So, why should they be stuck at their PCs when capturing document images? Well, just like with other work tasks, there are some times when the power of a PC or laptop is going to be needed in order to effectively drive a scanning application. That said, there is a variety of mobile scanning apps available that can make document imaging with a mobile device a snap.
If your customers are asking about adopting document imaging on the go, here are six recommendations:
- Don’t expect users to scan more than a handful of documents at a time with a phone or tablet camera: There are two ways to go about capturing documents with a mobile device. One is through the camera on the device; the other is through an attached document scanner. With the proper app, the device camera can work well enough, although using it can also be slow and cumbersome. For scanning multiple documents at a time, a sheet-fed scanner that can be driven by a mobile device (through an app and wired or wireless connection) is preferable.
- Look for advanced features on apps: All mobile apps for document scanning are not created equal. On the low end, they basically capture a JPEG. On the high end, they can perform image processing like auto-cropping, deskewing, dekeystoning, grayscale thresholding, and PDF creation. Some apps even offer on-the-phone OCR. Some can utilize the video capabilities of the camera to autofocus and automatically capture an image without the user having to press a button. Some of these features may be overkill for what your customers are asking about, but you should at least consider your options and find an app that best suits their needs.
- Consider the destination: Chances are, your customers don’t want to capture images just to refer to them on their phones. They likely want to upload them into the cloud or pass them on to another line-of-business application. Try and find a scanning app that will connect seamlessly with your client’s destination of choice to help make the process as smooth and efficient as possible.
- Consider connectivity: How is your client’s coverage? Are they typically going to be connected to Wi-Fi when scanning documents? What sort of data plan are they working with? These are all variables to consider when choosing a mobile scanning app. For example, if your clients are working with limited data plans, make sure their scanning app is capable of compressing their images. Also, if the end users spend a lot of time in low-coverage areas, they probably want as much document-processing and automated data-capture functionality as possible to be running on the device. On the other hand If they are always going to be connected and have unlimited bandwidth, you may be better off utilizing a server to do the heavy lifting.
- Look into scanning from the MFP: MFP vendors have been releasing apps that not only enable users to print from their mobile devices, but also drive MFP scanning from them.
- Apps that capture from checks and receipts are the most mature: So far, check capture has been the killer app for mobile document capture. Automating capture from receipts is emerging as a viable use case. ID cards and customer onboarding apps are also making their way into the market. Document collaboration is another use case. If possible, leverage the blueprint for one of these proven solutions.
Mobile computing is clearly the wave of the future for businesses, as it has already proven itself king in the consumer marketplace. Sure, there will always be a place for high-volume back-office document scanning implementations. But, more and more, for distributed applications, document imaging on the go will be the way to go. We hope these recommendations can help you succeed with this emerging trend.