Several of today’s hottest trends are coming together to give enterprise managers the tools they need to get closer to their customers, gain data faster, and to save on costs. In the last couple of years, more and more of my enterprise customers have been asking for on demand capture that allows them to capture data at the end point. Through this distributed capture approach, anyone can start the data capture process instead of relying on the centralized data capture method where documents are scanned by a back office team.
Thanks to today’s emerging technologies, enterprise managers can have new applications developed that allow their individual users to input data immediately, at their offices or out in the field, via a personal scanner like the Fujitsu ScanSnap or mobile phone like the iPhone. Smart phones now feature larger and more responsive touch screens, and camera capabilities are becoming the norm. Applications that were previously not possible can now be offered very cost effectively. Now that cloud computing has entered the enterprise arena, companies can purchase server capacity when they need it without building their own server farm – helping them to focus their resources and reduce costs. And getting it to consumers could not be easier, thanks to app stores that give them an instant distribution channel to their customers who use an iPhone, Android-based phone or other device. Apple’s iPhone is popular today primarily for consumer applications, but with these technologies we will see iPhone apps for the enterprise market explode.
In upcoming posts I will be telling you of several interesting applications that are having success within the enterprise community, like this example from Intuit. They’ve developed a mobile app that uses OCR and cloud computing to make filing taxes easier. With TurboTax SnapTax for the iPhone, California residents can prepare and e-file their federal and state returns entirely from their iPhone. It uses OCR software to snap a photo of their W-2 with their iPhone, answer a few questions, and review their tax information and e-file in a matter of minutes. Want to see how this application works? Check out this YouTube video.
You can see how these new mobile technologies and cloud computing opens up a full range of opportunities. Whether it’s using mobile capture as a marketing tool to communicate better with end users or as a workgroup solution where individuals can start the data capture process from their smart phone, nearly every enterprise in the future can be using OCR within applications to address the challenge of capturing information accurately and swiftly.
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