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ECM - Enterprise Content Management Features

Step 1: Document Capture
Document capture and data capture are not the same - Document capture is the conversion of a paper document into an electronic image of that document, and Data capture extracts data from a business form.

Documents can be captured by :
              • Scanning
              • Importing electronic documents (word files, video,spreadsheets, etc.) for sharing or archiving
              • Converting existing electronic documents into unalterable images

What kind of documents can be captured?
All kind of documents like photos, colour documents, handwritten documents etc can be scanned and converted into an electronic image.

Document Preparation :
Paper documents need to be manually prepared for scanning. The torn pages are repaired, sorted, cleaned and scanned. The paper clips, and staples, etc are also taken out for the convenience of scanning accurately. This process is time-consuming and too often underestimated by the people. If the document preparation is poor it will ultimately slow down document throughput.

Step 2: Bulk Uploading by Scanning
The transformation of paper documents into an electronic image can also mean the digitizing of microfilm.

  Electronic images can also be captured by :
              • Fax- Software can read from the fax server. This image quality is very low and is considered to be inaccurate.
              • Multi-function Device-Network-connected MFDs can suffice for low-volume imaging needs.
              • Camera phone – High resolution cameras in mobile phones can also serve the purpose.
              • Regular cameras – Cameras of all types like SLR, DSLR or any digital camera can also serve the purpose.

Scanner Categories : The Document throughput in the real world will be slower than the scanner's rated speed.
Hence we can consider the throughput range to be anything between 10 to 120 ppm according to the requirement.

              • Workgroups : 10 – 25 ppm
              • Departmental : 26 – 40 ppm
              • Mid-volume productions : 40 – 120 ppm
              • Production : 120 plus
              • Large format : for over-sized documents and engineering drawings
              • Cheque scanners : Will read the account number on a cheque, speeding processing
              • Microfilm : for digitising film-based documents

Document Imaging : Document images can be saved as one of a number of file formats,including:

              • TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) – Generally used for monochrome office documents.
              • JPEG – Often used for colour documents.
              • PDF – De facto standard-Replica of document With OCR text, can be full-text indexed and searchable.
              • PDF/A – Recent standard for archival storage.
              • GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) – Exchange and display for high-quality/resolution graphics.

Step 3: Image Clean-up
Many products include image-enhancement features to increase the quality of the scanned documents–de-skew, de-speckle, crop, rotate, and/or blank page and double feed detection, etc. This step can be performed by software or an image processing board in the scanner.

Step 4.a: Forms Processing
When forms are scanned, either the data or the entire form can be captured – depending on your business requirements. Data capture from a form can be entered seamlessly into the appropriate database and can be linked to other enterprise applications such as ERP.

Step 4.b: Recognition
Recognition is valuable for indexing each image.

               • OCR : (Optical Character Recognition): recognises machine-printed characters.
               • Zonal : used where only specific fields on a form are required.
               • Full-text : free form document conversion allowing search on all words in the document.
               • ICR : (Intelligent Character Recognition): for hand-printed characters.
               • OMR : (Optical Mark Recognition): recognises check boxes, filled-in bubbles, etc.
               • Bar codes : read and extract information form a pre-printed bar code.

Step 6: Quality Control/Assurance
Electronic images must be double-checked. Data can be validated by a second operator or via automated processes like database look-ups. Bad images are flagged and re-scanned.

Output : After going through the capture process, electronic content is released to:
              • Storage
              • Document filing/management system
              • Records management/Retention plan
              • Print
              • Email
              • Workflow/Business Process: a customer claim could be launched as insurance business process.
              • Enterprise Content Management system: access and collaboration across the enterprise.

Step 7: Backup & Log
Both metadata and images can be backed up at any location. The User activities log will capture all the activities performed by users and that cannot be edited come what may.