eFileCabinet helps over 7,500 businesses operate more profitably by eliminating paper and enabling them to record, manage and transact documents electronically. However, the inability to conduct full text searches within documents kept customers from realizing its full value – until ABBYY FineReader’s OCR Engine provided a solution.
In 2002, accounting professional James Blaylock broke new ground with the founding of eFileCabinet – a powerful but affordable electronic document management solution tailored to help accounting firms eliminate expensive paper-based processes. Since then, eFileCabinet has evolved into a solution suitable for any organization – especially small and medium sized businesses regulated by industry and government compliancy standards.
As Benoy Tamang, Executive Vice President of Marketing, explains, “We serve businesses, and departments within larger organizations, that operate in compliance-bound markets. These include accounting, insurance, HR departments, doctors’ practices – all of whom benefit from our strong search and audit capabilities.” Today these customers number over 7,500, with more than 100,000 individual users. And according to Tamang, their benefits are solid: “Even small businesses can save up to six figures a year just in labor costs,” he says. “Their customer satisfaction rates rise. And they enjoy peace of mind, knowing their organizations comply with regulatory standards.”
There was one feature that eFileCabinet had yet to add and which customers increasingly requested: full text search within documents. “Fast, reliable searches for clients was the goal,” says Tamang. “And paramount to delivering it was OCR.”
Earlier versions of eFileCabinet included a text-based search algorithm enabling customers to find and retrieve information from digital documents created using Microsoft Word. However, most customers needed to regularly scan paper documents into the system and had years of records that needed scanning in, too. “Content scanned in as image-only PDFs, or created in non-Word formats, was unsearchable,” says Tamang. “Search criteria were limited to parameters such as document name or field and file attributes, restricting customers’ ability to retrieve needed information.”
Converting scans into searchable digital formats requires highly accurate Optical Character Recognition (OCR). And for eFileCabinet the process not only had to be precise – but seamlessly integrated into their solution and transparent to users. As Tamang states, “Our passion is to add value for our customers, not more work. So along with accuracy and reliability, the OCR process had to be completely automatic and user-friendly.”
Recognizing that creating an OCR solution in-house would distract resources from critical projects, eFileCabinet decided to license the technology. After tasking their engineers with finding the right partner, they found their solution in ABBYY.
The eFileCabinet team began with an exhaustive analysis of reviews, technical forums and reports on OCR solutions. “There were plenty of options to consider,” says Tamang. “Our engineers ran preliminary trials on quite a few, but the final head-to-head comparison came down to just two products. And ABBYY FineReader Engine was the winner.”
According to Tamang, FineReader’s ease has made OCR a natural and seamless part of customers’ workflows. “When customers opt for OCR, the functionality is enabled via a simple unlock code – no lengthy installs or complex settings required. From there, they simply scan documents using a TWAIN compliant device and save it in eFileCabinet where it’s automatically OCR’d into the search format of their choice. No learning curve or training required.”
With the option of adding OCR to eFileCabinet, customers can now find documents quickly, accurately, and with little more effort than a few clicks. “Now information is instantly available whether it’s in a tax form, contract, insurance application, patient record, proposal, whatever,” says Tamang. “We’ve gone from providing one or two search terms to enabling clients to find anything within a document, wherever that document resides in their system.”
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The ABBYY Team