Whether you’re talking iPhones or MFPs – it’s all about the apps

Posted On September 30, 2011 By Scott Guercio

Got an iPhone?  If so, there are over 425,000 apps available to enhance your Apple smart phone experience.  That is a staggering number and it speaks to the value that apps add to their host device.  And yes, you might be able to get by without ever downloading a single app.  But why would you want to?  Apps are designed to improve your capabilities, to make you more productive, and to make your daily tasks a little bit easier.

Click here to learn about software enhancements available for your devices that can make your workplace more controlled and efficient.


Here at Advance, we don’t sell smart phones.  Our solutions improve our client’s critical information workflow through a combination of hardware (such as MFPs, scanners and printers) and software products (like DocuWare and Laserfiche).  However, in the integration of our hardware and software components, we too live in the world of apps.  MFPs, like mobile phones, now have open platforms, enabling users to add apps to perform valuable tasks, beyond just simple printing and scanning.

It’s no accident that Nuance, the same company that develops the leading mobile speech recognition app, also develops the leading MFP document capture solution, called eCopy.   Both solutions use the same core pattern recognition techniques and user experience design principles to convert spoken words, or text images, into data that can be processed by software.  In a nutshell, eCopy streamlines the capture of paper-based information and places it directly into critical business systems, freeing up office staff to focus on more value-added activities.  eCopy does this right at the MFP, through a four step process.  The first step is Capture, where eCopy analyzes and acquires the content and structure of the paper document.  The second step is Process, where eCopy replicates, transforms and even performs processing tasks with the document.  The third step is Connect, where eCopy merges the data with information system workflows.  The final step is Automate, where eCopy performs all of the actions that are part of a complete document workflow solution.

Some examples of typical eCopy office workflows, performed right at the MFP, include:

  • Paper financial documents become data that can be used by financial systems, whether it is in a spreadsheet or as data in an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution.
  • Paper records become indexed, searchable electronic documents that can be stored and accessed more easily from Content Management Systems and Collaboration Software Applications such as Microsoft SharePoint.
  • Paper form documents can have data extracted, automatically processed and delivered into database applications.
  • Paper documents can be converted to editable files, such as Microsoft Word, for re-purposing.

It is in achieving these workflow examples that the eCopy apps come in.  There are hundreds of 3rd party application connectors and extenders that allow the eCopy to transform information trapped in paper into data that is actionable in our clients various business systems.

As previously stated, these apps provide greater value to the office MFP beyond simple scanning.  Industry reports indicate that, on average, businesses spend 6% of their annual revenue on tasks associated with processing documents.  So, the real benefit of an MFP with eCopy (and its associated apps) is the drastic reduction in end user time spent filing, storing, indexing, retrieving, distributing and re-creating documents.  This helps make employees more productive, allowing them more time to focus on their core responsibilities.

If your company has time consuming, paper intensive processes, give us a call to have an Advance Document Management professional help evaluate your workflow.  As they say, there may be an app for that……