The Mechanics of Digital Conversion


As you may have noticed from some of my posts, I am a movie buff. Movies are visual storytelling, after all, and as a writer I’m drawn to narratives. I was only five when my dad took me to see “Jaws,” and I was eight when I first saw “Star Wars” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

My favorite movie genres are science fiction and fantasy. Sci-fi movies (the good ones; not the ones that are essentially horror movies in space) posit the changes we might make to ensure a better future, while fantasy films transport us to another place – a place where magic is real, dragons are dominant and the morals of the story are always pretty straightforward. For me, these resonate.

While the mention of “magic” may evoke images of Gandalf, the Harrys (Houdini and Potter), David Copperfield and even the Wizard of Oz, the exciting reality of it is that we are surrounded by magic every day in a variety of ways. To understand my perspective, let me first clarify my definition of the word. When I think of magic, I define it as…

magic quote

How Do They Do That?

It’s a brilliant definition because it expands the sphere of influence that magic can have. When considered in this regard, it can include anyone and anything that seems mystical – if only to one individual. It needn’t involve orbs of light or incantations. Think about sports. Andrea Bargnani of the Brooklyn Nets is nicknamed “The Magician” for what he can do on the court. The St. Louis Cardinals’ former shortstop Ozzie Smith had the moniker, as well. What they were able to do in their respective sports seemed magical. We saw it happening in front of our eyes, but we were in the dark as to how they did it.

Considered in this light, “magic” can be thought of as anything at which we marvel simply because we do not understand how it happens, yet we see its amazing results. This group can include superstar athletes, but also doctors, auto mechanics, video game designers, engineers from Apple and Samsung, and even improv comedians. Magic is all around us.

Companies entertaining the idea of converting their paper records to digital are confronted with some questions to ponder. Some of those queries are:

  1. How often do their employees have to get up from their desks to retrieve paper documents?
  2. Would their clients/patients appreciate faster responses due to real-time access to documents?
  3. Have paper documents ever been misplaced or lost disrupting operations and costing the company money?
  4. Do they have documents that need to be viewed by multiple people?
  5. Would they like to concentrate less on handling paper and more on their business functions?
  6. How helpful would it be to have excess filing cabinets removed from work areas?

The answer to all of these questions, of course, is a digital conversion solution. Utilizing exceptional software partners and a magical staff, FileSolve has the ability to scan all a company’s pertinent data and images and deliver them back in a format that is refreshed, revived and renewed. Once employees are able to access that information electronically, flexible software allows for easy retrieval, batching, routing, reporting and even automatic payment in some instances.

“Digital conversion technology is changing the way businesses think about records management, data governance and information governance,” says FileSolve’s Jim Wofford, a senior business systems analyst. “I think there will come a day when things like Enterprise Content Management (ECM) are just second nature to people. Certainly it will be second nature to businesses. It’s still a relatively young technology, but we’re definitely seeing growth in both usage and acceptance.”

technology quote

Behind the Digital Conversion Curtain

Let’s all remember the disappointment we felt the first time we saw “The Wizard of Oz” and discovered – spoiler alert! – that the “wizard” was just a guy operating a machine behind a curtain. Or the letdown that inevitably occurs when we find out how a magic trick is actually done. Full disclosure – there is a video online that purports to show how David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear. I decided not to post that here, though. If you really can’t help yourself, there’s always YouTube.

The Document Automation Factory is unique to our industry. It is there that our wizards – minus capes or wands – magically transform our clients’ paper documents into pristine electronic images. Once they have been captured and the appropriate information indexed, our internal IT professionals create batch files that are ready for client consumption. These files are shared with clients in a variety of ways (e.g., FTP; ShareFile; VPN; encrypted external hard drives, USB Key or CD/DVD). Utilizing either on-site ECM software or stored in the cloud, company documents/images are made available to pre-selected individuals and/or departments, as determined by need and/or preference. For the end-user, it feels like magic.

“The whole process is designed to be helpful for the customer,” adds Wofford. “In the end, keeping it simple is what makes it so manageable. It’s what makes it such a natural – and wise – business decision. We’re making it easier to assemble, access and use the information that’s so valuable to ensuring the best possible experience for our clients. Their jobs being easier, in turn, makes for a better experience for their customers, too. It’s a win-win-win.”

The Seemliness of Seamlessness

I remember one time I called customer support when I had trouble with my computer. An avid gamer, my rig going down was, well, a downer. After being on hold for about 30 minutes, I was finally connected with “Brad” – so not his real name. In any event, I was ready for Brad to help me fix my problem – until he uttered the words, “Okay, I’ll need you to open up the hard drive.”

Umm… no. If the “fix” couldn’t be done via the keyboard with my eyes focused on the monitor, I wasn’t willing to do it myself. I view anything and everything that goes on inside my hard drive as magical. I know there’s a scientific, practical explanation for how things work in there. I also know, however, that I want nothing to do with it. Honestly? It’s got nothing to do with my ability to mentally comprehend the technology or my reticence to learn something new. Really, it boils down to four words: I. Don’t. Have. To.

FileSolve is trusted to deliver solutions. Whether those solutions are in the guise of Enterprise Content Management, invoice processing automation software or something else, sometimes those details don’t matter in and of themselves to a client. They want to know, in the end, that there’s an answer to their problem; that there’s a solution to their dilemma. The mechanics might be a bit dull, but there is magic in the results.

Being able to offer real answers is no fantasy. It exists here at FileSolve. It’s what we do. And because we never enjoy encountering real-life fire-breathing dragons, the client always wins. We’ve found that it’s always good practice to be one step ahead – armed with ingenuity, imagination, and verve.

It’s the Level-20 Paladin in us all.

Posted by: Eric Schwabenlender
This entry was posted in Document Scanning, Enterprise Content Management and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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