Replacement for fax right under our noses

Jul 12

How does a technology first invented in 1843 and executed in 1924 still exist as a primary function in our working lives? I’m talking about fax. The fax technology is old and outdated. I personally avoid fax simply because of principle. But my principle alone will not make big changes in adoption. What people don’t understand is that we have a fax replacement right under our noses, one that is both green and as easy to use.

The combination of a document scanner, imaging software, and email software is a complete fax replacement solution. Instead of typing in phone numbers users, can type in email addresses. In fax you double the amount of paper that exists. Paper in, paper out. With the document scanning approach, you are reducing the paper consumption, paper in, email out. Most document scanners today even ship with a pre-configured “Scan to Email” option. On a production level, systems can be setup in offices, your local Kinkos, wherever, to allow multiple users to access the same document scanner and scan to any email with a basic step-by-step wizard.

Not only is fax to email saving trees, it is also increasing efficiency and when combined with workflow, document imaging, OCR, and data capture, it adds much greater value for that single piece of paper.

These systems do in fact exist in small corners of the world, and I have participated in the development and setup of them. The adoption is still very low. What it comes down to is fear of change. People understand paper to paper. Many users of fax don’t even know what email is. There are two ways this can be solved, time and forced adoption. While I would hope for the second which would be a campaign of replacing all fax machines with scanners, it’s very unlikely and requires unity of multiple competing entities.

No I do not like fax, but I understand it. And I hope that sooner rather than later people see there has been a solution to replace fax that is both saving trees, increasing efficiency and has existed for many years.

Chris Riley – About

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Why buy what I already own!?

Feb 21

Many people inherit full-page Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology by simply purchasing a scanner or a multi-function (MFP) device. All these pieces of hardware include various software packages and OCR is one of the most common. Often the software is never used or the use isn’t always clear. Other times, the bundle is a tight integration with the hardware and the OCR is a part of configuration of the scanner and is used during scanning unknown to the user.

Bundled OCR technology is the easiest way to learn through use, and get the technology for a low price. Bundled software has contributed a great deal to market education and understand around the advance technologies. All the top OCR engines have a consumer product bundled with a document scanner or multi-function device. But because it’s already there, it leaves many wondering why you would ever purchase the software directly.

For many, the bundled OCR is sufficient for use. The quality of documents is clean, and the demand for advanced options is not required. But for others they just need more. This is why more advanced versions exist. Bundled OCR, even from the best vendors, is limited or an older version of the product. Some of the vendors make a special “bundle only version”, while others choose to incorporate non-current versions. Not only is buying the software directly getting the latest technology with the best features, the biggest drive to purchase is a greater more specific need to focus on OCR functionality. This could be because you are scanning old documents, degraded documents, or you need special settings such as compression and PDF/A functionality that is simply not found in bundled versions.

Vendors don’t make any money on bundled OCR other than to cover costs. Because vendors use for the most part bundled versions as marketing, they don’t incorporate the latest, greatest, and most advanced features. For those who the document version process is very important, there is a clear benefit in quality OCR packages.

Chris Riley – About

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