Speed is not the only benefit of the ibml FUSiON scanner, as James Goulding finds out
Just when you thought paper was on the way out, along comes Imaging Business Machines, LLC (ibml) with an absolute beast of a scanner, bigger, more intelligent and faster than any other model on the market, but surely something of a white elephant in the modern era.
Or perhaps not. You might do everything on your smartphone, you might have switched to e-billing and electronic payment, you might have stopped printing boarding passes and buying newspapers, but as John Mancini, erstwhile President of AIIM, explains: the business world is still awash with paper.
“People think paper is passé, but there are still over 17 billion paper-based faxes sent each year; US companies still spend more than $120 billion a year on paper forms, most of which become outdated within three months; and a study by Billentis shows that there are 550 billion invoices sent each year, two thirds of which are received in unstructured formats like paper and PDFs. On top of that are all the documents that surround those invoices, perhaps 5 to 10 times as many as the original invoice. Take all that together and it is clear there is an incredibly long tail of paper out there, and digitising that information flow needs to be a strategic priority,” he said.
At the same time, businesses are either digitising whole processes or integrating digital capture within workflows, e.g. collecting information via web forms or mobile apps, which itself is contributing to a massive increase in the volume of data in businesses.
“In the last six months, I’ve asked 1,000 people around the world how much information they are managing, expressed as x, and how much they think they will be managing in two to three years’ time and the answer almost always comes back in the region of 4x or 4.5x. Clearly, there is a tsunami of information coming into businesses,” said Mancini.
The challenge for businesses is to process and integrate digital and paperbased information needed for the same workflow as quickly and efficiently as possible. In the case of paper-based information, the scanning, extraction of data and ingestion of that data into business processes should be done as close to the ‘speed of digital’ as possible.
Consolidation & centralisation
As the world’s fastest intelligent, ultra-high volume scanner, with scan speeds of up to 730 A4 pages per minute – 67% faster than existing ImageTrac devices – and 958 cheques per minute, the ibml FUSiON is well placed to meet this need.
But speed isn’t its only advantage. Inline intelligence, better cameras and enhanced patent-pending ibml iQpro image processing enable FUSiON to extract information and sort documents intelligently, quickly and accurately, while versatile paper-handling enable it to handle mixed batches and switch easily between applications.
Such functionality gives organisations (especially those with existing scanners that are coming to the end of their useful life) the option to transform scanning operations through a process of consolidation and centralisation.
*Consolidation – the ability of FUSiON to handle a wide variety of material, from cheques, coupons and receipts to really large documents like maps or ECG output in patient records, means organisations no longer need to install specialist devices, such as cheque scanners, that require extra real estate and maintenance. It also reduces the need for pre-scan manual sorting, which can slow down the mailroom, increase overheads and reduce throughput.
*Centralisation – FUSiON’s rapid processing speeds and expandability make it possible to centralise remote scanning operations in one location, bringing significant cost and efficiency savings. In addition, centralisation makes it easier to maintain the privacy, security and auditability of physical documents and allows organisations to harmonise how data for a specific process, such as payments or accounts payable, is captured and made available to business systems.
Susheel John, ibml Vice President Product Marketing, says a company that replaces three or four scanners with one device whether for the purpose of centralisation or consolidation can look forward to almost instant ROI from reduced labour costs alone.
There isn’t room here to list all the scanner’s many features, not just because there are so many, but because each has a practical purpose that merits further explanation. Take double-feed detection, for example, which stops the scanner if two or three pages are fed in together.
“We have our own patented technology that differentiates between an envelope and a multi-feed and gives the appropriate alert,” explained John. “This means that customers can now use the envelope material came in as a separator sheet that shows where one document ends and another begins. Not having to print a separate sheet for this purpose means reduced costs for customers and enhanced throughout.”
FUSiON is full of such touches. Suffice to say that any organisation – public sector, enterprise, bureau – that still has a requirement to scan large quantities of paper should be taking a closer look at it. Resellers wanting to do the same should make an appointment with UK distributors Kodak Alaris or Spigraph. ibml calls FUSiON a ‘game-changer’ and with good reason.