Using PaaS to create an innovative Data Capture solution

As a prelude to this series of solutions on the topic of “Using PaaS to create an innovative Data Capture solution” we wanted to preface these posts and focus on the question of ‘where do I start if I want to build an effective capture solution?’.

Breaking the solution down into easily digestible components

With information capture being such an obvious way to decrease operational costs, increase efficiency, reduce risk and assist with compliance, then it begs the question of why wouldn’t everyone be using capture?  We need to breakdown the components of a capture solution to their lowest common denominator and share with others how to achieve an effective capture solution so that everyone can benefit from a technology that has a proven track record of success.  Breaking down the components of a capture solution involves three basic parts:  User Interface, Processing and Storage.  It’s really that simple.  Of course this is an oversimplification but those are the basic three components.

Can’t see the forest through the trees

One might think that a ‘capture solution’ starts with consideration of capture hardware (i.e. document scanner or smart phone camera) or capture software (i.e. OCR and forms processing applications).  Not true.  An effective capture solution, to the contrary, does not start with capturing information from an image.  Rather it starts with a well-defined process.  Capture is an extension of a process that makes things more efficient.

To give some specific examples we would like to provide four different business processes and breakdown the ‘Activity’, as it might happen in a manual process, and the ‘Benefit’, which is the result of what we are trying to achieve.  You will notice, while it’s pretty obvious, that the ‘Activity’ in each case can be slow, costly and inefficient yet many organizations continue to operate in this fashion because it’s the traditional way of doing business.  However, if you truly consider the ‘Benefit’ and know that in each ‘Process’ example below there are well established document capture solutions that can drastically improve these processes then hopefully this will drive more adoption of such a fantastic technology:

Process Activity Benefit
Contact Management Typing the information from a Business Card into Contact Relationship database You want to be able to organize and retrieve contact details
Expense Management Entering the information from a receipt into an Accounts Payable system You want to get reimbursed for your expense
Invoice Management Manual Data Entry of vendor, terms and total information into ERP application The organization would like to realize pre-pay discounts
Inventory Management Keying the line item details from a Packing List into inventory system The business can be more efficient by making product available for sale quicker


Building an effective capture solution:

Part 1 of 3 (User Experience/Device/Interface)
Part 2 of 3 (Capture/Processing/Transformation)
Part 3 of 3 (Storage/Business Policy/Workflow)

Data Capture Solutions using PaaS


Move on to  Part 1 of 3 (User Experience/Device/Interface) —->