Category Archives for "ECM Solutions"

Relationships – The Ultimate “Value-Add”

One objection we hear almost every day as a Sales representative from a Value Added Reseller (VAR) is “I can get that scanner cheaper online!”  While that may be true in some cases, it may not always be in the customer’s best interest.  That’s when we discuss the benefits of purchasing from a VAR.

VAR’s focus on front end capture solutions as well as the hardware. When choosing what type of scanner to purchase, it is very important to take into consideration what front end capture and back end software you will be utilizing.  You want to ensure the scanner will compliment everything you currently have in place for your document imaging solution.

When purchasing from a VAR (such as ImageSource ), you also receive depth and breadth of experience and knowledge,   not just the product itself, but the many applications and usage.  We strive to provide assistance in picking on the best piece of equipment for you and provide the buyer the opportunity to consider and compare all the options, taking into consideration future imaging growth and software applications.  And, if we don’t know the answer to the customer’s question, we know where to get it.

If you choose to buy the scanner from an on-line retailer with little or no human contact or experience, you are gambling that there will be no challenges.  Often during installation and troubleshooting – many on-line resellers may not take the time to assist you with resources and information that is needed for a successful installation. More than likely, a value-added reseller has come across this challenge before with other customers and can easily offer a solution or point you in the right direction. This is their expertise!

It is true you get what you pay for – online resellers do have a customer service telephone number but the question to ask is, “Do they have the real life experience of working with that scanner?”  ImageSource (a VAR and an Integrator) offers more than just good pricing at point of sale of the scanner…we offer information,  education and experience

Experience comes with a price, albeit small.

“The difficult we do immediately….the impossible just takes a little longer.”

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

Phone 360.943.9273

www.imagesourceinc.com

SCSI vs. USB 2.0 in Production Scanners

Over the course of my time selling imaging hardware, i.e. scanners, many customers ask me which is better…SCSI or USB 2.0?  Actually some don’t even ask, they insist that SCSI (small computer system interface) is still the fastest option.  Unfortunately for them, almost all scanner manufacturers have moved to using a USB 2.0 interface as option on their scanners and some are USB 2.0 exclusively.

When the first USB (Universal Serial bus) it was slower than SCSI and at times Flakey. Anyone who has ever installed a SCSI device knows that there was definitely room for improvement in this technology as well. Between double checking SCSI ID’s and triple checking the Termination you could spend quite a bit of time sorting out a SCSI install if it didn’t go right the first time. But when USB 2.0 came out it was stable and fast. In fact there is little to no degradation in speed with the scanners.  In fact, Kofax has stopped manufacturing SCSI cards all together.  VRS used to be a limitation of USB in a production environment because it required a SCSI adrenaline board interface, but now the latest versions of VRS are more versatile and work with USB 2.0 just as well if not better than SCSI.

USB 2.0 is working its way to becoming the standard in imaging technology because it less expensive than SCSI and so much easier to work with.  You also have one less point of failure with the USB 2.0 vs. the SCSI card.  So for those people with the common misconception that SCSI is faster and better, I’m here to tell you that USB 2.0 is just as good when it comes to speed and less expensive for your pocketbook. It also opens up the door to using laptops.

ImageSource, Inc. offers the all of the best names in imaging hardware – Fujitsu, Bowe Bell & Howell, Panasonic, Canon– each one with their own strengths, but all equipped with the newest and latest connectivity of USB 2.0

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

 

The Wonderful World of Enhanced Bar Code Recognition

Capturing and reading bar codes has been done for many years, but more recently it has expanded due to color technology.  There is more information to assist in bar code interpretation and the enhanced bar code ready is able to achieve more accurate readings of all supported bar code types at lower DPI (dots per inch) levels and varying levels of quality.  Some prospective users of this technology are not sure exactly when this process can take place, at scan time or during recognition and the answer is…both!

The EBC (Enhanced Bar Code) module is an add-on from Kofax to their Capture product, but can also be added to other Capture products as well.  The EBC can be used at scan time if that is more effective for the scanning process, but also can run at recognition if you have many scanners capturing bar code information which needs to be released and processed at the same time through the server.

Enhanced Bar Code recognition is also included in the KofaxVRS product in the Workgroup and Professional versions.  The EBC, when used directly from the VRS product can only be run at scan time, not at recognition.  So if you are in need of that capability, you may need to look into purchasing the separate EBC add-on directly to the Capture product.  If you have more than one installation of Kofax Capture, be aware that you will need to purchase the EBC module for each installation that needs that capability.

In addition, ImageSource offers www.ilinxcapture.com to compliment an existing batch capture environment.  ILINX Capture allows content to be submitted in an adhoc manner from around the enterprise and offers enhanced bar code capability.

Some of the new improvements to the EBC functionality includes the ability to work with grayscale images in addition to having improved bitonal recognition capability.  Another significant advancement is the support of two-dimensional (2D) bar codes.  If you have any questions or need more information on this or other Kofax products, give ImageSource, Inc. a call and we can certainly help!

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

 

To Renew Or Not To Renew…There Is No Question!

The current business model for enterprise level capture software suites is not simply to sell you a product and walk away, but rather it is to become a partner. The initial purchase is the beginning of that relationship. When you invest in a software suite such as Kofax Capture or ILINX Capture, you are modifying your business processes to accommodate the features and capabilities of the product to hopefully improve you productivity.  Once these capture products become part of your work life you will want to keep up your maintenance/software Assurance/upgrade assurance, so as new versions are released, you take advantage of a new feature or simply to stay compatible with your current operating system. If it was worth investing in originally it is worth maintaining.

Some customers choose not to adopt the partner model and never buy maintenance beyond the first year. Then the day comes when the system goes down and they don’t even know where to start to fix the problem.  And in order to get the current version, the manufacture requires them to pay for all the back maintenance plus a reinstatement fee. Sure the first reaction might be to start over fresh with another product, but once you look at changing your processes to accommodate a different product, you can quickly eliminate the savings you thought you were getting in the first place.

In terms of license volume reduction, it has been my experience that the customer is only saving hundreds of dollars today with the potential of spending thousands in the future.  I think that it is a bold move by some manufacturers  to enforce the “all or nothing” approach to license renewal but it is really in the best interest of the customer to keep current with all of their licenses.  I think this was a driving force when this policy was constructed.  I think it causes a lot of work for more than one person to keep track of licenses that customers may or may not be using when they are considering just a partial renewal.  That is one of many reasons why end users are becoming more and more interested in ILINX Capture, to avoid the hassles of volume-based licensing.  The pro’s to renewing software assurance are obvious and the expenditure is nominal; the cons are sometimes surprising and the expenditure is often alarming.

Whether using Kofax or ILINX Capture, staying current gives you the comfort of knowing that you are entitled to the necessary software to upgrade when the time comes.  And partnering with ImageSource, Inc. lends the right expertise to get the job done right the first time!

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

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Who Needs a Scanner? I Think I Need a Scanner…

The answer is almost everyone!  From scanning bills and statements in your home office to full Imaging Departments in the largest of companies, digital images are the way of the future.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have room in my house for filing cabinets full of old mortgage, power, auto, insurance and all the other bills and statements that I get every day!  Many State, County, and City government agencies have also run into the same problem as they are keeping 100+ years of all different types of paper documents.

A lot of people today want to start digitizing their documents, but don’t really know where to start.   If you need some help trying to find out what type of scanner is right for you, there are a few simple questions you can ask yourself.  How many documents per day/week do I need to scan?  Do any of them need them to be in color?  Are any of my documents double-sided?  Are any of my documents of unusually large or small size?  What paper types and of what quality will I be scanning?  All of these questions are important and can help narrow down the size and type of scanner that will work best for you.   There are many manufacturers that produce scanners that range from home office/portable to the highest production scanners available.  Companies like Fujitsu, Bell & Howell, Canon, Panasonic, and Kodak all provide full lines of scanners to fit most every need.  Don’t let this unfamiliar territory intimidate you, there are companies like ImageSource, Inc. that know about and sell scanners to help you out along the way!

If you’re interesting in viewing muliple scanners at one time and location, sign up to attend Nexus ’09.  Some of the major manufacturers will be demoing their scanners there and answering the types of questions we talked about above.  Good luck and start scanning!

 

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