Moving to Cloud-Based Document Management

A Focus on Security

A number of reasons (both financial and strategic) are driving companies to online document management services from trusted vendors such as BMI Imaging. This shift away from traditional in-house approaches is well underway with more than 70% of organizations actively Document Hosting and Document Managementplanning or implementing cloud technologies today (according to InformationWeek April 2015 survey).

In the first of our 3-part “Moving to the Cloud” blog series, we focus on document hosting solutions, the core of cloud-based document management, and its key underlying requirement – security.

Security: The Number One Concern when it comes to Cloud-Based Document Management

Whether you’re a new company or an established organization, your customers’ trust is your number one asset. That’s why your move to the cloud-based document management requires a secure foundation that protects customer data and your business reputation.

In the InformationWeek survey mentioned above, almost 90% of respondents are very or moderately concerned about cloud-based security. Specifically, 45% of IT organizations are concerned about general security and 41% of IT organizations are worried about data loss / leakage.

5 Steps to a Secure, Cloud-Based Document Management Foundation

There are five steps that you should consider to minimize your risk when moving to cloud-based document management systems.

Step 1: Partner with a Trusted Cloud-Based Document Management Provider

Moving to cloud-based document management is not only about technology, but also about updating and integrating with key business processes already in place. BMI Imaging provides over 50 years of know-how, with more than 2,000 customers (commercial and government). We have developed over 400 unique image and data management tools and process control routines. In addition, we offer dedicated project management staff for personalized attention to your needs.

Step 2: Review Critical Vendor Infrastructure

It is important to review the vendor infrastructure. Example questions include: Is there 24/7/365 monitoring of all IT operations? What about redundancy protection? Is it N+2 (or better) for all critical systems? Is 2N+2 electrical power redundancy in place? Where are the local and remote (Disaster Recovery / Continuity) locations?

Step 3: Investigate Industry Certifications and Compliance

Does the cloud-based document management vendor undertake regular and rigorous SSAE-16 Type II/SAS 70 audits, with zero exceptions? Is PCI DSS compliance in place Existing Federal FISMA compliance with NIST 800-53 moderate baseline controls?

Step 4: Ensure Offline Security

Don’t forget about security of the physical facilities. Is there any public access to the facilities? Do 100% of vetted personnel have to be securely signed in and escorted at all times? What about multi-factor identification, including biometric and multi-level security zones? Are there digital cameras installed to monitor secure areas 24/7? Is there a physically separate caged environment within the secure data center?

Step 5: Secure End-User and Administrative Access

Are there simple administration and user selection and access rights? Is SSL encryption and IP lock security in place? Can you access the full audit trail and report on any document accessed?

The five steps above are a good foundation for ensuring that you minimize any risks associated with your cloud-based document management project. Contact a BMI specialist if you’d like to walk through any specific requirements.

2019-01-23T13:36:57+00:00June 3rd, 2015|Document Management, Security|

Cloud-Based Document Hosting and Management

Cloud-Based Document Hosting: An Alternative to Traditional Approaches

Many companies and organizations are considering a move to the cloud for their document hosting and management requirements. They are driven by a variety of reasons including storage limits on existing equipment / storage facilities, lack of responsiveness when customers increasingly require immediate access to documents and the high cost and limited availability of specialized IT personnel to manage the end-to-end infrastructure.

Cloud Based Document Hosting

With the availability of cloud-based document management and document hosting services, companies are able to provide a much higher level of customer experience without the high-costs of legacy approaches. There are a number of advantages that cloud-based document management provides that enable companies to deliver better services and lower costs.

Data Security
If your data isn’t secure, your business isn’t secure. Cloud-based document hosting services employ specialized professionals who are focused on making sure data is secure both physically and against online threats. This includes on-the-ground security personnel and 24/7 network monitoring, as well as secure, non-descript facilities armed with the latest in biometric systems.

IT / Storage Costs
Online cloud-based document hosting enables you to pay for just what you need. No need to buy additional/spare storage or additional software licenses, set up new infrastructure, or invest in ongoing administration. This eliminates the burden on in-house IT staff and budgets, enabling you to focus on core IT and business initiatives.

Disaster Recovery
If you or your customers can’t access documents when you need them, then your investment in document management is wasted money that actually hurts your customer relationships and future revenue. Cloud-based document hosting provides protection against disasters with secure/automated failover between locations. It’s built into the solution so that you don’t have to worry about document accessibility in the event of an outage or disaster.

Universal Access
Today customers can instantly access general business documents via consumer grade products and they naturally expect the same or better access to their professional documents. Cloud-based document hosting enables customers to access any of their documents, from anywhere and from any device.

Before You Move to a Cloud-Based Document Hosting Solution
Moving to the cloud isn’t just about new technologies or new service providers. Before you make the move, it is important to keep a few things in mind to protect your Document Hosting with the Cloudcustomers, your business reputation and your future prospects:

Trusted Partner: a trusted partner has decades of experience in your industry, as well as dedicated staff who understand how to translate your requirements into the right technical solution.

Extensive Integration: unless you’re a brand new organization, chances are you’ve got years of investment in your current infrastructure and processes. You shouldn’t have to discard that investment or change the way you work to fit the needs of new cloud-based document hosting systems.

Ability to Scale: look for a provider who has the proven technology and processes to convert and manage millions of documents each month as well as automate tracking / logging of activities across systems and personnel.

For more information on how cloud-based document management can help you drive your business, check out our California-based document hosting services.

2018-11-29T08:30:09+00:00May 21st, 2015|Document Management|

Building Department Microfiche Conversion

Is Converting Your Microfiche Archive to Your Permitting System the Right Approach?

Building departments manage many different types of documents, including building plans, geologic survey information, permit copies and other residential or commercial title related records. A lot of building department staff time is spent searching through physical microfiche archives for specific records. Misfiled and lost fiche present further hassles. Although many building departments see the value of digitally converting their microfiche records, many have not.

Building Department Microfiche Conversion Solution

 Why haven’t building departments converted their microfiche archives to digital? Expense and staff time required are the two main reasons. Most building departments start with the position that they want all of their digital records migrated into an existing permitting system or document management system. This typically comes with a hefty price tag. To accomplish this, each individual image on the microfiche must be separately digitized and indexed. A content review needs to take place which requires your building department staff to dedicate a lot of time reviewing the documents after conversion. The review is to ensure that the microfiche indexes are properly mapped to the permitting or document management system index. This is time consuming and the amount of labor required quickly drives the price up.

There is a better way to affordably convert microfiche archives. A microfiche conversion solution is really a two-step process (1) scanning and (2) indexing. Many building departments want all of their digital records imported into their existing permitting or document management system. This requires (1) scanning and (2) indexing. Most of the expense of a microfiche conversion solution comes at the (2) indexing phase. What if there was a solution that could provide (1) scanning at an affordable price as an initial stepping stone? In that way, your building department could digitize your microfiche records quickly and affordably and then tackle the (2) indexing step later.

BMI’s Digital ReeL building department microfiche conversion solution delivers an affordable solution to accomplish the (1) scanning step and also offers you a stepping stone to (2) indexing and permitting system integration. In addition, any record converted into Digital ReeL is stored in a non-proprietary format (PDF, TIFF) and can easily be imported into any existing system.

How does the Digital ReeL building department microfiche scanning solution work?

Digital ReeL is designed to be affordable (as low as $.90 per microfiche). Your microfiche records are securely transported to our Northern California microfiche conversion facility. We are able to convert the entire microfiche and digitally preserve it as it looked in its original physical state. Very little building department staff oversight required. Because we create digital replicas of each microfiche, there is no requirement to examine individual images for indexing purposes.

If the building records do not go into my permitting or document management system, how do I access them using Digital ReeL?

Digital ReeL offers an easy to use web based retrieval application that resembles a reader printer. With Digital ReeL your physical microfiche are converted to digital replicas. Instead of using legacy, physical readers, you can turn as many computer workstations as you’d like into what looks like a reader printer. Staff and citizens use the same index method for your physical microfiche archive to find information (e.g. APN, address). We also include full text search options to quickly and accurately pull up a record that is needed (e.g. search using a name, date or other keyword).

All records are stored in nonproprietary formats, including PDF, TIFF, JPG and GIF. It is easy to email, print or save documents right from Digital ReeL. Any document can be imported into an existing permitting or document management system.

BMI has the expertise and resources to successfully handle governmental building department microfiche conversion projects. We have worked with city, state and federal government agencies all of the Country. Please call (800) FLY-FILM to discuss how we can achieve your building department microfiche conversion requirements today.

2018-11-26T13:50:12+00:00February 19th, 2015|Microfilm|

Microfilm Conversion Service Partner

10 Questions to Ask When Researching a Microfilm Conversion Partner

So you are trying to Microfilm Reader Replacementtransition your organization from old microfilm cabinets and barely working reader printers to a modern, elegant electronic retrieval application. The process of digitizing your microfilm records is a bit more involved than one might expect. There is project planning, indexing, microfilm preparation and secure transportation of the records to the microfilm conversion partner facility. It is critical that you conduct the proper due diligence when deciding on your microfilm conversion partner. Here are 10 questions that should be asked of every potential microfilm conversion partner during the decision making process:

1) What is their primary business?

2) Do they have references?

3) What was their biggest microfilm scanning project?

4) Will the vendor accommodate your needs, regardless of if you need on- or off-site scanning?

5) Do they have cameras and security clearance at their facilities?

6) Do they conduct background checks before hiring employees?

7) How is their network security and document control?

8) What is their maximum processing capacity?

9) Age of their equipment?

10) Are their employees full time or temporary?

A microfilm conversion project typically takes several months to complete. If done correctly and with the right microfilm conversion service partner, your records will not only be digitally converted, but they’ll also be of higher quality. Technologies like full text indexing make retrieval a lot easier. Selecting the wrong microfilm conversion partner can cause delays, lost records during the microfilm conversion process and implementation problems. Getting answers to the above questions will help ensure that you select the right microfilm scanning partner that can make your project a success.

Call (800) FLY-FILM or email us to learn more about our microfilm conversion solutions!

2018-11-29T08:17:24+00:00December 8th, 2014|Microfilm|

Student Records Microfilm Scanning Solution

Schools and colleges all over the country are learning that microfilm scanning can be affordable!

If you work in a school office, you are probably used to working with thousands of student records, transcripts and other documents that are stored on microfilm (or paper). The law requires that student records be kept and archived for years and years. Filing and retrieving these records is inefficient and the cabinets they are stored intake up valuable space. Microfilm readers are not easy to deal with. Furthermore, what about secondary copies in the event a disaster strikes like a flood or fire?

Ever thought about a student records microfilm scanning solution? Maybe you have looked into converting those microfilm cabinets but found out just how expensive it is. We have developed a student record microfilm scanning solution that will free up all the space that those microfilm cabinets and reader/printers are taking up. Our microfilm conversion solution comes with an easy-to-use web viewer, making it easy to maintain student records and streamline daily retrieval processes.304 Student records that once would take hours, even days to retrieve, can be searched for and retrieved in a matter of minutes or seconds from an Internet browser application. Your student records will be digital and part of your broader IT backup and disaster recovery plan. You’ll no longer have to handle two separate microfilm libraries because secondary digital copies can be backed up off-site to securely protect student records from floods, fires, and other disasters.

Don’t think it could be done? It can and school districts, junior colleges and universities all over the country are learning how easy and affordable it is to finally convert those records from microfilm to digital. Read how Fresno State University solved their student record microfilm challenges with our Digital ReeL microfilm scanning solution.

Call (800) FLY-FILM or email us to get a student records microfilm scanning demo!

2018-11-29T08:38:17+00:00December 2nd, 2014|Microfilm|

Go Paperless with a Document Scanning Solution

Gain Efficiency and Reduce the Risk of Losing Valuable Records

Changing any business process can be difficult, but organizations trying to compete in today’s competitive environment are looking to find cost-saving and efficiency wherever possible. Going paperless with a document scanning solution is a proven method to reduce floor space, shipping costs and the risk of losing valuable records in a disaster (e.g. a fire or flood that destroys the only paper copy).

Go Paperless with Document Scanning

By going paperless and storing your documents electronically, you are now able to leverage today’s advanced digital information technologies to protect your data. For example, you can encrypt sensitive and important data so that only those who are privileged to access the information can do so.

Your employees and customers win too. Research and retrieval are much easier now. The same document can easily be retrieved by multiple users at the same time from a PC, tablet or even smartphone. Technologies like OCR indexing and full-text search enable researchers to use keywords and phrases to find records that might otherwise be impossible to locate in a mountain of physical paper and cabinets.

Going paperless can also help facilitate operations workflow, ensuring that no task falls through the cracks. Customers expect more from businesses and introducing workflow to your paperless system streamlines your business processes so that you can improve customer service.

Going paperless with a document scanning solution may appear to be a dramatic step, but with the right partner, it can be achieved. BMI Imaging has been helping organizations (government agencies and private businesses) go paperless with document scanning solutions for decades.

Learn more about going paperless with our document scanning solutions.

Call (408) 736-7444. We are located in Sunnyvale and Sacramento, California.

2018-11-26T13:57:36+00:00November 14th, 2014|Document Management|

Document Management Solutions for Recorders

Join us at NACRC 2014 in Long Beach, California

BMI will be at the National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks (NACRC) Annual Conference in Long Beach. The conference will be held from August 22-25th at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel in Long Beach, California. BMI will be demonstrating document management, document scanning and microfilm conversion solutions for couRTEmagicC_nacrc-logo.jpgnty recorders. Our solutions are designed for vital and official records (OR) and include book scanning, data acquisition and integration with existing applications. We leverage new scanning technologies that include high quality digital images that are text searchable.

The use of the Cloud for land records storage is also top of mind with many of the recorders we talk with. We have SaaS and BMI-hosted solutions that many California county recorders are using today. In fact, we have the #1 microfilm conversion solution for California Government with Digital ReeL. We’ll discuss how our recorder clients are using the Cloud and some of the special considerations for land records.

We will also discuss solutions for legacy land records that must be retained forever, yet currently archived on microfilm and in danger of deterioration. Most of these vital and official records are not accessed often and we have affordable microfilm scanning solutions to help mainstream these records into the larger digital and disaster recovery processes of county land records departments. Stop by BMI’s booth to meet our company and view live product demonstrations.

Learn more about the BMI document management solutions for Land Records.

2018-10-01T13:49:39+00:00August 17th, 2014|Document Management|

Three Document Scanning Pitfalls to Avoid

BMI has been providing document scanning services for government agencies and companies for over 50 years. We regularly help organizations rid themselves of boxes, folders, cabinets and drawers of paper. Over the years, we have seen a full range of best practices and challenges when it comes to document scanning and paperless initiatives. We thought it would be useful to share three of the common pitfalls organizations run into when evaluating document scanning services.

1) Underestimating the Scope of the Document Scanning Project
Paying someone to scan paper records to a digital format? No way. Ok, maybe for a folder or few personal documents, you are right! You can do it yourself. But, when you are looking at scanning boxes or filing cabinets of paper, you’d be surprised at how fast you might be Document Scanning Servicesgetting in over your head. How much do you want to spend on scanning equipment? Who is going to actually perform the document scanning? How much per hour and have you thought how long this is going to take? What about the need to merge documents or properly index them so they can be found once in a digital format? Do we even have internal servers large enough to hold all this information?

2) Not Involving All Stakeholders in the Requirements Phase
Document scanning projects happen all the time. Somebody makes a decision to digitally scan a set of records but does not consider the overall organizational process. Who is accessing the records and how do they prefer to search for the records? Are there retention requirements on these records? How many departments in the organization need access? Is IT involved and do they have the infrastructure ready to handle the new digital data?

3) Failure to Examine All Digital Retrieval Options
We commonly get requests to simply scan paper documents to PDFs and provide the hard drive. Some customers have an existing system they want the documents uploaded to. However, there are many new and innovative document management and access solutions that can save hundreds of man-hours spent retrieving documents. Questions to consider include: What fields do we want to index? Do we want the ability to full-text search records to really unlock retrieval potential? What about record enhancement options for digital documents that are tough to read? Should we consider document hosting as an easy way to store and securely access these records over the web?

Working with a document scanning and document management solutions provider like BMI brings expert document management consultants to your project. Plus, we have internal development tools capable of integrating your digital documents into your existing business processes. In that way, you leverage current investments but also take advantage of modern document retrieval approaches such as image-enablement of applications and document hosting.

Do the job once and do it right by outsourcing your California document scanning requirements.

2018-11-29T08:26:06+00:00June 17th, 2014|Document Management|

Microfilm Reader Replacement Solution

Have an outdated, broken microfilm reader? Think it is too expensive to digitally convert your records? When we work with clients, they are often facing a conundrum – where to find a part to fix a broken microfilm reader or a new microfilm reader. They may have looked at digitally scanning their physical microfilm library in the past but have been accustomed to prices that are just too expensive. Think again!Microfilm Reader Replacement Solution

If you are faced with a poorly performing or broken microfilm reader, now is the perfect time to look at a microfilm reader replacement solution by digitally converting your records. BMI has solutions that are affordable for legacy records on microfilm. Rather than throwing good money at a legacy technology, let us help you eliminate the need for users to hassle with physical microfilm or learn how to use a physical microfilm reader.

We have a variety of microfilm reader replacement solutions to fit your requirements and budget. We have physical devices that let your staff, citizens or customers scan individual rolls into a digital format. If you have a larger archive and want us to convert everything at one time, Digital ReeL is an affordable microfilm reader replacement offering. Maybe you want something fully turnkey? If so, ask us about our hosting service. We’ll not only scan your microfilm, but we’ll also host your digital records at our data center. Simply log-in through a browser to access your records.

2018-11-29T08:21:21+00:00June 9th, 2014|Microfilm|