Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Trends in Document Capture

Without a doubt, document capture has become a fashionable topic. Why? It might mean the difference for businesses between exploiting information from their documents (savings) or continuing to accumulate paper and other content, losing the capability to react (costs).

However, where’s the market for this type of solutions going? What are we going to see in the next few years?

  • Mobile capture: Being able to take a photo of a document and upload it to your document management system or ecm platform for it to be processed would make the work of millions of workers who work away from their offices easier. And we’re not just talking about the sales force. Think, for example, of any person who’s got to travel for work and turn in receipts for every expense incurred. I’m sure that most of you are familiar with having lost the receipt for a meal, a taxi or a hotel room at some point. What if we could simply take a photo of that receipt or invoice, and our businesses would immediately receive proof of the payment we’d just made? For those who work with purchase orders, delivery receipts, etc., wouldn’t that make everything a whole lot easier?
  • Vertical solutions: There are industries which are very paper-intensive and which don’t seem to have any future limits of when they stop working that way. We’re thinking of government bodies, hospitals, law offices, the justice system, etc. Paper forms part of their daily processes, and digitalization is the only solution to keep these documents accessible and available. These types of organizations generally manage an array of documents which are specific to their sectors (hospitals, for example, deal in prescriptions, but it’s highly unlikely that a law firm would have documents of that type.) Organizations like these need document capture tools that are adapted and “finely-tuned” to work with their specific document types.
  • Better “out-of-the-box” accuracy:  No one doubts that capture represents a turning point for the business that incorporates it into the way it works. The heart of the matter really lies in just how much capture really solves clients’ problems, and that is directed related to how accurately the solution covers the particular needs a client has. Are applications able to work at a 100% precision rate, or do we have to keep performing manual tasks like correcting extracted data? According to techniques used in recognition and processing, the accuracy rate keeps going up; what people are concerned about now is getting the system to be effective enough as soon as it’s put into action. This isn’t easy, for sure, and it’s putting more demand on technology. Developers are then having to continue to try new technology that increases the accuracy rate. Among these new technologies, we keep seeing more depth in histogram analysis, use of semantics, etc. 

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