Capture Software: Four Features That Can Have Hidden Costs

By Greg Council posted 07-19-2013 08:28


In today’s digitally-packed world, there are enough software solutions to make an OEM or reseller’s hard drive spin.  Some software can be feature rich but very complex, while others are easier to use but limited in features. Needless to say, uncovering the best technology to address your clients’ needs and integrating it into your technology package, can be a daunting task.

Company leaders spend a lot of time filtering through a laundry list of features and technical requirements in order to select the best solution. And solution vendors often make this more difficult, as some  are prone to accentuate their features while downplaying the hidden costs of installation, configuration, and operational use. Some try to disguise total pricing for the features that they do tout. The result is frustrated business users that are stuck with a solution that is long on the feature list but short on the promise.

Both OEMs and resellers find themselves in the same predicament when selecting the best capture software. Here are four important features to look for when considering a capture solution from the “hidden costs” side.

  • The ability to capture all types of document information in the same solution. There are many well-known packages out there that talk about machine print (OCR), ICR, and even unconstrained handwriting, but offer them in different software packages that require additional set-up, configuration, and cost.
  • The software can handle structured, semi-structured, and unstructured capture in a single solution and within a single workflow.  Many capture solutions separate their structured, semi-structured, and unstructured offerings in order to charge an additional fee for a solution that can handle all three.
  • Allows configuration of document types/classes and workflows without having to move through multiple applications or user interfaces.  The fewer screens or applications required, the easier it is to actually get things done in both a comprehensive and accurate manner. Ask to see how a document type is set-up and count how many different steps are required.
  • Provides a comprehensive test capability of data extraction results.  Many solutions have limited capabilities to actually see real world results, in context of the document and to make refinements. Even fewer offer real-time statistics on document classification and field recognition results. Ask to see how results are verified and see if it meets your needs. Having easy and comprehensive access to results and statistics ensures that your capture project will have all the bases covered prior to production.

There are a lot of capture solutions on the market, and while many have the features and capabilities businesses are searching for, they are delivered in a variety of packages. Be sure to cut through the hype to find out if the solution meets your organization’s specific needs.


Greg Council is director of product management for Parascript, a leading recognition solutions provider, online at

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