I keep getting this question emailed over and over, and thought I would throw a post up about what I see as absolutely necessary for a SharePoint Scanning and Capture application:
- The solution needs to be hardware agnostic. There are quite a few applications out there that are tied to a single hardware platform. Kodak is one that comes to mind. Your capture application needs to support TWAIN, ISIS and VRS drivers for all different manufacturers. Out of the box, it also needs to support image file import for PDF, TIFF, JPG, etc. You want to be able to choose your own scanning hardware.
- Franken-capture is a bad thing. Find one capture application that provides all the necessary pieces for your organization. Don’t pile together 5 different apps to support all your needs, your support nightmare will become a reality.
- Advanced Data Extraction (ADE) is absolutely necessary. ADE is the ability to automatically extract information from a document, regardless of where it lies on the page. This is key to automation and efficiency. Many manufacturers in the SharePoint space partner with others to make this happen…go with someone who has it built in to the product.
- Require support for multiple back-end repositories. Don’t go with a pure SharePoint solution. 90% of the organizations I deal with need to send documents and metadata to something other than SharePoint. Make sure this is out of the box functionality, and don’t settle for “we can build that”.
- Routing sheets are the hot new thing. Make sure that the solution supports 2D barcodes and Optical Mark Recognition (OMR). These technologies are highly used in distributed capture for SharePoint and are absolutely necessary for any implementation.
- Document Harvesting will save you time and effort. Find a solution that can ingest folder directories and use folder names/file names as metadata.
- Dynamic Library, folder names and file naming in SharePoint is required. Many solutions will create random naming schemes for folders and file names. People still love their folders, and standardized naming is absolutely required.
Just a short list of features I find customers require in their organizations.