Category Archives for "Hardware"

4G and Content Management

With the advent of LTE, HSPA+, and Wi-MAX (collectively referred to as 4G) information can be transferred at speeds never before thought possible. 4G for most of us is old news. However, it occurred to me that organizations rarely consider how this efficiency can actually be utilized. Most of my peers/colleagues utilize one form of a cloud drop box or another.  These tools are great for one or two Power Point presentations and maybe a couple case studies. I remember the first time I turned on my iPad/Mobile HotSpot and opened cloud app. ABC, it was information at my fingertips when and where ever I wanted it—I felt a sense of freedom. As time passed I added more and more “IMPORTANT” content to my personal cloud. Certainly you can all guess what happened next. The pile of paper in my cloud was 10x the size of the stack of paper on my desk at work. 4G connectivity, the cloud and “IMPORTANT” information is a great tool. If you add one more piece to the puzzle (enterprise content management) it can be invaluable to your organization.

For a moment try to imagine where organized, “MOBILE” and secure content could add value to your organization. Content that is safely tucked away behind your firewall yet still available to the appropriate men and women in the trenches. The applications begin to seem endless. As you know almost any type of files can be managed inside an ECM solution.

In one scenario a construction manager is remodeling the third floor in a local university building. It becomes immediately apparent that the plumbing was modified at some point to accommodate for an additional bathroom. The CM only has the original blue prints in his/her possession. What he/she needs are the updated “As-Is” drawings. These documents have of course been printed, folded and filed away back at HQ. It is obvious now that dollars are about to be spent on the recovery of these drawings. The only question that remains now is; how many dollars could be saved?

Decision makers and labor workers alike can all benefit from the innovation of fast mobile internet. However, the content being sought after or delivered must be organized and secure. I challenge anyone who reads this post to add a comment below: How can high speed mobile internet and content management be effectively combined to reduce cost or increase an organization’s bottom line?

Joshua D. Gilmore
Account Executive
ImageSource Inc.

 

Why Imprint Documents?

This is a question we ask our customers when choosing scanning hardware for their Enterprise Content Management solutions.  It is easily overlooked when reviewing the specifications of a scanner, as it is a separate hardware purchase and generally is a business process requirement not a scanner specification requirement.

When there is a need to “imprint” or “stamp” a scanned document, it is required to have the date of the scan on each and every page that is processed. This requirement usually is used for tracking purposes or compliance to show that the document was scanned.

Do you Pre or Post-Scan Imprint?
Pre-Scan imprinting is the most common option that allows the organization to have the stamp on both the physical paper copy and the scan. The pre-scan imprint will print on the document PRIOR to the image reaching the scanners imaging lamps.  So the imprint stamp will also be a part of the scan image.

Post-Scan imprinting is generally utilized when an organization needs the data or tracking mechanism on the physical paper after the scan. This is mostly used to indicate if a page of paper has been processed or not.  The stamp is NOT on the scanned image.

Can I automatically imprint on a flatbed scanned documents?
Keep in mind when purchasing a scanner with a flatbed – either integrated with the scanner or as a detachable USB connected flatbed – there is no automatic imprinting option for the documents scanned using a flatbed.  Flatbed scanned documents will need to be manually stamped to meet requirements – either pre-scan or post-scan.

Another option for imprinting is “Software Annotation”…
If only a data or tracking on the scanned image is needed, software annotation could be considered.  With software annotation you have greater flexibility on where the imprint data can be placed on the image. Keep in mind software annotation needs to be part of your batch scanning process and is a separate software purchase to your hardware scanner.

So keep this information in mind when considering what is the “best fit” for imprinting based on your business process AND scanner requirements.
Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource,Inc.  

Imaging hardware: How to get the best bang for your buck

Why price is not the most important factor when purchasing imaging hardware

When shopping for new imaging hardware, many customers look at their budget and let that dictate their purchase. Now I understand that budget is an important factor, however over the last 9 years working with imaging customers, many have purchased equipment based mainly on price – only to discover that it did not meet their long term growth needs.

So in light of these discussions, here are a few bits of wisdom that can be used as a checklist when considering new purchases:

What  scanner features are essential to you?

  • Color or Black & White (B & W) scanning?
    The majority of scanners automatically come with color option but can also provide B & W scanning for smaller document size files.
  • How fast do you need the scanner to scan?
    Scanners are classed by Pages per Minute (PPM).
  • How much volume are you expecting to scan per day, week or month?
    Volume and speed is determined by the manufacturer when they develop the scanner.
  • Manufacturers group their scanners into categories based on PPM and the Daily Duty Cycle (DDC).
    DDC is how many images the scanner can handle on a daily basis. So if you have a large volume of scanning to be completed on a daily basis, a small desktop workgroup scanner will not be sufficient for the volume – it would break down all the time. Here are the general groupings that manufacturers use:
  • Workgroup/ Low Volume
    Slower, smaller desktop scanners generally under 90PPM and DDC of approximately 500 to 20,000 documents per day, depending on model purchased.
  • Departmental/ Mid Volume
    Scanning speeds ranging 90-125PPM and DDC of approximately 30,000 to 125,000 documents per day, depending on model purchased.
  • High Volume
    Scanning speeds ranging 140-210PPM and DDC of approximately 150,000 to unlimited documents per day, depending on model purchased.
  • Network
    When scanning directly to a network, without the need of additional hardware or software. Scanning speeds tend to be slower for these scanners, generally under 60PPM and DDC of 6,000 per day, depending on model purchased.

What are the characteristics of your document?

  • How big are your batches of documents that you want to scan at one time? 
    Scanners come with different Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) sizes, ranging from 10 pages at a time to scan, up to 750 pages. If you have a large production scanning environment, the more the ADF holds the quicker the scan operator can scan documents. Generally scanners that have higher ADF also have higher PPM and DDC.
  • You need to determine the general sizes of your documents. 
    What is the maximum and minimum sizes, what length are the documents? Larger or longer documents (11 x 17” or 12 x 34”) do require a flatbed scanner or scanner that can handle longer documents.
  • Are they delicate documents that cannot be run through a scanner? This would also indicate you may need a flatbed scanner or a flatbed attachment to the scanner.
  • Do you require pre-scan or post-scan imprinting?
  • Is the scanner easy to clean every day by the user? 
    Are the consumables (rollers etc.) easy to replace by the end user? This can save money and time on the maintenance of the scanner and ensure optimum image clarity and scanning performance.

What value-add does the vendor/manufacturer offer?

  • Does the manufacturer offer evaluation or demo scanners for you to test before the purchase? 
    This is important when purchasing larger production scanners, it will help determine which scanner is the best fit for your scanning needs.
  • What type of scanner hardware maintenance contracts does the manufacturer offer? 
    Some include 1 year or multiple years in with the scanner purchase price and will save you money.
  • Will shipping be included in the initial purchase or is it an additional cost?

Many customers work with ImageSource to help them select the best fit, or to evaluate scanners side by side to determine what is the best bang for their buck. As you can see from the information above, sometimes price is not the only factor to consider with your new purchase.Let us help you!

To learn more about ImageSource, and all of the content management services we provide, visit us here.

11 Questions to Ask in Order to Buy the Correct Wide Format Scanner

At ImageSource, we have many customers who call in asking for information on Wide Format Scanners. Selecting the right Wide Format Scanner for your needs is imperative, as manufacturers do not normally provide evaluation scanners for you to test.

I always recommend that customers review a software webinar demo before buying these larger scanners. The software functionality and ease of use is an important differentiator between scanner manufacturers. The incorrect software combined with a scanner that does not meet all your needs can be a costly investment that cannot be returned to the manufacturer. In this category of scanner, the cheapest price tag does not necessarily mean the best fit!

There are some basic questions that we always ask our customers in order to qualify what scanner(s) is the most appropriate. I would like to share these to help you with any future selection processes/decisions.

  1. Do you need B&W, Grayscale, Color capabilities?
  2. If Color is required, is it Color critical (such as photos and art work), or simple color (such asline drawings or printed maps)?
  3. What is the largest size original you will be scanning?
  4. Is speed important? Will this be production scanning or just occasional scanning?
  5. Approximately how many scans per month?
  6. What condition are your originals in? Poor (folded with a lot of background), Medium or Good quality?
  7. What kinds of media will you be scanning? Paper, blueprints, Mylar, stitched linen (very old documents), maps, etc.
  8. Do you need thick document scanning capabilities?
  9. Do you need a stand and catch basket?
  10. Will this be a scan-to-file application or do you need scan-to-print (copy) functions as well?
  11. Will you need to edit, modify or convert any of the images into CAD or GIS file formats?

We have been working with the major Wide Format Scanner manufacturers for many years so we are here to help give our expertise for any questions you may have. ImageSource will make it easy for you and guide you towards the “best fit”.

We are here to help!

Megan Lane
Inside Sales Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

Mission critical scanner with no maintenance. Really??

I have been reselling scanners and scanner maintenance for 14+ years now. I have helped clients pick their original equipment, maintain it and replace it, and some of my customers are on their third or fourth cycle with me. I am shocked every time I come across an account that doesn’t understand the value of a maintenance contract.

When you have a maintenance contract you have a fixed cost for the year. You don’t have to worry about coming up with the budget to unexpectedly replace or repair your equipment.

Nobody wants to have the uncomfortable conversation with their boss. The one where you admit that your equipment is not covered and you don’t know when production will resume. And as far as repair costs are concerned, all you know is it won’t be cheap.

Remember when you bought your scanner? It was a major decision; you reviewed spec sheets and made comparisons and talked to anyone you could to get a glimpse into your future. Finally, you made the best decision you could. And now that it’s yours, you don’t want to maintain it. Really??

Think about how long it can take to make a purchase. Imagine how if the unexpected happens you may not have the luxury of time. You may not even have access to the correct people who sign off on it. Perhaps the final decision is yours. Do you really want to have to make this decision on the fly? While production is at a standstill?

This equipment was mission critical at the time of purchase and now you have learned to rely on it. But since its’ purchase, there are hotter topics and projects that you focus your budget on. The takeaway? Don’t forget about your scanner and give it the respect and attention it deserves. Take care of your equipment so it can take care of you!

If this scenario sounds familiar or like something you want to avoid. Give us a call and we can help you plan your hardware future.

Ruben Kerson
Inside Sales Manager
(360) 943-9273
ImageSource, Inc.

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