Tactical Advice

Save the Trees

Kofax Express 2.0 helps businesses reduce costs and ease management by eliminating paper.
This story appears in the June 2010 issue of BizTech Magazine.

Going paperless reduces costs, helps achieve compliance goals and reduces disaster recovery exposure. Kofax Express 2.0 can aid in these efforts by providing a complete, single-station, scan-to-archive software solution that’s easy to use and fits in the budget.

End-User Advantages

If you’re familiar with Microsoft Office 2007, you’re going to love Kofax Express 2.0. It looks and feels just like Office 2007, right down to the ribbon setup and the Office button in the upper left corner. This graphical user interface design keeps everything you need just a click away, without tedious pull-down menus or dialog boxes. When you scroll over a feature, a “Quick Tip” pops up explaining what it does, which is a big help and a big time saver.

Corrections also are a breeze. I’ve yet to see a perfectly scanned document, so this is important. You can easily activate or disable correction features to see how the document will look before and after they’re applied. One click of a button shows how the document might look in black and white or grayscale. Additional corrections include hole-punch removal, edge cleanup, auto-crop and de-skew.

For batch jobs, Kofax Express 2.0 has two prominent features: auto-rotate and repagination. With auto-rotate, the software looks for basic characters to determine the orientation of the document and adjusts accordingly. That way, no matter how you feed in the paper, the scanned version emerges right side up. If you happen to scan pages out of sequence, Kofax’s repagination feature allows you to reorder the scanned images via simple drag-and-drop.

What’s more, if your scanner supports Virtual Rescan (VRS) technology, Kofax Express 2.0 is equipped to take advantage of it. The quality-control feature allows for post-scan processing to remove blemishes, such as errant marks and coffee stains.

Why It Works for IT

Any IT manager knows getting data into and out of a product is as important as the product itself. Kofax Express 2.0 delivers on both sides. You can go the traditional route and hook up a scanning device directly to the computer on which the software is installed. Or, if you have a network-scanning device, you can have Kofax Express 2.0 watch a folder indefinitely for newly created JPEG, GIF, TIFF or BMP files. When one appears, it’s brought into the product as part of a batch job for cleanup.

On the archival side, Kofax provides an export connector for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, so images can drop right into an image library and workflows can be triggered. Kofax also provides a rich set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for users on networks lacking these products; with a little coaxing, such users can export to just about any system.

As your business grows, Kofax grows with you. Kofax Express 2.0 can be used as a front-end scanning engine for an enterprise-class solution such as Kofax Capture. The company has even included licensing considerations for customers upgrading from the single-station Express product to the multiserver Capture product.

Disadvantages

Kofax Express 2.0 is targeted to small and medium-sized businesses (or departments within large companies), and thus, is moderately priced. Features such as automatic indexing aren’t included, because they would make the product cost-prohibitive for this user class. If your organization needs more advanced features, consider investing in the enterprise-class Kofax Capture product instead.

Likewise, if you process a high volume of documents, you’ll probably want the scanning and quality-assurance functions to occur on separate desktops. This requires some form of authentication between the systems and thus, a more comprehensive enterprise solution.

But for simple batch scans, Kofax Express 2.0 is on the right track.

Dr. Jeffrey Sheen is the lead enterprise analyst for Grange Insurance of Columbus, Ohio.
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