I can remember the meeting with some clarity. It was June of 1993, a very nice day, plenty of light was streaming into the massive windows that made up 2 sides of the office I had at the time. I had two visitors in my office, a very charismatic gentleman and a very knowledgeable young lady that was the product specialist. My guests had made contact with us through our association with Fujitsu Canada, a relationship that was barely one year old at the time.
The reason for the meeting was simple enough. If we sold Fujitsu Scanners, what software were we recommending to our clients to properly control the scanners? Likewise, were we attached to any particular scanner accelerator hardware? By way of explanation, the host personal computers of the day were relatively slow and underpowered, and it you had any hope of meeting the rated speed of the scanning hardware, an expensive add on board was required. But back to the scanning software.
The representatives in my office had travelled from Orange County in California, from a company called Kofax. At the time, their premium scan software offering was known as Kofax Ascent. It was revolutionary at the time in that it featured well defined queues to logically separate the various tasks involved in properly scanning small, or, as luck would have it, very large volumes of paper documents.
It had many strengths, most of which provided regulated processing but with flexibility that allowed informed resellers to design workflows that suited industry and client specific requirements. Once the systems were designed and built, there was no way to process scan capture without following the rules, which businesses loved. No longer could individuals or departments do things “their way”. As a result, accuracy improved, worker satisfaction improved and more work was processed in similar amounts of time.
We also found a lot of strengths in using Kofax in our service bureaus. We have designed many exotic and complicated workflows over the years, and have used several complimentary software products alongside Kofax over the past 30 years. We depend extensively on database lookups for validation, custom queues for quality control and complicated release scrips to format images and data exactly as our clients have requested them.
From time to time we research the market to determine if there are better capture products out there. So far, we have yet to find one, unless we consider the application we recently perfected in house; but that’s not really fair, ours is just for us!