Case Studies

ABBYY Helps Unlock the Potential of SharePoint for one National Park Authority

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Customer Overview

Name New Forest National Park Authority
Web

Optical Character Recognition Software Creates Searchable Archives of Important Documents.

Background

The New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) was set up to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park. The Authority promotes opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities and fosters the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park.

For many years the NFNPA had a document management system (DMS) only for its Planning Department, but no proper document archiving mechanism for the rest of the Authority. Recently a decision was made to supply the entire organisation with a means to store files digitally for easy search and retrieval.

Solution

The original strategy was to roll out the Planning Department’s DMS as a corporate-wide DMS, but upon further investigation the system proved too inflexible and required additional costs for every change that needed to be made. The NFNPA then used an internal network folder as a document repository, but searching through disparate folders became too difficult and time-consuming. Eventually the NFNPA determined that implementing Microsoft® SharePoint® throughout the entire organisation would serve as the best replacement for a traditional DMS.

“SharePoint is very cost effective and easy to customise,” explains Paul Fleetwood, ICT Manager for the NFNPA. “We are a small organisation, and we have more success with either self-written or easily customisable products.”

To digitise documents, such as letters, contracts, certificates and delivery notes, employees at the NFNPA had been using the ‘scan to PDF’ functionality on their photocopiers. Unfortunately these devices produce image-only PDFs in which text cannot be searched. Mr Fleetwood knew that in order to convert these images to searchable and make the best use of SharePoint’s search capabilities he would need an optical character recognition (OCR) software program.

They compared 5 different products, which were assessed on a combination of functionality and price. Important was the ability to produce PDFs that were compressed to a reasonable file size to avoid unnecessary storage implications. The NFNPA’s reseller, Status Computers, recommended ABBYY Recognition Server as a best-fit solution based on its high quality and award-winning OCR; the ability to configure the product to compress PDF files to smaller sizes; and the cost-effective licensing.

ABBYY Recognition Server is a robust server-based solution designed to automate the recognition and document/PDF conversion process in enterprise environments. It is a scalable, reliable and rapidly deployable solution for high performance delivery of OCR functionalities in environments where centralised processing management and greater flexibility of integration with third-party applications is needed.

Results

With the new solution the NFNPA’s 75 employees are able to use a multifunction printer to scan a document to a watched folder where Recognition Server picks up the image, converts it to a searchable PDF and exports it to a SharePoint document library. Recognition Server has also been integrated with Microsoft® Outlook® to allow users to email PDFs for conversion to Word. Recognition Server has been popular among individual employees who find it quite useful whilst the IT Department is pleased with the ability to tailor the solution to their needs.

“We received excellent support from Status Computers and ABBYY during the trial process to enable us to find the correct settings to match our requirements,” states Mr Fleetwood. “Recognition Server took just one day to install, is a relatively ‘user-friendly’ system, and the IT team have been happy to look at existing configurations, and then replicate them to create new workflows. We now have an easy-to-use and cost-effective way to archive our documents and make them easy to search out in the future.”

 

About ABBYY

ABBYY is a leading global provider of technologies and solutions that help businesses to action information. The company sets the standard in content capture and innovative language-based technologies that integrate across the information lifecycle. ABBYY solutions are relied on to optimize business processes, mitigate risk, accelerate decision making and drive revenue. ABBYY technologies are used and licensed by some of the largest international enterprises and government organizations, as well as SMBs and individuals. The company maintains offices in Australia, Canada, Cyprus, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, the UAE, the UK, Ukraine, and the United States. For more information, visit Key Facts.