Category Archives for "Document Management"

Converting Image Files

At some point there is going to be a need to convert an Imaging Systems image files from one format to another format when moving to a new Imaging system.  ILINX® Import can be used to handle the conversion.

Continue reading

College Transcript Processing

College Transcript Processing refers to converting a paper based transcript into an electronic transcript via software that OCR’s the scanned paper version, locates specific data within the transcript and saves that data for later use.  The reason for processing a transcript via software is to improve the rate of data transfer to another system for storage and retrieval versus manual data entry by a data entry specialist.  This is a somewhat difficult task due to the following reasons:

  1. Each and every College presents similar data in a very different format.
  2. Almost all colleges attempt to prevent the copying of the paper transcript through various copy protection methods.  Most of these methods render the data on the transcript almost un-readable.

The data that is similar on a transcript falls into several main areas:

  1.  College Identifying Information
  2. Student Identifying Information
  3. Session/Course Information
  4. Previous Colleges Attended Information
  5. Degrees Awarded Information

The data is similar but not the same on each college transcript.  In addition, the layout of a transcript varies greatly between the various colleges.  Session/Course data could take up the entire width of the paper for one college, but be formatted as multiple columns of data for another college.  There are many, many variations that need to be taken into consideration when attempting to OCR to find and extract the data.

So far the Abbyy FlexiCapture 9.x software has been able to handle most of these issues out of the box.  One of its most powerful features I am finding out is the scripting language to write rule, custom scripts and export scripts that can correct OCR issues and assist the Verification Operator improving efficiency and throughput.

The scripts for rules, custom scripts or export can be written in VBasic or Jscript.  There is some documentation on the Abbyy classes and objects, but not a whole lot.  Most of what I have done has been through trial and error or in specific cases from examples provided by Tech Support.  However, what scripts that have been developed work well for correcting OCR issues and providing automated checks of extracted field data.  Through Custom scripts there is even the option to use a Database lookup on extracted data and return other fields from the database to assist in providing a complete set of validated information.

This has been a learning experience but it is proving to be well worth the effort in getting the data off the paper and into the system used to evaluate a student for enrollment by cutting down on the man hours required under the old manual data entry.

eForms 101 part 2

A short while ago I wrote a blog entitled eForms 101…and I’d like to continue on the theme. I mentioned some of the main advantages of eForms – that they save money, are green, fast, accurate, malleable – and thus they improve customer service.

One of the real values of eForm use is that it can be coupled with a workflow. When a paper form arrives there is lots of processing time. Routing the form electronically takes a fraction of the time it takes to physically route paper. And tracking the progress of a routed paper form is slow and can be frustrating. Think of the last time you had to call a long chain of people looking for a piece of paper any of them may or may not have — woof. Again, an eForm that has been routed electronically using a workflow is easy to check up on. No calls. Just view the progress map and you can see who’s got the ball. And parallel workflow routing offers a way to speed up routing exponentially over physical counterpart processes. If an item is stuck in a queue or inbox too long, it can trigger alerts or can be automatically routed for processing. If I am the customer who submitted information to a company, that’s how I want my info taken care of!

In terms of return on investment (ROI), labor costs are obviously reduced because it is now quicker to locate a form, get it approved, share it widely or launch it through a specialized review path, etc. But beyond this is the less tangible benefit of making employees more productive overall. And the fact that ALL the ‘i’s are dotted and the ‘t’s are crossed with alacrity and quality control contributes greatly to improved decision making.

Now some thoughts on how to get going quickly. If this is an initial foray into eForms and workflows, I suggest the paper process to be replaced is simple and well understood. Paper forms can be reproduced electronically verbatim, so filling the form will be instantly intuitive to the user. Focus on high volume forms to cost justify the endeavor. If your goal is to take a process to the extreme in automation, be sure to take a phased approach. Basic form and workflow capabilities must come first, and must work perfectly. A tool always worth mentioning to get eForms up and running fast is Texcel FormBridge. Using a per page licensing fee, this tool allows you to convert paper or TIFs, or flat PDFs into eForms for a variety of products. What’s the big deal? Well, scan in a paper form filled with fields and watch FormBridge work. It identifies automagically where the fields go, and what their titles are. The eForm looks like the input form, nicely formatted. All the text in the form is editable – including field titles. And the same is true with all those scattered myriad rows of checkboxes. They are all converted to eForm checkboxes with proper labels. From paper to LiquidOffice eForm in the blink of an eye.

After you get a chance to review the business benefits of eForms in your organization, time to ask :

  • Where is your organization right now on the paperless scale?
  • Is paper use on the rise?
  • Are services that impact customer satisfaction stalled due to cumbersome paper processes?
  • Has your existing eForm initiative lost any momentum?

ImageSource is staffed to help you, with industry veterans including: Systems Engineers, Support Engineers, Developers, Project Managers, Sales Staff, and Senior Managers.

ILINX Capture Remote Management

In the years that we have been doing ILINX Capture implementations a common question usually comes up from the IT Administrators; “Do we have to log on to the server to access the administration and management features?”  The answer is: “No, the ILINX Capture Server Manager can be utilized by any remote computer with the proper access.”

The reason why this comes up is because there is a lot of functionality in the ILINX Capture Server Manager.  Not only from the technical administration perspective, but also from the business management side.  For example, you have the ability to monitor the system status, review audit logs, configure security, monitor batches/documents and queues, and much more.  All of this functionality can be individually enabled or disabled for specific users and groups depending on their needs.

The following steps show you how to install the Server Manager for remote access to the software’s administration features;

1.  Run the Software Install and choose “ILINX Server Manager” from the install package…

2.  Ensure that the workstation has port access to the ILINX Capture database open to Database.  For example, if you are using SQL Server for your database the default port is 1433.

3.  Provide the user/group with the proper administration access.

a.  For a Line of Business Manager, it is common to just allow them access to monitor and manage the batches/documents in their queues

b.  For Tech Support, it is common to allow access to the Audit logs and System Monitoring features

This remote administration and management functionality has proven to be a valuable tool for this software over the years.  For more advanced remote admin/management tasks in ILINX Capture, feel free to leave a question in the comments and I will respond.  If enough similar questions are asked, I will drop another post on the more advanced tasks.

Ryan Keller
ImageSource, Inc.

eForms 101

I recently gave a presentation at our Nexus convention about eForms — and how they can produce real business value. Although the presentation was meant for those who have not spent much time analyzing the benefits of e-forms, some real industry heavyweights showed up. Unfortunately this was a lost opportunity because if I had more time I would’ve handed over the microphone for additional eForm paradigms and parables. Alas I had more material than time. Here’s a brief discussion of some of the topics I covered.

An eForm is of course an electronic representation of a paper form. In fact, many eForms look exactly like their paper counterpart. When a paper process goes electric, you’re not just leaving the paper behind. You are opening the door to processing times that are dramatically more expedient, and a host of other advantages.

Because of their inherent characteristics, eForms:

  • save money
    • When it can costs $20 to file a document and up to $314 per filing cabinet for the real state it consumes, you know storing paper isn’t cheap. And it can cost up to $220 to reproduce a lost document.
  • are green
    • Since the United States is the world’s largest producer and consumer paper, and for more than half of all organizations paper use is on the rise – the green choice is to reproduce paper processes electronically
  • are malleable
    • What if you just snail mailed one million requests for information and then discovered a fatal error in the text of your paper document. You can do the math here — it would be expensive to fix this, and slow. Online eForms can be changed in flash with very little effort or cost.

Continue reading