Since 2007, Microsoft has invested heavily in improving the document and records management capabilities of SharePoint and it is these improvements which have transformed the product from a collaborative platform into an ECM platform. SharePoint 2010 can be considered as a viable option for managing high volumes of scanned images.
The benefits can be summarised as follows:
- The technology is built on a proven, reliable and widely supported Microsoft platform.
- Many organisations already have client access licenses (CALS) for SharePoint which they can utilise.
- SharePoint 2010 is a feature rich platform for managing content and now fully supports document images.
- A document library is now scalable to millions of documents and the new features of 2010 improve the user experience when working with very large lists.
- The ability to automatically route documents based on metadata could prove to be very powerful when implementing post room scanning solutions.
- SharePoint’s workflow capabilities enable rapid development of business workflows which may be triggered by the receipt of a new scanned document.
- SharePoint now has the same ribbon user interface as Microsoft Office and is therefore easy and intuitive for users to interact with.
- Most of the leading scanning applications on the market support SharePoint 2010 as an output source for saving documents.
Having said this however, any ECM solution built on SharePoint will need to be implemented in the same way as any enterprise EDRMS project. Governance,
policies and a comprehensive business case are prerequisites before embarking
on a project of this nature.
A few products that support scanning into SharePoint include Kofax, ReadSoft, Knowldge Lake and Kodak.