Don’t Get Caught By Legacy Capture

August 13, 2015

2 minute read

In addition to its advanced document conversion, automated document processing and document intelligence capabilities, Adlib is also a purveyor of sophisticated document capture. One of the most frequent questions that I get is “How does Adlib compare to legacy capture product X, Y or Z?”. The answer may surprise you.

The first couple of differences are fairly obvious.

  1. Most legacy capture products are tied to a specific ECM system. Adlib is ECM agnostic. This is important because the vast majority of enterprises have two or more ECM systems in house. According to AIIM, over half (52%) have three or more.
  2. What you do with the captured documents matters. Adlib is recognized as having industry-leading document fidelity so companies can enhance their documents as needed with bookmarks, hyperlinks, stamps, auto-ToCs, etc., etc..  

  3. Now for the rather surprising difference…

  4. Legacy capture products systemically introduce unnecessary errors into captured documents. And yes it is true. There is a very short list of products, including Adlib, that do not introduce unnecessary errors.  Most legacy capture products were developed before the advent of Multifunction Printers that are able to directly deposit documents to various repositories that Adlib and other advanced systems are able to draw from. By not updating their architectures, legacy capture products are poorly suited to meet the explosion of born-digital documents. Adlib elegantly interrogates files whether they are image-only TIFFs or PDFs that started out as paper before applying OCR. If the documents are born-digital they are converted from their natural state without applying OCR. Legacy capture systems typically do not differentiate between born-as-paper or born-digital documents and convert everything to TIFF before applying OCR to further convert them to searchable PDFs. OCR tools are broadly exceptional now but no tools, not even Adlib’s, are perfect. So the difference comes down to this. Adlib uses OCR only where necessary so minor error rates are introduced to only the documents that were born as paper. Legacy capture products typically introduce minor error rates to 100% of documents. If born-as-paper documents are 10% of all documents in a firm, then legacy capture products will introduce 10 times the errors that Adlib would.

A few questions for yourself:

  1. What percent of your firm’s docs are now born-digital?
  2. Where is this trend going?  
  3. Is your firm actively trying to reduce or eliminate paper?

At some point it becomes odd to run a legacy capture product that was designed for paper when other systems are available that were designed for the realities of modern digital repositories.

A key question for your capture vendor: Does your system convert born-digital documents to TIFF and then apply OCR to everything?

If the answer is anything other than “absolutely not” you should ask how much manual review effort you can save by switching to an automated document capture system.

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