Paper-to-digital data storage provider Kofax has introduced a new product suite that integrates the scanning of physical documents directly into a companys electronic transactional business processes.
Kofax, based in Irvine, Calif., claims its new Kofax Intelligent Capture and Exchange Suite enables organizations to quickly link the ever-increasing volume of paper-based information with electronic business activities that include invoice processing, loan origination, account openings, contract life-cycle management and forms processing applications.
Businesses need to federate paper and electronic information sources, more easily integrate information where it enters an organization and provide knowledge workers with simple tools that work with existing corporate applications, Kofax Vice President of Marketing Andrew Pery told eWEEK.
“This Web services-based suite can capture text, graphics, photos—all content—from paper and store it intelligently, then notify the sender via e-mail that it was received,” Pery said.
He said the Kofax Intelligent Capture and Exchange Suite adapts to the needs of knowledge workers by integrating any business application with scanning functions. It also removes points of failure by automating the integration of paper and electronic documents directly into business processes, reduces risk by meeting corporate regulatory requirements for traceability of documents, and captures and exchanges information during business transactions, he said.
Kofaxs Document Scan Server “scan-enables” any existing business application, including content management, ERP (enterprise resource planning), CRM (customer relationship management) and supply chain management, he said.
“The suite aims to reduce the many points of potential failure and delay from the time a document enters an organization until the information is used in a business process,” said Rob Klatell, CEO of Kofaxs parent company, London-based DICOM Group.
Knowledge workers need to focus on the business processes they manage, not on how to use and manage document input devices, Pery said. They want document scanning to be transparent, simple to use and accessible from the same client they are already using to access their business applications, he added.
The Kofax Intelligent Capture and Exchange Suite also provides access within a Web-based portal application or a messaging client application like Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes, Pery said.
It removes the need to install, manage and upgrade expensive device drivers for each desktop computer on the network; offers an easy-to-administer management console that automatically detects and manages all the document scanners on the network; and delivers high-quality scanned documents regardless of original quality—even if the original document was scanned incorrectly, he said.
The company also has developed the Kofax Document Scan Server for AppExchange, a thin-client application for Salesforce.com that lets customer relationship personnel scan documents directly into the online service, enabling accelerated response times to customer inquiries. The application is available from AppExchange, Salesforce.coms on-demand business application directory.
“Among the [appealing features] of the Kofax Document Scan Server for AppExchange is that Salesforce.com customers do not have to learn a new interface or be concerned about maintaining scanner features or settings, because Kofax Document Scan Server is integrated directly within Salesforce,” said Matt Holleran, vice president of AppExchange partners for Salesforce.com, with U.S. headquarters in San Francisco.
To address the need for interoperable software that preserves and protects an organizations IT investment, the Kofax Capture and Exchange Suite uses SOA (service-oriented architecture) to expose its intelligent capture, transformation and exchange functionality as readily accessible and usable Web services. IBM, based in Armonk, N.Y., has been testing and evaluating this new approach.
“The Web services-based integration of IBM content management technology with the Kofax Intelligent Capture and Exchange Suite enables our clients to rapidly deploy SOA-based content services to capture, access, store and manage digital content and then make that content available to other enterprise applications,” said Jon Prial, vice president of IBM Content and Discovery.
There is an overwhelming need to automate the plethora of business transactions that are paper-based, or that include one or more paper-based subprocesses, to reduce costs and improve efficiency, said Melissa Webster, program director at IT researcher IDC.
“Corporate governance requirements which require traceability and information security compound this problem, and customers, suppliers and partners demand fast and accurate responses to queries, regardless of their original form,” Webster said.
“Solutions such as Kofaxs Intelligent Capture and Exchange Suite provide a direct connection between information capture and transactional business processes, fundamentally changing the way such information is managed—from a batch-driven, back-office process to one that is central to business operations,” she said.
The Kofax Document Scan Server is available now.