Document capture software is an intermediary application that sits between an image source (scanner, copier or folder) and an end destination. The software “captures” images and data, and has a focus on automating the process of scanning, splitting, extracting and exporting documents. It relies heavily on sub-technologies like Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Advanced Data Extraction (ADE) for automation. Critical to the end result of capture software is the process of release or migration of documents and data to a back-end system or repository. Capture is typically referred to as a “front end” as it is usually the first line of operations to digitize paper documents. It is similar to document imaging and scanning software, but focuses on automation.
Posts Tagged ‘document capture software’
Build Your Moat and Drawbridge: Document Capture, Digital Forms and Workflow
When you look at the medieval castle, it had all the protective measures to insure the occupants were protected from outside threats. In our modern office, the threat is to efficiency and productivity, especially when examining the flow of paper both in and out. A core strategy is to surround your organization with a virtual moat, that allows no paper to cross. Below outlines the use of 3 technologies to help with the goal of the paperless office.
Document Capture and Scanning – Today, it is almost impossible to forbid inbound paper. Whether it is a small business sending paper invoices, a law firm that sends a FedEx package of contracts or a paper bill of lading for a shipment, paper will still exist for most organizations at some level. The goal here is to create that virtual moat, across which “none shall pass”. This can be your mail room, with a core policy of digitizing any paper for distribution within the organization.
Digital Forms – Forms technology can insure minimal creation of paper, through the use of a “born digital” mindset. Want to request vacation? Fill out a digital form. HR new hire paperwork? Go to the new hire portal and fill out the required electronic forms. This technology can help eliminate new paper creation internally, and can be expanded for external paperwork as well, reducing the need for scanning and document capture.
Workflow Software – workflow provides the ability to fully digitize any work process, and can integrate with both electronic forms and document capture. This provides a powerful multiplier effect, letting you combine the advantages of all technologies, and enhancing your efficiency and productivity to a whole new level. Documents and work can now be digitally routed both internally and externally.
These three technologies can be implemented in stages, one by one to start the improvement process, and begin the elimination of the paper threat. Thoughts?
Make Sure You Are Comparing Apples to Apples
So, we often see confusion in customers looking for scanning and document capture software, and trying to figure out what is the right fit. To give a brief definition, scanning software provides just a means to scan paper to an image. It provides basic features, and is fine for low volume document imaging when you are just looking to archive or send a document via email. Document Capture Software focuses on automation, and making the whole process easy. Below are 6 key features of document capture software, and the power it can provide to any organization:
- Integration with any scanning device – capture software needs to work with any type of device, or anything that can create an image. Copiers, desktop scanners, mobile phones, cameras all need to be supported.
- Document Separation – this feature allows you to “scan the stack”, and let the capture software split the image into individual documents. This is one of the key efficiency features, and prevents scanning documents one by one.
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR) – capture software provides an OCR engine for a wide variety of uses, and can create searchable PDFs, zone a certain area on a page and separate by key terms.
- Document Capture Workflow Steps – scanning documents is a business process, and document capture software supports the division of labor when imaging. Maybe a mailroom clerk scans the documents, a claims processor enters data, and a supervisor performs QA. This is essential to a smooth capture and scanning workflow.
- Complex Extraction – the imaging software should not only be able to extract basic document information, but should also be capable of complex information extraction. One example is the line items on an invoice.
- Line of Business System Integration – in addition to document management systems, like SharePoint and OnBase, document capture software should be able to tap into any type of system, and route documents and data.
This is just a short list of features that separate scanning from capture. You can read more frequently asked document capture questions here: Document Capture FAQ.
What is the difference between document capture software and scanning software?
Scanning software provides the means to create an image of a document, in one of many formats: PDF, TIFF, JPEG, etc. This file is just a picture of the document, and has minimal value. Document Capture Software provides not only the imaging functionality, but uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to make the file searchable, and automatically extract important data from the document. Essentially, it can be setup to fully automate the whole process.
What is document separation and how does document capture software help?
One of the biggest challenges in scanning is separating and preparing documents. Say you have a stack of 100 variable length documents, and you want each of them to be their own scanned PDF. WIthout capture software, you would have to scan each document, one by one. With document capture separation, you can put the whole stack in the feeder, and have the capture software do all the hard work. This is called separation.
Do I have to purchase separate OCR software in addition to capture software?
Our iCapture product provides an all in one solution for both document capture and OCR. It integrates with both scanning copiers as well as any desktop scanner and will meet all your document capture and scanning needs.
Can I import files from a folder with iCapture?
iCapture has an auto-import capability that provides the means to capture documents from any local or network folder. Once captured, the documents can then be made searchable through OCR and migrated to any one of 60 document management systems supported by the document capture software.
What is Advanced Data Extraction (ADE)?
Advanced Data Extraction (ADE) is a component of advanced document capture software that allows text to be identified and extracted from any document. This information can then be used for search purposes, to name the captured document, or can be passed to our workflow software for follow on routing.
Where can I send captured documents after they are processed?
iCapture provides integration with 60+ backend document management systems, and once your documents are scanned through the capture software component, they can then be routed and named.
Document Capture = Automation
With iCapture, scanning documents and capturing key information through advanced OCR technology is all automated. You just take the stack of paper, and place it in the feeder of your copier or desktop scanner, and we split, extract and route, all automatically. Whether you are processing AP invoices, contracts, HR documents or any other paper, we can save you time, energy and money with our document capture software.
iCapture was built from the ground up to be your document capture engine to drive the paperless office. See the value, benefit and use cases below:
- Create efficiency and improve productivity
- Automate any document scanning process
- Standardized and make repeatable capture workflow
- Everything is searchable
- Create a paperless office
- Eliminate manual process
iCapture Use Cases
In summary, document capture provides efficiency, standardization and simple integration, leaving you more time for your real job, and taking away the pain of scanning. Scanning and capturing is just the front piece of any overall document workflow or business process management(BPM) solution.
Want a quick look at a video overview? See our Document Automation Videos.
Want to see document capture software in action? Contact us today for a real time demo.