How Sharp can build a bespoke solution for your unstructured data problem
With our latest version of Cloud Portal Office we have created a light document management system designed for small to medium sized businesses.
The primary problem we’re trying to solve is ‘unstructured data’. This is where people find it hard to find the data they need because it is stored in a host of different formats, from paper in a filing cabinet, to a file on a local PC, a shared drive, or even on a completely different system.
According to analysts, 30 per cent of an average employee’s time is spent trying to find documents, which can prove costly to a company of any size, even more so to a small or medium sized business.
With Cloud Portal Office we have created a library where you can store all your data and give it structure by adding index information, making it more useful to your organisation. Crucially, Cloud Portal Office now includes a whole host of new features, including support for our wider portfolio of tools, which means we can build a tailored solution for the specific needs of different businesses or departments.
These additional document and content management tools make it easier for you to get data into Cloud Portal Office and allow us to produce everything from simple management of documents for search and retrieval to enhanced workflow solutions.
They come from our Optimised Product Portfolio. In addition to our Sharp products, these are products from our partners that we have chosen for their business benefits and put through a rigorous evaluation process, so we know they work in harmony with our hardware and software and comply with our high security standards.
We look at a couple of different ways of using Cloud Portal Office below, with two different tools:
Simple digital indexing of paper documents
Our Optimised Scanning application integrates with Sharp MFPs to allow users to scan documents from the MFP and store them online. It has a range of features beyond the actual capture, such as allowing users to enhance or de-skew the image, so you can produce a better quality scan.
On top of this, it has a simple workflow engine, so you can route documents to particular folders. You can collect metadata, or index information with scanned images as well and root those to folders.
Overall, it’s a simple-to-use application that allows users to scan documents at the MFP and add index information. So for example, in a Human Resources document you might want to index a document against an employee’s name or department. Then output that as a file plus index data.
Automating simple document processes
Our Optimised Workflow Application goes further to include digital documents as well as scanned files. Documents being created in day-to-day applications, such as Word or email, can be processed and indexed alongside scans. In this way we can capture legacy paper documents in an office, categorise and index them, as well as work with electronic documents.
Once the information has been captured and has passed through the workflow, we can then store and manage it in Cloud Portal Office as a Document Management System.
This workflow engine can be configured for a wide range of user cases, such as an Accounts Payable process. Starting with the scanning of an invoice at the MFP, the application can automatically extract usable data from the invoice using optical character recognition, such as the total amount of the invoice, the supplier name and details and maybe even VAT just to check the invoice amount is correct.
It then has a decision engine that can be configured to your company’s needs, so for example if the invoice is less than a certain amount it passes though to the next step of the process, which will be payment. If the amount is over that set threshold, then it will be passed on to a line manager. So it has that sort of workflow capability in it.
It also has the ability to look up information from external systems. So, in the case of Accounts Payable, it can have an automated payment process, whereby it can check the figure it has extracted from the invoice total against what is in the purchase order and if they match the invoice can automatically be paid.
Let us tailor a solution for you
Ultimately, Cloud Portal Office offers benefits to any small or medium-sized business. From a reduction in print, copying, storage, software, hardware and employment costs, to reducing the reliance on paper through digital transformation, we can offer significant improvements in productivity, efficiency and collaboration.
If you’d like to know more about Cloud Portal Office please get in touch and we can arrange a demonstration of how we can help transform your organisation through connected technologies.
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