Wed, 13 July 2011
In this episode analyst Ralph Gammon, author of the Document Imaging Report newsletter and blog, joins Alan Pelz-Sharpe and James Lappin to discuss the the state of the market for document capture software
Capture software, such as Kofax and Captiva, is used to make sense of scanned documents. It is typically used to apply optical character recognition (OCR), or barcode recognition, to scanned documents.
More sophisticated use cases involve integrating a capture product with an enterprise content management system (ECM), an enterprise resource planning system (ERP) such as SAP, or a line of business (LOB) application. The capture product might be used to identify what type of document a scanned image is, and to kick-off an appropriate workflow within an ECM/ERP/LOB application. Or the capture product might be trained to help with form processing where a large volume of paper forms are received and scanned. The role of the capture product might be to read the entry in each field of the form and place that entry in the appropriate metadata field within the ECM/ERP/LOB, which could then trigger an appropriate workflow.
Ralph identified the main value that capture software brings as reducing keystrokes- reducing the amount of manual effort needed to make scanned images of paper documents useable by an organisation on their electronic systems. Alan points out the downside of this - some large capture projects result in job losses.
Alan said that many of his clients think that Kofax and Captiva are the only players in the Capture market. Ralph said that many of the traditional ECM vendors have some sort of partnership with a capture vendor. EMC (owners of Documentum) own Captiva. IBM bought Datacap. Oracle have a relationship with Brainware. Kofax and ReadSoft are independent of any one ECM vendor. Microsoft are not linked with any particular capture vendor, and several vendors have worked on plug-ins to integrate capture software with SharePoint.