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DOCUMENT<br />

M A N A G E R<br />

Dm<br />

www.document-manager.com<br />

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT<br />

IMAGING & CAPTURE<br />

WORKFLOW/BPM<br />

CONTENT MANAGEMENT<br />

The future of capture:<br />

PFU's partner conference in full<br />

Product review:<br />

MDI Cloud<br />

Data management:<br />

Tooling up for AI<br />

Strategy:<br />

Intelligent Document Processing<br />

OPINIONS • REVIEWS • CASE STUDIES • INTERVIEWS<br />

ISSN 1351-3222 Vol 32 No 3 May/June 2024


MDI Cloud is built on a simple premise:<br />

our expert developers do the heavy<br />

lifting, so you don't have to. All the<br />

technical complexities are handled<br />

behind the scenes, allowing you to<br />

simply log in and get started.<br />

Simplicity at its core<br />

Collaboration made easy<br />

Compliance without<br />

complication<br />

Tailored access<br />

controls<br />

AI assisted insights<br />

Request a demo<br />

More Information<br />

storetec.net/mdi-cloud<br />

From hours to minutes...<br />

A job that would probably<br />

take 3 or 4 hours to dig out<br />

all the records now takes 2<br />

minutes.


Dm<br />

COMMENT<br />

Editor:<br />

Dave Tyler<br />

david.tyler@btc.co.uk<br />

Sub Editor:<br />

Mark Lyward<br />

mark.lyward@btc.co.uk<br />

The May/June issue of Document Manager has<br />

Publishing Director:<br />

John Jageurs<br />

an even greater than usual focus on capture<br />

john.jageurs@btc.co.uk<br />

Sales Manager:<br />

and scanning, coming as it does after the PFU<br />

Abby Penn<br />

(EMEA) Information Capture Conference which<br />

abby.penn@btc.co.uk<br />

Lead Designer<br />

took place in Dubai in mid-May. I'm delighted to<br />

Ian Collis<br />

say I was in attendance for the full event, and as<br />

ian.collis@btc.co.uk<br />

Circulation/Subscriptions:<br />

always (this was their 9th such event) I came away<br />

Christina Willis<br />

hugely impressed with not just the technologies on<br />

christina.willis@btc.co.uk<br />

Managing Director:<br />

display but the sense of a company that really<br />

John Jageurs<br />

understands how important its channel partners are to its success.<br />

john.jageurs@btc.co.uk<br />

Despite being the biggest selling scanner company in the world by some<br />

Published by: Barrow &<br />

distance, PFU (now owned by Ricoh, of course) remains very focused on its<br />

Thompkins Connexion Ltd<br />

35 Station Square,<br />

users' issues and requirements, and this attitude is visible right down the line<br />

Petts Wood<br />

from the CEO (interviewed in these pages) to the distributors, resellers and<br />

Kent BR5 1LZ<br />

Tel: 01689 616000<br />

ISVs who deploy the company's solutions worldwide.<br />

Fax: 01689 826622<br />

As regular readers might expect, much of the focus in many of the<br />

Subscriptions:<br />

presentations and breakout sessions at the conference was on AI and ML -<br />

UK: £35/year, £60/two years,<br />

£80/three years<br />

indeed there were barely any sessions that didn't touch on these<br />

Europe: £48/year, £85 two<br />

technologies in one way or another. It is fair to say that there was no sense<br />

years, £127 three years.<br />

ROW:£62/year, £115/two<br />

of paying lip-service to 'this year's buzzword' in any of the presentations: the<br />

years, £168/three years<br />

industry is clearly taking AI very seriously and there are some significant<br />

Published 6 times a year.<br />

Single copies can be bought<br />

steps being taken not only by PFU themselves but also by many of their<br />

for £8.50 (includes postage &<br />

partners in assimilating these emerging technologies into their future<br />

packaging). No part of this<br />

magazine may be reproduced<br />

roadmaps - and indeed their current product offerings in many cases.<br />

without prior consent, in writing,<br />

from the publisher.<br />

You will find a number of reports and updates from the conference<br />

©Copyright 2024 Barrow &<br />

throughout this issue, alongside our usual smorgasbord of DM/ECM-related<br />

Thompkins<br />

content. Jan Van Hoecke of iManage, for instance, describes how important<br />

Connexion Ltd<br />

it is to have good data in the first place before you go off with the idea of<br />

Articles published reflect the<br />

using multiple different AI tools.<br />

opinions of the authors and are<br />

not necessarily those of the<br />

The key, says Jan, is to make sure that the productivity platform AI tools<br />

publisher or his employees. While<br />

every reasonable effort is made<br />

can also tap into the data within your existing DM system. There are a<br />

to ensure that the contents of<br />

couple of concerns here, however, notably: how do you provide that access<br />

articles, editorial and advertising<br />

are accurate no responsibility can<br />

while still respecting all the layers of security and governance - security<br />

be accepted by the publisher for<br />

errors, misrepresentations or any<br />

policies, ethical walls, and other requirements - that are associated with that<br />

resulting effects<br />

content? He makes an interesting analogy: "At your typical place setting,<br />

there's a fork, a knife, and a spoon. Each one serves a different purpose for<br />

the diner and provides its own unique bit of utility. The diner doesn't have to<br />

pick just one of them to work with. We should start viewing AI in a similar<br />

manner. The various tools are complementary, not mutually exclusive - but<br />

good data is the foundation."<br />

Dave Tyler<br />

Editor<br />

david.tyler@btc.co.uk<br />

www.document-manager.com<br />

May/June 2024<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

3


Dm CONTENTS<br />

C O N T E N T S<br />

MAY/JUNE<br />

8<br />

10<br />

14<br />

24<br />

26<br />

.....................................................................................................................................................................................................<br />

EVENT REVIEW: PFU ICC9………….............................................................……….6<br />

PFU (EMEA) held its 9th International Capture Conference in Dubai in mid-May, and DM<br />

Magazine editor Dave Tyler was on the scene throughout to report back from the event<br />

PRODUCT REVIEW: MDI CLOUD………........................................................………8<br />

CASE STUDY: FLUGHAFEN MÜNCHEN…………........................................………10<br />

The company that operates Munich Airport uses an ECM solution from ELO Digital Office<br />

to manage more than 20 million documents<br />

TECHNOLOGY FOCUS: INTELLIGENT DOCUMENT PROCESSING……............…….12<br />

The PFU Information Capture Conference heard from Hagen Wustlich, founder and CEO of<br />

Planet GmbH, who shared some extraordinary advances in intelligent document processing<br />

CASE STUDY: HM LAND REGISTRY………..................................................………14<br />

Nigel Dews, Managing Director, Restore Records Management, describes how HM Land<br />

Registry has reduced its files and its own physical estate size as it embarked on its digital<br />

journey<br />

TECHNOLOGY FOCUS: AI……........................................................................……16<br />

Neil Murphy, Chief Revenue Officer at ABBYY, explains how his company is increasingly<br />

competing against the likes of Microsoft and Amazon rather than the capture businesses<br />

they lined up against in the past<br />

PFU ICC9: HARDWARE & SOFTWARE VISIONS…………..............................……..18<br />

A panel discussion at the PFU ICC event - featuring Simon Edwards, Tony Lillico and KJ<br />

Sugimasa - explored the company's future vision for the combined potential of software<br />

and hardware<br />

COMPANY UPDATE: DOCUWARE…….......................................................………20<br />

DM Magazine speaks to David Malan, Sales Director, UK & Ireland at DocuWare, who<br />

believes that document management has established itself as an exciting, must-have, hightech<br />

solution for every modern business<br />

STRATEGY: PFU & AI………….......................................................................…….22<br />

There is no doubt that AI was one of the hottest topics under discussion at the Information<br />

Capture Conference, and PFU's Christophe Laurence explained how the combination of<br />

scanning and AI could lead to a revolution in document management<br />

MANAGEMENT: TRENDS…………..................................................................…..24<br />

Brian Fortune, General Manager Sales at PFU (EMEA), shared his 'big six' predictions for the<br />

future of the industry at the company's ICC9 event in Dubai<br />

STRATEGY: AI………........................................................................................…..26<br />

Using multiple AI tools is easy - if you start with good data, argues Jan Van Hoecke, VP of<br />

AI Services, iManage<br />

PFU ICC9: PANEL DISCUSSION………............................................................……28<br />

The 9th PFU Information Capture Conference closed with a panel discussion that covered<br />

the impact of innovation and collaboration, as well as some go-to strategies for partners<br />

looking to maximise the potential of emerging technologies<br />

STRATEGY: SCANNING…….........................................................................……..30<br />

PFU (EMEA) Customer Engagement Manager Steve Chad spoke to the ICC9 audience<br />

about how recent research findings are helping to inform the company's marketing and<br />

channel strategies with regard to their ScanSnap and Ricoh scanner ranges<br />

INTERVIEW: PFU…..….................................................................................……..32<br />

DM magazine editor David Tyler sat down with Hiroaki Kashiwagi, President & CEO, PFU<br />

(EMEA) at the company's ICC event to discuss how the world has changed since their last<br />

partner conference, and how capture and other technologies are helping organisations<br />

adapt to those changes<br />

PFU ICC9: AWARD WINNERS…….................................................................…….34<br />

The PFU (EMEA) ICC event ended with a grand gala dinner where the company presented a<br />

number of partner awards<br />

4 @DMMagAndAwards May/June 2024 www.document-manager.com


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Dm EVENT REVIEW: PFU ICC9<br />

Looking to the future<br />

PFU (EMEA) held its 9th<br />

International Capture<br />

Conference in Dubai in<br />

mid-May, and DM<br />

Magazine editor Dave<br />

Tyler was on the scene<br />

throughout to report<br />

back from the event<br />

For two days in May the Conrad<br />

Hotel in Dubai was home to<br />

almost 300 PFU delegates,<br />

partners, sponsors and staff (as well as<br />

one DM editor) as the company held its<br />

9th ICC event - the first since 2020's<br />

Berlin conference, which took place just<br />

weeks before the world was caught in<br />

the grip of the pandemic.<br />

Much has changed since then, of<br />

course, not least in the many ways that<br />

the post-Covid world has adapted to<br />

different ways of working - as PFU's<br />

Matthew Beavis said in his opening<br />

presentation: "Employees and<br />

businesses accepted that work is<br />

something we do, not somewhere we<br />

go."<br />

Another notable change since the last<br />

ICC event is of course the acquisition of<br />

the PFU business itself by Ricoh from<br />

Fujitsu. Simon Edwards described how<br />

almost 95% of channel partners<br />

surveyed are now aware of the<br />

transition. Encouragingly, 82% stated<br />

they would very likely or likely<br />

recommend the Ricoh brand to others.<br />

This overall positivity was reflected in<br />

the theme of the conference, "An<br />

exciting future ahead".<br />

This was the recurring theme over the<br />

two days of the conference, whether in<br />

PFU's own product presentations, end<br />

user success stories, or expert panel<br />

discussions. Presentations from<br />

partners, analysts and PFU staff were<br />

scattered over two very full days,<br />

including keynotes and breakout<br />

sessions and product demonstrations,<br />

as well as a large and well-attended<br />

partner exhibition area.<br />

Event sponsors included ABBYY, ELO,<br />

DocuWare, Planet and OpenBee, and<br />

there were also exhibitors in the form<br />

of Cube Innovators, ScanOptics,<br />

Modus, FileStream and NVSSoft.<br />

As well as senior executives from<br />

across PFU itself, the conference<br />

6 May/June 2024 www.document-manager.com<br />

@DMMagAndAwards


EVENT REVIEW: PFU ICC9 Dm<br />

"IT WAS QUITE NOTABLE THAT, FOR A COMPANY THAT HAS FOR MANY YEARS BEEN THE WORLD'S MOST<br />

SUCCESSFUL SCANNER SALES BUSINESS, MUCH OF THE FOCUS OF THE EVENT AND THE PRESENTATIONS WAS<br />

ACTUALLY NOT VERY SCANNING-FOCUSED AT ALL! OF COURSE SCANNER HARDWARE AND CAPTURE/IMAGE<br />

PROCESSING SOFTWARE WERE COVERED, BUT THERE WAS FAR MORE EMPHASIS FROM MANY OF THE SPEAKERS<br />

AND IN DEMOS AROUND THE EVENT ON A BROADER DOCUMENT AUTOMATION APPROACH. PFU'S BRIAN<br />

FORTUNE DESCRIBED IT AS 'AUGMENTED INTELLIGENCE THAT WILL LEAD TO BETTER DATA DRIVEN DECISIONS'."<br />

featured a number of thoughtprovoking<br />

external speakers, including<br />

David Rowan of Wired UK who offered<br />

a rich perspective on 'navigating<br />

technology-led disruption'. His keynote<br />

talk was one of the highlights of the<br />

first day, touching on topics as varied<br />

as autonomous vehicles and the<br />

Natural History Museum as he<br />

described the inevitable convergence of<br />

technologies as AI and robotics<br />

increasingly offer us new ways to<br />

access and manage data.<br />

David's presentation was followed by<br />

what has become a regular fixture at<br />

the PFU ICC event, as EMEA General<br />

Sales Manager Brian Fortune broke<br />

down what he saw as the 'big six'<br />

trends that are likely to affect the<br />

sector, and how the changing<br />

opportunities being presented are<br />

opportunities nonetheless. AI was a<br />

factor, of course, as were edge-enabled<br />

devices, a growing need for document<br />

security and compliance, and what<br />

Brian called 'the big conversion' - a<br />

growth in demand for very large<br />

backfile conversion projects in sectors<br />

such as healthcare, for instance. See<br />

page 24 for a more detailed<br />

breakdown of Brian's predictions.<br />

Hagen Wustlich, CEO of PFU partner<br />

Planet, used his presentation to<br />

highlight the power of his company's<br />

Intelligent Document Analysis<br />

solutions, which offer automated<br />

document processing workflows with<br />

remarkably high accuracy on<br />

recognition tasks - way beyond what<br />

most of us are used to seeing in the<br />

industry. We've covered Hagen's<br />

presentation in more detail later in this<br />

issue, but it's worth mentioning here<br />

one particular health client of theirs<br />

whose processing went from taking<br />

240 days with a 53% accuracy rating<br />

with Kofax, to just one day, with 89%<br />

accuracy using Planet's technology.<br />

Impressive stuff!<br />

As regular readers might expect,<br />

much of the focus in many of the<br />

presentations and breakout sessions<br />

was on AI and ML - indeed there were<br />

barely any sessions that didn't touch on<br />

these technologies in one way or<br />

another. It is fair to say that there was<br />

no sense of paying lip-service to 'this<br />

year's buzzword' in any of the<br />

presentations: the industry is clearly<br />

taking AI very seriously and there are<br />

some significant steps being taken not<br />

only by PFU themselves but also by<br />

many of their partners in assimilating<br />

these emerging technologies into their<br />

future roadmaps - and indeed their<br />

current product offerings in many<br />

cases.<br />

In fact it was quite notable that, for a<br />

company that has for many years been<br />

the world's most successful scanner<br />

sales business, much of the focus of<br />

the event and the presentations was<br />

actually not very scanning-focused at<br />

all! Of course scanner hardware and<br />

capture/image processing software<br />

were covered, but there was far more<br />

emphasis from many of the speakers<br />

and in demos around the event on a<br />

broader document automation<br />

approach. PFU's Brian Fortune<br />

described it as 'augmented intelligence<br />

that will lead to better data driven<br />

decisions'.<br />

One of the best attended sessions<br />

was described as 'a discussion around<br />

hardware and software visions',<br />

featuring KJ Sugimasa, Simon Edwards<br />

and Tony Lillico, all of PFU. There was<br />

some interesting detail on the scanner<br />

manufacturing and testing process,<br />

giving a glimpse 'behind the curtain' of<br />

PFU's scanner business, and showing<br />

the time and effort that goes into the<br />

design and creation of the world's<br />

most successful scanner brand.<br />

Tony explained the shift from CCD to<br />

CIS technology and the reasoning<br />

behind it, and gave us a look into how<br />

functions such as automatic separation<br />

control, paper ejection control, stapled<br />

document detection and automatic<br />

skew correction on the fi-8000 devices<br />

add up to more productive scan<br />

processing.<br />

On the software side we heard about<br />

the new ScanSnap Home interface, and<br />

how all the previous apps have been<br />

consolidated into one with ScanSnap<br />

Home Mobile. At the production level<br />

the panel described how software<br />

enhancements including to<br />

PaperStream IP and Scanner Central<br />

Admin were part of the company's<br />

efforts to create a 'bridge' between<br />

emerging technologies and user<br />

requirements. The key takeaway from<br />

the software teams was the aim of<br />

'making powerful software easy to use'.<br />

After a packed two days of<br />

presentations, breakouts and<br />

demonstrations, the event wound up<br />

in style with a gala dinner at the<br />

world's tallest structure, the Burj<br />

Khalifa, ending with the presentation<br />

of awards to a selection of PFU<br />

partners from all across the region (see<br />

elsewhere for a full breakdown of the<br />

winners).<br />

More info: www.pfu-emea.ricoh.com<br />

www.document-manager.com<br />

May/June 2024<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

7


Dm PRODUCT REVIEW: MDI CLOUD<br />

Review: MDI Cloud<br />

Storetec first moved into the<br />

software realm 20 years ago in<br />

2004 with its first release of<br />

FreeDocs, just one year after the<br />

company's inception. Since then of<br />

course the document and content<br />

management sector has moved on<br />

enormously, as both user requirements<br />

and technological capabilities have<br />

changed almost beyond recognition.<br />

So it is that Storetec's core product is<br />

now known by a totally new name, MDI<br />

Cloud, and DM Magazine decided to<br />

take a closer look at what makes the<br />

new product such a step up from the<br />

well-established and popular FreeDocs.<br />

First of all, what's in a name? The MDI<br />

in MDI Cloud stands for Managed<br />

Document Intelligence, which is a logical<br />

re-brand on two levels: one, 'Managed'<br />

implies the cloud/content services<br />

approach now almost obligatory for any<br />

organisation looking for effective digital<br />

transformation offerings; while<br />

'Document Intelligence' reflects the<br />

industry's re-focus onto Intelligent<br />

Document Processing and AI<br />

integrations.<br />

MDI Cloud is built, says Storetec on a<br />

simple premise: the company's own<br />

expert developers do the heavy lifting, so<br />

the users don't have to. All the technical<br />

complexities are handled behind the<br />

scenes, allowing users to simply log in<br />

and get started. Developed off the back<br />

of twenty years of client feedback, the<br />

idea is to offer document management<br />

at its most straightforward: 'login and<br />

go', leaving clients free to focus on core<br />

business activities without distraction.<br />

Simplicity then - of implementation,<br />

deployment and use - is central to MDI<br />

Cloud: "Our goal with MDI Cloud is to<br />

strip away the technical complexity that<br />

so often bogs down digital transitions,"<br />

commented Damien Baker, Chief<br />

Operating Officer at Storetec. "We've<br />

built a tool that requires minimal input<br />

from the user, so they can maximise<br />

output in their business operations."<br />

This is evident from the main<br />

dashboard, which gives a sleek and<br />

8 @DMMagAndAwards May/June 2024 www.document-manager.com


PRODUCT REVIEW: MDI CLOUD Dm<br />

modern tiled view that includes a snapshot<br />

view of the number of documents stored,<br />

versions held, and actions performed, as<br />

well as access to messages. The main<br />

section of the customisable dashboard<br />

shows the many functions available to the<br />

user, including workflows, redaction,<br />

signatures, and many more including<br />

several impressive looking AI integrations.<br />

Storetec summarises the key 'simplicity'<br />

aspects of MDI Cloud as:<br />

Tailored access controls: Keep<br />

documents safe with customisable<br />

access settings that fit your<br />

organisation's needs.<br />

Efficient document handling: From<br />

drag-and-drop uploads to full-text<br />

searches, manage your documents and<br />

information with ease using our<br />

intuitive tools. We were impressed to<br />

see that the search function supports<br />

'*' and '?' wild card use to make it both<br />

flexible and powerful.<br />

<br />

<br />

Compliance without complication:<br />

Automated retention and<br />

straightforward version controls<br />

make compliance a breeze.<br />

Collaboration made easy: Share,<br />

edit, and manage documents<br />

collaboratively across teams in a<br />

secure manner.<br />

We'd add to this list the ease of<br />

document redaction and signature<br />

management - MDI Cloud is in fact a<br />

hugely sophisticated and feature-rich<br />

solution that offers all the elements you<br />

could ask for from a document/content<br />

management offering, in a surprisingly<br />

user-friendly and intuitive dashboard<br />

interface that will require almost zero<br />

training for new users.<br />

Combined with the overall simplicity<br />

of the user experience itself, it is<br />

important to point out that MDI Cloud<br />

nonetheless offers a number of<br />

advanced features that keep it at the<br />

leading edge in terms of Intelligent<br />

Document Processing. These include<br />

workflow automation and electronic<br />

forms tools that allow users to rapidly<br />

automate routine tasks and digitise<br />

forms to save time and reduce errors.<br />

There are also, of course, AI offerings<br />

baked into the product. If a user needs<br />

help sorting through data or<br />

summarising documents, MDI Cloud's<br />

AI Assistant performs document<br />

analysis in seconds. An AI redaction<br />

tool can intelligently identify and<br />

redact sensitive information,<br />

maintaining compliance without<br />

manual input. And when you need<br />

deeper insights, the Advanced AI<br />

Workbench offers powerful tools for<br />

data analysis and decision-making<br />

support.<br />

MDI Cloud, then, is a worthy<br />

successor to FreeDocs, a product that<br />

we've long championed at DM<br />

Magazine in its own right in the past.<br />

The new product does away with many<br />

of the complexities usually faced by<br />

organisations transitioning from paper<br />

to digital processes (or when moving<br />

between digital platforms) and offers a<br />

clear path to enhancing content and<br />

document management processes.<br />

Crucially, it's very clearly been<br />

designed with the user in mind,<br />

ensuring that staff spend less time on<br />

setup and more time doing what they<br />

do best - and what is of most value to<br />

the organisation.<br />

More info:<br />

www.storetec.net/mdi-cloud/<br />

VERDICT<br />

Storetec's FreeDocs offering has been around for 20 years and we've seen it get better and better over that time, to<br />

the point of winning several trophies at the DM Awards. MDI Cloud as the company's new flagship product<br />

genuinely represents some significant steps forward from an already impressive position, offering a combination of<br />

simplicity of approach and some highly advanced features.<br />

www.document-manager.com<br />

May/June 2024<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

9


Dm CASE STUDY: FLUGHAFEN MÜNCHEN<br />

Photo: Flughafen München GmbH<br />

A precision landing for digitalisation<br />

The company that operates Munich Airport uses an ECM<br />

solution from ELO Digital Office to manage more than 20<br />

million documents<br />

The central software platform ELO ECM<br />

Suite is being used by the airport<br />

operator to bring together all the<br />

important business documents and<br />

information - all optimally integrated with<br />

third party systems.<br />

Munich Airport has been one of the most<br />

highly frequented airports in Europe since it<br />

opened in 1992 and therefore an important<br />

hub with a renowned international<br />

standing. With around 9,000 employees,<br />

Flughafen München GmbH (FMG) is a fullservice<br />

operator for everything relating to<br />

airport management. The company stands<br />

by its policy on social and environmental<br />

responsibility and works towards<br />

decarbonisation in air travel. Therefore,<br />

digitalising its workflows is an important<br />

step towards a future-proof approach to<br />

sustainable business practices.<br />

As the previous DMS system had reached<br />

the limits of its capabilities, FMG was on the<br />

lookout for a modern software system. It<br />

was essential to seamlessly connect the new<br />

solution with third-party systems, such as<br />

ERP and CAD and also with Microsoft<br />

Office. It needed to be scalable and able to<br />

be enhanced with modules, work on the<br />

basis of workflows and store information in<br />

a regulatory-compliant manner.<br />

FMG decided on ELO ECM Suite from ELO<br />

Digital Office because of its intuitive user<br />

navigation, modular development potential<br />

and automation options. Today, it manages<br />

over 20 million documents in the ECM<br />

solution from ELO Digital Office, for<br />

example, documentation for buildings and<br />

technical facilities, as well as around 10,000<br />

manuals.<br />

In addition to the solidity of the ECM<br />

manufacturer and its owner structure, the<br />

intuitive user navigation, modular<br />

development potential, and scalability were<br />

also reasons for making the decision. The<br />

easy integration with third-party systems<br />

and its excellent value for money also spoke<br />

in favour of ELO ECM Suite. The group<br />

trusted an experienced ELO Business Partner<br />

for SMEs with realising the project.<br />

The digitalisation experts began by<br />

successively implementing the basic<br />

software in different departments and<br />

migrating the data from the old system. In<br />

the next step, it was time to integrate with<br />

the ERP and CAD systems and set up a<br />

digital contract management solution in the<br />

group's Procurement division. Mobile<br />

working with the ELO app was on the cards<br />

for the Real Estate department from 2023,<br />

to manage the facilities off the airport<br />

premises.<br />

Around 2,800 employees across the<br />

company currently work with ELO ECM<br />

Suite. They really value the automated - and<br />

therefore time-saving - processes. All<br />

authorised employees can access<br />

documents and information centrally: they<br />

can retrieve and collaborate on documents<br />

at any time and from any location. Sensitive<br />

information is also protected against<br />

unauthorised access and stored according<br />

to regulatory requirements.<br />

"ELO ECM Suite impressed us with its easy<br />

handling," commented Stefan Setzensack, IT<br />

Solution Manager ELO, Flughafen München<br />

GmbH. "The wide range of functions<br />

opened up a lot of potential for our<br />

digitalisation strategy."<br />

Would you like to know more about the<br />

digitalisation opportunities with ELO Digital<br />

Office?<br />

Watch the FMG reference video here.<br />

More info: www.elo.com<br />

10 @DMMagAndAwards May/June 2024 www.document-manager.com


Dm TECHNOLOGY FOCUS: INTELLIGENT DOCUMENT PROCESSING<br />

Intelligence tests<br />

The PFU Information Capture Conference heard from<br />

Hagen Wustlich, founder and CEO of Planet GmbH,<br />

who shared some extraordinary advances in intelligent<br />

document processing<br />

For a company founded way back in<br />

1992, PFU partner Planet boasts<br />

some very impressive credentials<br />

when it comes to up-to-the-minute<br />

innovations. Founder and CEO delivered<br />

a brief<br />

roundup of his technology's capabilities<br />

at the PFU ICC event, and it is fair to<br />

say that everyone present went away<br />

hugely impressed at some of the<br />

examples and demonstrations.<br />

Wustlich describes the core of what<br />

they offer as 'understanding images<br />

and text using cognitive systems', which<br />

might sound like a fancy way of saying<br />

OCR/ICR, and to an extent it is - but we<br />

learned that there is far more going on<br />

'under the bonnet' of Planet's offering.<br />

The Planet solution, IDA (Intelligent<br />

Document Analysis) can be offered as<br />

an on-premise or cloud system, but<br />

Wustlich explained that most clients at<br />

the moment prefer to opt for on-prem<br />

due to what they see as the better<br />

security and control. IDA is a software<br />

suite for data capture from documents<br />

with, claims Wustlich, "the highest<br />

quality, extraction and content<br />

understanding".<br />

NO LIMITS<br />

As he went on to demonstrate, IDA can<br />

help users to automate their document<br />

processing workflow with remarkable<br />

accuracy and speed - with practically<br />

no limits on the use cases to which it<br />

could be applied.<br />

IDA offers greater than 95% accuracy<br />

for hand-written text, and greater than<br />

99% for machine text, with the ability<br />

to process in excess of 70,000 pages<br />

per hour. On top of this, the average<br />

training time for the system is less than<br />

half a day.<br />

At the heart of IDA, explained<br />

Wustlich, is the company's own<br />

patented Perception Matrix technology<br />

which can work with text, speech, or<br />

images to deliver what he described as<br />

12 May/June 2024 www.document-manager.com<br />

@DMMagAndAwards


TECHNOLOGY FOCUS: INTELLIGENT DOCUMENT PROCESSING Dm<br />

'content representation without<br />

information loss'. The examples shown<br />

during his presentation illustrated the<br />

sheer power of IDA, a completely<br />

language-independent solution (the<br />

latest version of which works with<br />

Arabic character sets) that is claimed<br />

to include the world's most powerful<br />

keyword search.<br />

Wustlich went on to describe how in<br />

one 'Tech Olympics' challenge, Planet's<br />

offerings won 16 out of 18 contests<br />

entered. He shared a slide comparing<br />

the relative performance (OCR<br />

accuracy) of Planet against three<br />

leading competitors: on invoices,<br />

Planet achieved 93.9% accuracy,<br />

compared to 66.9% for Nuance,<br />

44.5% for Recostar, and 52.5% for<br />

Tesseract. For an insurance form filled<br />

out by hand, Planet scored 97.2%<br />

against 16.2% for Nuance, 63.5%<br />

Recostar and 79.0% Tesseract.<br />

Perhaps most impressive was the<br />

handwritten letter test, where Planet<br />

achieved 90.5%, Nuance 11.9%,<br />

Recostar zero, and Tesseract 30.2%.<br />

The fact that Planet out-performed the<br />

others by such a large amount in every<br />

single test made quite an impact on<br />

the ICC9 audience.<br />

Planet offers two OEM integration<br />

options:<br />

IDA Recognition Server is a clientserver<br />

application with connectors<br />

to Jave, Python, PHP, C++ and C#<br />

IDA Recognition SDK is a Java SDK<br />

with an optional C# wrapper<br />

(DLL), with separate versions for<br />

CPU only and full CPU/GPU support<br />

YES BOT, NO BOT<br />

Some of the most impressive aspects<br />

of Planet's presentation came with the<br />

introduction of the AI Assistant<br />

Classification tool, which essentially<br />

uses a ChatBot approach to 'learn' all<br />

the information that the system needs<br />

to know in order to process<br />

documents. Wustlich described this as<br />

an 'active self-learning' approach.<br />

In another comparative example that<br />

had many in the audience reaching for<br />

their phones, he explained how Planet<br />

IDA compared with a rules-based<br />

approach (in this case Ephesoft): while<br />

Ephesoft required 240 days of effort<br />

and delivered a 53% automation rate,<br />

Planet took just 3 days and delivered<br />

91% automation.<br />

Wustlich ended his very impressive<br />

presentation with a summary of the<br />

company's strategy as far as<br />

partnerships - obviously a key aspect<br />

for many of those in attendance. He<br />

described it as 'a sustainable strategy:<br />

always one step ahead together'.<br />

Firstly, Planet offers immediate ROI:<br />

the simplicity of integration means<br />

immediate benefits. Secondly, it is a<br />

platform for opening up new<br />

opportunities and overcoming existing<br />

boundaries for potential partner<br />

businesses. Thirdly, he emphasised<br />

that Planet wishes to be seen as a<br />

long-term technology partner,<br />

allowing participation in its groundbreaking<br />

innovations.<br />

More info: www.planet.de<br />

www.document-manager.com<br />

May/June 2024<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

13


Dm CASE STUDY: HM LAND REGISTRY<br />

Record savings<br />

Nigel Dews, Managing<br />

Director, Restore Records<br />

Management, describes<br />

how HM Land Registry<br />

has reduced its files and<br />

its own physical estate<br />

size as it embarked on its<br />

digital journey<br />

For over 160 years HM Land Registry<br />

has served as the critical institution<br />

protecting the right to property and<br />

enabling the market to operate. By<br />

keeping the definitive and guaranteed<br />

record of property ownership in England<br />

and Wales, HM Land Registry allows<br />

property to be transacted securely and<br />

with confidence. There are more than 26<br />

million land and property titles, covering<br />

around 88% of the land area of England<br />

and Wales.<br />

HM Land Registry's purpose is to protect<br />

landownership and provide services and<br />

data that underpin an efficient and<br />

informed property market. This aim<br />

resulted in a project to implement a new<br />

long-term strategy for records<br />

management - which is where Restore<br />

Records Management stepped in.<br />

We have been working with HM Land<br />

Registry since 2011 when we were<br />

involved with consolidating 88 million<br />

files from 10 different sites to one<br />

Restore Records Management facility.<br />

Subsequently, we were involved in an<br />

exciting pilot to digitise historic files that<br />

include a property lease, one of the most<br />

requested documents - helping to drive<br />

improved efficiencies in HM Land<br />

14<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

May/June 2024<br />

www.document-manager.com


CASE STUDY: HM LAND REGISTRY Dm<br />

Registry's service to the public in the<br />

process.<br />

The success of the pilot enabled<br />

Restore Records Management to quickly<br />

change the method of file delivery from<br />

physical to digital during the pandemic,<br />

when staff had to work from home and<br />

needed to access files - ultimately<br />

leading to improvement efficiencies for<br />

both HM Land Registry and property<br />

owners. This is the story of the entire<br />

project and how it was delivered.<br />

THE CHALLENGE<br />

The size of the job is best told in<br />

statistics: HM Land Registry had more<br />

than 88 million files stored at 10<br />

regional sites across the UK but held an<br />

ambition to become more efficient and<br />

reduce their costs by storing them at<br />

just one location.<br />

In order to achieve this, they<br />

implemented a long-term records<br />

management strategy which aimed to:<br />

Reduce the number of physical files.<br />

This began in 2008, when HM Land<br />

Registry stopped creating hard copy<br />

files and in 2020 with the<br />

introduction of scanning requested<br />

files.<br />

Targeted approach to digitise files<br />

with the most requested documents.<br />

Provide the public and property<br />

market with easy access to data.<br />

Provide an excellent service which<br />

was quick and efficient.<br />

Store all remaining physical files at<br />

one Restore Records Management<br />

secure location.<br />

THE SOLUTION PART ONE: UPLIFT<br />

We began by consolidating 10 regional<br />

file stores into one central location<br />

managed by Restore Records<br />

Management staff, enabling HM Land<br />

Registry to reduce the size of its estate<br />

by disposing of their unwanted<br />

buildings. In order to maintain<br />

customer service levels, careful<br />

sequencing of the uplift and overnight<br />

transfer of the files took place.<br />

Designated HM Land Registry<br />

document champions were appointed<br />

to train the Restore Records<br />

Management team and ensure the<br />

effective two-way transfer of<br />

knowledge, expertise and insight.<br />

HM Land Registry's file ordering<br />

system was retained and integrated<br />

with our records management<br />

software. A fixed cost structure was<br />

replaced with a variable pricing model<br />

so that HM Land Registry now only pays<br />

for activity levels required to meet its<br />

customers' needs.<br />

As well as off-site storage, HM Land<br />

Registry also required a retrieval service<br />

that could support:<br />

1,200 daily requests for official<br />

copies of specific documents in a file<br />

400 daily file requests<br />

THE SOLUTION PART TWO:<br />

SCANNING<br />

In 2020 we then advised and led a pilot<br />

to begin digitising files that contain the<br />

most requested documents, for<br />

example lease documents.<br />

When the pandemic hit, meaning the<br />

majority of HM Land Registry<br />

caseworkers had to work from home,<br />

we quickly adapted the processes we<br />

had used during the pilot to enable us<br />

to deliver the files digitally that were<br />

requested daily.<br />

Since then, we have continued to<br />

work with HM Land Registry to digitise<br />

a second tranche of files containing a<br />

lease document. It underlines our<br />

strategic partnership with HM Land<br />

Registry - and we are delighted to be<br />

able to help.<br />

The value of scanning these records is<br />

clear. It enables same-day retrieval of<br />

documents, creating a simpler,<br />

paperless process for buying and selling<br />

property which benefits homeowners<br />

across the country.<br />

THE RESULTS<br />

HM Land Registry has maintained<br />

service levels and improved efficiency<br />

while significantly reducing its estates<br />

portfolio and overall running costs, as<br />

follows:<br />

The rationalisation of HM Land<br />

Registry's estates delivered major<br />

savings, helping to contribute to<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

overall government's reduction of<br />

£278 million p/a in its estates<br />

running costs.<br />

40% of costs have been converted to<br />

variable costs which means HM Land<br />

Registry does not incur extra cost if<br />

activity levels reduce.<br />

HM Land Registry is now able to<br />

access more innovative document<br />

management processes including<br />

scan-on-demand that, in turn, has<br />

improved the quality of its customer<br />

service. The huge document uplift<br />

(the largest in the UK) was seamlessly<br />

delivered two months ahead of<br />

schedule with no disruption to<br />

business activity or customer service.<br />

Environmentally responsible business<br />

practices have been implemented to<br />

create a sustainable operation.<br />

IN ADDITION:<br />

An initial 20,000 files containing<br />

lease documents were scanned<br />

within the first project and a further<br />

140,000 files (including 1.1 million<br />

documents) were delivered in a<br />

second tranche.<br />

Caseworkers were able to access<br />

scanned property files, which<br />

enabled them to work remotely -<br />

reducing impact on the property<br />

market by ensure documents were<br />

still available.<br />

By the end of 2020 HM Land<br />

Registry saw a reduction in lease<br />

document requests (and the<br />

associated costs) because more of<br />

them were available digitally.<br />

HM Land Registry is now less reliant<br />

on paper files, with key property<br />

information more widely available<br />

and accessible to the public.<br />

"Restore Records Management helped<br />

us to identify the records which are<br />

most frequently requested," commented<br />

Eve Foster, Central Operations Manager,<br />

HM Land Registry. "This helped us drive<br />

efficiencies in our service, provide longterm<br />

cost savings but most importantly<br />

to support our vision to deliver a more<br />

efficient, fully digital property market."<br />

More info: www.restore.co.uk/records<br />

www.document-manager.com<br />

May/June 2024<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

15


Dm TECHNOLOGY FOCUS: AI<br />

IDP: a gateway to AI<br />

Neil Murphy, Chief Revenue Officer at ABBYY, told the PFU ICC audience in Dubai why his<br />

company is increasingly competing against the likes of Microsoft and Amazon rather<br />

than the capture businesses they lined up against in the past<br />

Most DM readers will of course<br />

be very familiar with ABBYY<br />

as a well established leader in<br />

the capture/recognition space, with<br />

OCR and PDF tools that have<br />

dominated the market for a long time.<br />

The company's focus has shifted in<br />

recent years as they recognised the<br />

opportunities that AI and similar<br />

emerging technologies could offer in<br />

the document processing space.<br />

ABBYY CRO Neil Murphy's<br />

presentation to the packed auditorium<br />

at PFU's Dubai conference was called<br />

'IDP accelerating the journey to an AI<br />

automated business', and he began by<br />

explaining the opportunities that Ai<br />

could offer to our market over and<br />

above the traditional sales model of<br />

firms like ABBYY: "OCR is a key part of<br />

what we do," he explained, "but we<br />

offer a lot more value to the market".<br />

A NEW MARKET FOR AI<br />

In fact ABBYY has found itself pitching<br />

to a whole new audience these days -<br />

people who often were completely<br />

unaware of the traditional capture<br />

industry, and ABBYY's reputation<br />

within it. These, Murphy explained,<br />

were the new market for AI-assisted<br />

intelligent document processing<br />

solutions.<br />

He went on to break down some of<br />

the top use cases for AI at the<br />

moment:<br />

Writing code (48% of users)<br />

Extracting data and automating<br />

workflows (39%)<br />

Knowledge base/Q&A type<br />

applications (36%)<br />

16<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

May/June 2024<br />

www.document-manager.com


TECHNOLOGY FOCUS: AI Dm<br />

"THIS VISION BREAKS DOWN INTO SEVERAL AREAS: FIRST, SAID MURPHY, 'SIMPLICITY WITH SCALABILITY'.<br />

WHAT THIS COMES DOWN TO IS FIRSTLY AN INTUITIVE INTERFACE, WHICH ALLOWS THE PROCESSING OF AD-<br />

HOC DOCUMENTS, SCALING TO HIGH VOLUME, USING PRE-BUILT SKILLS. ALSO KEY TO ABBYY'S VISION IS THE<br />

IDEA OF 'IDP FOR EVERYONE': A NO-CODE APPROACH FOR GENERAL USERS, WHILE STILL BEING WELCOMING<br />

FOR ADVANCED USERS. IT IS ALSO FOCUSED ON DELIVERING OUTCOMES: WITH USE CASE SPECIFIC SKILLS<br />

AND MODELS, ALONGSIDE THE HIGH LEVELS OF ACCURACY THAT ALL HAVE COME TO EXPECT AS STANDARD<br />

FROM ABBYY."<br />

The second item on that list was of<br />

course the one of most interest to the<br />

ICC attendees, as this was where their<br />

potential new market growth lay.<br />

Murphy went on to explain that in<br />

these new markets, ABBYY themselves<br />

are no longer coming up against<br />

traditional DM/OCR suppliers: "Our<br />

competitors now are Microsoft and<br />

Amazon, not the usual capture<br />

players."<br />

He made the case that we - and<br />

potential prospects - should be<br />

looking at intelligent document<br />

processing (IDP) as a 'gateway' for<br />

wider AI use - precisely because IDP is<br />

already a proven technology<br />

approach, and users know that it<br />

works and delivers real world<br />

benefits.<br />

One interesting slide defined IDP as<br />

ABBYY see it: with unstructured<br />

documents at one end of the process,<br />

IDP in the middle, and structured data<br />

as the resulting output. In this<br />

context, Murphy explained, IDP<br />

constitutes a suite of technologies,<br />

including:<br />

OCR<br />

Machine learning<br />

AI<br />

Natural Language Processing<br />

GENAI HAS ITS ISSUES<br />

He went on to discuss some of the<br />

limitations of GenAI, which despite its<br />

extraordinarily rapid takeup in<br />

business and elsewhere, remains a<br />

technology that needs to be carefully<br />

managed. One that caught the<br />

audience's imagination was the<br />

danger of what he called<br />

'hallucinations'; when GenAI tries to<br />

bridge a gap in its 'knowledge' by<br />

simply making up something and<br />

presenting it as a fact - something<br />

we've all seen news stories about in<br />

recent months, and which we're sure<br />

to see more of as high profile<br />

business and individuals get caught<br />

out in embarassing 'Where did you<br />

get that information from?' moments.<br />

Some of the other potential pitfalls<br />

of GenAI were perhaps more obvious,<br />

including the transparency of the data<br />

that the system is being trained on,<br />

the question of whether that data has<br />

been adequately anonymised<br />

(especially important with healthcare<br />

of financial data, of course), broader<br />

security considerations of GenAI in<br />

general, and the potential impact of<br />

using limited data sets on the<br />

resulting output.<br />

In addition to these concerns,<br />

Murphy also explained that the fact<br />

that most GenAI projects are still at a<br />

very early stage is in itself a potential<br />

problem as far as reliability of<br />

predicted results. This, combined with<br />

the pressure that many businesses are<br />

under to start showing real<br />

measurable outcomes by their board<br />

(who want to see returns on their<br />

investment, predictably) are all<br />

creating issues with how GenAI<br />

progress is being made.<br />

THE ABBYY VISION<br />

On a more positive note Murphy went<br />

on to introduce ABBYY's own NeoML<br />

product, an Open Source tool that, he<br />

said, can place cutting edge AI at<br />

each stage of a document process. He<br />

went on to explain ABBYY's vision for<br />

AI going forward.<br />

This vision breaks down into several<br />

areas: first, said Murphy, 'simplicity<br />

with scalability'. What this comes<br />

down to is firstly an intuitive<br />

interface, which allows the processing<br />

of ad-hoc documents, scaling to high<br />

volume, using pre-built skills.<br />

Also key to ABBYY's vision is the idea<br />

of 'IDP for everyone': a no-code<br />

approach for general users, while still<br />

being welcoming for advanced users.<br />

It is also focused on delivering<br />

outcomes: with use case specific skills<br />

and models, alongside the high levels<br />

of accuracy that all have come to<br />

expect as standard from ABBYY.<br />

Lastly, Murphy broke down what he<br />

described as ABBYY's 'AI ecosystem' -<br />

intended to become the de facto IDP<br />

platform for key vendors to integrate<br />

their capabilities.<br />

And this isn't just blue-sky<br />

'vapourware', as Murphy went on to<br />

explain: they already have customers<br />

using these technologies including<br />

the likes of PWC, Nvidia, IBM Watson,<br />

and Credit Agricole. He described one<br />

user organisation already creating<br />

measureable value from the use of AIpowered<br />

IDP, regularly achieving 95%<br />

straight through processing.<br />

Murphy closed his presentation by<br />

reinforcing the idea that AI for IDP<br />

needs to be purpose-built for the<br />

task, incorporating what he called<br />

'the cutting edge of neuro-symbolic<br />

and generative AI in a product<br />

purpose-built for enterprises and<br />

developers'.<br />

More info: www.abbyy.com<br />

www.document-manager.com<br />

May/June 2024<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

17


Dm PFU ICC9: HARDWARE & SOFTWARE VISIONS<br />

A winning combination<br />

A panel discussion at the<br />

PFU ICC event - featuring<br />

Simon Edwards, Tony<br />

Lillico and KJ Sugimasa -<br />

explored the company's<br />

future vision for the<br />

combined potential of<br />

software and hardware<br />

PFU's Simon Edwards hosted a lively<br />

conversation with Tony Lillico and KJ<br />

Sugimasa in Dubai that covered<br />

technical innovation, entrepreneurship,<br />

image processing and paper handling,<br />

among many other topics. There was<br />

even a video demonstration of the<br />

extraordinary lengths to which PFU goes<br />

to ensure its devices are robust enough<br />

for real world use: in a one minute clip<br />

we saw a scanner exposed to five years<br />

worth of dust, cleaned up and working<br />

straight away.<br />

KJ, having worked at PFU Japan before<br />

coming to PFU EMEA, was asked what he<br />

thought made the company able to keep<br />

innovating in the market: "PFU provides<br />

an environment for each overseas sales<br />

company to give feedback to the<br />

products from the business perspective of<br />

each region. PFUE has the opportunity to<br />

share what is happening in the business<br />

frontline frequently. Even a small request<br />

from the customer, partners, it doesn't<br />

matter: we can share what we learn from<br />

the market and discuss with PFU. I<br />

believe that brings very unique and<br />

strong products to our portfolio and I<br />

think that's why PFU is different from<br />

other scanner manufacturers. As a result,<br />

we are keeping number one market share<br />

in huge markets such as EMEA, the US<br />

and Japan."<br />

He went on to describe the PFU Product<br />

Design Service Centre, staffed by leading<br />

experts in a wide range of technologies<br />

including mechanical engineers,<br />

electronics and chip design specialists,<br />

and software development and image<br />

processing specialists. Their years of<br />

accumulated experience, and close work<br />

with market specialists on the ground in<br />

EMEA and around the world, has<br />

ensured PFU's position as runaway<br />

18 May/June 2024 www.document-manager.com<br />

@DMMagAndAwards


PFU ICC9: HARDWARE & SOFTWARE VISIONS Dm<br />

"WE HAVE CONTINUED TO ADD FEATURES THAT MAKE OUR PRODUCT MORE RELIABLE AND EASIER TO USE. WE<br />

HAVE A WORLD BEATING TEAM OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS IN JAPAN THAT DREAM ABOUT PAPER PATHS,<br />

ROLLERS, PROTECTION MECHANISMS, MULTI-FEEDS AND THE LIKE."<br />

leaders in document scanning<br />

worldwide.<br />

THE RIGHT TIME FOR CIS<br />

Simon then asked Tony to zoom in on<br />

what has made the most recent<br />

hardware launches stand out. He<br />

replied: "For me the arrival of Clear<br />

Image Capture is probably the most<br />

important change, based on the<br />

benefits of reduced power<br />

consumption, reduced weight and<br />

reduced size that come from CIS. We<br />

had always avoided CIS technology on<br />

our high end scanners because the<br />

image quality and depth of field were<br />

so much poorer than with CCD. But<br />

using state of the art image processing<br />

technology we are able to take the scan<br />

from a CIS sensor and process it to<br />

deliver the same image quality as from<br />

a CCD sensor, if not better."<br />

Feedback from the market would seem<br />

to support this, as PFU partners and<br />

customers have been very positive<br />

about the decision to stick with CCD<br />

until recently and then to transition to<br />

CIS only when they could do so without<br />

an adverse impact on image quality.<br />

Tony went on to break down some of<br />

the innovations delivered on the fi-8000<br />

series scanners. PFU is known in the<br />

industry because their scanners scan<br />

reliably for years, whether it is thin<br />

paper, thick paper, specialist paper, A4<br />

or custom sizes, he explained. "We have<br />

continued to add features that make<br />

our product more reliable and easier to<br />

use. We have a world beating team of<br />

mechanical engineers in Japan that<br />

dream about paper paths, rollers,<br />

protection mechanisms, multi-feeds and<br />

the like. For the fi-8000 series<br />

Automatic Separation Control has<br />

topped this off."<br />

KEEPING PAPER MOVING<br />

Automatic Separation Control is all<br />

about sensing a number of different<br />

factors and then managing the feeder<br />

torque to ensure smooth and consistent<br />

feeding from a paper stack, whether it is<br />

the 1st sheet or the 750th sheet, and<br />

irrespective of whether the rollers are<br />

brand new or approaching the end of<br />

their life.<br />

"It cements PFU firmly in the market<br />

leadership position, but it is<br />

supplemented by other improvements to<br />

our paper feeding technology," said Tony.<br />

"These include automatic skew<br />

correction, paper ejection control and<br />

stapled document detection."<br />

Innovations like automatic skew<br />

correction are of course all about saving<br />

scanning time to reduce labour costs.<br />

From the fi Series, the discussion moved<br />

onto the ScanSnap range. KJ explained:<br />

"ScanSnap is a solution, so the software<br />

is just as important as the hardware.<br />

Other vendors sell a scanner and drop a<br />

whole load of free software in the box<br />

and you are on your own. We have<br />

chosen a different approach, we listened<br />

to customers that used personal scanners<br />

and designed our own software,<br />

ScanSnap Home, that is part of a<br />

seamless personal scanning solution.<br />

ScanSnap Home is our dedicated<br />

software for personal scanning. An<br />

important part of this is simple and<br />

intuitive UX. With ScanSnap Home, you<br />

can easily create profiles based on<br />

frequently used preferences like save<br />

destinations, linked cloud applications,<br />

colour modes, etc. Scanned data can be<br />

saved as PDF, searchable PDF, and JPEG.<br />

Scanning and OCR processing runs for<br />

fast Searchable PDF creation.<br />

“Software is not only for PC. The big<br />

recent change is the consolidation of our<br />

mobile apps into a single, versatile<br />

mobile app - ScanSnap Home Mobile."<br />

As the conversation moved onto<br />

software, Simon suggested that many<br />

people do not understand the power of<br />

some of the software PFU provides with<br />

its scanners. Tony picked up this theme:<br />

"More and more customers want to scan<br />

documents and then digitise them. That<br />

could be for indexing or data referencing<br />

purposes. That means optical character<br />

recognition rates are critical to scanning<br />

performance. The image processing<br />

features of our PaperStream IP driver can<br />

clean up an image to such an extent that<br />

OCR accuracy rates as high as 97% can<br />

be achieved."<br />

Tony also mentioned Scanner Central<br />

Admin, PFU's server-based software that<br />

uses an agent on a local PC or directly<br />

connects to a network scanner and<br />

carefully monitors the scanner. This saves<br />

time and effort in checking for error<br />

conditions or remaining consumable life<br />

- with no need for an engineer call-out.<br />

BUILDING BRIDGES<br />

As for the future, it is clear that PFU<br />

intends to focus on looking at the needs<br />

of customers and then matching with<br />

their technology expertise to continue to<br />

deliver world-beating products. Tony<br />

summed it up: "With regard to customer<br />

needs we spend a lot of time talking to<br />

customers and listening to their<br />

feedback. But we also like to build close<br />

bridges between the challenges our<br />

customers face and emerging<br />

technologies. Innovation comes not just<br />

from listening to customers tell us what<br />

they want but from getting our world<br />

leading technology experts listening to<br />

the challenges our customers face. "<br />

More info:<br />

partner.imaging-channel-program.com<br />

www.document-manager.com<br />

May/June 2024<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

19


Dm COMPANY UPDATE: DOCUWARE<br />

Partners all the way<br />

DM Magazine speaks to David Malan, Sales Director, UK & Ireland at DocuWare,<br />

who believes that document management has established itself as an exciting,<br />

must-have, high-tech solution for every modern business<br />

for each dealership and their customer<br />

base, training for dealers and behind-thescenes<br />

tech support. The dealer training<br />

program also includes work on lead<br />

generation and customer events to help fill<br />

the funnel. It involves coaching on solution<br />

selling, learning how to demonstrate,<br />

consult and communicate on highly<br />

valuable solutions so that customers can<br />

quickly realise the benefits.<br />

There are other reasons that DocuWare's<br />

wide network of authorised partners are so<br />

well equipped to meet the growing<br />

demand:<br />

According to David Malan, over the<br />

last few years, businesses have<br />

needed to quickly digitise, index and<br />

access information to maintain core<br />

business processes. Any dealer currently<br />

offering document management (or ECM)<br />

solutions would agree that the growing<br />

remote and hybrid workforces present an<br />

enormous opportunity in today's business<br />

climate and have driven the need for a<br />

digital transformation to a higher level<br />

than ever.<br />

While most larger enterprise customers<br />

have already implemented a document<br />

management solution, many SMEs are still<br />

in the research and consideration stage<br />

and that's where the acceleration is<br />

evident, and the timing is perfect for<br />

dealers/resellers to jump into this relatively<br />

new space.<br />

Malan explained that DocuWare serves<br />

two groups of partners with its software<br />

solutions: first, providers that were<br />

primarily hardware-oriented but have<br />

begun to make the shift from hardware to<br />

software, and second, the IT dealers who<br />

were always solution-oriented and want to<br />

continue to expand their business in this<br />

direction.<br />

Both dealer types are important to<br />

DocuWare and both have huge potential<br />

not only to grow their customer base, but<br />

also to generate recurring revenues<br />

through expanding the use of the solution<br />

for existing customers.<br />

"Our ideal partners are the ones who<br />

already have a customer base of at least 50<br />

to 100 customers and want to expand<br />

their portfolio by integrating a DMS and<br />

provide their customers with an all-in-one<br />

solution. We are looking to partner with<br />

dealers who want to grow their business<br />

with us and those can be found in both of<br />

the above groups," stated Malan.<br />

Once on board as a partner, DocuWare's<br />

comprehensive partner program kicks off<br />

and this includes the creation of<br />

customised marketing and growth plans<br />

The speed with which its cloud-based<br />

solutions can be implemented allows<br />

dealers to take on more customers than<br />

before and earn additional and<br />

recurring revenues;<br />

DocuWare solutions are configurable to<br />

the needs of the market;<br />

The additional in-house AI expertise<br />

gained through the acquisition of<br />

natif.ai will benefit all partners.<br />

New selling tools such as<br />

Showme.DocuWare - which was<br />

unveiled at the DocuWorld conferences<br />

this year - allows partners to sell more<br />

and sell faster.<br />

David Malan concludes: "We provide<br />

guidance and support to our partners both<br />

out in the field and behind the scenes."<br />

DocuWare's sales and Professional Services<br />

teams walk with partners every step of the<br />

way until they are self-sufficient. Even then,<br />

their sales team is available to help as<br />

needed. DocuWare works alongside its<br />

partners all the way because partner<br />

success is key.<br />

To grow your business, visit the 'Become a<br />

DocuWare Partner' page.<br />

More info: www.docuware.com<br />

20 @DMMagAndAwards May/June 2024 www.document-manager.com


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Dm STRATEGY: PFU & AI<br />

Taking advantage of AI<br />

There is no doubt that AI was one of the hottest topics under discussion at the recent<br />

PFU Information Capture Conference in Dubai, and PFU's own Christophe Laurence<br />

explained how the combination of scanning and AI could lead to a revolution in<br />

document management<br />

Christophe Laurence, EMEA Business<br />

Development Director at PFU, hosted<br />

one of the most well-attended<br />

presentation sessions at the company's<br />

Dubai conference, offering a raft of<br />

insights into how AI will work together<br />

with PFU's own offerings to enhance<br />

information and document management<br />

across all kinds of sectors.<br />

"In the next 2 years, AI will play a major<br />

role in helping businesses analyse content<br />

and sentiment from documents for<br />

automatic processing through workflows,"<br />

said Christophe. He went on to suggest<br />

that 70% of IT decision-makers believe that<br />

AI-based document processing solutions<br />

will be critical to their business over the<br />

next five years.<br />

There are numerous obstacles hindering<br />

efficiency and adaptability in modern<br />

document management at the<br />

moment: manual sorting and filing<br />

processes are time-consuming; it can<br />

be difficult to retrieve and/or search<br />

for specific documents; there is a risk<br />

of human error in data entry and<br />

indexing; limited scalability to handle<br />

large volumes of documents; and a lack<br />

of integration with other systems<br />

leading to 'silos' of information.<br />

Christophe began by<br />

breaking down the<br />

stages by which the 'AI<br />

revolution' are likely to<br />

take place. The first<br />

stage is the use of AI<br />

to perform<br />

document<br />

categorisation by<br />

type. Then, data<br />

extraction and<br />

validation.<br />

Third will be<br />

document<br />

classification - automatically putting a<br />

digitised document in the right place, with a<br />

meaningful file name. Next comes semantic<br />

understanding - which will help systems to<br />

route documents to the appropriate<br />

workflow or individual. The last stage is in<br />

data analytics, where AI is used behind the<br />

scenes to drive a comprehensive 'dashboard'<br />

of activity for a knowledge worker: the<br />

number of invoices handled, or average<br />

processing time, for example.<br />

REAL WORLD APPLICATIONS<br />

One advantage of AI-driven document<br />

processing is its rapid categorisation of<br />

documents based on content. For instance,<br />

an AI system can learn to recognise financial<br />

documents like PO or invoices, routing them<br />

automatically to relevant departments. This<br />

streamlines workflows and mitigates human<br />

errors linked to manual categorisation tasks.<br />

The presentation moved on to 'real world'<br />

use cases including claims processing, an<br />

application that reflects the obstacles<br />

mentioned above neatly. Manual processing<br />

is slow, leading to delays in claim<br />

settlements. It can be error-prone: manual<br />

entry increases the likelihood of mistakes<br />

and inaccuracies.<br />

There is a lack of scalability: handling large<br />

volumes of claims manually can be<br />

overwhelming and inefficient. In addition,<br />

said Christophe, there are considerable<br />

compliance risks: manual processes may<br />

struggle to ensure adherence to regulatory<br />

requirements. There can also be high<br />

operational costs: manual processing<br />

requires significant manpower, driving up<br />

expenses. Visibility can be limited: tracking<br />

and monitoring claims progress is<br />

challenging without automated systems.<br />

Lastly, lengthy processing times and errors<br />

can lead to dissatisfaction among claimants.<br />

With next generation AI, explained<br />

Christophe, NLP technologies can be used to<br />

automate much of the claims process and<br />

22<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

May/June 2024<br />

www.document-manager.com


STRATEGY: PFU & AI Dm<br />

add value - including sentiment analysis,<br />

determining the level of importance,<br />

categorisation and tagging (see slide<br />

image), automated document routing,<br />

automated responses and assistance with<br />

issue resolution.<br />

GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH<br />

The next use case Christophe focussed on<br />

was healthcare, and specifically predictive<br />

analytics. This is a growth area, wherein<br />

healthcare practitioners attempt to<br />

evaluate historical and real-time patient<br />

data in order to make predictions about<br />

the future. This could mean identifying<br />

at-risk patients, improving patient care,<br />

population health management,<br />

preventing human error, improved fraud<br />

detection, and reducing overall<br />

healthcare costs.<br />

Predictive analytics in healthcare can<br />

predict which patients are at a higher risk<br />

and start early innervations so deeper<br />

problems can be avoided. For example, it<br />

can identify patients with cardiovascular<br />

disease with the highest probability of<br />

hospitalisation based on age-coexisting<br />

chronic illnesses and medication<br />

adherence. Predictions on the likelihood of<br />

disease and chronic illness can help doctors<br />

and healthcare organisations proactively<br />

provide care rather than waiting for at-risk<br />

patients to come in for a regular checkup.<br />

The digitalisation of health services<br />

completely transforms the way that<br />

patients and health professionals<br />

interact with each other. Nowadays,<br />

said Christophe, we can attach devices<br />

to our bodies and track our health and<br />

body performance at any given time<br />

from our mobile phones. For example,<br />

diabetics can monitor the rise in blood<br />

sugar at any moment without the need<br />

for finger pricks.<br />

SUPPORTING PARTNERS<br />

Christophe's presentation came to its<br />

logical conclusion as he encouraged the<br />

partners present to think about how they<br />

could expand their own offerings to<br />

customers with cutting-edge solutions,<br />

drive revenue growth by meeting<br />

evolving customer needs, and strengthen<br />

customer relationships through enhanced<br />

service provision.<br />

What this means in real terms is<br />

expanding their offerings to include<br />

digitising and organising paper-based<br />

archives for efficient data extraction,<br />

extracting actionable insights from<br />

converted archives, and automatic<br />

document classification, integration and<br />

analytics. PFU and its ISV partners can<br />

assist with not just scanning, but Intelligent<br />

Document Processing capture technologies<br />

and analytics.<br />

Christophe offered some useful steps to<br />

consider:<br />

1. Choose a solution tailored to your needs<br />

Conduct a thorough needs analysis by<br />

considering volume and type of<br />

documents, workflows, scalability, and<br />

data security for optimal implementation<br />

2. Test before committing fully<br />

Engage stakeholders, prioritise<br />

integration, usability, scalability, and data<br />

accuracy before committing, ideally<br />

through free trials.<br />

3. Ensure data quality<br />

High-quality data input crucial for AI<br />

accuracy. Make sure to prepare PDFs with<br />

clear text/images, consistent format, and<br />

preprocessing techniques for optimisation.<br />

4. Stay updated with AI advances in<br />

document management<br />

AI tech evolves fast. Document<br />

management solutions must adapt. Stay<br />

updated for competitive advantage,<br />

optimising strategies to outperform.<br />

He concluded by saying: "IDP will become<br />

a more integrated part of the enterprise<br />

document management process, with AIpowered<br />

IDP solutions becoming more<br />

widely adopted across various industries."<br />

More info: www.pfu-emea.ricoh.com<br />

www.document-manager.com<br />

May/June 2024<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

23


Dm MANAGEMENT: TRENDS<br />

Hit for six<br />

Brian Fortune, General<br />

Manager Sales at PFU<br />

(EMEA), shared his 'big<br />

six' predictions for the<br />

future of the industry at<br />

the company's ICC9 event<br />

in Dubai<br />

It has become something of a tradition<br />

at PFU's ICC events that Brian Fortune<br />

takes the stage to share his ideas -<br />

some perhaps predictable, some rather<br />

more off-the-wall - about where the<br />

industry is likely to be heading over the<br />

next few years. With it being 4 years<br />

since the last event, much had already<br />

changed since Brian's last foray into<br />

crystal ball reading. What would be his<br />

focus this time?<br />

He began by giving a brief summary of<br />

where PFU - and the wider DM/ECM<br />

sector - is now. The market is strong and<br />

despite continued after-shocks, business<br />

opportunity is returning to pre-pandemic<br />

levels - 'Ready for us!', as Brian put it.<br />

Rapid technological advancement is<br />

presenting profound opportunities for<br />

document capture, ushering in what<br />

Brian called 'a new era of efficiency',<br />

where digitalisation is widely being<br />

enhanced with automation. With this in<br />

mind, he went on to describe the<br />

changing business opportunities for the<br />

sector.<br />

Traditional 'knowledge worker'<br />

applications across finance, HR,<br />

compliance, or customer service are<br />

increasingly being affected by a shift<br />

toward digital workflows - but this in<br />

itself doesn't mean there will be fewer<br />

opportunities.<br />

He also touched on the ways in which<br />

consumer behaviour is changing - buying<br />

behaviours have evolved as we become<br />

what Brian described as 'subscribers by<br />

default'. And as our expectations change,<br />

24 May/June 2024 www.document-manager.com<br />

@DMMagAndAwards


MANAGEMENT: TRENDS Dm<br />

"THE COST OF STORING LARGE PHYSICAL ARCHIVES IS GROWING EXPONENTIALLY EVERY YEAR. RETENTION POLICES<br />

ARE HARD TO MANAGE IN PHYSICAL ARCHIVES, AND THE PROBLEM IS ONLY GETTING WORSE. FOR MANY,<br />

BACKFILE CONVERSION PROJECTS ARE A FIRST STEP TOWARDS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION.ORGANISATIONS NOW<br />

REALISE THAT CONVERTING THIS LEGACY LIABILITY INTO A DIGITAL ASSET NOT ONLY REDUCES COST BUT IT<br />

ENHANCES COMPLIANCE AND ENABLES AUTOMATION."<br />

so too do the ways that organisations<br />

and governments interact with us.<br />

A key change identified is that the<br />

opportunity for capture is moving to the<br />

edges of organisations - whether that<br />

be the physical or digital edge. At the<br />

physical edge a fast an efficient process<br />

for onboarding customers is essential<br />

for a good customer experience (ID<br />

checks, signatures, proof of address or<br />

earnings, etc.). The digital edge, Brian<br />

went on, is enabled by technologies<br />

such as Machine Learning, Artificial<br />

Intelligence, Large Language Models -<br />

and all of these depend on good<br />

relevant digital assets to make informed<br />

decisions.<br />

From here Brian moved on to the<br />

predictions themselves, which we have<br />

handily summarised below:<br />

1. The Big Conversion - mega backfile<br />

projects<br />

The cost of storing large physical<br />

archives is growing exponentially every<br />

year. Retention polices are hard to<br />

manage in physical archives, and the<br />

problem is only getting worse. For<br />

many, backfile conversion projects are a<br />

first step towards digital transformation.<br />

Organisations now realise that<br />

converting this legacy liability into a<br />

digital asset not only reduces cost but it<br />

enhances compliance and enables<br />

automation.<br />

2. Edge enabled devices will be<br />

deployed to accelerate customer<br />

experience<br />

As consumer behaviour changes<br />

towards a subscription society the need<br />

to onboard at the physical edge<br />

increases. The need to capture ID and<br />

extract data such as MRZ from<br />

passports will become more important<br />

as part of the onboarding process.<br />

AI algorithms enhance the efficiency<br />

and accuracy of data analysis, enabling<br />

quick insights and actionable<br />

intelligence at the edge. Brian said this<br />

will herald a new era of 'Device as a<br />

Process'.<br />

3. Use of AI increasing in capture<br />

related projects<br />

Increasingly capture will place more<br />

emphasis on AI techniques to reduce<br />

errors and speed up the processing of<br />

information. There will be a requirement<br />

for AI based document recognition,<br />

automated extraction and validation,<br />

Intelligent Document Classification and<br />

AI based handwriting recognition.<br />

Sentiment Analysis will become<br />

essential for businesses to understand<br />

customer perception accurately.<br />

Negative sentiment detection in emails,<br />

correspondences will trigger automated<br />

customer service prioritisation and<br />

resolution. PII can be redacted at<br />

capture and retention policies<br />

established at the time documents are<br />

scanned.<br />

4. Document and Information Security<br />

will become increasingly relevant<br />

With the rise of data breaches and<br />

natural disasters business will continue<br />

to prioritise securing critical data. eVault<br />

technology will be deployed to<br />

safeguard sensitive paper-based<br />

information against unauthorised<br />

access, breaches and hazards.<br />

In the next decade regulatory<br />

compliance around Data Security will<br />

become even more stringent. The most<br />

efficient way to understand if paper has<br />

sensitive information is to digitise and<br />

use advanced NLP.<br />

5. Predictive Analytics will emerge as a<br />

valuable asset<br />

AI techniques such as deep learning and<br />

neural networks uncover hidden patterns<br />

and relationships in data, leading to<br />

more accurate business decisions.<br />

Physical archives cannot uncover these<br />

patterns and relationships cannot be<br />

accessed without digitalisation.<br />

Predictive analytics will provide for<br />

better outcomes - not only for business<br />

and government but also consumers and<br />

citizens. Businesses will be able to<br />

forecast trends and make informed<br />

decisions, enhancing efficiency and<br />

competitiveness.<br />

6. Interconnectivity and Hyper<br />

Collaboration<br />

Interconnectivity between solutions will<br />

become more and more crucial;<br />

integration with ERP, Accounting<br />

software, HR, and data analytics apps<br />

will dominate business strategies.<br />

Businesses will increasingly demand<br />

their own "bespoke solution" driving the<br />

requirement for Low code/No code<br />

integrations. Such businesses will expect<br />

solutions that integrate people with<br />

processes, workspaces and meeting<br />

rooms - what Brian called 'a hyper<br />

collaborative working experience'.<br />

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS<br />

Overall it was clear to the ICC audience<br />

that Brian's view of the future was a very<br />

positive one, in which the capture and<br />

DM/ECM communities have a wealth of<br />

new opportunities in their reach - so<br />

long as they understand what is coming<br />

and are preparing in the right way for<br />

the shift from digitalisation toward<br />

hyper-automation.<br />

More info:<br />

partner.imaging-channel-program.com<br />

www.document-manager.com<br />

May/June 2024<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

25


Dm STRATEGY: AI<br />

Tooling up for AI<br />

Using multiple AI tools is easy - if you start with good data, argues Jan Van Hoecke, VP<br />

of AI Services, iManage<br />

Most organisations are sitting on a<br />

goldmine of valuable content<br />

within their document<br />

management system (DMS). Meanwhile,<br />

new forms of AI - such as generative AI -<br />

can query that content and serve up<br />

powerful answers to end users. But what's<br />

the best way for organisations to tap into<br />

their DMS with generative AI: which tool<br />

should they use?<br />

Should they rely on the AI services built<br />

into their DMS, or would it be better to rely<br />

on AI offerings that are now being<br />

incorporated within the productivity suites<br />

from companies like Microsoft or Google?<br />

Maybe the best approach is to use<br />

homegrown<br />

proprietary large language models (LLMs)?<br />

In truth, asking which AI tools<br />

organisations should use to leverage the<br />

content in their DMS is asking the wrong<br />

question. Organisations should have<br />

multiple AI tools in their toolbelt that they<br />

can turn to - and as long as they have a<br />

solid foundation of good data to draw<br />

upon, it will be easy for them to use a<br />

variety of different generative AI interfaces<br />

to leverage that information.<br />

AI IS EVERYWHERE<br />

More and more DMS vendors are folding AI<br />

services into their platforms, including<br />

generative AI-style "chat" interfaces that<br />

allow users to ask questions about the<br />

documents within the system. The AI can<br />

perform all sorts of useful tasks on this<br />

content, such as "Read this handful of<br />

hundred-page<br />

legal<br />

agreements and summarise them for me,<br />

please" or "Find me any lease agreements<br />

within a certain geographic region that<br />

have a renewal date coming up within the<br />

next 3 months."<br />

The AI within a DMS can also help serve<br />

up valuable organisational know-how and<br />

best practices - for example, the best<br />

example of a structured loan agreement in<br />

EMEA or the best template to use as a<br />

starting point for a North American M&A<br />

contract.<br />

Of course, today's knowledge workers<br />

don't "live" exclusively in their DMS. They<br />

spend a great deal of their day within their<br />

productivity applications: Microsoft Word<br />

and Google Docs, Outlook and Gmail, and<br />

so on.<br />

These productivity applications have<br />

developed AI-powered tools of their own<br />

(Microsoft Copilot and Google Gemini, for<br />

instance) that are integrated into a variety of<br />

applications within the Microsoft 365 and<br />

Google Workplace suites.<br />

IT'S DOWN TO THE DATA<br />

Alongside their core<br />

26<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

May/June 2024<br />

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STRATEGY: AI Dm<br />

"ALONGSIDE THEIR CORE FUNCTIONALITY THAT HELPS USERS DRAFT BETTER EMAILS, DOCUMENTS, AND SO ON, THE AI<br />

SERVICES IN THE PRODUCTIVITY PLATFORMS HAVE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AT THEIR DISPOSAL THAT HELPS THEM<br />

DELIVER VALUE… HOWEVER, WHAT IF A KNOWLEDGE WORKER IS IN THEIR INBOX COMPOSING AN EMAIL OR IN THEIR<br />

WORD PROCESSING APPLICATION DRAFTING UP A DELIVERABLE, AND THEN THEY NEED SOME IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE<br />

OR ADVICE AT THAT MOMENT - SOME TYPE OF INSIGHTS INTO HOW TO DRAFT A STRUCTURED LOAN AGREEMENT, OR<br />

A GUIDE AS TO WHICH KEY CLAUSES TO INCLUDE IN A TRANSACTIONAL CONTRACT?"<br />

functionality that helps users draft better<br />

emails, documents, and so on, the AI<br />

services in the productivity platforms have<br />

additional information at their disposal that<br />

helps them deliver value: the emails and<br />

calendar invitations they manage, the<br />

various documents and spreadsheets saved<br />

in their online drives, and more.<br />

However, what if a knowledge worker is in<br />

their inbox composing an email or in their<br />

word processing application drafting up a<br />

deliverable, and then they need some indepth<br />

knowledge or advice at that moment<br />

- some type of insights into how to draft a<br />

structured loan agreement, or a guide as to<br />

which key clauses to include in a<br />

transactional contract?<br />

The emails, calendar invitations, and other<br />

content the productivity AI tool has access<br />

to won't be able to answer that question -<br />

but the knowledge in the DMS will.<br />

However, as an end user, you don't want<br />

to jump out of your inbox and into the<br />

DMS just to use the different AI tool<br />

because there's a well-known<br />

productivity drag<br />

associated with context switching.<br />

The key, then, is to make sure that the<br />

productivity platform AI tools can also tap<br />

into the data within the DMS. There are a<br />

couple of concerns here, however, notably:<br />

how do you provide that access while still<br />

respecting all the layers of security and<br />

governance - security policies, ethical walls,<br />

and other requirements - that are<br />

associated with that content?<br />

FROM ONE AI TO ANOTHER<br />

The solution here involves the different AI<br />

tools being able to "talk" to one another<br />

and interact with one another. That way,<br />

the productivity platform's AI agent can<br />

tap into the data within the DMS and<br />

access that content while respecting the<br />

security and the policies that have been<br />

put in place.<br />

Through this "handoff" between AI agents,<br />

end users can be within the productivity<br />

platform and use the productivity<br />

platform's AI tool to directly ask questions<br />

about content stored in the DMS. For<br />

example, an in-house lawyer might be in<br />

the middle of drafting<br />

up an email to a<br />

customer,<br />

and<br />

they need to consult the NDA with that<br />

customer. Beyond just finding the<br />

document, the lawyer can use generative AI<br />

to ask specific questions about the NDA<br />

(e.g., is it still valid?) and get an answer<br />

with specific evidence of why the question<br />

was answered the way that it was.<br />

With this approach, multiple AI tools can<br />

be deployed to tap into the same set of<br />

valuable organisational knowledge. End<br />

users can even use proprietary LLMs in a<br />

situation where the company has a created<br />

an in-house chatbot. Regardless of the<br />

interface, tapping into strong underlying<br />

data will drive the best results.<br />

FORK, KNIFE, AND SPOON - NOT ONE<br />

OR THE OTHER<br />

Silverware provides a useful - if unexpected<br />

- analogy for this "multiple AI tools"<br />

approach. At your typical place setting,<br />

there's a fork, a knife, and a spoon. Each<br />

one serves a different purpose for the diner<br />

and provides its own unique bit of utility.<br />

The diner doesn't have to pick just one of<br />

them to work with.<br />

We should start viewing AI in a similar<br />

manner. The various tools are<br />

complementary, not mutually exclusive -<br />

but good data is the foundation.<br />

The old adage "garbage in,<br />

garbage out" reminds us that<br />

outcomes with AI will only be as<br />

good as the data used with<br />

these products. When the data<br />

is in good shape, organisations<br />

will be well-positioned to<br />

leverage multiple AI tools of<br />

their choosing, positioning<br />

themselves for successful<br />

results and better business<br />

outcomes.<br />

More info: www.imanage.com<br />

www.document-manager.com<br />

May/June 2024<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

27


Dm PFU ICC9: PANEL DISCUSSION<br />

Talking heads<br />

The 9th PFU Information Capture Conference closed with a panel discussion that<br />

covered the impact of innovation and collaboration, as well as some go-to strategies<br />

for partners looking to maximise the potential of emerging technologies<br />

The last presentation session at<br />

PFU's Dubai conference was a<br />

fascinating group discussion,<br />

chaired by PFU's Brian Fortune. Onstage<br />

alongside him were his colleague<br />

Christophe Laurence, Neil Murphy of<br />

ABBYY, Pierre Himmelmann of ELO<br />

Digital Office, and Lisa Topliss of Ricoh<br />

Europe.<br />

The conversation began around how<br />

technological advances are re-shaping<br />

traditional business processes. Lisa<br />

commented on the idea of hyperconnectivity:<br />

"Everyone has<br />

smartphones, and we're used to getting<br />

real-time responses and results, and we<br />

expect the same from businesses. That's<br />

driving a lot of automation activity,<br />

whether in AI, or RPA previously."<br />

Neil Murphy picked up on this point:<br />

"Whether it's AI, or RPA, or whatever,<br />

there will always be another technology<br />

along in a couple of years. Sometimes<br />

we need to step back from the<br />

technology and make sure we<br />

understand what it is that we're trying<br />

to achieve. Partners here can have a<br />

much more valuable conversation with<br />

customers if they're not just 'pinned' to<br />

one technology. There were lots of RPAfocused<br />

startups who are now<br />

struggling to re-invent themselves with<br />

a more general focus on automation. In<br />

fact a lot of the smaller RPA vendors<br />

have fallen away."<br />

Christophe moved the 'technological<br />

advances' conversation along to discuss<br />

predictive analytics: "Imagine being able<br />

28 May/June 2024 www.document-manager.com<br />

@DMMagAndAwards


PFU ICC9: PANEL DISCUSSION Dm<br />

"WHETHER IT'S AI, OR RPA, OR WHATEVER, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE ANOTHER TECHNOLOGY ALONG IN A COUPLE<br />

OF YEARS. SOMETIMES WE NEED TO STEP BACK FROM THE TECHNOLOGY AND MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND<br />

WHAT IT IS THAT WE'RE TRYING TO ACHIEVE. PARTNERS HERE CAN HAVE A MUCH MORE VALUABLE<br />

CONVERSATION WITH CUSTOMERS IF THEY'RE NOT JUST 'PINNED' TO ONE TECHNOLOGY."<br />

to analyse all the data held in paper<br />

form for healthcare, say, or for banks. It<br />

will allow us to be more productive in<br />

front of our customer - delivering on<br />

the need to bring paper-based archived<br />

data into the system. Of course, this<br />

opens up more opportunity for<br />

scanners and BPO-type services."<br />

Brian asked the panel whether it is a<br />

complex process for partners to start<br />

getting involved in selling these more<br />

advanced solutions, and Lisa was quick<br />

to answer: "Use your partner ecosystem<br />

- if you are not confident in a<br />

particular area, that's exactly what we<br />

are here to support you with. You can<br />

start by educating yourselves of course,<br />

but it can be difficult to keep abreast<br />

of everything that's happening and<br />

know what's going to be relevant. Your<br />

partners can advise you on what is<br />

most important for your market. If your<br />

customers don't want a cloud solution<br />

because of security concerns, there are<br />

on-premise options, or if they don't<br />

want to work with a particular<br />

operating system, again, take that on<br />

board and talk to us about the<br />

options."<br />

How, the panel was then asked,<br />

would AI and IDP influence document<br />

management processes? There is no<br />

single answer, said Neil: "If you're<br />

focussed just on selling hardware, I'd<br />

point out that there are other revenue<br />

and margin opportunities that come<br />

off the back of that - you don't have to<br />

be a full solution provider to extend<br />

some of those sales into IDP. This is one<br />

of the reasons that ABBYY Vantage<br />

includes pre-built 'skills' such as<br />

invoices, to enable exactly this. Then if<br />

you're a BPO or bureau type business,<br />

there are still lots of organisations<br />

looking to outsource document<br />

processing in finance or healthcare, for<br />

instance, and again if you build specific<br />

additional skills they become a<br />

repeatable sale that you can present to<br />

other clients with similar needs."<br />

Pierre commented on how channel<br />

partners can capitalise on the demand<br />

for DM solutions: "The first key thing is<br />

to get a system live and achieve user<br />

acceptance. Without this, every project<br />

dies. It doesn't matter how good your<br />

ideas are, how good your technology is<br />

- if you can't get user acceptance, it will<br />

simply fail. A lot depends on the ease<br />

of implementation and learning how to<br />

use the solution. At the same time<br />

from the customer perspective<br />

expectations are growing, demand is<br />

higher - we all need to do more with<br />

less. And the simple answer to that is<br />

that you simply need more technology<br />

solutions."<br />

Brian moved on to how channel<br />

partners could effectively promote new<br />

AI and IDP solutions to existing<br />

customers. Lisa suggested that one<br />

approach was to build AI as a problemsolving<br />

component within your existing<br />

software offerings: "Look at where your<br />

customers have problems, where<br />

they're not being adequately serviced<br />

by what they already have in their<br />

portfolio, and build that into your own<br />

value propositions. This will give you<br />

additional opportunities to differentiate<br />

yourselves, and to be 'sticky' with your<br />

customers."<br />

Christophe took a moment to break<br />

down the revenue opportunity:<br />

"Normally when you sell one dollar of<br />

hardware or software, you can sell<br />

between three and five dollars on<br />

services. So it's really key to see AI as a<br />

global opportunity. It's key because<br />

services is not just consulting, but also<br />

training - not just training when the<br />

software is first installed, but as an<br />

ongoing service, after one month, 3<br />

months, 5 months. In addition there is<br />

support you can offer for integrations,<br />

for migration, for updates."<br />

Having enthused the audience that<br />

this was a good approach to take, Brian<br />

was keen to find out how the panel felt<br />

that partners should go forward to<br />

become what he called 'trusted advisers'<br />

in these new solution areas. Marketing<br />

is key, argued Christophe: "You must<br />

invest in marketing in order to nurture<br />

your customer base and prospects, to<br />

show them that there is a technology<br />

available that answers their specific<br />

needs. We need to first be educating<br />

the market about what AI is, what its<br />

benefits can be, how it can solve their<br />

business problem."<br />

Lisa agreed with this point: "Customers<br />

want to work with someone who they<br />

can see can help solve their issues. It's<br />

no longer just a matter of presenting<br />

them with details of a technology and<br />

its components, it's about finding a way<br />

to work with your customer to solve<br />

their issues."<br />

This idea was expanded on by Neil,<br />

who said: "A mistake we have seen with<br />

new partners is that they try to be<br />

everything to everyone. We always say<br />

'Build a specialism, have a particular<br />

focus area and build your expertise<br />

around that'. Our advice to partners<br />

who want to become that trusted<br />

adviser is to focus on what you're good<br />

at - build confidence in the technology<br />

and how it applies to what the<br />

customer actually needs. Otherwise<br />

you'll just end up trying to compete<br />

with everyone!"<br />

More info:<br />

partner.imaging-channel-program.com<br />

www.document-manager.com<br />

May/June 2024<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

29


Dm STRATEGY: SCANNING<br />

Capture, harness, transform<br />

PFU (EMEA) Customer<br />

Engagement Manager<br />

Steve Chad spoke to the<br />

ICC9 audience about<br />

how recent research<br />

findings are helping to<br />

inform the company's<br />

marketing and channel<br />

strategies with regard to<br />

their ScanSnap and<br />

Ricoh scanner ranges<br />

Steve Chad's presentation in Dubai<br />

focused on how PFU plans to<br />

communicate its scanner brands in<br />

2024 and beyond, with much made of<br />

improving productivity as a key part of<br />

the messaging. He began by reminding<br />

us of the last ICC event in Berlin in 2020,<br />

when the marketing message with<br />

regards to the ScanSnap line had been<br />

'Making paper work' for you and your<br />

business.<br />

This time around his content covered<br />

the Ricoh range as well as ScanSnap, and<br />

he explained how considerable market<br />

research had gone into the development<br />

of the marketing plans for each sector,<br />

focused on 'the smarter way to work', i.e.<br />

personal productivity (ScanSnap) and<br />

'delivering organisational intelligence' i.e.<br />

organisational productivity (Ricoh).<br />

KEEPING IT PERSONAL<br />

ScanSnap, said Steve, is all about<br />

improving personal productivity especially<br />

for individuals and small businesses: "You<br />

don't need to be an IT expert, you just<br />

need to push a button". The ScanSnap<br />

proposition remains more or less what it<br />

has been since the range was introduced:<br />

save time and money, organise your<br />

documents, share - and secure - your<br />

information.<br />

The ScanSnap team undertook an online<br />

research exercise that covered around<br />

10,000 respondents about their<br />

relationship with paper - how they use it,<br />

keep it and manage it, as well as how<br />

they feel about it emotionally - and the<br />

challenges those things bring.<br />

Among the key findings were what<br />

Steve described as 'the burden of<br />

ownership': 83% of respondents stated<br />

that it was important to keep documents,<br />

63% were worried about losing them,<br />

and 57% were anxious about what they<br />

should keep and what to retain. Steve<br />

also described the 'clutter contradiction':<br />

over 65% find clutter stressful and want<br />

to get rid of it, but 76% said they<br />

nonetheless keep documents 'just in case'.<br />

On the brighter side, the research also<br />

showed a clear desire to digitise more:<br />

69% of respondents agreed that scanning<br />

helps avoid clutter - and younger<br />

respondents were especially keen to be<br />

working smarter. Steve explained that the<br />

plan for ScanSnap media and other<br />

marketing activity will directly address<br />

these issues, positioning PFU as offering<br />

the solution and aligning with these<br />

growing values of what he called 'smarter<br />

paper consumption'. ScanSnap's ease of<br />

deployment and use makes it a simple<br />

step change for potential users. The<br />

message that we will be seeing in the<br />

coming months will focus on 'freeing<br />

people from the paper weight'.<br />

THE NEXT STAGE OF<br />

ORGANISATIONAL INTELLIGENCE<br />

Moving onto the Ricoh scanner sector,<br />

Steve's comments began by again<br />

reminding us of the last ICC in Berlin,<br />

where PFU had introduced the concept of<br />

Organisational Intelligence (OI). OI, he<br />

explained, is an approach that allows<br />

organisations to view themselves as a<br />

network of data pathways, which, when<br />

optimised, help them drive maximum<br />

value from the data they have access to,<br />

by ensuring the right data gets to the<br />

right people and systems at the right<br />

time. OI had helped to position capture<br />

as an entry point for digital<br />

transformation four years ago; not just<br />

because it's the entry point for a lot of<br />

data into the digital world, but because it<br />

is a relatively fast, cost-effective solution<br />

to deploy, and one which can deliver fast,<br />

demonstrable results, which could give<br />

momentum to further stages of digital<br />

transformation programmes.<br />

The original OI proposition was based<br />

on a research report PFU conducted into<br />

how organisations were approaching<br />

digital transformation, what drives them<br />

30 @DMMagAndAwards May/June 2024 www.document-manager.com


STRATEGY: SCANNING Dm<br />

to take it on, the challenges they face<br />

and how they overcome them.<br />

Steve explained: "The content was<br />

aimed at end-user project leads and<br />

decision-makers. The findings and<br />

insights allowed us to position our<br />

expertise, and gain both awareness and<br />

favourability with this audience so that<br />

when they were ready to think about<br />

digital transformation projects, we were<br />

in their minds as people they should talk<br />

to. It also meant that we could be<br />

involved earlier in the sales process. We<br />

could talk to them at the point when<br />

business value conversations happen,<br />

rather than at the end of the process<br />

when the technology has already been<br />

decided upon and price is the only<br />

comparison."<br />

He went on to share some real world<br />

examples of how PFU has worked with<br />

users on OI projects including a lottery<br />

business in Greece and a leading French<br />

bank.<br />

INTEGRATION IS KEY<br />

Bringing us up to date, Steve introduced<br />

some more research, this time done via<br />

Quocirca, into post-pandemic trends in<br />

digital transformation. The results<br />

showed that the end user now has<br />

much more of a focus on measurable<br />

value as a driver of digital<br />

transformation - and that more<br />

organisations were actively involved in<br />

implementing it. In addition, alongside<br />

the usual requirements for speed and<br />

quality, these organisations also stated a<br />

new imperative for choosing their<br />

capture solution: the ability to integrate<br />

capture with other downstream systems.<br />

"This was very interesting to us due to<br />

two well-known, well-established<br />

principles," explained Steve. "The basic<br />

systems theory principle that the more<br />

you integrate systems, the more reliant<br />

the whole system is on the performance<br />

of each individual element; and the ageold<br />

principle that the quality of what you<br />

put into a system has a powerful impact<br />

on the quality of what you get out."<br />

This new research indicated that while<br />

almost half of end users still saw capture<br />

as the foundation of their digital<br />

transformation (see slide above),<br />

because more of them wanted to use<br />

integration to maximise value from their<br />

systems, this also meant that capture -<br />

and crucially, the quality of data being<br />

input - was becoming an ever more<br />

critical part of digital transformation<br />

projects.<br />

"This was great news for us as we have<br />

solutions that deliver strongly on each of<br />

these needs," Steve went on. "Back in<br />

2022, we brought Clear Image Capture<br />

technology to market, delivering clarity<br />

that achieved industry-leading OCR<br />

accuracy rates. We have our Co-creation<br />

Services, that together with our Imaging<br />

Alliance Program, supports developers<br />

building integrations with the right<br />

code, tools and advice to make their<br />

work smoother, faster and more robust.<br />

Then in 2023, we launched the fi-8040<br />

which makes connecting our fi series to<br />

networks easier than ever - and some of<br />

the coming technological developments<br />

that we have planned will take<br />

connectivity and integration to a new<br />

level of simplicity and sophistication."<br />

So, what does all this mean in terms of<br />

PFU's marketing campaigns, and their<br />

partner network? Steve concluded his<br />

presentation thus: "Our next phase of<br />

content will be shifting to focusing more<br />

on the practical side of how OI delivers<br />

productivity. It will take a much more<br />

operational perspective. And we'll be<br />

doing it like this: simply by showing how<br />

the world's leading scanning solutions<br />

from Ricoh help end users to capture<br />

and classify their data, so that they can<br />

harness its insights, allowing them to<br />

transform their productivity."<br />

To ensure you are receiving PFU's<br />

communications and to gain exclusive<br />

early access to this content and a range<br />

of enablement tools make sure you are<br />

signed up to PFU's Partner Portal at<br />

partner.imaging-channel-program.com<br />

More info: www.pfu-emea.ricoh.com<br />

www.document-manager.com<br />

May/June 2024<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

31


Dm INTERVIEW: PFU<br />

Powering a new age of digital interaction<br />

DM magazine editor David Tyler sat down with Hiroaki Kashiwagi, President & CEO, PFU<br />

(EMEA) Limited at the company's recent ICC event to discuss how the world has changed<br />

since their last partner conference, and how capture and other technologies are helping<br />

organisations adapt to those changes<br />

David Tyler: It's been a full four<br />

years since the last Information<br />

Capture Conference and clearly a<br />

lot has changed in that time, both in<br />

terms of PFU itself but also of course in<br />

the wider world with Covid in particular.<br />

How would you summarise those<br />

changes from your perspective and that<br />

of your channel partners and users?<br />

Hiroaki Kashiwagi: Yes - this has been an<br />

unprecedented past few years! This<br />

Covid-19 crisis reshaped every aspect of<br />

our lives, challenging us to adapt and<br />

innovate in ways we never imagined. We<br />

have witnessed a surge in the adoption<br />

and integration of new technologies,<br />

reshaping industries and redefining the<br />

boundaries of what is possible.<br />

This shift has marked the dawn of a<br />

new era; where information and data is<br />

paramount, fuelling the digital<br />

transformation journey of organisations<br />

worldwide.<br />

Speaking of technology, its growth and<br />

adaptation has been nothing short of<br />

astonishing. From machine learning<br />

revolutionising industries to the rise of<br />

useful artificial intelligence, the pace of<br />

innovation has been breathtaking. But<br />

perhaps the most intriguing<br />

development lies in the realm of working<br />

styles. Hybrid working, remote working<br />

and other forms of day-to-day<br />

engagements have transcended novelty<br />

to become everyday events and have<br />

ushered in a new era of digital<br />

interaction and connectivity.<br />

PFU has also undergone a<br />

transformation, as we've now joined the<br />

Ricoh family. We're looking forward to<br />

this new collaboration, and hope to build<br />

on our recent monumental achievement<br />

of selling 15 million scanners worldwide.<br />

DT: What has the Ricoh acquisition<br />

meant for PFU and its partners so far,<br />

and how will it continue to affect them<br />

going forward?<br />

HK: The acquisition of PFU by Ricoh<br />

brings a new era of collaboration and<br />

innovation. We're combining PFU's<br />

expertise in scanning technology with<br />

Ricoh's global reach and resources, and<br />

this helps paves the way for<br />

groundbreaking advancements in digital<br />

transformation and workflow<br />

optimisation.<br />

We aim to generate three major<br />

synergies. The first one is the expansion<br />

of our product portfolio. We have<br />

already launched portable monitors, laser<br />

projectors and we are excited to<br />

announce the 360 Meeting Hub at this<br />

conference. This new product is designed<br />

as an ideal device for remote meetings in<br />

hybrid work environments, between<br />

office and remote work by combining a<br />

camera, microphone, and speaker,<br />

making it perfect for office use during<br />

virtual meetings.<br />

The second synergy is in product<br />

innovation: we will combine Ricoh's<br />

existing technology with PFU's expertise<br />

to create products for the new era. And<br />

the third is cost reduction. Since PFU<br />

joined Ricoh a year and a half ago, we've<br />

already achieved cost reduction effects of<br />

several million dollars by collaborating on<br />

various parts procurement projects. We<br />

plan to invest this saving into additional<br />

product development and sales<br />

promotions.<br />

All of this is great news for our partners<br />

and resellers aiming to expand their<br />

business, as our new products offer new<br />

opportunities for sales - and with PFU's<br />

partner program, they can also benefit<br />

from rebates and tools to effectively drive<br />

sales. The relationship with our partners<br />

is hugely important to us, and this will<br />

not change now we are a member of the<br />

Ricoh Group.<br />

DT: Does an event like your Information<br />

Capture Conference (ICC) serve the same<br />

purpose it always did, or has that also<br />

changed over time as new technologies<br />

emerge?<br />

HK: Events like ICC are a great way for us<br />

to link in with our partners and<br />

distributers. It is a great opportunity to<br />

listen to their feedback and take their<br />

input into the development of future<br />

generations of our products and services.<br />

It also enables us to launch and promote<br />

our new products, with personal<br />

demonstrations of new technologies and<br />

innovations.<br />

32 May/June 2024 www.document-manager.com<br />

@DMMagAndAwards


INTERVIEW: PFU Dm<br />

"THE FUSION OF HUMAN EXPERTISE WITH AI-DRIVEN INSIGHTS WILL<br />

EMPOWER INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANISATIONS TO MAKE DATA-DRIVEN<br />

DECISIONS FASTER, AND WITH MORE ACCURACY. ONE KEY FACTOR THAT<br />

DISTINGUISHES PFU IS OUR CONTINUOUS FOCUS ON UNDERSTANDING<br />

AND ANTICIPATING THE EVOLVING NEEDS OF OUR CUSTOMERS. THROUGH<br />

CONTINUOUS MARKET RESEARCH AND FEEDBACK, WE AIM TO REMAIN AT<br />

THE FOREFRONT OF TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS AND PROMISE TO<br />

CONTINUOUSLY MEET SUCH CUSTOMER DEMANDS."<br />

DT: We all see AI and machine learning<br />

impacting more and more of our lives<br />

not just in business but even in our<br />

everyday personal interactions - how<br />

are these technologies driving PFU<br />

developments, from a user demand<br />

point of view as well as internally?<br />

HK: Artificial Intelligence is going to<br />

provide a once in a generation shift in<br />

how we work, enabling workers to take<br />

advantage of augmented intelligence to<br />

make decisions and inform research.<br />

Technologies like Machine Learning and<br />

Large Language Models are rapidly<br />

expanding, and through our advanced<br />

scanning technology, we can convert<br />

legacy paper documents to help supply<br />

this data, enabling our users to<br />

capitalise on these exciting new<br />

opportunities. The fusion of human<br />

expertise with AI-driven insights will<br />

empower individuals and organisations<br />

to make data-driven decisions faster,<br />

and with more accuracy.<br />

One key factor that distinguishes PFU<br />

is our continuous focus on<br />

understanding and anticipating the<br />

evolving needs of our customers.<br />

Through continuous market research<br />

and feedback, we aim to remain at the<br />

forefront of technological<br />

advancements and promise to<br />

continuously meet such customer<br />

demands.<br />

Whilst I can't comment directly on<br />

how these technologies are driving<br />

internal processes at PFU, you can rest<br />

assured that we are aiming to take full<br />

advantage of these new technologies to<br />

produce even better products for our<br />

customers in future.<br />

DT: What are the key opportunities for<br />

the future that PFU partners need to be<br />

aware of and focused on as a result of<br />

what they learn at an event like this?<br />

HK: Great question! I think you can see<br />

that we are committed to product<br />

innovation and development through<br />

the release of our smart meeting<br />

devices including portable monitors,<br />

laser projectors and the 360 Meeting<br />

Hub that were demonstrated at the ICC.<br />

With these new products, in addition to<br />

our established scanner range, our<br />

partners can enhance their offerings to<br />

customers who have already purchased<br />

scanners through adding solutions for<br />

meeting rooms.<br />

So, rather than waiting until the next<br />

scanner upgrade, you can continuously<br />

provide new solutions and build your<br />

customer relationships. Our conference<br />

provides us an opportunity to<br />

demonstrate and launch these new<br />

products and get feedback from our<br />

valued partners to help with future<br />

product improvements.<br />

DT: What is the future strategy for PFU<br />

in terms of product portfolio, go-tomarket<br />

planning, and possible new<br />

vertical/horizontal markets? What next<br />

for capture?<br />

HK: We are aiming to continue to build<br />

our product portfolio with exciting and<br />

refined business solutions. Our<br />

commitment to innovation continues to<br />

drive success for PFU and for our<br />

partners.<br />

We are proud to announce the launch<br />

of several groundbreaking products and<br />

services that have revolutionised the<br />

scanning landscape. From advanced<br />

features that enhance productivity to<br />

sleek designs that elevate user<br />

experience, our recent product launches<br />

illustrate PFU's continuous pursuit of<br />

excellence and our unwavering<br />

commitment to meeting the evolving<br />

needs of our customers.<br />

And this is not just hardware, our<br />

focus extends to creating value-added<br />

software, along with advancing<br />

technologies and services which<br />

accelerate recurring business models.<br />

It's this synergy of hardware, software,<br />

and services that truly amplifies our<br />

value proposition.<br />

We are looking to keep improving our<br />

scanners with even better scanning<br />

quality and speed, whilst taking<br />

advantage of machine learning to<br />

improve OCR results for increased<br />

accuracy of conversion. We can't wait to<br />

help build an exciting future for our<br />

partners and their customers.<br />

More info: www.pfu-emea.ricoh.com<br />

www.document-manager.com<br />

May/June 2024<br />

@DMMagAndAwards<br />

33


Dm PFU ICC9: AWARD WINNERS<br />

Reaching new heights<br />

The PFU (EMEA) ICC event ended with a grand gala dinner where the company<br />

presented a number of partner awards<br />

After two full days of presentations,<br />

demonstrations, break-out sessions<br />

and networking events, the ninth ICC<br />

event finished up at one of Dubai's best<br />

known landmarks, the Burj Khalifa.<br />

Renowned as the world's tallest building at<br />

828 metres high, Burj Khalifa is also an<br />

unprecedented example of international<br />

cooperation, a symbolic beacon of progress,<br />

and an emblem of a new, dynamic and<br />

prosperous Middle East.<br />

Burj Khalifa holds the record as not just the<br />

world's tallest free-standing structure, but<br />

also the most stories (160) and the elevator<br />

with the longest travel distance in the<br />

world! As such it was a fitting venue for<br />

PFU's gala dinner and awards ceremony,<br />

where the delegates and PFU staff (and<br />

members of the press!) were able to relax<br />

and unwind after a very busy conference<br />

schedule.<br />

Before the dinner started, attendees were<br />

treated to canapes and drinks outside by the<br />

famous fountains, which had been adorned<br />

with some far from incongruous ICC9<br />

branding to mark PFU's taking over the area.<br />

There was live music from a classical trio to<br />

accompany the obligatory pre-dinner<br />

champagne, after which the entire party<br />

was ushered into an ornate dining area for a<br />

feast that more than adequately marked the<br />

end of a highly impressive few days.<br />

With the repast over, the partner awards<br />

were presented by Brian Fortune, General<br />

Manager for Sales (EMEA) and Yoichi Kanai,<br />

Deputy President of PFU. The full list of<br />

winners is below.<br />

More info:<br />

partner.imaging-channel-program.com<br />

EMEA PRESIDENT'S AWARD, PROJECT OF THE<br />

YEAR: ZIRAAT BANK<br />

EMEA CASE STUDY OF THE YEAR: NVS SOFT<br />

FOR KING FAHAD MEDICAL CITY<br />

EMEA RESELLER OF THE YEAR:<br />

SMART SYSTEMS<br />

EMEA DISTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR:<br />

SYSTEAM GROUP<br />

EMEA ISV PARTNER OF THE YEAR: SISTATEC<br />

EMEA NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR OVERALL:<br />

ARKTIS<br />

EMEA CO-CREATION PROJECT OF THE YEAR:<br />

POSIFLEX GROUP<br />

EMEA BPO OF THE YEAR: ARCHIDOC<br />

34 @DMMagAndAwards May/June 2024 www.document-manager.com


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