by Robert Palmer | 7/2/14
Docassist has been active recently announcing new functionality and increased integration for its cloud-based document management solution. On June 25, the firm announced Docassist Desktop, a new version that allows users who prefer to work on their desktop to scan, upload, e-mail, or print documents directly into Docassist. Users can assign a document type (such as purchase order) and indexing attributes (such as vendor name, purchase order number, date, or amount) on the Desktop and then push those documents into the Docassist workflow.
Along with the Desktop version, Docassist announced new integration with Microsoft Office, including Office 365. Microsoft Office users can now file documents directly into Docassist, assigning proper attributes from their desktop. Other new features provide for expanded functionality:
- A new workflow wizard helps users create rules-based workflows
- Improved zonal OCR reads selected fields of multi-page documents, including those with handwritten information, and then automatically enters data from key fields directly into Docassist
- Faster bulk scanning allows users to insert barcoded pages to help separate one document from another
- Broader Intacct integration adds general ledger and purchase order integration to the existing AP Bill integration
- Forms-based document management allows users to design a custom form or use a standard form to initiate a Docassist workflow
- Increased integration with Parascript expands document capture capabilities
Cloud-based solutions such as Docassist are growing increasingly popular among businesses looking to improve productivity and reduce dependency on paper-based processes. The relatively low-cost entry point provides organizations with a simplified and cost-effective approach to document management and workflow automation, while adding advanced functionality for application integration and content security.
These solutions are also gaining traction among organizations looking to curb the ad-hoc use of free document sharing and storing services, such as Dropbox and others. As free online storage and file-sharing services have become popular it has created significant challenges for businesses and IT departments. Dropbox, for example, recently disclosed that it now has over 300 million users. Most of these are likely users storing business documents through their own personal accounts — often without consent of the IT department.
Many individuals treat their free Dropbox accounts as a means for storing sensitive corporate documents, either for backup purposes, remote access from mobile devices, or sharing and collaboration. Unfortunately, content shared using free file storage services is often completely unprotected and out of control of the organization. Many individuals who leave a company continue to have access to sensitive corporate information stored in their personal folders—and often the business has little or no knowledge that this has occurred.
Of course, solutions such as Docassist are designed to address issues beyond document management and online file storage. Nevertheless, IT departments understand that implementing these solutions provides a secure alternative to the free file sharing services. Meanwhile, companies such as Dropbox are doing all they can to address these issues by targeting the enterprise space with business versions of their own solutions. The challenge will be converting existing customers, especially those who are under no pressure from management to change existing processes.
Robert Palmer is chief analyst and a managing partner for BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines. He is an independent market analyst and industry consultant with more than 25 years experience in the printing industry covering technology and business sectors for prominent market research firms such as Lyra Research and InfoTrends. In December 2012 he formed Palmer Consulting as an independent consultancy focused on transformation, mobility, MPS, and the entire imaging market. Palmer is a popular speaker and presents regularly at industry conferences and trade events in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. He is also active in a variety of imaging industry forums and currently serves on the board of directors for the Managed Print Services Association (MPSA). Contact him at email@example.com.