We’ve gone Digital but can’t find a record of it!

By Demos Gougoulas

Today, many government and enterprise organisations are focused on implementing Process Automation initiatives. However, in many cases, the desire to be more efficient fails to consider the importance of capturing what comes out at the end of a process as a record.

There is more and more attention being paid to digital transformation, but often the simple task of correctly naming and registering information and putting it in the right place is a bridge too far. Traditionally records capture has been carried out at the end of the information life cycle as a product of compliance (Because we have to!)

Many organisations capture data as it is created or as it enters the business in order to distribute, process and utilise information (Because we want to!)

However, the current trend in digital transformation is seeing the focus placed on automating manual business processes and capturing the record as a consequence. (Records capture as a function of the business process)

This ‘business process digitisation’ is something we have been doing at EzeScan since 2002.  Digital is what we do!

Many of our customers are telling us that they are scanning less paper but processing more and more ‘born digital’ records. Ultimately their issues are the same, handling large volumes of information and having to perform manual data entry, all on tighter budgets. In the attempt to simplify electronic records management many organisations are trying to push some of the capture back to the business units, rather than centralised record-keeping.

Business units are better placed to fully understand the nature and value of the information they create and collect.  Ultimately, they are in best position to describe what each piece of information is and the value to the business or agency. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are both being applied in terrific ways to analyse and categorise large pools of historical records. However natural human intelligence is the best method for understanding the significance of a transaction as it occurs.

While many organisations want to capture digital assets in place, they are rightly concerned about how they can comply with digitisation and records standards.

Unfortunately for the organisation many individuals see the function of registering records as “not my job!”.  Whether it is paper or electronic, the work involved in capturing records – document preparation, paper and file handling, registration, profiling, etc. -  is just not that much fun.

The familiar result is people name their documents with silly names and dump them in the wrong place.

Records capture should be invisible, seamless and should just happen! At EzeScan our focus is helping record managers make the practice of record-keeping a function of the business process as opposed to an obligation at the end of the information life cycle.

This can begin with an appropriately designed and configured EzeScan batch capture solution, which provides governance and compliance functions in addition to being a fast and cost-effective method to digitise, capture and register documents of all types. 

Seamless integration with many popular EDRMS platforms has made it product of choice for many records and information managers.

With EzeScan, our customers are able to batch processing both physical and electronic documents including email.  Over time the reliance of physical documents is being phased out as paper-based workflows are migrated to digital workflows.

At the core of every EzeScan batch capture implementation is alignment of the business process with the recording of defined information associated with that process as a record.

The added value is EzeScan’s ability to:

• initiate intelligent automated processes

• accelerate document delivery

• minimise manual document handling

• capture critical information on-the-fly

• ensure regulatory and digitisation standards compliance.

In production environments, EzeScan can be used as the principal records tool for the capture and recording of the digital assets. For decentralised capture, EzeScan’s suite of WebApps provide records-aligned business process tools for all staff within an agency and the members of the public they interact with.  The WebApps ensure the digital assets are captured with the required metadata, named and filed correctly, distributed to the required personnel, initiate the correct record action or workflow, all with little effort and no records management expertise. WebApp solutions include automated records workgroup capture from MFDs, digital mailroom distribution, mobile digital file capture, file approval and intelligent barcode creation.

One of the latest EzeScan WebApps is the “DIGITAL FORMS ASSISTANT (DFA)”. The EzeScan Digital Forms Assistant (DFA) is the ideal tool for any agency to effortlessly transfer labour-intensive paper-based business processes to efficient digital online ones. The Web-based admin interface makes it easy to create and manage web forms (such as applications, surveys, multi-choice exams and customer feedback forms to name but a few) by simply adding the required forms objects to the Web page (e.g. radio buttons, tick boxes, list boxes, lookups, grids or images).  Web forms can be accessed either internally on a company intranet or externally via the internet.

Captured information can be validated in realtime with static metadata applied automatically. For every digital form submitted, the EzeScan WebApp Server can generate an XML file containing the captured data and optionally render the web form as digital asset (PDF) and automatically name and file this correctly into your EDRMS.  For supported EDRMS systems, EzeScan can also satisfy compliance and governance requirements or automatically trigger workflows delivering even greater business process automation.

Demos Gougoulas is Sales & Channel Manager with Outback Imaging, creator of EzeScan. Email him at demos@ezescan.com.au