What’s Save Your Photos Day and why is it on September 27?

Photo source: SaveYourPhotos.org

Source: SaveYourPhotos.org

Unfortunately, every year natural disasters and fires cause hardships globally.  Irreplaceable family photos are among the many treasures that are unexpectedly lost in these events.  But, how can people safeguard their valuable memories?

To raise awareness about photograph and document preservation and accident preparedness, Save Your Photos Day was established by the Save Your Photos Alliance.  You can use www.SaveYourPhotos.org as a resource to learn about preservation, recovery, restoration, reunifications, and more.  If you would like to attend one of the scheduled events on September 27, click here to see if you are near one of this year’s locations.

For some communities, Save Your Photos Day takes place all year.  The National Disaster Photo Rescue – a member of the Save Your Photos Alliance – was born from the aftermath of a tornado that devastated Joplin, MO in May 2011.  The organization has an ongoing project that rescues and returns photos, documents, and other personal memorabilia to their owners.  Already they have indexed and stored more than 35,000 photographs and other documents – successfully returning about half of the items.

To help support the effort in Joplin, Kodak Alaris and E-Z Photo Scan donated a KODAK Picture Saver Scanning System PS50 with the associated software, accessories, and a PC as well as a Kodak legal-size flatbed scanner.  This video is from a news conference that helped bring attention to National Disaster Photo Rescue’s mission and Save Your Photos Day.

Kodak Alaris is committed to providing the market’s leading capture and information management solutions.  Click here to purchase or rent a KODAK Picture Saver Scanning System.

In case you are wondering why Save Your Photos Day is held in September, it’s because that is National Photo Rescue month in the U.S.  So…how will you participate this year?  Feel free to share by commenting on our blog whether or not you are in the U.S.

-Brennan

Photo source: SaveYourPhotosDay.org

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: av2.com

Image credit: av2.com

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.

6 tips for implementing a browser-based, thin-client capture system

Kodak_Alaris_Kodak_ScanMate_broswer-based_thin-client_capture_solutionBrowser-based capture systems take advantage of the cost efficiencies that Web technologies offer – which is why they are becoming more popular.  It is a solution that can enable an organization to more effectively process paper (forms with and without barcodes, checks, etc.) and hard cards right in their line-of-business application and reduce infrastructure support costs.  However, what do you need to know before selecting a solution?

Here are six tips that will provide a better outcome.

  • Select a true, browser-based application
    • OR scan enable an existing browser based application
    • OR build your own browser based application
  • Choose a scanner that was designed to easily connect to browser-based applications
  • Avoid more expensive PC requirements by choosing a scanner with onboard image processing so that no desktop software is needed
  • Build what is right for your organization by purchasing a fully licensed scanner with a software development kit (SDK) to write and enable browser-based capture applications
  • Sidestep support requirements for installation, upgrades, maintenance with a near zero-footprint  solution and onboard image processing
  • Select a system that will deliver critical transaction information to the right place at the right time using the right process

As they should, many organizations are cost conscious when it comes to a new solution.  An added benefit of cloud-based, thin-client capture is that some solutions require minimal to no software on users’ PCs.  IT managers love that aspect because they do not need to purchase more expensive machines to run software.

To make the setup of a browser-based, thin-client capture system simple, Kodak Alaris offers a solution that includes our KODAK ScanMate i1180 Scanner (with built-in image processing) and KODAK Info Input Solution (a true, browser-based application) and ECM® Captiva® Cloud Toolkit (included with our ScanMate i1180).

Are you familiar with the EMC® Captiva® Cloud Toolkit?  It enables scanning from browser-based applications within virtual environments. Here’s a quick look at what the benefits that the Cloud Toolkit offers.

  • Easy to deploy and maintain as there is no need to download application components to enable browser based scanning
  • Great compatibility by leveraging industry standard Web services to ensure every Web browser and Web development environment will work
  • Makes scanning as easy as printing by giving the developer full programmatic control over every aspect of the scanning process
  • Leverages the power of the ISIS driver which comes bundled with the ScanMate i1180 Scanner

Hopefully this blog provided you with helpful guidance.  Do you have any questions about what else would be needed for the proper integration of a browser-based, thin-client capture system?

-Brennan

Speed + Accuracy = Satisfied Customers!

In today’s modern enterprise business landscape, implementing a strong formula for success is key to optimizing the customer’s overall experience when interacting with that business.  It’s crucial to have accurate, consistent, and compliant communication.  Furthermore, fast and efficient communications are expected from today’s “always on” customers.

The adoption and proliferation of digital communications, customers’ expectations have grown to unprecedented levels in this area of business. Unfortunately, this means these expectations of speed and efficiency are often the same regardless of the communication medium or channel with which they reach out to a business. This can cause some headaches when trying to match digital speeds for conventional, paper-based channels and documents.

Most organizations receive inbound communications via at least four channels (plus telephone) with multiple content types per channel. These channels typically differ greatly when it comes to customer response times and process efficiencies. In a recent study by Kodak Alaris and AIIM, organizations admitted to vast improvement needs based on communication and input channel:

How would you rate the speed of response from your organization when customers use the following channels? (N=260)

CEM_speed_of_response_WP_Kodak_Alaris

Adopting sound processes and gaining efficiencies through the implementation of modern technology can help your business stay at the cutting edge and meet these high customer expectations. Once all communications channels are integrated, and transactional, customer and content systems are interconnected, efficiency techniques and process improvements can be applied to enhance productivity, but more importantly to improve the overall customer experience.

Want to read more about this topic?  Download the free study by Kodak Alaris and AIIM.

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.

 

Ask yourself the right customer experience questions

Intelligent Information to Improve the customer experience

Use intelligent information to improve the customer experience (read AIIM’s whitepaper on this topic: http://bit.ly/1mUL4jZ).

Improving the overall customer experience for your business is crucial to success—both in the short term and for the long haul. We’ve seen that placing high value and attention on customer experience is critical to the business success and competitive status of most organizations.

 

It’s no secret that today’s customers are using a multitude of communication channels, regardless of industry or even demographic. It’s imperative that organizations accommodate for the multitude of channels and content types that the modern customer decides to use for communications.

 

In order to ensure your organization is optimizing the customer experience, you must ask yourself the right questions. Below are a few questions (along with brief reasoning for those questions) that you should be asking yourself when thinking about process improvements and efficiencies for your customer experience:

  • Do you allow for multichannel communication from your customers? Modern customers use many different channels to reach businesses today. Making your organization easily accessible on multiple channels will greatly improve today’s customer experience.
  • Do you have a coordinated approach to handling multiple communication channels? A multitude of channels can result in a flood of data. Having an effective workflow in place to manage this flood is key.
  • Do you monitor response times and procedures on all channels? Analytics are key to process optimizations. Optimizing customer response time is made possible by knowing where efficiencies and improvements can be gained.
  • Does all of your customer-facing staff have access to all customer profile data? Customers get easily frustrated when they feel the staff member with whom they are communicating isn’t up to speed on all previous correspondence or order history.
  • Have you implemented modern data-extraction technology? New technology could be saving you input management costs and reducing both time and errors. Try out the latest solutions using your own documents and forms.

 

Asking yourself these questions, among others, will allow you to ensure your overall business experience is optimal for your most prized asset—the customer.

-Brennan 

Interested in reading more on this topic?  Check out the AIIM whitepaper that Kodak Alaris sponsored titled “Intelligent Information: Improving the customer experience.”

Innovating with the environment in mind

leaf-boatMinimizing environmental impacts through product assessment and design has been a longstanding commitment for Kodak Alaris’ Document Imaging business.

An example of our dedication is our recent membership with the Green Electronics Council after it expanded its EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) Registry system to include imaging equipment.  Kodak Alaris quickly seized the opportunity to register 13 of its document scanners because aligning products with a consensus global rating system such as EPEAT is important.  It helps our customers recognize environmental performance and satisfy sustainable public procurement policies.

The EPEAT system rates products on a lifecycle basis, addressing the elimination of toxic substances, the use of recycled and recyclable materials, their design for recycling, product longevity, energy efficiency, corporate performance and packaging, among other criteria.

Businesses we work with, such as service providers and government agencies, require innovative products that meet specific environmental standards and deliver a positive impact for their organization and customers.  The EPEAT Registry demonstrates Kodak Alaris’ commitment to the design of environmentally friendly, sustainable products that are more durable, efficient, and long-lasting.

Visit the EPEAT web site to learn more about our registration.

Happy Earth Day!

Dolores 

Big Efficiencies Through Automated Mail Processing

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely been faced with some common troubles that go hand-in-hand with processing input from conventional mailrooms. Paper-based mail is sorted, read and distributed several times during the processing workflow. Correspondence gets lost or is sorted incorrectly. Content must be manually entered or exchanged to another system. These inadequacies, among others, can cause headaches for receiving and processing input from customers.

 

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Through innovative technologies and process improvements, mail processing is becoming more automated, which allows mid-size and large businesses to realize a level of efficiency they haven’t experienced in the past through conventional mailrooms.

 

Today’s most efficient mailroom processes and solutions apply dynamic, self-regulating classification methods for all document types and forms. Through groundbreaking Artificial Intelligence technologies, content capture is becoming faster and more accurate for businesses. It’s commonly known that input from digital communication channels (email, social networks, etc.) can be easily sorted, classified, distributed and fully processed, but these new technologies are allowing for paper-based input to realize a similar level of efficiency.

 

These process improvements and system integrations are allowing organizations to improve their overall ECM (Enterprise Content Management) systems. Using dynamic AI technology, text patterns and context can be recognized and processed regardless of communication platform, making response and management faster and more accurate.

 

Customer inquiries, revisions to master data, management and organization of claims, customer history management and order processing are all areas that can benefit greatly from automation. Faster processing with more accurate results means greater overall efficiency. Great overall efficiency means happier customers.

A future of winning together — Ralf Gerbershagen, CEO, Kodak Alaris

This is an exciting week for me as I begin my new responsibilities.  I am honored to lead a billion-dollar startup company that has so much growth opportunity.  Kodak Alaris’ great customer profile, strong teams, profitable products and solutions, and fresh start make it an incredible company.

To our customers, thank you for trusting Kodak Alaris with your business.  Your loyalty means everything to us.  It fuels success for both your business and ours, and we look forward to engaging with you more.

For some background about me, 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.

During the next few months, I will begin travelling to meet with customers, partners, distributors, suppliers, and employees.  I welcome your questions and comments, so please write to me at ceo@kodakalaris.com if you would like to connect.  I value open and honest communication.

We have much to be proud of during our seven months as Kodak Alaris and, at the same time, much to accomplish.  I’m excited about our future of winning together.  Thank you for your ongoing support.  We are honored to work with you now and for many years to come.

Ralf 

Equifax SVP shares how to drive business impact via impactful analytics

Michael Koukounas

Michael Koukounas–Equifax

I had the pleasure of seeing Michael Koukounas—senior vice president of global scoring and analytics leader at Equifax—at Global Directions where he talked about analytics. At the conference, he discussed his six steps to a successful analytic and the four key elements that drive strong, impactful analytics. This guidance is important because—like Michael stressed—many people start with the data…“looking for gold in all the noise.” Let’s see if you agree with his points.

For those of you who are not familiar with Equifax, they are a consumer credit reporting agency.

Here are Michael’s six steps. I recommend reading his full presentation to get even more detail.

  1. Define the business problem
  2. Determine the touch points where the analytics will have the most impact
  3. Understand the constraints and challenges for taking actions based on the results of those analytics at each touch point
  4. Understand the data that is available at these touch points given the constraints
  5. Design the analytics based on the data and implementation constraints you are not willing to change or do not have time to change
  6. Conduct the analytics—and based on the results—either refine the analytic or implement the recommendations

Michael’s four basic elements for analytics included the following.

  • Data: Easy and efficient access to relevant data.
  • Industry expertise: Industry knowledge to understand the customer problems to be solved and the data and analytical techniques to be used. Otherwise, there is a steep and costly learning curve.
  • Analytical design and implementation: The ability to bring solutions to market and to make these solutions reliable and easy to use and to deliver them to the right place at the right time.
  • Analytical talent: The ability to attract and retain talent with seep analytical expertise in math, statistics, and operations research.

So…what are your thoughts on Michael’s six steps and four basic elements? Is there anything missing? Should something be modified?

Use this link if you would like to download Michael’s presentation (and others from Global Directions) for free. He also did an interview with SearchCIO that you can read or watch.

-Brennan