Turn Document Scanners Into Scan-to-Cloud Workstations

<p><i><a href="http://www.buyerslab.com/news/viewarticle.asp?article=75693">Lisa Reider</a>, BLI Senior Product Editor, Scanners and Environmental</i></p> <p>Visioneer recently announced a new “cloud” capability of its OneTouch scan driver, which comes with every Visioneer and Xerox document scanner. The most recent driver version comes with links to five popular cloud storage services: Google Docs, FilesAnywhere, Evernote, DropBox and OfficeDrop. And according to the company, a connection to Box.net is currently under development. Users already signed up for one of these services need nothing more than their cloud password and login information to create a direct connection from the scanner’s control panel or driver to the cloud service.</p> <p>With Visioneer OneTouch’s scan profile capabilities, users can program frequently used scan settings and destinations into a one-touch button that, depending on the scanner type, can be selected from the scanner’s control panel. To configure one of these profiles to scan to the cloud, users simply set up their profile as usual, choose one of the cloud services (provided the customer has already set up the service) as the send-to destination, enter their log-in credentials into the spaces provided on the destination tab, and save the profile for future use. Credentials need to be entered only once, and organizations with several cloud users can create a scan profile for each user account on the same device, turning any Xerox or Visioneer document scanner into a scan-to-cloud workstation.</p> <!--break--> <p>Although cloud computing solutions and services have been around for a while, these technologies are just starting to make it to the scanner control panel. Canon’s CaptureOnTouch driver allows Canon scanners to scan to Evernote, but as of this writing the company doesn’t have any plans to implement others. However, if a client has a private cloud or a special request, Canon will help them develop a cloud connection—as will Visioneer via its open SDK. Canon also works with third-party software such as Nuance to offer its scanners cloud-like connections, for example. Kodak’s Smart Touch driver offers the ability for users to scan directly to Microsoft SharePoint, as well as Evernote, Google Docs and Box.net, for example, but it’s not necessarily limited to those applications. Users simply select “custom application” from the destination section when they’re setting up a scan profile and choose a cloud solution already installed on the PC. Fujitsu ScanSnap devices can scan to Google Docs, Evernote, Salesforce CRM, and other cloud services, according to the company. Fujitsu also says users can take advantage of the SDKs of its network scanners (the fi-6010N and the new N1800) to create direct integrations with a cloud service. However, other non-networked, non-ScanSnap devices lack scan-to-cloud integration. And Plustek has similar capabilities currently under development, according to the company. HP will be implementing scan-to-cloud functionality via Smart Document Scan Software destination plug-ins. According to the company, the destination plug-ins will be created on an “as-needed” basis by HP and the customer. The company also said its initial cloud destinations will include Google Docs and Microsoft SkyDrive, with room to grow.</p> <p>Currently most of the cloud services scanners can connect to range from basic to more advanced document management and storage capabilities. While some such as Evernote seem more geared toward single personal users who enjoy taking pictures, others such as FilesAnywhere offer administrative tools such as version controls and even Active Directory integration. </p> <p>At this stage, there’s no fear, at least on the hardware side, of cloud solutions replacing the bundled solutions that come with most scanners. Bundled solutions, which typically include a document management or capture solution, an OCR solution and an image processing solution, offer more robust editing, indexing, batch processing and routing capabilities—not to mention advanced file conversions—unavailable with most cloud services. However, with the ability to turn a scanner’s control panel into a scan-to-cloud workstation, workgroups scanning to the cloud might opt for a lower priced USB-connected device rather than a network device. But fears of an uncertain, or unsecure, third-party server, and a reduced feature set might be enough to keep some customers loyal to in-house server-based operations, at least until the next big techno trend is developed.</p> <p>This article was originally posted on <a href="http://www.buyerslab.com/news/viewarticle.asp?article=75693">Buyer’s Laboratory</a>.</p>

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