinar: “Paper That Works – Get Started With Distributed Capture”. I was joined by Bernard Chester, IMERGE Consulting, who discussed the various approaches and benefits to distributed capture. Several questions came up during the presentation, and I thought I’d share my answers.

Q: In a distributed environment, how do you deal with push back when trying to establish consistent standards in implementation?

A: This is a very good question. One of the challenges many organizations face is getting employees to adopt a new way of doing their job. The problem is compounded when trying to roll out a solution that spans many offices and potentially hundreds of employees. Employees hate change especially when it requires using some new application. Rolling out change to a distributed workforce can be painful if not done right. When it comes to moving capture to the front office, the one critical theme needs to be “keep it simple”. These remote workers may not understand document imaging like those who work in a centralized back office scanning environment. Therefore, you need to ensure there is no confusion around how remote office workers are going to use the new technology to get their job done quicker. For example, if you require a couple key pieces of data be indexed at the time of document scanning, then apply business rules that enforce it. If there is data like a purchase order number that ultimately drives the downstream process, then apply a database lookup to ensure the PO number is correct. Make the document capture software do all the heavy lifting and let the users simply point, click, and go.

Q: Where do organizations usually perform indexing activities for documents captured in a distributed environment? Is the trend towards central indexing or distributed indexing?

A: The simple answer is that there are benefits to both approaches. Organizations really need a capture platform that supports both a distributed and centralized capture model given some document capture driven business processes need to be centrally managed versus others can be handled in a distributed capture environment. One advantage to remote indexing is remote office workers often have more knowledge of the information being captured, then someone at a central location. That knowledge may be important to ensure all the relevant documents and data are captured. Furthermore, at the time scanning and indexing remotely you could apply validations against the information being indexed to avoid any downstream problems. The other approach is to simply have remote office workers perform the scanning, and letting indexing occur centrally where you have a team that is tasked with that step in the process. Another part to the process to consider is documents that are scanned remotely can pass through a series of automated capture steps that get run back at a central server. That could include classifying documents and performing data recognition. This saves time during the indexing step and in some cases indexing or validation by an individual may not even be necessary in which case the documents pass that step and get exported.

Q: How well can current technologies automatically classify documents that are not structured applications or forms?

A: If there is one area where document capture has greatly improved over the recent years, it is in the area of document identification. The benefits to using automated document classification can result in huge cost and time savings for organizations. Document classification also has its benefits in a distributed environment as well. As I mentioned earlier, documents that are scanned remotely can be passed to a central capture server where the documents undergo document identification. This can be especially important in a document capture process where you are dealing with hundreds or even thousands of different document types and supporting document attachments.

Q: How large a volume of scanning should be run using a copy/scanner before considering a production scanner?

A: One of the topics discussed on this AIIM Webinar was around using multi-function peripheral (MFP) devices. These all-in-one devices not only perform copying and printing, but can also serve as a capture device. With that said, these MFP devices from manufacturers like Xerox, HP, Canon, Ricoh and others are not intended for high volume scanning. But they certainly can be used in remote offices where scanning volumes are relatively low. The same can be said about desktop scanners. They are fine in the case of low volume scanning, but not fit for higher volume scanning.