Ascentas, the UK’s first fully cloud-based document management company, provides a range of services including document scanning, records management and secure shredding, to organisations throughout the UK and Europe. The company is the first bureau in Europe to leverage the power of Kodak scanners, Alaris Capture Pro software and the Microsoft Azure platform, to capture over one million images every month on behalf of its client base.
A strategic decision to cease its legacy hard copy document storage service, and make the transition to an all-digital data storage model, prompted Ascentas to invest in new production scanners. The company had successfully moved away from a traditional on-premise IT infrastructure, had virtualised all its servers, and adopted a cloud-first strategy. Leveraging the Azure platform, the company’s business processes and data storage were routed directly to the cloud.
“We had always used Kodak scanners, but up until this point, scanning volumes weren’t particularly high. However, having made the decision to transform our business, we needed to invest in high-volume production scanners to cope with a dramatic increase in throughput,” CEO Anthony Rose explained. “Importantly, we needed a complete end-to-end solution that would enable us to scan directly to the cloud,” he added.
Ascentas invested in one Kodak i5650S Scanner and three Kodak i4650 Scanners as well as Alaris Capture Pro Software. Designed to increase productivity and reduce costs, both models power through batches, easily handling documents of different sizes, weights and types, producing high quality digital images every time. Engineered to work seamlessly with any Kodak scanner, Alaris Capture Pro Software, provides intelligent capabilities that increase productivity and improve efficiency.
In order to address the requirement to deliver the scanned data directly to Azure cloud services, Alaris Professional Services provided additional expertise, customising the software and scanners to support Ascentas’ unique requirements.
Ascentas is realising time and cost savings thanks to advanced features such as automated sorting during the scanning process which eliminates potential errors and wasted time, the ability to re-use sorted patch sheets and separate multi-feed documents and identify them more easily.
“Preparing documents to be digitised can be time-intensive, so it’s important for us that the scanning process itself is quick but without compromising on quality,” Anthony said. “The production scanners power through approximately one million images every month. The image quality is second to none and the number of rescans required is minimal.
” In addition to Perfect Page Technology, which optimises the image capture process and ensures unparalleled image quality, the scanners also boast advanced technology including Intelligent Document Protection which uses ultrasonic sensors to ‘listen’ for problems and immediately stops the scanning process before jams or misfeeds occur; metal detection which prevents forgotten staples and paper clips from scratching the scanner glass; and double document detection which ensures that only one document enters the scanner at a time.
“We have removed many bottlenecks, saving time and money. We no longer have to worry about staples or paperclips not removed during the prep stage from damaging the scanner glass for example, and the scanner neatly collects patch separator sheets which we can then re-use,” Anthony said.
Prepping time has been dramatically reduced. “When a box is ready to be digitised, it can be done very quickly and instantly sent to the cloud. The software’s ability to recognise colour documents has been a huge value-add. Previously we would have had to separate colour and mono documents, stop scanning and change the machine’s set-up, now we can automatically jump between colour and mono which has been hugely advantageous,” Anthony said.
The business’ strategy to move its business applications to the cloud has delivered many business benefits from removing the requirement to pay for physical storage space, providing the ability to scale consumption as needed, lower operating expenditure in terms of purchasing and maintaining physical servers as well as ensuring high availability and reducing risk of data loss.
“With no physical servers on-site, it was essential that the solution provided was cloud-ready and enabled our scanning operators to seamlessly capture, index, and quality check the scanned data. We had a few minor teething issues which were quickly resolved by the Alaris team and we’re delighted to be the first customer in Europe to leverage the power of Alaris Capture Pro software in the cloud,” Anthony commented.
Anthony continued: “The support we have received has been superb. There have been no issues or downtime, the scanners are easy to use and maintain, and our operators can easily replace consumables and parts.” Importantly, the solution provides Ascentas with capacity for further growth. “We are always looking to grow and with the current set-up, we can simply install a new PC and be up and running very quickly. We know we can rely on Kodak scanners, and will look to add to the fleet when we need to further boost our capability,” Anthony concluded.