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It’s common for organizations to outsource their scanning, and document conversion projects. Organizations find sometimes that the skill required, the convince factor, and liability is worth the additional cost. Other organizations that have one time backlog conversions save money by using an outsourcing company vs. bringing the software in-house. In recent years service bureaus and business process outsourcing companies have dramatically improved their use of recognition technology, if they are utilizing it, and prices have dropped substantially. Though as an organization who chooses to outsource you are removing the responsibility of picking document conversion technology, you still have to be as aware of the technology and know what your vendor is using.

Absolutely you should be concerned about the OCR and Data Capture technology that your outsourcing vendor is using. It’s no less important than if you were bringing the technology in-house. It’s your job to make sure your vendor is using the not just the best technology but in the best way. The education level between outsourcing companies is very different and they each often specialize in one document type or one type of processing. For example vendors that started with document scanning will excel at the prep and scanning of documents but probably not the technology to extract data from them. Proper evaluation of a service bureau will include review of sample results. You should have your prospect service bureau or BPO run a good number of your production documents and provide you a result. Make sure the technology they used to produce the results is the same that is used when in production. Don’t be afraid to ask the vendor what engine or engine’s are being used even what version, there experience level with the technology, and how they keep current.

While it’s easy to overlook these items when you are looking at a service instead of a technology purchase, it’s important that you are educated.

Chris Riley – Sr. Solutions Architect

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