1. Speed: An OCR product must often run in sync with other processes, such as a scanner or MFP device. You may want to avoid an OCR product that’s significantly slower than your scanner or MFP is in creating the files you’ll be OCR-ing. As such, the OCR processing rate may be a crucial factor. If you can perform the OCR as an after-process and not in real-time then OCR processing rates will be much less of a factor. Keep in mind that, generally speaking, there is a speed vs. accuracy tradeoff in OCR, the faster the OCR system, the less accurate the recognition process.
2. Accuracy: The accuracy of the OCR product may often be the deciding factor in determining which OCR system is appropriate. Many OCR products let the user select the desired accuracy level. There are at least two aspects to OCR accuracy that should be considered in evaluating an OCR system. One issue is how accurate the recognized text is with respect to the original document. The 2nd issue to consider is how accurate the page segmentation or decomposition is. In other words, are column headers, multi-column text, pictures, and graphs, etc. correctly detected?
3. Functionality: The 2 aspects of OCR accuracy (above, in 2.) relate directly to how functional the OCR output is going to be. For example, an OCR system with very accurate text recognition but poor page decomposition is perfect in an indexing environment since we just need to find all pages in the database with given text, and users have the ability to highlight the occurrences of the text on any page in which it occurs. For archiving in a records management environment, this is probably the kind of OCR accuracy that is required and accurate page decomposition (e.g. – multi-column text, column captions, etc.) is not (strictly) required.
4. Control: is an important factor in OCR selection. How does the user control the OCR process? In particular, does a given OCR system allow for multi-page processing? (Most systems do.) Does an OCR system support batch control? Does it have a watched folder mode? Can it be operated from the command line or via an SDK? i.e., how much OCR control is afforded to the user?
5. Finally, of course, there is price.OCR systems vary greatly in price, from $99 up to the $100,000’s. Of course, to some extent you get what you pay for. Price is often determined by several criteria, including: Is the OCR software out of the box? Is it for manual use or automated production use? Does it have any unique features that make it compelling for a certain application? How accurate can the system be when run in its most accurate mode? These are among the criteria used in determining OCR pricing.
Banking Industry: A Customer Testimonial
Documents drive the banking profession and CVISION Technologies has had a strong presence within the banking industry for years. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is one of Australia’s leading financial institutions with businesses in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the United Kingdom. We asked Edward Gallimore why the Bank chose PdfCompressor.
"We wanted to engage in a program of OCR-ing our document base of approximately 60 million pages - in order to improve our user experience, and allow quick navigation to parts of documents. After investigating half-a-dozen commercial OCR products in the marketplace, we quickly identified CVista PdfCompressor as being the preferred option. PdfCompressor outshone its competitors in a number of ways: PdfCompressor was the fastest of the products we investigated; it seemed robust and intended for server side 24x7 operation; PdfCompressor was easy to integrate into our processes (through a simple command line interface); it preserved rich content in our PDFs; and the compression features were a bonus for saving on storage and transmission costs."
— Edward Gallimore Senior Architect, Imaging Commonwealth Bank of Australia
CVISION Announces New European Sales Division
CVISION proudly announces the inception of a European Sales Division. The European Sales Division is headed by Susan Bosworth, formerly with 3Com Corporation and Microsoft Corporation. The focus in Europe will be on value added dealers and software vendors in order to provide complete solutions for the European market.
One of the European resellers Susan has visited recently is Lightspeed Business Solutions from Reading, in the UK.
Lightspeed is a specialist Document Management bureau based in the United Kingdom. They became a reseller after discovering the benefits of PdfCompressor for themselves. Lightspeed has become a successful member of the European sales network.
With a wealth of experience in Document Management, Lightspeed is well placed to cast a critical eye over any software they use – and after evaluating all the options, the decision to use PdfCompressor was an easy one.
Simon Cresswell, Business Project Manger for Lightspeed comments: "It’s not only PdfCompressor’s ability to compress and OCR documents so effectively; it’s the bullet proof reliability that is so important to us. We depend on it every day – and it never lets us down."
You can find out more about Lightspeed by visiting www.lighsol.co.uk
Upcoming Events: CVISION to be Exhibiting at AIIM 2007
Visit CVISION at AIIM Expo Conference in Boston, Booth #3028
CVISION Technologies will be exhibiting at AIIM Expo on April 17-19, 2007 at the Boston Convention Center. Please stop by and see CVISION at booth #3028.
AIIM Conference & Expo is the largest and most important annual gathering of information management professionals, featuring an educational program covering the breadth and depth of enterprise content and information management issues.
CVISION Informational Webinar: The Business Case for Converting Company Documents to PDF, and the Impact of PDF/A.
CVISION will be holding an online Webinar entitled: The Advantages of Converting your Company Documents to PDF. Topics including accuracy of the conversion process, compression, web optimization, OCR speed & accuracy, dbase auto-indexing, and PDF/A will be discussed. For your convenience, the presentation will be conducted right from your computer and is free of charge. The Webinar will be held on April 26th at 2:30 PM EST.
The technical support team within CVISION Technologies continues to provide strong customer service and solutions to clients. Here’s a recent, common question they encountered:
Q: Is it possible to search and index all of my PDF files?
A: Yes it is. The first order of business is to make sure that all your PDF files are indeed searchable. Once you know they’re searchable, its time to index them into your database using a full-text search engine.
There are of course differences in PDF file types. Some PDFs are electronically generated and naturally searchable. Other PDF files, such as image PDFs, need to be made searchable via an OCR process.
For image PDFs, the OCR process uses a hidden text layer to encode the text corresponding to each image page. There are numerous OCR software packages to make your image PDFs searchable, though accuracy and size of the resulting PDFs are important factors in selecting the right software for your company.
Some databases with older search engines may have some trouble indexing on image PDFs with hidden text. This can often be corrected for by updating to the latest version of the database and the latest release version of the search engine.
About CVISION Technologies
CVISION’s software helps convert PDF, TIFF, and JPEG files into compressed, web-optimized and text-searchable PDF files. CVISION software creates the world’s most compressed PDF files equipped with OCR. Our CVista PdfCompressor will reduce black & white documents to 1/10th of their size and color documents to 1/100th of their size. Using 10% of the storage, 10% of the bandwidth, and 10% of people time waiting to retrieve documents adds up to big savings.
CVISION has served the needs of industry leaders in the fields of Financial Services, Banking, Government, Real Estate, and Law; we are used by over 100 Fortune 500 Companies. CVISION PdfCompressor integrates with both Kofax and EMC Captiva, and includes CovR, a cover recognition module. If you are interested in seeing the advantages of CVISION’s software for yourself, please download our free 30-day evaluation copy.