Written by Brian Sherman
(Tampa, FL)— Getting the most efficiency and production from your current and future ECM solutions is a must in today's business environment. This year's AnyDoc Connection User and Reseller Conference, held Nov. 8-11, in Tampa, FL, provided many of these sessions to address those challenges. The AnyDoc Software staff and representatives of other manufacturers conducted several sessions on the use of specific products, vertical market applications, and service offerings for both VARs and end users.
This is the first year that AnyDoc, a provider of automated document and data capture solutions, included its end users in the yearly instructive conference. "Education has been the key to the success of our resellers, and this year we decided end users could benefit from the interactive sessions," said Charles W. Jackson, president of AnyDoc Software. The conference offered more than 24 breakout sessions covering a variety of technology and application topics.
End users and resellers were able to choose from technical, operational, or application education tracks. While this multiple track format may have limited me from attending two topics I was interested in that were presented in the same time slot, attendees told me it was beneficial to them. I found the sessions on capturing and processing documents, as well as demystifying scanning, to be most beneficial for the end users looking to understand the options and capabilities of their software and hardware. TWAIN, VRS (Virtual ReScan), and OCR (optical character recognition) were clarified, and the benefits of each were illustrated in demonstrations. For example, representatives demonstrated how AnyDoc's OCR software solution extracts the information you specify from invoices, forms, and documents in a multitude of applications.
One segment of the show that was especially well received by the reseller and end user audience was the Annual Spotlight on OCR for AnyDoc solutions. The company showcased four of its end users in a session in which each discussed its own specific applications of imaging and capture technology. These end users included representatives from Dr. Leonard's Healthcare Corp.; American Electric Power; the city of Winter Park, FL; and Northeast Utilities Service Corp. All were provided time to explain the particular problems their organizations faced prior to the implementation of AnyDoc for OCR, and the benefits they experienced with each new solution.
One of these stories was both timely and particularly interesting with the rash of hurricanes hitting Florida in the last couple of years. Winter Park, which was particularly hard hit, had difficulty trying to reconcile its receipts for cleanup and bills it submitted to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) following 2004's hurricanes. The municipality was hit with three Category 3 hurricanes within six week's time, with the result being a pile of more than 60,000 pages of bills for debris removal (more than $15 million worth). FEMA had an issue with Winter Park submitting these debris tickets manually since paper does not provide a searchable format that auditors can use to verify claims. The city's reimbursement hinged on getting the invoices into a manageable database.
Winter Park implemented AnyDoc's OCR solution in its city hall, and the outcome exceeded the targeted goals within a matter of weeks. The first stage resulted in reimbursement requests being completed in four week's time and electronic copies of all debris tickets produced and available on one CD for future audits. FEMA's appreciation and recognition of the new system allowed the city to bypass the audits and second review steps, resulting in no deductions from the city's reimbursement requests and a payment from the agency to Winter Park in just six weeks.
The other three presentations provided similar results for the end users, with the resellers that implemented the systems receiving the proper accolades for their work. These solutions included a catalog order scanning solution, an integration with an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, and an accounts payable system combined with the OCR.
AnyDoc also presented attendees with a glimpse of its upcoming product offerings and new technology platform. The OCR for AnyDoc products were updated in the last year with new document import options, a revised verification screen tool, and several other integration keys. AnyDoc also discussed details of several other future product offerings that are expected in the next couple of months, but that information has not been publicly released yet. Stay tuned to ECM Connection for news on these upcoming solutions in the coming weeks.
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Brian Sherman is chief editor of ECM Connection and Data Storage Connection