SharePoint with Automatic Data Capture and two-way syncing for Box

 

Use Case:  Your organization has installed SharePoint behind the corporate firewall to manage and organize your electronic content.  Also, your organization is actively digitizing paper documents via document scanners and, as a compliment to scanning to improve efficiency, desires to use Automatic Data Capture software technology to extract pertinent information from an invoice such as invoice number, bill to, ship to and total.  However, in this ever-evolving world of on-the-go and mobile you find yourself and your fellow co-workers on the road quite often which is problematic due to poor support of mobile devices when using SharePoint.  In this case you will want to be able to view, as well as contribute content to SharePoint using a highly-collaborative and easy to use service such as Box which has outstanding mobile device support.

Use Case Scenarios:

  • Accounts Payable (for improved cash flow):  Invoices are quite common in most organizations no matter what your vertical market focus.  Using data capture software technology organizations can automate the process of entering relevant index into their accounts payable system.  Just simply capture an image of the invoice then the data capture software can intelligently locate an area containing the information such as areas on the page with the word, or words, and variations of Invoice Number, Invoice No. or Inv. #, for example.  Once these keywords are found then the system is intelligent enough to find, and extract the data you want from Invoices such as Invoice Number, Date, Net Terms, Bill To, Ship To and Total Amount.  All this metadata extracted is then stored in SharePoint so that the accounting department can then help achieve cash flow improvements such as getting invoices paid to take advantage of pay discounts (i.e. NET 15 terms) by filtering the Net Terms metadata field in SharePoint to pay all these invoice as a priority.
  • Healthcare Insurance (for enhanced adherence to compliance):  Healthcare providers are often reimbursed by Healthcare Insurance companies through the use of standard claim forms such as CMS-1500 or HCFA (Health Care Financing Administration) claim forms.  These forms have a standard format meaning that the same type of data (i.e. the field ”Social Security Number” is always found in the same location on the form).  These forms contain a lot of information crammed onto one form which is great for convenience, but terrible for manual data entry because they can contain in excess of 200+ fields per form!  In our use case we would use data capture technology to automatically extract all these metadata fields and then populate SharePoint metadata fields with this information.  We can then apply all sorts of security and rules policy based on this metadata.  For example, the insurance company can view how many outstanding claims there are based on a “Procedure ID” but they don’t have access to the specifics beyond that which could possibly be a violation of the law.
  • Government (for better consumer service):  One of the main purposes of the Government is to serve the best interest of the community with various services to enrich people’s lives.  Applying for, and especially receiving these services, depends a lot on the accuracy of information acquired by these respective Governmental agencies and often this information is contained on paper-based forms.  Governmental departments often have a bad stigma because of all the bureaucracy and inefficiency that is clearly obvious to most consumers such a long wait times or lost paperwork.  However, this is not neccessarily people’s fault, rather its the process that is broken.  If you really consider the source of wasted effort, it most likely revolves around paper forms.  In this use case we would want to take these various ‘social service application’ forms filled out by consumers and process them with automatic data capture so that these agents can spend more time consulting with the applicants instead of doing manual data entry.  This ultimately would create a win-win-win situation and drastically reduce frustration with all parties involved where the Government can achieve better satisfaction among their workers, the consumers themselves are better served in a timely manner and a more efficient overall process to improve service is implemented
Features Benefits
  • Two-way synchronization between SharePoint 2010 and Box
  • Automatic Data Capture to extract specific document metadata indexes
  • Enhanced user experience
  • View and contribute content from Box mobile into SharePoint and vice-versa
  • Reduce labor costs with automatic keyword extraction
  • Provides for higher level of adoption rates

Solution Description:   LibraryCard combines “systems of record” and “systems of engagement” by connecting the governance and control of Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and the flexibility and convenience of Box. LibraryCard provides companies with the ability to leverage content platforms inside and outside their firewall for an enterprise content management system that really works “better together”.

System Requirements:

Note:  This solution is surprisingly simple to install and configure, it literally only takes minutes.  You can view a video on the installation by clicking here.

  1. Box account
  2. Microsoft SharePoint 2010
  3. LibraryCardRequest 14-day trial

 

Configuration Steps (Complexity = Simple, just need administrative privileges):

  1. Install the Library_Card.wsp file on SharePoint 2010 Farm Server
  2. Deploy and Activate LibraryCard
  3. Once you have verified that LibraryCard is Active, then configure your Box account to connect with LibraryCard by choosing the New Box Account link, then login to your Box account.  Upon successful configuration you will get the Box thank you message

 

User operation (Complexity = Easy):

  1. Just use SharePoint 2010 or Box as you normally would
    • Files will automatically be synced back and forth between SharePoint 2010 and Box.  As a reminder you may need to refresh your web browser and/or refresh your folders if using the Box mobile application

 

Associated screen prints on this solution:

1. Invoice with web-based Automatic Data Capture

2. CMS-1500 with web-based Automatic Data Capture

3. Deploy LibraryCard

4. Activate LibraryCard

5. Verify activation

6. LibraryCard Configuration

7. New Box Account connection to LibraryCard

8. Login to Box account to connect LibraryCard

9. Successful connection of LibraryCard and Box

10. Users files in SharePoint 2010

11. Same files that were in SharePoint 2010 are automatically synced to Box.  Users can also add files into Box and have them synced back to SharePoint 2010 via the bi-directional sync functionality of LibraryCard

Image Import with Cloud Conversion for Box

Use Case:  Creating electronic image files for paper documents is an important step for organizations to realize process improvement but this is often simply not good enough to achieve true efficiency. In real world business scenarios there most likely is always valuable information trapped in electronic image files stored on file sharing servers, individual persons local disk drives or even stored on “the cloud”.  For this solution we’ll want to take all these isolated electronic, image-only files and upload them to a cloud-based service for processing.  After processing, then we will have the image, as well as the extracted results, sent to Box where the files now contain the indexes that will allow for much improved organization, enhanced security and collaboration of this more “intelligent” electronic information versus just image-only.

  1. One-time processing needed:  Maybe an organization has the need to covert some image-only files into a different format for a one-time project but does not need this capability moving forward.  In this case using a service allows the organization just to pay for the services rendered instead of capital investment in technology, training or maintenance fees
  2. Desire to limit IT infrastructure:  Servers, networking equipment, operation system software and other information technology (IT) required to maintain an organizations own data center is often costly and complicated.  Therefore, a quickly emerging trend is to use software services instead of building your own internal systems.  In this situation the organization can benefit by outsourcing their image conversion process to a services company instead of managing it on their own
  3. Time to utilization:  Business agility is very important these days and any wasted time directly, negatively effects the bottom-line financially.  Therefore, when the situation dictates that the organizations needs image conversion capability and does not have the time or resources to acquire, install, configure and then start using these services, it is much more desirable to use a service.

 

Features Benefits
  • Cloud processing, OPEX vs. CAPX
  • Unlimited scalability
  • Economies of sharing advanced technology
  • No technical infrastructure to install
  • Easily increase volumes as needed
  • Allows organizations of all sizes to share sophisticated resources by sharing costs

 

Solution Description:   Even after we hope to achieve efficiency-euphoria by digitizing all our electronic documents, the reality is that images themselves are of little value until we apply some form of conversion or data extraction to these images so that computers can understand the content, or context, of the information contained in the image.  In this particular solution we will use a cloud-processing service and then store in Box.  This means that there is absolutely no infrastructure to install and also no need for training.  All the user has to do is upload an image!

 

System Requirements:

Note:  This is a software developer solution.  We are using the ABBYY OCRSDK.com service to perform the conversion functionality.  We will use two methods in this solution to upload images to this conversion service.  One will be a demo application and one will be a web interface to upload the images.  Sample source code for many platforms and operating systems is provided so that a graphic user interface can be created with minimal effort.  Additionally, to get free access to try this type of functionality for yourself right now please visit www.FineReaderOnline.com.

  1. Box account with Box Sync
  2. Internet connection
  3. ABBYY OCRSDK.com account

 

Configuration Steps (Complexity = Easy):

  1. In our desktop demo application for OCRSDK.com we have created it to be able to upload images, utilize various OCRSDK.com features then return the results back to our own computer.  In real-world scenarios you might chose to integrate this capability to deliver results directly into a back-end system
  2. Open Box Sync and click the Change ‘My Box Files’ location.  Browse to the folder for your OCRSDK.com results and press the OK button to save your settings
  3. Drag images from your computer into the Active tasks window within the application
  4. Once the images have been processed then you can view Completed tasks in the right window of the application
  5. Log into Box and you can view your files that have been automatically uploaded via Box Sync
  6. …or, using the web interface demo you can see dragging files to be uploaded, then you can see them processing and finally you can view and/or save the results

 

User operation (Complexity = Easy):

  1. Drag and drop files into a user interface as we demonstrated in our two examples.  Again, these are demo applications so that user experience will vary from a visual standpoint
  2. Using the OCRSDK.com sample source code, software developer’s can be creative to design different types of solutions including embedding this functionality into an existing application, creating a brand new application or extending this capability to different devices such as camera-enabled mobile devices

 

Associated screen prints on this solution:

1.  Box Sync:  Change ‘My Box Files’ location

2.  Change Box Sync Folder

3.  Drag-and-drop using OCRSDK.com demo application

 4.  Active tasks and Completed tasks using OCRSDK.com demo application

 5.  Converted files automatically synced into Box

 6.  Drag-and-drop web-based interface for OCRSDK.com

7.  Processing using web-based interface for OCRSDK.com

8.  Files finished using web-based interface for OCRSDK.com

Thank you for your attention to this Innovative Solution for Box.  Since this is primarily a software developer type solution I would suspect that there probably are many creative ways to implement this service.  Do you have an idea or thought about image conversion as a service?  Is there are interesting use case scenario that you would like to discuss?  We would love to hear from you.

File Conversion for Box

Use Case:

There are many scenarios where converting an image file such as a JPG, TIFF or PDF to a different format such as DOC, XML or Searchable PDF would be extremely useful.  Below are three specific examples:

  1. Expense Receipts:  XML is a useful standard to exchange information between two systems using just a network connection.  Most modern systems can ingest XML which enables easy integration possibilities without costly professional services fees.  In our use case example we capture all the details from an expense receipt including Establishment, Date, Total and all the line-item detail with easy point-and-click operation because this was the reimbursement policy of our organization.
  2. Legal:  Imagine a lawyer receives a new case.  Their desire is to gather as much information as possible to best represent their client.  Through the discovery process they acquire many image-only PDF files and need to be able to find information within these image files based on keyword searches.  For this reason they would want to convert these image-only PDF files into fully Searchable PDF’s.
  3. Marketing:  You are in the marketing department and you often receive image-only files that you would like to edit but you are limited to applying stick-notes in Acrobat which is not an effective process.  In this use case you can easily import these image-only files and have them converted in fully editable .DOC files in no time.


Features Benefits
  • Easy and simple user operation
  • Customize workflows for particular task
  • Centralized administration
  • Users more likely to use technology
  • Workflows can be precise to process
  • Reduce deployment or maintenance costs

Solution Description:

The standard functionality of Box does not provide any method for file conversion.  Therefore, we will create a solution that is extremely easy to use from a user perspective standpoint but also very efficient for enhanced productivity.  Our solution will consist of two ways in which users can use File Conversion for Box.

  1. Convert image files to a different format before sending to Box
  2. Converting image files to a different format that are currently stored in Box

 

System Requirements:

  1. Box account with Box Sync
  2. ABBYY Recognition Server
  3. Fujitsu ScanSnap N1800 Network Scanner

 

Configuration Steps (Complexity = Simple to Moderate, depending on ambition):

  1. Install Box Sync on a centrally available computer on your network.  This can be your individual computer or a shared file server, it does not matter.  Start Box Sync with your Box login credentials.
  2. Create a folder called “Input” somewhere on the computer.  I put it on the desktop so it was easy to find.
  3. Locate and open the “My Box Files” folder found in My Documents
  4. Create shared sub-folders within both of these folders for different workflows you would like to create.  As a best practice I name the folders identical names and I’m very specific on the name of the folder to differentiate from other workflows.
    1. For example, we will create a “Convert to DOC”, “Convert to XML” and “Convert to Searchable PDF” in both folders
  5. Start ABBYY Recognition Server Console  Administration
    1. Create a new workflow called “Convert to DOC”
    2. Navigate to the Input tab and Browse to the “Convert to DOC” Input folder
    3. Navigate to the Output tab and select the output format as “Microsoft Word Document (*.doc)”
    4. Browse to the “Convert to DOC” Output folder as the destination
    5. Repeat this setup for each one of your workflows

 

User operation (Complexity = Easy):

  1. All the user has to do is either capture an image from the Fujitsu ScanSnap N1800 network scanner, for example, as seen in this screen print of the ScanSnap N1800 user interface
  2. Or simply copy/drag an image into an input folder.  Notice that we’ve created a specific ‘Input’ folder on our desktop as well as some convenient shortcuts
  3. The images are automatically processed through the respective workflow and after processed through conversion they will be available in Box without any additional user interaction

 

Associated screen prints on this solution:

1.  Input Folder

2.  “My Box Files” folder

3.  Input and Output folders

4.  ABBYY Recognition Server Console Administration

5.  New Workflow

6.  Workflow Name and Input Folder

7.  Output Format

8.  Output Folder

User Experience screen prints:

1.  User selects Workflow from the ScanSnap N1800 Touch Screen

2.  Or input Workflow folders can be used

3.  Images are converted and sent to Box