Friday, March 21, 2014

The Cloud: 5 Things to Do Before Adopting Cloud ECM

Don't Let the Cloud Kill Your Network

Companies have been slow to adopt cloud-based ECM for a variety of reasons: security, perceived lack of control and lack of integration.  Scanning high image volumes to the cloud can kill your network, and cause major issues.  Take these 5 steps to make sure a smooth roll out:

  1. Assessment is key.  Doing a file assessment and analysis should be done immediately.   Take a deep dive into each of your departments, and figure out their scanning and capture needs.  Does your legal department want to scan 500 page documents?  Is back-scanning of file cabinets going to be a major portion of the project?  Does marketing want to scan full-page color?  Key areas to be identified are: large document scanning, color requirements, and high volume areas.  For more information on planning and assessment see here:   Scanning Planning
  2.  Check your internet bandwidth, and monitor.  IT involvement from a monitoring perspective will be key to ensure you proper bandwidth to support your scanning efforts.  Batch uploads from large file scanning can kill bandwidth quickly, and create a user revolt.  Proof of concept and single department implementations can give great insight into network impact, and provide some great stats for follow on phase roll outs.
  3.  Check your device settings, and control them.  Most scanners and copiers today will scan in full color if you let them.  File sizes vary to the extreme between black and white, grayscale and color.  Along with color settings, DPI should be controlled, and in most cases 200 DPI black and white is sufficient for most organizations needs.  Nothing kills a party like a 500MB color scan!!  Tips for Scanning Copier settings:  Copier Settings that Kill
  4. Check your server side settings.   Does your ECM System  set file upload limitations.  Make sure from your file assessment that you will be able to handle all file sizes required.  If you cannot control these settings, or your provider will not change them, make sure you use a capture technology that can perform file splitting for you .
  5. Timing can be key.  Depending on your requirements, it may be necessary to control large uploads.  For example, some customers have chosen to do their back scanning and large uploads during off hours / weekends so as to not impact daily operations.  Others will coordinate with a 3rd party scanning service to perform all their high volume scanning off site, with a planned, controlled upload during off hours.
Anything I missed?  Comments from the trenches?  Please post your comments.