The customers for LuraTech's document conversion and data capture software tools range from small ad hoc projects to massive scanning operations, but when the company asked them what could improve the document conversion process, they came back with similar replies: give project managers a way to monitor the entire document conversion workflow, from start to finish, rather than forcing them to tackle the problem with a piecemeal assembly of task-specific products.
To try to address the range and scope of its clients' conversion projects, LuraTech on February 1 announced that it will launch DocYard, a software platform enabling clients to build their own production-level document conversion and capture environments out of a series of modules designed to integrate a range of in-house needs, from different formats and source materials to outside software and even human resources.
LuraTech calls DocYard a more "holistic" alternative to the patchwork production environment of single-purpose scanning, document classification and content management tools. Using a single central control "cockpit," DocYard users can monitor distributed and network conversion workflow and track all kinds of tasks, including semi-automated and manual processes, allowing administrators to make adjustments to wring more real-time efficiencies out of the system.
DocYard provides a standard platform for scan service providers and records managers to build their own custom workflow using modular components designed to integrate alongside legacy tools and applications, as well as room for administrators to add functionality with new modules. The type of data flowing between those modules can be any type, making it easier to send data back and forth between different parts of the system, according to McKinney.
The system offers an integrated solution to handling different types of data--for instance, standard paper documents, images or "born digital" documents like PDF or Microsoft Word files--that normally require separate tools or applications. For LuraTech clients, who range in size from specialty data boutiques to major global corporations, the ability to manage the full array of document types in an "agnostic" way is a critical function, said Mark McKinney, president of LuraTech.
"One of the big trends we see is that more and more people will be moving away from capturing information from paper sources and move towards capturing it from born-digital sources," McKinney said. "Paper will exist for a long time, but over time, we're going to see scan service providers need to think about how they'll manage the influx of data, regardless of source."
Alongside traditional conversion functions, DocYard also offers tools intended to streamline automation of some manual processes, like quality assurance and integrating other tools into the workflow. However, the system is designed to account fully for the human side of document conversion side-by-side with automated processes in the control cockpit, McKinney said.
"A lot of software vendors in the past only looked at automated steps-they tend to forget that you can't get away from the human data," McKinney said. For example, project managers can use DocYard to see how employees' input or output is trending and make real-time adjustments to keep processes flowing smoothly.
McKinney said DocYard could help scan managers shave precious dollars off of their projects by reducing administrative overhead costs, allowing more centralized and intuitive intelligent interaction between automated and manual processes, as well as a single dashboard giving managers greater control.
"A lot of folks in the scan service and document conversion world, especially in this economy, need to think about how to implement efficiencies and save money," McKinney said. "DocYard is a platform that they can spend a little bit of money on now and get a huge return on their investment over several months to a year. When you can organize resources in a workflow, the savings can be dynamic."
LuraTech will be commercially available on March 1, with pricing available on request, according to the company.