Document Scanning Solutions for SharePoint Online

The ability to integrate a scanning solution with SharePoint is a requirement for organizations looking to move a large number of paper documents to SharePoint online.  These solutions provide a way of sending a document or a batch of documents directly to a SharePoint Online document library.  Several solutions exist including PSIGEN, Ephesoft, Xerox, and KnowledgeLake Capture.

KnowledgeLake has one of the most popular scanning solutions.  Our team recently used it to build a proof of concept for a company to scan lease documents into Office 365 (SharePoint Online).  Several other Xgility customers are using this software for large scale scanning projects.

KnowledgeLake Capture provides a scanning solution for adding documents to SharePoint Online.  Along with scanning, Capture provides options for image enhancement, barcode detection, and Optical Character Recognition (OCR), that create searchable PDF files of the scanned documents.

 The Capture software accesses SharePoint Online, using the Office 365 Sign-In credentials to connect Capture with the SharePoint Online tenant.

 

The Capture workstation provides the user with a multi-pane work area for scanning, reviewing, indexing, and releasing the documents to SharePoint Online.  Many types of scanners are supported by Knowledge Lake, including Multi-function Printers (MFPs), and Dedicated Scanning Devices connected to a workstation via USB.  For our purposes, we used a HP Officejet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One Printer/Scanner connected via USB to the workstation.

Please note, the figure below shows how the required metadata fields in SharePoint are selectable by the person performing the scanning.  For more about how metadata assists with search and sorting of documents in SharePoint, see this video that shows how to use SharePoint for contracts management.

 

The Capture OCR Engine Agent automatically creates a searchable PDF file after a document or batch of documents have been successfully scanned.

The user interacts with the scanned documents using the Batch Pane to select the document and the Scanned Document Pane to review the scanned documents.

The user updates the SharePoint Online document library information, for this example, the Document Title and the Contract Date, which is required.

Once the user clicks the Accept button in the Document Index Pane, the document is added to the Contract library.

In additional to the Capture solution for workstations, KnowledgeLake offers a server version for high volume scanning and indexing.  While this is not the only solution on the market, KnowledgeLake offers a trusted option to help your organization move paper files into SharePoint.

 

If you have questions about SharePoint, document scanning, or need custom training for your organization, please contact us.

 

 

Author:  John Humen

Editors:  Kurt Greening and Alex Finkel

5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Document Management System

Microsoft’s SharePoint is a leading vendor in the enterprise content management market.  There are also other document management solutions that have been successfully used in the past including those from Oracle (WebCenter), IBM (FileNet/Lotus Domino), and OpenText.  Some of our customers have chosen to configure SharePoint as an enterprise document management solution and others have purchased a popular add-on called Knowledge Lake.  No matter which technology you have chosen,  we believe you will benefit from this article.  Below are 5 ways to get the most out of your document management system…

 

  1. Create a plan for an efficient and effective way to organize your information

In developing a plan to organize an organization’s information, it’s important to keep the big picture in mind.  The plan needs to support the goals and culture of the company, taking into consideration how people collaborate, make decisions, and conduct business.  A solid plan not only reflects and supports these processes as it is, but finds ways to make the information more meaningful and impactful.  In practice, this means taking into consideration:

a) The people beyond the documents and other information: what roles they play in the information management process as well as what feedback they have on the current system
b) The different types of documents and other information, and how best to organize and classify them for maximum impact
c) The lifecycle of information and how to manage workflows effectively
d) The policies and governance necessary for appropriate information security, retention, and editorial control

 

  1. Make sure your employees are properly trained on your software and strategies

Employee training is critical to any successful document management system. It’s important to ensure users understand not just the “how” (i.e. entering metadata), but also the “why” (i.e. metadata drives efficient workflows and improves search results).  Making sure users understand the value of each task will drive adoption and help make sure tasks get done.

 

  1. Utilize all of the features of your software

It may be tempting to limit the use of features in a document management system, especially with a robust tool such as SharePoint, in an effort to “keep it simple.”  But it’s important to fully understand all features and how they can actually make life simpler and more efficient for your organization.  For instance, implementing Content Types in SharePoint requires some up-front planning, but can pay many dividends once in place.  Among the many benefits, some include integrated document templates and uniform metadata options across the organization.  For a user looking to use the right template and assign metadata properly, more features translates to less stress.

 

  1. Make sure your employees are on the same page as to how your departments collaborate and share documents

While implementing change and getting a large group of people on the same page are always a challenge, a strong document management plan can help you succeed.  Increase the odds of success by:

a) Understanding the culture and goals of the organization and allowing local control and flexibility when appropriate
b) Making compliance easier through the use of tools such as content types
c) Communicating policies clearly in person and online

 

  1. Make sure content owners have specific responsibilities for managing their own content

As discussed above, understanding the people creating and working with information, and determining their roles in document lifecycles, is key in developing a strong document management plan.  In addition to establishing and communicating clear responsibilities, you can also reinforce roles and increase buy-in by building support into your document management system.  For instance, SharePoint workflows can automate the document approval process.

 

If you are considering a document management project and evaluating whether or not SharePoint and/or Office 365 is a good solution for your needs, contact us and we will offer our advice in a free 30 minute consultation.  If you are new to SharePoint and don’t know what it can do, check out these two contract management videos to see some of its capabilities:

 

 

 

 

 

Author: David Snyder and Kurt Greening

Editor: Alex Finkel