Part 4: Creating powerful automated scan workflows

Miroslav (Mirek) Sova
Miroslav (Mirek) Sova Product Manager - Scanning Solutions
August 3 2017
YSoft SafeQ

We appreciate your role as an IT administrator can be largely focused on firefighting issues and maintaining your company’s current IT state. So, finding solutions that support your organization’s strategic goals, such as improving employee productivity and security can be immensely valuable. Automated scan workflows help you to contribute to your company’s digital objectives.

In this series on automated scan workflows, we’ve discussed the benefits to users and by extension, the entire organization of automated scan workflows that you create. So, is it difficult to create workflows?

In this, the fourth and final article of the series, we look at how automated scan workflows are created..hint: it’s easy!

Follow the flow

YSoft SafeQ automated workflows have many powerful features. Here we will describe the basics.
Remember from previous articles, YSoft SafeQ automated workflows follow three main phases: Capture, Process and Deliver. Creating a workflow uses the same phases but in reverse order and adds one phase at the end: defining who can access the workflow.

Deliver
If creating your first workflow, you’ll need to define the destination for the digital document first, Figure 1. Later, when you create more workflows, you can use the same destination if appropriate or define a new one.

Figure 1. Defining workflow destination.

The destination for the workflow could be a network folder, a cloud document repository, an on-premise document management system or an industry ERP solution such as an ERP system. It could also be email (see previous articles for a discussion about how scan to email reduces productivity and can be prone to human error).

YSoft SafeQ automated scan workflows offer single-sign on to a majority of supported third party repositories. For example, if your workflow destination is a location in the Marketing department’s Dropbox Business account, authorized users of the workflow do not have to worry about signing in to Dropbox on the MFD when using the workflow – scanned documents will automatically be delivered under the authorized user’s credentials. The workflow settings take care of it through YSoft SafeQ connectors

Setting up connectors is a straightforward process. Connectors don’t need to be installed because they are set up as part of the YSoft SafeQ installer package. You simply name your connector and click the get authorization code button. Then a verification process with the third party’s servers and you as the IT administrator will occur and you will receive your authorization code which can be pasted into the New Connector setup screen., Figure 2. You can then request your unique access token from Dropbox.


Figure 2. Creating a connector for automated scan workflows

Now, you can decide if you want MFD users to deliver scanned documents under their own username, so that files are shown as scanned by the user (not by a generic “service account”) by checking the impersonation box. This is highly recommended and only requires that users are registered with the same e-mail address in Dropbox Business and in YSoft SafeQ, which replicates your Active Directory.
Similar steps are taken for any other connector such as Microsoft Exchange or SharePoint for example. The steps are simplified if delivering files to shared network folders. Once the connector is created, you can create a workflow that uses the connector.
 
Capture and Processing Settings
Capture and processing parameters are configured in one step by step screen accessible only to IT administrators, Figure 3. Start by giving your workflow a name and description. The description is visible to users who have access to the workflow; it lets them know what the workflow does typically. For example, scan invoices to Dropbox.

Choose the destination; we’ll continue to use Dropbox Business as our example. Earlier, we created a connector to Dropbox Business, so we’ll select that as our destination.

You set the document capture (scan) parameters, including document color, e.g. black and white, document format, e.g. JPEG or PDF, and image quality, e.g. 300 dpi, and any more advanced processing steps you need. These include:

  • Barcode recognition: If you use barcodes in your company the workflow can be configured to use the information within the barcodes to pre-define parameters, including file name and destination.
  • Optical character recognition (OCR): This powerful feature provides you with complete peace of mind that all scanned documents are legible, usable and searchable. For OCR’d documents, you can remove blank pages and clean the document by removing smudges or correcting orientation issues. It also converts the scanned document into a format that can be, edited and searched for text, making it easier to find in the future.
  • Highlighter extraction: You can set up highlighted text extraction as part of a workflow, allowing users to mark text in a paper document using a highlighter pen of a defined color and then use the marked text for example to name the resulting file or determine the folder location in the destination.
  • Highlighter redaction: If a workflow is used to scan confidential documents, certain words or phrases may need to be redacted from the document. Enable highlighter redaction in the workflow and the MFD user can use a highlighter pen of a defined color to mark the desired words on the paper document. The resulting digital file will have the words redacted and, additionally, these words are not keyword searchable.

Figure 3. Configuring workflow advanced processing steps

It should be noted that all of these parameters can be preset in the workflow, yet you still have the flexibility to allow users to change some of these parameters at the MFD at the time of scanning a document.
 

Assign users
Assigning users access to workflows ensures that only authorized users can send digital documents to the destinations defined in the workflow via the MFD. When assigning access rights, you can assign a workflow to groups of users, for example, everyone in the marketing team, or all users at a particular branch office. This is accomplished by creating roles in YSoft SafeQ. Figure 4.

It is important to note that using Active Directory replication allows you to import roles from Active Directory, removing an element of the manual requirement and saving you time. In the example below, there is a role called ‘everyone’.


Figure 4. Assigning access rights to workflows by creating roles​

Reducing Complexity for IT admins

Y Soft automates many of the functions for IT administrators. Using the YSoft SafeQ web management interface, administrators can create and control all scan workflows across the organization. Opposed to other document capture (scan) solutions, Y Soft has automated and placed many of the administration functions in the back end so they just work, with no manual intervention required.

Familiar Interface
The simple web interface is standardized across the Y Soft product portfolio which means it is a similar look and feel whether you are using YSoft SafeQ print management or document capture administrator tools. This makes creating workflows an easier task.

Reporting & Auditing
Setting up reports and monitoring is easy with YSoft SafeQ automated scan workflows. Using the web interface, your IT team can set up reports to monitor and report on usage as well as troubleshooting issues as they arise. Reports can be accessed by authorized individuals or groups so your IT team doesn’t have to spend time managing statistics and usage monitoring and management.
 
Reducing ongoing workflow management
The intuitive Y Soft web management interface enables you to easily set up pre-defined workflows across your MFD fleet, as opposed to having to implement the same workflow, multiple times for each MFD.
Traditionally if any of the settings for a workflow needs to be changed, an IT administrator would have to apply this amend to every MFD, one by one. Not anymore. Administrators can replicate a workflow across multiple MFDs all at once. Any amendments to the scan parameters, access roles or destinations are made to the template that is then implemented across your fleet of MFDs.

 

One Platform, One Interface, One Contract

At Y Soft, we pride ourselves on keeping things simple. As with all our solutions, the YSoft SafeQ scan workflows are fully integrated with the major multifunction printer vendors and third party partners.

Our platform approach to print management and scan workflows means the easy-to-use interface is integrated for both users and IT administrators. If you choose to start with scan workflows and add print management, you can easily add new services under your existing contract. A key difference is that our pricing is on a “per device” basis, for all our solutions. You do not have to worry about the number of users or pages growing over time. If the number of MDF devices remain the same then so do your costs.

YSoft SafeQ scan workflows can be found in these two product suites:

Learn more about YSoft SafeQ Workflow Suite.

Learn more about YSoft SafeQ Enterprise Suite (scan workflows + print management)   

To read the previous articles in this series click the links below.

Part 1: The Power of a Simplified Scan Capture

Part 2: The Power of Enhanced Document Capture Processing

Part 3: Simple, Swift, Secure Delivery

Miroslav (Mirek) Sova

Miroslav (Mirek) Sova

Mirek is a product manager on Y Soft’s scanning solutions. He enjoys talking to partners and customers about the future of document digitization and likes getting “down in the trenches” with Agile teams. He is passionate about specialty coffee, practices yoga and hikes in the hills with his Jack Russell Terrier. View all posts by Miroslav (Mirek) Sova
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