The OCR Reality Behind SharePoint, SalesForce and More

By Joe Budelli posted 09-14-2011 15:14


Being able to easily search, access, store and share information is a vital part of any office workflow. As an organization grows, so does their content. This ultimately results in documents being scattered across departments or business units, in servers or in files. Complicating this further is the fact that searching and accessing documents takes time, which is only becoming less abundant, and sharing information often becomes an excruciating task.

All of these factors combine to make having an effective document and content management strategy in place, critical. Depending on the type of business, organizations often adopt ERM, ECM, CMS and CRM systems for saving their documents and routing them throughout the organization’s processes. These solutions include forward looking and virtual services like Microsoft SharePoint and SalesForce. If you are unfamiliar with these, SharePoint is a multi-purpose web platform that allows organizations to easily and effectively manage, share and publish documents and information. Salesforce is an enterprise CRM solution on the cloud that helps companies connect to customers and employees, and drive their sales efforts.

These tools are extremely powerful and useful; however, utilizing Salesforce and SharePoint are only part of the story.To make these solutions as effective as possible, capturing data generated both in the office and from mobile devices, and having OCR solutions in place are critical to building out the backend systems they leverage.

OCR is a powerful add-on to these enterprise engines as it gives them the capability to search through content. Normally ERM, ECM, CMS and CRM solutions can index full text only in document file formats like HTML, RTF, DOC, XLS, etc. In reality, a lot of important information is also contained in image files, such as JPEGs, or highly popular PDFs and TIFFs, and remains invisible for conventional search engines. Scanned and photographed documents, invoices, letters, contracts – all these documents can be retrieved only using the file name, but not using the actual content of the document. To extend full-text search to all document types, and leave no important knowledge undiscovered, OCR functionality is a must.

As businesses adjust and adapt to technologies and solutions such as SharePoint and Salesforce, the OCR industry needs to as well. We should look at these solutions as an opportunity for growth and expansion of our technology.  At ABBYY, we know that ERM, ECM, CMS and CRM systems are a must for any organization, and are working to be compatible with them.

Does your organization leverage OCR and data capture solutions as part of your SharePoint or Salesforce deployment? Where do you think progress still needs to be made?

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