A conversation with Harvey Spencer, author of the AIIM Capture Software Product Study. Harvey laments that capture isn't sexy, points out the mess the market is, and his favorite part of writing the study.
Q: Let's cut to the chase; why should someone buy this report?
HS: Because the Capture situation is a mess and anyone trying to find his way around the plethora of available apps will rapidly become confused. On top of that as with any immature market – yes it is immature when you start to think beyond simple scanning – everyone claims everything,, terminology is confused, claims are extravagant, and new vendors keep popping up. We are trying to make some sense of this and get to the nub of what is real and what these products actually do. Into the bargain AIIM’s unique rating survey gives guidance on who provides the best support, how well these products integrate, value for money etc., etc. – so you should look at this as both a guide and disctionary – and in fact we included a pretty comprehensive glossary.
Q: I know it was sometimes painful, but what was your favorite part about writing this study (other than when you finished, of course)?
HS: Actually segmenting the products into something that made sense to end users’ usage and trying to provide a common terminology is what I enjoy. I have a low threshold for techno babble and like to try to get down to the issues of ”what does it do for me the potential user?”
Q: Why aren’t more companies using document imaging/capture tools? They work; and they’ve gotten easier to use. What’s the biggest hold-up to adoption?
HS: I think that it is probably two things; which are at opposing poles. One is that “I just want simple scanning and capture” – after all a recent AIIM survey showed that a majority of people are scanning and manually indexing records. These type products are low-cost consumer products or given away with hardware. The other side of the coin is complex installations that are integrated with business processes – this is not just a question of plugging together a few tools, this is right up there with any other complex IT project – the decision is do I build or buy. And to build you need some pretty clued-in people on staff who have to be allocated from other things, which likely are seen to have a higher priority. Unfortunately capture, despite very attractive ROIs, is down the bottom of the list of “sexy” technologies to IT – wrongly in my opinion, but I am prejudiced!
Q: Most inventive use of Capture Software that you’ve seen or heard about?
HS: Oh heck, when? When the mobile check capture stuff came out of Mitek, I was delighted since it finally laid to rest the myth that you had to read a check’s codeline magnetically. When it first came out, ReadSoft Invoice processing integrated with procure-to-pay that allows incoming paper invoices to be processed at electronic speeds was revolutionary. There are a number of others as we push the envelope.
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