Thursday, December 8, 2011

Distributed Capture vs. Centralized Capture? The Cost Matters.

Distributed capture or centralized capture? Deciding on which approach to use to cost-effectively manage paper and electronic documents is based on your processes for handling documents, and the technologies used. As cloud computing (SaaS) becomes as familiar a term as the word “social,” managing and processing company documents comes down to these two opposite choices.

Centralized Capture
In a centralized process, all document capture is done at one location. All the system components — clerical staff, software applications, knowledge workers, servers, scanners, repository, etc. — are typically located at corporate headquarters (the gatekeeper).

But if your company has multiple locations around the country, then documents are typically boxed up and periodically shipped to headquarters for processing. That can lead to multiple problems:

  • Potential for lost or misplaced documents
  • Delays in document processing and slow turnaround expectations
  • Transportation/shipping costs
  • Dedicated staff to process the volume of content arriving at the central office (creating a new cost center)
  • Space, power and environmental requirements
  • Equipment, software licensing, ongoing maintenance and support costs that are significantly more expensive than alternative approaches
Surprisingly enough, the centralized approach has traditionally been the favored model of today’s large corporations. Why? “Centralized” is thought to be the obvious way to solve business problems in the IT world. Corporations like the idea of “keeping control.” The solution conforms to a gatekeeper mentality, and the solution stays close to the ivory tower.

But there’s another reason why centralized scanning has been the de facto solution: Many IT staffers at large corporations maintain a preconceived notion that they can build a better mousetrap based on the rationale that “nobody knows our business better than we do”. Hence, they often build their own proprietary document capture systems.

What business is your company in? 
Therein lies the problem. Is your company in the business of X, or is it in the business of researching and developing, maintaining, and supporting document capture systems? These days, few, if any, organizations can legitimately justify the cost of building a complete capture application from the ground up, and then adequately maintain and support it, along with the user base, over the life of the application.

How can a proprietary system remain competitive with the fast-paced ECM industry, with all of the technological changes that occur — specifically in document capture, with all of its associated, granular subcomponents?

Distributed Capture 
In the distributed model -- capture done from any location – the software can be immediately deployed to serve the needs of internal users (rather than, say, 6 or 12 months from now, if your company’s lucky).

Distributed capture and indexing software enables users to input electronic documents, scan paper documents and input indexed data (or Metadata) from any PC at any location. The content can then be accessed anytime for further processing and/or retrieval purposes. Software for distributed capture is available in the traditional, installed-on-premise method, a pre-configured network appliance, or via the SaaS model, in which companies contract the service and all users access the software using a Web browser.

So, why isn’t everyone moving to distributed capture? 
Good question.  There is s still a number of people and organizations that think in terms of "centralized" rather than "decentralized."  One needs to look no further than our Federal Government to begin to understand why monolithic environments still exist and continue to grow even though we know decentralizing control promises to offer numerous opportunities to lower costs and improve efficiency.  Chalk it up to an ongoing, needed education process that a viable alternative exists.  It is similar to why some in the business community continue to remain skeptical about the Cloud alternative.  Despite the high costs to customers, the majority of legacy ECM vendors are still locked into the old way of thinking about software delivery – conventional installation on-premise rather than SaaS.

Neither is the ECM industry immune from the “centralized is the only way” trend. For years, many vendors downplayed the idea of distributed capture, saying it wasn’t practical because the technology wasn’t ready for prime time.

So far, we have yet to see where a distributed, web-based document capture solution could not perform similar tasks to that of the legacy, thick-client production applications that ECM vendors have been selling for a decade or two. In fact some things are actually performed better in a web environment rather than a thick client.  For example client driven database look ups in a web based environment are more secure because they don't require local ODBC or other methods of database connectivity be installed on the local workstations.

The other differential? Lower cost. It’s not unheard of for mid-market or enterprise organizations to incur costs for centralized document capture software systems (from traditional vendors) that exceed six or seven figures. That kind of money simply does not need to be spent on a document capture solution.

In an era where margins are constantly under fire, a distributed capture approach is where your organization’s primary focus should be today and for the foreseeable future. Because it’s no longer a question about capability, it’s about cost.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Free your Forms from Paper - FOREVER

CAPSYS and Ricoh-EWS jointly participated in presenting Ricoh's eQuill integrated with CAPSYS CAPTURE.  There was overwhelming interest in the offering.  An elegantly designed device that eliminates the need for a pen, paper based business forms, and a clipboard, coupled with a set of rich Cloud Services, integrated with CAPSYS CAPTURE's Power of Choice Universal On-Ramp for content ingestion, its no wonder why!

Check out CAPSYS' and Ricoh's recently published a whitepaper that we handed out at the AIIM October 6 show in Chicago by clicking here.



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fortune 100 Company says, "WOW, what an improvement!"

That's what a Fortune 100 customer says about the A/P process improvements recently delivered to them by CAPSYS partner, Tronitech located in Indianapolis, IN.  In fact, Tronitech's CEO Bud Arkenau headlined the success story in their recent newsletter:

Featured Story

Improving the A/P process at a large Fortune 100 equipment manufacturing company using our custom SaaS model of CAPSYS CAPTURE document management application. We worked with them to develop a process that eliminates the paper handling in the A/P approval and payment process. All paper is now scanned immediately when received and is routed electronically to everyone involved. When the review and apporval process is complete, the documents are passed on to their ECM system for archiving. No more double keying of information, or "where is the document" questions. They also no longer have to worry about who has the document and when they received it. Our solution tracks and stores all that information. As one of their employees said:  "WOW what an improvement." Our workflow implementation allowed this company to increase efficiency, decrease man-hours and provided a safe and secure storage solution.

Check out the basic workfllow we used   If you have a document process that needs streamlined, please contact Tronitech at:


Congratulations Team Tronitech!  Partners, we love to hear about your mounting CAPSYS CAPTURE success stories, keep them coming! 



Friday, September 23, 2011

CAPTURE FORMS-BASED DATA AT ITS SOURCE Eliminate Paper and Automate Data Entry Steps for Any Form, Anywhere

While we might have begun over a decade or two ago to utilize newer methods of information exchange in the form of “electronic representations” of documents, and our collective intent was to consume “less paper” within the business community, 20 years later we certainly still have a long way to go in order to achieve utopia.  Even with a viable alternative technological based platform, the business reality is there are many paper documents used during the course of daily business transactions – as hard as we may otherwise try – because of economic, process or technology-based reasons that simply cannot be captured into a business workflow by any means other than a document scanning and indexing process.  

What can realistically be done to better address the seemingly growing appetite for paper consumption in business?  Is there really an effective alternative to paper?  How does a business handle the intermixing of paper, electronic, and paper replacement technologies into their daily operations?  Is there a cost effective, acceptable electronic alternative that truly will allow the actual “replacement” of physical paper documents?  What about the practical and legal issues businesses face when presented with establishing intent, the four corners rule, wet signatures, and assuring the authenticity of original documents?

Imagine this opportunity for a moment.  What if, for example at your local Doctor's office  instead of being handed a traditional clipboard, pen and a multi-paged structured form you were handed a "device" that contains all the characteristics of a structured, paper based form, and a writing instrument that has pen/pencil like qualities and was about the size of an Amazon Kindle or Apple iPad?  And, the content produced by this device is considered legally binding, eliminating the need for hard copy documents? 

About six months ago, we were privileged to be introduced to an organization called Ricoh-EWS that have developed a very interesting piece of technology coupled with a rich set of Web Services called eQuill.  We think the Ricoh's eQuill + Cloud Services offering has tremendous potential in the marketplace across many industry verticals.  

Connect this device and its rich set of services up with CAPSYS CAPTURE powered by Microsoft Windows Azure, and you have a very powerful Cloud-based means of processing structured, semi-structured and unstructured content.  

Check back soon for complete run down on Ricoh's eQuill coupled with CAPSYS CAPTURE in an upcoming co-authored whitepaper.  In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about this offering, contact us.



Thursday, June 9, 2011

CAPSYS CAPTURE Release Module for Microsoft SharePoint 2010

CAPSYS is please to announce the release of its updated SharePoint release module supporting Microsoft SharePoint 2010.  For a product description, please visit:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

5 Reasons why SMB's aren't using Cloud?? You decide.

Recently an article was brought to my attention about why the SMB market is not embracing the Cloud.  Clearly, we here at CAPSYS are seeing quite different results not only with the SMB market, but also with Enterprise and Global 2000 clients.  Just couldn't let this one go ;-)  With that said, the original article and my response can be found here:



Friday, April 29, 2011

CAPSYS Document Indexing Tech Tip!

Attention user community: Here are a quick set of tips for the document indexing component of CAPSYS CAPTURE that will speed up your indexing process:

Keyboard Shortcut definitions for Indexing Page Functions 

  • New Document [alt - n] 
  • New Empty Document [alt - e] 
  • Append Page to Document  [alt - p] 
  • Append All Pages to Document [alt - l] 
  • Clear Indexes  [alt - r] 
  • Complete/Release  [alt - c] 
  • Unlock Case  [alt - u] 
  • Save Indexes  [alt - s] 
  • Copy Document  [alt - o] 
  • Split Document  [alt - i] 
  • Delete Document  [alt - delete] 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Simplifying the Order Entry Process using the Email Gateway for CAPSYS CAPTURE

The Problem
Many businesses today frequently utilize email as an acceptable tool for facilitating routine business transactions.  Email poses a number of organizational and process challenges when it comes to automating an order entry process.   While email serves as a convenient "catch all" for receiving voluminous amounts of incoming transactions, such as purchase order requests, it can create on the receiving side of the order entry process - chaos.

First, we can all agree on the surface the process appears to be very simple:  1) Set up an alias email address on your email server called, "  2) Designate a CSR or somebody on your staff to monitor the incoming email address for orders.  3) Send an order acknowledge back to the customer indicating you have received their order.  4) Process the order like you would any other purchase order you have received via FAX, US Mail, Online, etc.

Unintended Consequences
You may have now come to find out while it all seemed rather easy, you have introduced an entirely new set of problems to deal with: 1) Some customers send a PO request as an attachment to their email which means you have to print out the email msg AND the email attachment so you have the complete record of the PO request.  2) Customers supply their email with an attachment such as a PDF while others choose to send you the raw file that they produced the PO request in (WORD, Excel, TIF, JPEG, etc.)  3) You now have all kinds of different flavors of attachments coming to your CSR who may not be familiar with how to open all the different formats, or he/she might not have the proper rendering software application on their desktop to open up the attachment.  4) You either now have come to realize you must develop some sort of electronic filing system for your incoming email messages and attachments so you maintain a historical bread crumb trail of the transactions or; elect to print out all your messages and attachments and revert back to a paper filing system (only later to prep, scan and index?).

What you have accomplished may all look good from the outside to your customers, but in reality your employees are frustrated with the way all this has panned out internally.  Emails are piling up, if you are a seasonal business, this can become really problematic.   There is no consistency in which customers create their email messages and attachments.  Paper still exists in the process.  Somebody internally on your staff needs to sort through the messages by sender to figure out which orders belong to which CSR and forward them on yet again, creating another manual step in the order entry process.

Automated Email Capture with CAPSYS CAPTURE
Automated email input for CAPSYS has never been easier with CAPSYS CAPTURE Email Gateway.  CAPSYS CAPTURE Email Gateway QSX supports traditional email systems such as SMTP, MAPI and IMAP which support most of the major mail server configurations.  All of the email message content and its associated attachments are automatically captured so we may utilize as much of the message content to facilitate and automated the document indexing process.  Further, email messages and their associated attachments are routed to the correct CSR for order processing and are consistently managed and processed day after day.  These features dramatically cut down on labor and costs typically associated with error prone, manual data entry processes.

Configuration is a snap!  CAPSYS CAPTURE Email Gateway has a simple to use, user interface which is designed for the business analyst to setup and configure.  No programming or scripting is required.   

Our built in message interrogation capability allows the Gateway to either accept or reject the message based on pre-defined business rules. Each message by replied back with an acknowledgment using an automated message reply.  Rules can be based on sender address, whether or not an attachment exists, or if the attachment does not meet the preset requirements. 

Find out more about CAPSYS CAPTURE's Email Gateway by contacting CAPSYS.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

SMB's finally moving to Cloud? Microsoft sees it that way!

It was only a matter of time.  The Global 2000 organizations got the message loud and clear years ago about the Economic Benefits of Cloud Computing.  Will the SMB market finally wake up from its nap?  Check out this article posted by CMSWIRE on April 1, 2011. (Thanks for the tip from our friends at Element R Partners

Some gems in the article that caught my attention:
  • The value of the cloud market in the SMB space is close to US$ 21 billion.
  • Nearly one in three SMBs use cloud services, with cloud usage among SMBs expected to rise to 42%.
  • One in three SMBs plan to change the way data is stored, moving more data to the cloud, with many planning to reduce their use of local system hard drives and direct-attached storage.
  • Microsoft’s SMB Cloud Adoption Study 2011 seems to suggest a gradual, rather than abrupt, change over a period of three years.
  • "Cloud adoption will be gradual, and SMBs will continue to operate in a hybrid model with an increasing blend between off-premises and traditional on-premises infrastructure, for the foreseeable future,” said Marco Limena, vice president, Business Channels, Worldwide Communications Sector at Microsoft.
Full article available at:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irresponsible IT Spending by the Government - You Decide

I can already envision the hate mail that will be forthcoming after this blog post sinks in.  But what the heck, government spending is on the top of the list of reasonable thinking citizens these days, so the topic is fair game in my book.

We, like many of you in the IT sector receive RFP's from our various government institutions. Having personally seen some of these RFPs, I am simply amazed at the continued out of control spending on IT initiatives when government spending should be dramatically cut.  But, the RFP's and no bid contracts for IT projects continue to freely flow in States that are for all intensive purposes, broke.

Here is a fair set of questions we should all be asking: Where is the money coming from to support the continued spending in On Premise IT solutions?  Why are hardware and software maintenance contracts for On-Premise IT solutions continually being renewed for IT On Premise hardware and software products that can very well be replaced with a fully capable, lower cost alternative?  Wouldn't you want your government officials looking at viable choices that can dramatically slash their spending habits for the benefit of the tax payer?

The way I see it, our government officials can either choose to save the tax payer large sums of money year after year by looking at an alternative or continue to needlessly spend the precious, limited dollars at the peril of the tax payer.   So you ask, what is the alternative in which I am speaking of?  Software as a Service or (SaaS).

Now the naysayers are already frantically typing away with all the reasons why SaaS and Cloud are not viable in the government sector: citing data security, physical security, firewall issues, ongoing costs, the current software provider doesn't provide their solution in the cloud - yada yada, yada. The fact of the matter is governmental bodies can save the tax payers real, substantive tax payer dollars on  many different fronts without sacrificing features, functionality, security, accessibility, scalability, etc.  They just need to make extra effort to actually look for alternative solutions in the marketplace.

As a result of moving to SaaS based IT solutions, they more than likely will achieve entirely new levels of cost savings and new application functionality with SaaS alternatives than any on-premise based solution they have today.  Please, don't waste your time or mine trying to refute the facts, many white papers are readily available on the internet by respected industry giants that adequately address those subjects.

Mathematics simply will tell the story better than any crafty word-smithing.  Thank goodness mathematics are one of the subjects in the world that still remains on a solid footing.  Let's look at real life Total Cost of Ownership example -software and hardware deployment for a Document Capture solution to get my point across, though the exercise can easily apply to any application with some foresight.

When you look at TCO in the document capture market, the typical approach to breaking the initial CAPEX and Annual Reoccurring cost structure is a follows:

To help bring some clarity to an industry inundated with acronyms, I will provide you with some definitions:
  • # of Conc. Users – Total number of software licenses needed to support user community
  • Max IPY Page Vol - Some vendors charge on the basis of Images Per Year & cap their annual/monthly license page counts
  • Annual D.C. cost - Datacenter Charge backs from an outside IT infrastructure provider. 
  • Projected PSG – IT Professional Services Group charges that are assessed for outside IT consultancy contractor services.     
In this example, the customer is presented with the traditional option to continue to spend your tax payer dollars on annual software assurance and IT support contract for an existing document capture solution with an annual cost of $157,559.  Special Note: this illustration doesn't even address the required tax payers dollars to initially purchase the actual software application.  We are just focusing on the operational costs to support and maintain the application. Ouch.

First, notice the Year 2 TCO: $157k Annual Invoice conducted through an expensive and time consuming RFP process, and board approval process vs. $57k SaaS, Annual operational expense billed on a Monthly basis. As a tax payer, which option is represents the more fiscally sound decision and which would you prefer your governmental body to choose -$57k or $157k?

Second, take notice of the fact that there is the entire elimination of the annual data center cost!  That's right, there is no charge…$0.  Why?  Because the outsourced IT firm that was charging back the government to stand up, install, maintain, patch, hotfix, support, etc. the server infrastructure that was used to provision the on-premise IT system isn't needed anymore.  It is all managed by the SaaS provider who is the subject matter expert on the application.  The SaaS provider provides the infrastructure designed and optimized to support their system, thus, there is absolutely no need to pay a third party outsourcing provider.  So there is even more benefits than just the economic aspects.  Interesting thought isn't it?

Thirdly, let’s take a look at the first years cost: Monthly/Annual Cost + Annual D.C. Cost + Projected PSG Cost which = Year One TCO or $165,559.  Or, alternatively the government officials can choose the lower cost alternative of $44,757 + 0 + 24k = $81k.  Huh, the governmental officials have a choice to either spend $81k vs. $165k in the first year.  As a tax payer, which option would you like your governmental body to choose?  

So, the next time you are at your local county board meeting and / or you see a State or Federal RFP issued for IT products and services, you now know there are viable options to the age old out of control spending that has been occurring for decades - at least in the world of IT.  Write me back and let me know your thoughts!



Monday, February 7, 2011

What does the Microsoft Azure opportuntiy mean for you and your business?

To Embrace the Cloud or Not, that is the question before all of us ;-)

Have you given much thought to the Microsoft Azure Cloud Computing strategy and its inevitable effect on your business?   Or, when somebody mentions Azure, does Prime Rib immediately come to mind?

BTW, Microsoft points out that the best way to remember how to pronounce Azure is to think of it like this: "AS you are walking through the door."

Microsoft Azure and Cloud computing is quite the buzz in the world of IT these days, how much time have you and your executive team dedicated towards a single discussion around the subject?  Are you aware of the massive Cloud initiatives currently underway by Amazon, Apple, ( and others?   Microsoft sees those vendors as a serious competitive threat to the traditional Microsoft based datacenter/on-premise based solutions - if they see competitive Cloud offerings as a threat, how does your organization view the Cloud?  How will the Cloud affect your ECM business?  What will the Cloud do to the traditional pricing models that exist in the market place today?  What will the Cloud do to my top line revenue growth forecasts? How do I address commission/comp plans?  Can I finance Cloud receivables?  These questions are just a tip of the iceberg.  You can either stick your head in the sand and ignore the challenge and deny the opportunity or you can choose to face the challenge head on and find the "opportunity."

You can see the topic of the Cloud will open an entirely new set discussions at an executive level and will present a new set of challenges. 

No doubt there is a whirlwind of change occurring right before your eyes with your customers.  If you haven't been talking to them about Cloud-based initiatives they are contemplating, I'll betcha dollars to donuts your competition is.   The economic value proposition is simply undeniable and let's face it, "dollars and cents" do a lot convincing these days with buyers in the sales cycle.  

First, if you know nothing about Microsoft Azure, here is a great set of resource to start with, although I promise you reading through the abundance of Microsoft authored whitepapers will take more than a few minutes:  

For the sake of time, let me provide you with an abridged version.  Microsoft Azure is a group of computing services based offered via the "Cloud." In other words, rather than buying, installing, provisioning and maintaining your own hardware/OS platforms, why not exploit the massive availability of web-accessible Windows servers in the market today?

Today, Microsoft Azure services can be broken down into the following 4 major categories: 

1) Windows Azure AppFabric;
2) SQL Azure (which CAPSYS CAPTURE announced support in early February);
3) Windows Azure and;
4) Windows Azure Marketplace.

  • Windows Azure: A Windows environment similar to what you have experienced in the past, only this time hosted in the Cloud for the purposes of running applications and storing data on computers in Microsoft data centers. 
  • SQL Azure: Relational data services in the cloud, based on SQL Server - again hosted in Microsoft's Datacenter.
  • Windows Azure AppFabric: Cloud-based infrastructure services for applications running in the cloud or on premises, hosted in Microsoft's Datacenter.
  • Windows Azure Marketplace: An online service for purchasing cloud-based data and applications.
So, why should you care and how does affect your business as a CAPSYS business partner, what is the opportunity for you and your business?  Here are a handful of points to noodle on and get your started in the right direction:

  1. Are you interested in "completely resetting the table" from a competitive positioning standpoint or do you like the idea of walking into a competitive situation and saying "we can do that, or me too?"    
  2. Do you sleep well at night hoping for the "one hit wonders" every quarter that you have banked on for years knowing that that they are growing further and farther in between due to CAPEX restrictions or; 
  3. Are you interested in a more predictable revenue/profit growth model?  Albeit at a smaller clip than on-premise transactions, but PREDICTABLE.
  4. Have you grown tried of fretting over whether or not your largest Software Assurance Renewals are actually going to "renew" year after year?  Or, perhaps your customers have caught wind of the "game" and know to beat you up every year for a 10% discount while your vendors are somehow justifying raising their cost to you for SWA renewals?  Tired of getting squeezed? 
  5. Are you interested in putting forth a solution in front of your prospect that any on-premise based competitive offering would have a very difficult if not impossible time task of matching or beating terms of: Time to Market, Cost and ROI?
If any one of these questions hit a nerve, than you should give serious thought to looking into Cloud based solutions because the Cloud is positioned very well to address everyone of the questions/challenges raised here plus offer plenty more opportunity than I can discuss in this post.

One other point I will leave you with.  Consider Microsoft's massive marketing machine and give some thought how your business can effectively ride that wave.  Did you know that you can market your solution through Microsoft's Pinpoint online marketing engine - for free? Assuming you are an authorized Microsoft Partner.  Don't have a Microsoft Azure solution to go to market with?  Well, if you are an authorized CAPSYS Business Partner, than you need to rethink your answer because YES you do!   CAPSYS now supports Microsoft SQL Azure.  So, update your Microsoft Pinpoint profiles.  Perhaps your business is not currently a Microsoft Authorized Business Partner.  visit www. and as Larry the Cable Guy says, "Get 'er Done!"


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Economic Value Proposition and Creative Marketing on behalf of one of our valued Partners

There is something to be said about going the "extra mile" to get your point across.  Our industry for many years has relied on publishing its customer successes using traditional printed materials, then relying on proactive PR efforts to hopefully pick the story up and publish it in some trade journal.  Well, times have changed as a result of social media.  Here is a fine example of - courtesy of one of our business partners - what I personally think is a more creative way to get your partner successes evangelized in the marketplace - YouTube.  Yes, a bit more pricey than traditional forms of marketing, but from a cost and impact per impression standpoint - rather hard to beat.  Plus, as we have all seen, YouTube videos have the potential in going viral.  Rather difficult task for a printed case study to become "viral."

Note that this video focuses on the customer talking about how they re-engineered their internal business process - essentially "externalizing their business process" and making it directly available to their partner channel via CAPSYS CAPTURE.  With CAPSYS, this customer now has found a new, innovative way to externalize the economic value of the process directly to their elite partner channel.  Hey, enough of my the video and let us know what you think?  

Bekins Van Lines Outflanks the Industry Giants!