A paradigm shift in document capture and SharePoint

December 13, 2012 —  (Page 1 of 2)
When you say document capture, a lot of people automatically think “scan.” But using a desktop scanner is only one way to get content into SharePoint. It’s important to consider electronic documents and paper documents as part of a capture strategy, and to consider where you’re capturing the information. Then you have to be sure the right data is associated to the document, so once it’s in SharePoint, it appears in the right library and is searchable. The new paradigm in document-capture questions how you are managing input from multiple channels, where data is received, and how to intelligently classify data within SharePoint.

Information comes into a company in many different ways: e-mail, postal mail, fax, even electronic data streams. A single document type could arrive through four different channels and in multiple formats. Now, consider the business processes. When you establish a process for paying an invoice, reviewing a contract or approving a claim, do you want to do it differently based on the format of the document? No. You want consistency in the process and how the document is handled. Implementing a multi-channel capture strategy that includes document scanning, e-mail capture, inbound fax capture, and electronic data on a common platform lets you establish a single set of business rules about how information is processed once it’s received.

Next, where are you capturing paper information? Do you send all your paper to a central location to be scanned? Do you have branch offices or field employees that have to ship this information to the central site? What does that cost? Do you wait for customers to send you documents? If you do, then you need to consider capturing information where the business process starts, the point of origination. Extending the capture process beyond the scanner and out to the knowledge worker, the customer or the mobile worker represents a shift in thinking about capture. It now happens not just at the scanner, but also in the front office, from the Internet, or even off the network altogether.

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