Be Master of your Document Domain

Integrating IT Applications into your Enterprise – Build It or Buy It?

The need for effective content management is becoming more and more important to businesses given the growing volume of documents. Other considerations include the multiple formats information can take, the integration of content with business processes, the ease-of-use of content management systems for users and the need to take into account ever-changing regulatory compliance requirements.

As the volume and flow of information increases, proactive organizations are diligently trying to find and implement solutions that efficiently capture, deliver, manage and store both recently received data as well as what’s already in their archives. These four steps are commonly referred to as the Document Lifecycle - representing the process used to share information through integrated Enterprise Content Management and Business Process Automation systems.

Taking control of your data by implementing and deploying an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system is a great start to provide the necessary framework – but not the end game. Each phase of the document lifecycle is critical to the information utilized by an organization – from the perspective of productively leveraging the information itself, as well as to maintain the integrity of that information. The good news is that there are ways to easily integrate complementary systems along with ECM or Business Process Automation (BPA) systems; universal document viewing and conversion applications being one of the most productive.

Document Viewing and Conversion - Build It or Buy It?

Many organizations use high-speed document viewing and conversion systems to help process their business forms and expedite business transactions. These mission-critical applications help companies in a wide variety of industries better leverage their time and resources through optimized document workflow processes. ECM and BPA systems are greatly enhanced through the addition of these viewing and conversion applications, increasing throughput, and ensuring document content and format uniformity as well as secure accessibility.

The question for many organizations looking to leverage this technology to their workflow is do they purchase off-the-shelf applications, or the building blocks to integrate the functionality from scratch? The answer usually depends upon the nature and complexity of the systems already in place. The more complex the system – the more beneficial it might be for a firm to consider building their viewing and conversion application to take full advantage of the features and functionality of the complementary technologies already implemented – but let’s take a closer look at some of the business concerns first…

Business Factors

The application versus toolkit debate comes down to several business factors that need to be taken into consideration to make an informed decision. What resources does the company have to commit from both time and money perspectives? What other technologies need to be integrated into the system in question? What is the expected lifecycle of the solution? How quickly must the completed system be up and running? And, who’s going to maintain the system? Researching and answering these questions will go a long way towards steering an organization to the correct conclusion – build it or buy it?

Applications vs. Toolkit

Off-the-shelf document and image viewers & batch conversion applications can offer fast and accurate universal document viewing and conversion functionality. No matter the variety of document format(s) to be viewed, or volume of information to be converted, these efficient and reliable solutions provide secure access to information for enhanced workflow and business processes.

Document viewers like VirtualViewer are powerful and flexible applications that improve efficiency, accuracy and productivity of the document workflow through features such as annotation, redaction and Page on Demand high-speed viewing. Diverse industries use high-speed viewing systems in a myriad of ways including: insurance companies to process forms and claims, banks to expedite transactions, and hospitals and clinics to securely distribute patient information to healthcare professionals – all leading to better customer service and patient care.

A rapid document conversion system automatically recognizes diverse document and image file formats, converts them into universally readable formats, and stores them into a user specified archive. SnowBatch, for example, gives organizations the document workflow functionality they need to process and distribute mission-critical information efficiently and accurately from multiple business locations and across diverse file formats.

One toolkit solution to develop robust viewing and conversion applications that integrate directly with existing enterprise implementations is the RasterMaster Imaging and Conversion SDK. RasterMaster adds robust imaging functionality including viewing, conversion, manipulation, and annotation for virtually all documents and image types via flexible APIs – for users of ECM, BPA, Records Information Management and Business Process Management systems.

Today’s economically challenging and fast-paced business environment encourages firms to focus on time and cost saving solutions that have inherent productivity-enhancing features and functionality. The addition of high-speed document viewing and conversion technology to enterprise content management systems provides the solution that addresses these needs – empowering organizations to be the master of their document domain.

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