Using data extraction to reduce human error

When you call the doctor’s office to schedule an appointment, one of the first things they ask you for is your name and birthday. This is a form of data extraction, which makes it simple for the receptionist to find your files in the system.

Data extraction is a way to replace manual data entry via metadata extraction from documents. There are three different types of data extraction:

  1. Graphical: This method can only be used with forms; the intelligent document understanding extracts the data through a visual observation.
  2. Rules-based: This technique is performed by using keyword anchors and expressions such as “birthday” or “social security number”.
  3. Semantic understating: In this method, areas of interest are connected through a metadata field and run on many documents allowing it to learn and retrieve the information in the future without human interaction.
Image credit:

Image credit:

Companies and vendors that utilize data extraction have established three ways of understating.

  1. Self-learning: The utilization of semantic understanding and machine learning.
  2. Fuzzy understanding: Knowing that e-mails and documents can include misspellings or mistakes, this method finds data on degrees of truth rather than absolutes.
  3. Validation systems: This is similar to a database look up. However, since misspellings can occur in databases too, fuzzy understanding still applies.

Want to learn more about data extraction? Read our whitepaper about this topic.


Highlights from AIIM’s survey on SharePoint and Market Intelligence—“Clouding the Issues”

"Clouding the issues..."

“Clouding the Issues…”

In a joint study with AIIM’s Market Intelligence division, underwritten by Kodak Alaris; progress, upgrades, and utilization of SharePoint 2013 is discussed in “Clouding the Issues.”  This blog highlights key findings from that study and provides a free version of the report.

In the last ten years, SharePoint has had four major versions—SharePoint 2013 being the most recent one. While all four versions are utilized by various organizations, the most current version of SharePoint has had a great deal of impact on document management and enterprise content management (ECM).

SharePoint expands its market with greater opportunities for adoption across the enterprise, leading to greater usage than other systems. SharePoint 2013 offers features that speak to the content management debate and allow users to fulfill needs in areas such as customization and third-party, add-on products.

SharePoint 2013 offers alignment of the “365” family of cloud contributions from Microsoft, integration with other enterprise systems and third-party add-ons with the cloud feature.

The study available looks at adoption rates and roll-out status for SharePoint as an enterprise content management system, issues of user adoption, and the overall success of the product. Adoption and difficulties are measured, along with examination of the new 2013 features and third-party add-on products. Also mentioned is spending plans for licenses, services, and add-on products.

Key findings support that:

  • 57% of survey responding organizations use SharePoint for enterprise content management and 31% consider it to be their main or only ECM system. 28% only use SharePoint for collaboration sites/intranet
  • 22% sought no external advice or training, and only 28% took external training—only 17% used specialist ECM solutions (most relied on general IT consultants or channel resellers)
  • Biggest on-going issues are adoption, extending the business scope, and governance. Achieving uniformity of classification and metadata is also a big issue
  • 38% are supporting two or more live versions. 21% of large organizations are supporting three or more. Most respondents considered the upgrade progress more of a migration than an upgrade
  • 45% plan to be on SharePoint 2013 by mid 2014; improved search and navigation is deemed the most useful new feature. Close integration with Outlook, Exchange, and Lync are also welcomed, along with better mobile device support, and improved retention management.
  • 33% are struggling with their SharePoint implementation, and 28% say progress has stalled. However, 40% are moving forward
  • 18 % use the standard product, while 30% are using somewhat of a customized version
  • In 49% of organizations, the current driving force is the IT Department, 14% have a multi-departmental steering committee
  • 67% still see third-party products as important; like system monitoring, BPM, storage, management, metadata management, and records management
  • The most popular auxiliary products are: migration tools, unified data interfaces, and scanning and capture

Click here for free copy of AIIM’s study!


P.S.: Have you seen our videos about KODAK Info Activate Solution yet?  Whether you use Microsoft SharePoint or another collaboration platform, Kodak Alaris can help you activate your information and ignite your workflow.  

Are you ready to Perform Automatic Business Processes with Advanced Insight?

Consistently, new technologies are introduced to increase business effectiveness and automatic business processes with improved insight are such an advancement. Thanks to scripted, rule-based workflows, content entry has gotten a whole lot easier.

Think about simple data with simple data entry. It is unrecognized and it has no meaning. When it’s captured, the process to understanding has begun.

The data can then be classified so it turns into information where important components are identified, and that can be used in transactions. When complete, data has transformed into information and then knowledge for the organization to improve their understanding.

As demonstrated in the chart below, the process of data being captured to becoming understood knowledge, leads you through the transformation from Enterprise Content Management to Customer Experience Management. This means that you are taking the information from a company view and understanding how it will be utilized to benefit customers and their needs—which drives customer loyalty.


As another example, social media is data and companies are able to discover useful information to help maintain relationships and business partnerships—providing power to see concerns, complements, as well as feedback.

Using this methodology—Intelligent Document Understanding—will make your business more competitive.

For more information on Intelligent Document Understanding and automatic business processes and advanced insight, download our whitepaper.


Do you enable document collaboration?

How do you pass documents to your peers? You’d probably send an attachment in an email, or maybe even deliver it in person as a printed file.  Okay…probably not that last one unless you sit next to them. Don’t do either of those—instead, share it. If your organization practices intelligent document understanding, there will be a content management system that allows you to virtually share your documents via online platforms.

How is this different than an attachment in an email? Its home base is the Web—meaning people with access to it, can edit it right there and it will save automatically.

With sites like Microsoft SharePoint, Box, and Alfresco you’re able to create, share, manage, and automatically update documents in one easy-to-use place.

Oh, and they can be secure. There are online document sharing forums that allow you to initiate online collaboration, sync files, and manage viewers or writers with simple button clicks. Need to access the files anywhere through a simple and secure link? Through tracking and management functions, access to user activity files is available and you’re always getting the most current version of the document.

For easy and reliable collaboration, programs like this are your best bet. They are practical, powerful, and offer a variety of benefits to users.

Image credit:

Image credit:

Other programs, like Microsoft SharePoint, also give you options for document sharing and collaboration.  With built-in compatibility for Outlook and Project, SharePoint provides easy options for messaging and communication.

Have you seen our KODAK Info Activate Solution software?  It delivers business benefits and efficiencies because it functions inside of Microsoft SharePoint.  You gain all the benefits of using this powerful integration and collaboration platform.

Document sharing enables employees to create a more dynamic and productive working environment—after all, it’s part of the “digital age.” With these programs, organizations can ensure secure and accurate collaboration between team members around the world.

For more information about document sharing or collaboration, download our whitepaper.

Integration of new information sources  

With modern technology continuously expanding, there are numerous ways to receive information – both structured and unstructured. Today, paper documents and mail are becoming outdated as sources such as social media, mobile apps, and Web sites take over in volume and significance.

These new information sources are known as “big data,” and they are explosively increasing.  Big data gives businesses more data that is available to be analyzed, which in return makes for better decision making.

However, many businesses find these sources to be “chaotic or difficult to manage,” according to AIIM’s report titled “State of the ECM Industry 2011.”  Paper documents are easy for businesses and organizations to manage because they are easily organized through a capture system.  But how does one organize a Tweet, e-mail, Web document, and a phone call all about the same thing?

For example, say you get in a car accident. You would take a picture on your Smartphone of the damage, call your insurance agency to explain what happened, e-mail the photos from your Smartphone, and depending on how you feel about your insurance company’s service, you might Tweet about your experience.


ImageThe insurance agency must then manually enter all of that data you provided to them into a unique customer claim case folder – which can be very tedious and time consuming.  Ultimately, this work will provide the insurance agency with instant photos of the case, instant communication with the customer, and overall details about the claim straight from the scene.

Businesses that are able to expand (and manage) their information sources with the proper solution will find that big data does not have to be time consuming and frustrating, but overall very rewarding.


Do you have any questions about multi-source integration?  Read more about this topic in our whitepaper.



Only a state as big as Texas could hold Kodak Alaris’ channel partner meeting

I had the pleasure of attending Kodak Alaris’ first two-day Channel Partner Conference for the Latin America, U.S., and Canada regions.  The event may have been in San Antonio, but it was anything but dry.  The presentation topics included updates about our new company, the latest information from marketing and branding, as well as in-depth training sessions for our hottest technologies and solutions.   So much information was shared that one partner Tweeted, “Only a state as big as Texas could hold the 2014 Channel Meeting.”  Indeed.  It was an excellent display of our strength as part of a one-billion dollar startup company with a 125-year history.

In fact, the conference’s theme was “stronger than ever.”  So, in addition to hearing why Kodak Alaris and its partners reflect that theme, everyone received equipped gym bags.  Who is ready for the treadmill followed by a quick tennis match?

On day one, Kodak Alaris’ leadership shared its updated vision with attendees: “Getting the right information to the right place at the right time to maximize value.”  Attendees heard from Kodak Alaris’ first CEO, Ralf Gerbershagen as well as President, Dolores Kruchten; General Manager, Tony Barbeau; Chief Marketing Officer, Tim Palmer; Regional Business Manager for Latin America, Cassio Vaquero; Regional Business Manager for the United States and Canada, Russell Hunt; and Software and Solutions General Manager, Rod Hughes.

Day two was also full of action for attendees with a dynamic keynote speaker and numerous educational opportunities.  Plus, there was a fast-paced award ceremony to recognize top performers at the end of the day.

I’m sending out a big thank you to our sponsors, Cranel Imaging Versitec and NewWave, for their support this year.  Also, many thanks to our terrific exhibitors this year that were featured during scheduled times and breaks.  That group included Parascript, Cranel Imaging Versitec, Kofax, DocuWare, EMC Corporation, Filebound, Ingram Micro Inc., NewWave, and Tech Data Corporation. If you are a channel partner who was unable to attend this year, I’m including some pictures from the event.  Enjoy.

Kodak Alaris' Regional Business Managers (Cassio Vaquero and Russell Hunt) kickoff the company's first Channel Partner Conference for U.S., Canada, Latin America.

Kodak Alaris’ Regional Business Managers (Cassio Vaquero and Russell Hunt) kickoff the company’s first Channel Partner Conference for U.S., Canada, Latin America.

"A future of winning together for Kodak Alaris and partners," says Chief Executive Officer Ralf Gerbershagen as he meets with channel partners for the first time.

“A future of winning together for Kodak Alaris and partners,” says Chief Executive Officer Ralf Gerbershagen as he meets with channel partners for the first time.


Kodak Alaris' President, Dolores Kruchten, presents to channel partners about the business on day one of the conference.

Kodak Alaris’ President, Dolores Kruchten, presents to channel partners about the business on day one of the conference.


Kodak Alaris' Chief Marketing Officer, Tim Palmer, talks about marketing, social media, and branding specific to the company and its partners.

Kodak Alaris’ Chief Marketing Officer, Tim Palmer, talks about marketing, social media, and branding specific to the company and its partners.


Kodak Alaris' GM, Tony Barbeau, presents on Document Imaging's current and future portfolio with partners in San Antonio.

Kodak Alaris’ GM, Tony Barbeau, presents on Document Imaging’s current and future portfolio with partners in San Antonio.


Kodak Alaris' Regional Business Manager for Latin America, Cassio Vaquero, updates partners about progress in 2013 and 2014.   Behind him is a photo of his very strong team.

Kodak Alaris’ Regional Business Manager for Latin America, Cassio Vaquero, updates partners about progress in 2013 and 2014. Behind him is a photo of his very strong team.



Kodak Alaris’ Regional Business Manager for the U.S. and Canada, Russell Hunt, presents to partners in San Antonio, Texas.


Kodak Alaris' Software & Solutions GM, Rod Hughes, shares his portion of the portfolio and its future with partners.

Kodak Alaris’ Software & Solutions GM, Rod Hughes, shares his portion of the portfolio and its future with partners.

As you can imagine, a lot of work goes into making conferences like this happen.  Thanks to a whole team of Kodak Alaris employees and vendors who made the event a productive, memorable experience.  Here are a couple of pictures from behind the scenes as the team put the final touches in place on Sunday.

The setup crew puts finishing touches on the stage before Kodak Alaris' leaders start their dress rehearsals.

The setup crew puts finishing touches on the stage before Kodak Alaris’ leaders start their dress rehearsals.

Kodak Alaris' audio and video support team standby as executives practice their presentations.

Kodak Alaris’ audio and video support team standby as executives practice their presentations.


Kodak Alaris' Chief Event Officer, Megan Alekson (right), reviews logistics with a vendor while Kathy Raschiatore (seated) works on executive calendars.

Kodak Alaris’ Chief Event Officer, Megan Alekson (right), reviews logistics with a vendor while Kathy Raschiatore (seated) works on executive calendars.

See y’all at the Channel Partner Conference in 2015 or before!


Answering your questions from LinkedIn

It has been a little more than a month since I began my responsibilities as Kodak Alaris’ Chief Executive Officer.  So that I could immediately connect with you at that time, I invited you to ask me questions via a LinkedIn post on Kodak Alaris’ company page.

To provide you with answers, I’m posting this blog so that everyone can see the Q&A in an easy-to-follow format.  Please let me know if you have any more questions for me or feedback.

Thank you for engaging with me on LinkedIn.

Alex Wellman: I appreciate that you were able to use the principles of economies of scale to create a company that still produces value from traditional products while also continuing to innovate. This is an extremely admirable trait for any company. Do you have any jobs available?

Ralf Gerbershagen:  Thanks for your feedback, Alex.  Yes, we do have positions available.  You can visit our career center, if you’re interested.  The address is  You can learn more about Kodak Alaris there too.

Peter George: Kodak’s huge investment in analogue photography in the past meant that when digital came the rate of change was so fast they could not react in time. Has Kodak Alaris taken this on board and will it be an innovator once again? If so what disruptive technologies do you foresee Kodak pioneering in the future?

RG: Appreciate the question, Peter.  My passions include driving long-term growth by way of innovation, empowerment, and accountability.  And those passions are behind everything I want to do for Kodak Alaris and our customers to enable success for all.

I am looking at the whole company at the moment and how we can expand. There are huge opportunities here. In Personalized Imaging (PI), we have more than 100,000 kiosks worldwide, with strong retail channels. In social networks, there are millions and millions of pictures that people never dig out. Our charter is to look into this and see how we can get people closer to the pictures they have, how we can get all the pictures of their lives back in front of them, and what method would we develop  On the Document Imaging (DI) side, there’s tremendous opportunity as well. That business is focused on the traditional software and scanner business to do document capturing and data capturing. We have licensed software that allows us to migrate from just data capturing. The scanner scans it, the software reads it, knows what it is, and then feeds it to the entire company where the document needs to go. We’re going from data capture to intelligent document management. This is an emerging market and a significant opportunity for the DI business around the world.

Document Imaging

Jeff Underwood: What are your plans for future photo scanning products?

RG:We constantly review the needs and desires of our customers.  For instance, we just released drivers that allow our Photo Scanning Systems (PS50 and PS80) to be directly driven from popular Mac-based applications.  Also, we released new Application Software versions at the end of 2013 for the PS50, PS55, and PS80.

Personalized Imaging

Matt Whitman: There are many, many artists and filmmakers – not just older ones but young, emerging, and mid career – whose work specifically requires the use of film for capturing and/or exhibition images as opposed to a digital means (just as a painter might require oil-based paints rather than water-based paints in order to successful create their work). Do you see film – both motion picture and photographic – as being a sustainable part of Kodak Alaris’ future?

RG: The Motion Picture business is still owned by the Eastman Kodak Company—a company that is separate from Kodak Alaris.

Film Capture is part of Kodak Alaris’ Personalized Imaging business, offering consumers and professionals an award-winning range of still-camera film products.  We plan to stay in the film business as long as there’s a profitable market. Film is still in demand.  We’re happy to provide it … as long as it makes sense for us.  At the moment, it makes sense for us.

Heikki Repo: In the past years Kodak was known for somewhat rigid approach to distribution of products here in Europe. In many cases it has been almost impossible for smaller dealers to obtain Kodak products. What is your policy on this? Do you have plans to make it easier for small businesses to cooperate with Kodak Alaris in order to have your pro films more widely available? My question stems partly from a recent experience of a fellow photographer here in Finland who has been interested in taking Kodak Alaris pro films product range to his online store but thus far has been unable to reach anyone to discuss this business opportunity. My best wishes to you and thanks for your excellent products!

RG: Hi, Heikki.  Here is contact information for our distributor who covers is Finland.  Please connect with them.  Thank you.

Andris Dementjevs

Kodak key account manager

Poligrafijas apgads SIA
15 Lejupes street, Riga, LV-1076
Tel: +371 67551833
Mob: +371 26434821
Fax: +371 67551850

Timothy Brown: Many of us miss the look and connection to history we felt when taking pictures using Kodak’s old still photography stocks: Kodachrome, Plus-X, etc. Are there any plans to bring some of these older stocks back? Also, the photography community has had something of a back-to-basics moment: Ilford, lomography, and the Impossible Project have all tried to tap into a growing enthusiasm over film photography, classic cameras, and experimental photographic methods. Will Kodak Alaris follow suit and try to (further) integrate itself into the film photography community

RG: The key message to all the film shooters out there is that our full range of photographic films continues to be available.  Any decisions we’ve made in the past to drop a particular product were driven by changes in user preferences and/or digital substitution, resulting in substantial fall off in demand.   There is not much point in continuing to make a product that no one is buying in reasonable quantity.   Don’t forget that as we trimmed some of our portfolio, we also continued to optimize many of our films (PORTRA, T-MAX 400) and also added a new one, the very innovative EKTAR 100.

“Stone” Robert A Stone III: If Fuji stops producing E6 film, would you consider re-introducing E100G?

RG: The decision to discontinue the manufacture and sale of our EKTACHROME films was a very difficult one.  It was based on a steady decrease in demand and customer usage, coupled with a highly complex product formulation and manufacturing process.  This conclusion was reached more than two (2) years ago.  At this point in time, it would not be practical to try to bring these products back to market.

Tom Ribaudo: Can Kodak Alaris sustain color still film production if Hollywood movies are made exclusively digital?

RG: Our award-winning portfolio of consumer and professional films are manufactured in Eastman Kodak’s world-class film factory via a supply agreement.  Kodak Alaris remains committed to the film capture business and has the ability to meet the needs of our customers for the foreseeable future

William Hogue: Would you consider appointing an official liaison to this group: ?

RG: A number of our team members review the forums (APUG, Flickr, etc.) regularly.  We respond as often as we can.

William Hogue: Do you think it would be possible to downsize production while returning a few products to production, even if only periodically? I am thinking for example of the excellent but under-appreciated ProFotoXL 100 in 135 or 120 format.

RG: Decisions we’ve made in the past to discontinue particular films were driven by changes in user preferences and/or digital substitution, resulting in a substantial fall off in sales.   These discontinued products are more than adequately replaced by the films that Kodak Alaris offers today, which are the very best that Kodak has ever produced.

Samuel Davis: Is research and development into new/improved emulsions continuing, or is Kodak Alaris sticking to the emulsions it already has?

RG:Our current product portfolio delivers the very best films available in the world today.  In fact, these are the best films that the company has ever produced.   No improvements are necessary.

John Mosey: Is there any chance of your company bringing back transparency films such as Ektachrome and black and white films such as Panatomic-X and Plus-X Pan? Thanks in advance for your answer.

RG: The decision to discontinue the manufacture and sale of our EKTACHROME films was a very difficult one.  It was based on a steady decrease in demand and customer usage, coupled with a highly complex product formulation and manufacturing process.  This conclusion was reached more than two (2) years ago.  At this point in time, it would not be practical to try to bring these products back to market.

Many of those older black and white films, in addition to declining sales, were also impacted by changing HSE requirements.   And to be fair, they were more than adequately replaced by the black and white films that Kodak Alaris offers today, which are the very best that the company has ever produced.

Thank you again for your questions.  If you missed the opportunity to write to me on LinkedIn, please submit your questions on this blog.

I’m looking forward to Kodak Alaris’ bright future—a future of winning together with our customers, partners, suppliers, and employees.


Five Recommendations for Increasing Mailroom Efficiency

In mid-size and large enterprise businesses, the costs associated with maintaining an effective and efficient mailroom can be substantial. Using a combination of cutting edge technology and process improvements, these costs can become more manageable and overall efficiency can improve.

Here are five recommendations for improving the cost efficiency of your organization’s mailroom:

  1. Create a centralized knowledge base across all contact channels. As you know, input today comes from a variety of different communication channels. Being able to manage all of these channels and process documents or digital communications under one roof is key to mailroom cost efficiency. Using adaptive, dynamic Artificial Intelligence to merge your conventional mailroom with your more efficiently managed digital mailroom can cut down on individual input process time and improve accuracy in the overall process. This centralized knowledge base becomes the foundation of your input management.
  1. Create one workflow platform for processing all input sources. Managing structured and unstructured content documents in one workflow can be tricky. Throw in the multitude of input types (email, letter, online form submissions, social media inquiries, etc.) and the potential for process breakdown or inefficiency is great. Creating a system workflow that allows for streamlined processing of all content types and structures can save your organization huge headaches and costs.
  1. Optimize OCR results with virtual optimization methods. Optical Character Recognition performance is key to smooth input processing. If mistakes are made when capturing input (at the beginning of the process), significant costs and loss of quality can result. Effective AI technology can ensure OCR is accurate and the input management process gets off to an effective start.
  1. Implement extraction approaches to enrich input management. Capturing all applicable customer data from input documents is crucial to your organization’s ECM. The more data an agent has at his or her disposal when handling customer communications, the better they can serve that customer. Leading technologies are even capable of learning extraction behavior from agents and can process free-form text documents automatically, making the process more cost-efficient from start to finish.
  1. Set the stage for customer-value-oriented processing. Implementing processes and technologies that assist in time savings and accuracy will lead to improved customer value—both immediately and over time. These improvements will set the stage for processing techniques such as customer prioritization and improve overall CRM results for your organization.

To learn more, download the full Input and Response Management ECM white paper.


Kodak Alaris Holdings Limited’s first CEO

Ralf_Gerbershagen_profileToday Steven Ross, Kodak Alaris Holdings Limited’s Interim Chairman, publicly welcomed our first Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ralf Gerbershagen.  It is my pleasure to welcome Ralf.  His appointment adds to our strong team as he possesses a wealth of talent and expertise as well as a perspective that will help to drive our business. This is an exciting announcement for our new company.

Thank you.  Your loyalty drives our success
Dolores Kruchten

Kodak Alaris Holdings Limited business update from Steven Ross:

I am pleased to announce that Ralf Gerbershagen will join Kodak Alaris Holdings Limited as CEO on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. He will report to me in my role as Interim Chairman of Kodak Alaris. He will assist in finalising the new board structure, and continue our transformation required to take the business forward.

Ralf joins us from Motorola Mobility—currently part of Google—where he held several leadership positions including Managing Director Motorola Germany GmbH and VP & General Manager Motorola Mobility Europe. Ralf started his professional career at Siemens where he was in charge of the Passive Components business in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. He holds a degree in general electronics and computer science from Bingen University.

He is on the board of directors at the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany; the board of BITKOM, the IT and telecomm industry association; and is a member of the CeBIT advisory board—the world’s largest IT trade fair.

Ralf’s considerable business knowledge and leadership experience combined with Kodak Alaris’ strong resources and management talent position us well to lead the development of breakthrough products and services that you expect from the diverse Kodak Alaris businesses.

He will be based in the UK at Hemel Hempstead. Gary Fisher, Kodak Alaris Interim Human Resources Director; Phil Gibbons, Kodak Alaris Chief Financial Officer; Dolores Kruchten, President, Kodak Alaris’ Document Imaging division; and Dennis Olbrich, President, Kodak Alaris’ Personalized Imaging division, will report to Ralf.

I hope that you will have an opportunity to meet with Ralf in the near future. He has tremendous enthusiasm for the business and a deep commitment to fostering success for and with our customers.

Thank you for your ongoing support. We are honored to work with you now and for many years to come.

Yours Sincerely,

Steven Ross
Chairman, Kodak Alaris Holdings Limited