Category Archive Capture

TWAIN Working Group for Red Hat

TWAIN Direct for Red Hat community

I made this presentation to illustrate how TWAIN Direct is operating system agnostic and perfectly aligned with the Red Hat, and overall open source, community.

Capture & IDP Conference 2023 – TWAIN Working Group

It was a great honor for me to represent the @TWAIN Working Group at the Infosource Capture & IDP Conference last week in Chicago. I provided an update to the attendees on “Monetizing TWAIN Direct” with some examples of Use Cases for Generative AI, Conversational AI and Document Processing AI with TWAIN Direct. Then I shared our success with TWAIN Direct Developers Day in Safety Harbor, Florida as well as the TWAIN Direct ISV Showcase Series webinars. Finally, I thanked our valued member companies and encouraged membership to be part of the Digital Transformation AI future with TWAIN!

At the Infosource Capture & IDP Conference last week, I shared some real Artificial Intelligence use cases for TWAIN Direct. I was having some fun with the TWAIN acronym, to get the audiences attention and to fit in with the theme of AI, but I was also very serious about incorporating various techniques of AI including Generative AI, Conversational AI, and Document Processing/Analytics AI to illustrate the strategic importance of TWAIN Direct to the AI ecosystem

One of the TWAIN Working Group highlights I shared at the Infosource Capture & IDP Conference last week, was TWAIN Direct Developers Day (TD-DD). TD-DD was a terrific and energy-filled day of seeing TWAIN Direct in action. In one day software developers were able to get a functioning TWAIN Direct document scanning application working. Some feedback included: “Integration of TWAIN Direct was simple and easy”, “There was a good vibe at Developers Day” and “The partner ecosystem and ISV solutions for TWAIN Direct are really impressive”. We will be hosting another Developers Day in Spring 2024 so please send me a message for more details.

Fitting directly in the theme of my presentation of “Monetizing TWAIN Direct” at the Infosource Capture & IDP Conference last week, was sharing the TWAIN Direct ISV Showcase Series. This ongoing webinar series, hosted by the TWAIN Working Group, included various topics such as cybersecurity, cashflow management, content management, file conversion, capture, and more, featuring our growing ecosystem of software partners and integrations. Please send me a message if you’d like to be included in future TWAIN Direct ISV Showcase Series webinars.

As a non-profit organization, the TWAIN Working Group is supported by our valued member companies. At the @Infosource Capture & IDP Conference last week, many were in attendance including Atalasoft/Kofax, Epson, Kodak Alaris, PFU, P3iD Technologies and Visioneer. Since TWAIN is an open-source specification, our organization is selling nothing and charges no commercial licensing fees. Our only motivation is to provide a solid industry-leading and accepted standard for scanning device-to-software application communication. I’m pleased to share that at the Conference, the state of document scanning with TWAIN Direct has a very bright future and each opportunity means tangible business for one, or many, of our valued member companies.

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The Fujitsu Imaging Products Group (IPG) Demo and Education Lab

This was a self-imposed project that I was very proud of. In 2007 while working at Fujitsu I took the initiative, and was gratefully given the authority, to organize, prepare and build what I called the “Fujitsu Imaging Products Group (IPG) Demo Lab”. The concept was to setup various solutions that utilized our document scanning technologies for educational purposes.

The project was really great because people were really interested in learning about emerging technologies. I didn’t have to spend any money on building this Demo Lab. All the equipment was excess. We created an internal web portal that people could log on and follow the easy instructions to understand, and try for themselves, the different technologies.

Much of our Demo Lab was dedicated to network-attach solutions so we had many networking hardware products such as Kofax DSS, Axis or Silex but we also had network software solutions such as Network ISIS and RemoteScan TWAIN. It was really great to share this knowledge with others and get such great feedback.

fujitsu-ipg-lab-interface fujitsu-ipg-lab5 fujitsu-ipg-lab4 fujitsu-ipg-lab3 fujitsu-ipg-lab2 fujitsu-ipg-lab1


A “cloudy” future for document capture

Hearing a phrase such as “cloudy future” immediately conjures up bad thoughts and gloom-and-doom scenarios.  However, in the case of document capture “cloud computing” is bringing extremely positive change.  In this post I would like to break down the basic components of “cloud computing” and explain how document capture into “the cloud” is appealing for several reasons including scalability, interoperability and usability.  Simply put, the “cloud” = Infrastructure + Content + Users.  Using cloud computing is not magical or mysterious, yet it is a topic of great discussion and, might I say, confusing. Accessing data “in the cloud” is not too unusual from what most of us do every day;  E-mail, accessing web sites or even contributing scanned images to an ECM system.  While I don’t want to dive too deep into the general benefits and appeal of cloud computing, in each of the sections below I hope to describe a unique way in which utilizing the cloud as it relates to document capture and ECM can be beneficial for organizations of all sizes.
Existing Internet Infrastructure
Probably the easiest understood component in “Cloud Computing” is the existing infrastructure that most of us are familiar using with whether we consciously know it or not.  The fact of the matter is that data still needs to reside on a computer server somewhere.  In other words, it’s not technically stored in some magical cloud.  This data still needs to be hosted somewhere on high-powered servers.  Typically in a data center with a climate controlled temperature, backup generators in case of power outage and high security. Ever use for e-mail?  Browse to using your internet browser?  Access e-mail messages on your smartphone device?  These are all examples of hosted applications.  What is somewhat unique about hosted “cloud” applications, as opposed to traditionally hosted applications, is that at their core most cloud applications offer industry standard communication protocols to enable a wide range of open interoperability.  Basically it’s two completely different systems talking the same language.  To illustrate my point let’s use the HTTP protocol as an example.  What was probably the single most reason for the explosive growth of the internet over the past few decades?  It most likely was the fact was that two systems (your computer) and a web site (hosted/server application) had a common language to communicate by the means of an internet browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Chrome.  Look at the top of this web page you are viewing now.  See the “http://” prefix before the address?  This is an example of you accessing hosted information via the HTTP protocol and using advanced technology that was completely transparent to the you as the user.To over simply things, my point is that cloud computing is really nothing more than a collection of many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of applications available on the internet.  The truly powerful concept of cloud computing and what has peaked the interest among users and vendors alike is the opportunity to “mash-up” or bring together the best-of-breed technologies from various sources to build powerful applications.  As it relates to document capture, many organizations are considering “cloud” for their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Customer Relation Management (CRM) portal or even their Enterprise Content Management (ECM) repositories.  Scanning documents, with relevant metadata data extracted using document capture technology, into these various systems helps drastically improve efficiency.

Content Creation

There is an unbelievable amount of content available in the cloud.  Believe it?  Anything you can access over the internet whether it be public content or private content should be considered part of the available cloud-content.  What information an organization chooses to include as their available content is certainly up to their specific requirements but do not underestimate the value of these resources.From a document capture and ECM perspective, the most valuable content to businesses and organizations, of course, is their intellectual properties and not just random data found doing an internet search.  Specifically, this could be their internal customer contacts, an accounts receivable database or their inventory management system.  All of this data is unique to the organization and the value of sharing among other employees and/or other departments helps to greatly improve process and the “cloud”, over the internet, represents a low-cost means to efficiently share this information.When organizations embark on a cloud strategy content is created in a wide variety of ways.  The content could be electronic files such as spreadsheets, word processing documents, presentations, video or even e-mail.  Additionally the content could consist of scanned images and metadata extracted from these scanned images.  Regardless, the challenge is to make this content available via search in order to find exactly what a user is looking for as quickly as possible.  This is the reason organizations should carefully consider a well thought-out taxonomy and metadata strategy for all of their content.  After all, just dumping a bunch of scanned images and other content into the cloud is not an effective strategy when making it easily accessible to users is tremendously effective.


User interaction with data in the cloud can be a significant benefit for cloud applications.  Anyone that has any level of computing experience can use a web browser and this is the means (user interface) that most cloud applications utilize to deliver content to users.  Not having to install software, do any special configuration and the ability to have quick user adoption/acceptance of this new technology are all major benefits.For users that need to create content to be utilized within cloud applications there are several document capture methods including Manual Indexing, Automatic Indexing and Network Scanning which can be deployed depending on an organizations specific requirements.Cloud computing can offer extremely powerful and innovative applications to users and there is a lot of advanced technology behind the scenes.  However, from the user perspective, whether they are consuming information within a web browser or whether they are contributing scanned documents and relevant metadata, this advanced technology should be completely transparent to the users themselves in order to be effective.

Emerging Cloud Applications & ServicesHopefully I’ve done a decent job of demystifying the “cloud” and broken it down into it’s core components in a easy to understand way in this quick cloud overview.  Now I would like to briefly elaborate on the opportunity of document capture for Emerging Cloud Applications & Services.  In essence, everything described above was logical, had structure and most people are familiar with how to use.  Internet applications and services such as e-mail, browsers and social networking sites all make sense and are easily understood.  What is not easily understood or defined by most is how to implement an effective a cloud strategy.  I can appreciate this struggle because the cloud is new, emerging and dynamic.  What a cloud application might be today can be drastically different in just weeks for sophisticated integration/functionality or literally minutes for simple expansion or additional functionality.  This is because adding new functionality or capability to an open cloud platform is far easier than in the in the past using standard communication protocols as were described above in the HTTP example.  Most cloud applications utilize HTTP, Web Services, XML, SOAP, REST and other common standards to reduce development time, decrease costs and eliminate unnecessary complication.Cloud applications and services are developing quickly and will become exponentially powerful as different technologies are collaborated.  As more and more organizations rely on the cloud to reduce on-premise IT infrastructure there will still be a need for scanning hardware to digitize documents into the cloud.  Therefore, the near term future for document capture and scanning into cloud applications is extremely bright.If I was vague about what a “cloud application” is and you are looking for a definition, well, I would suggest there are many opinions that can be found with a simple internet search.  I, however, once read an article about how an industry expert was asked to define “the cloud”.  After he pondered the question for a bit he finally came to the most appropriate definition he could think of and it was just one powerful word;  Innovation.
Putting it all together

Cloud Computing presents a great opportunity for document capture.  For organizations that are convinced a cloud approach is in their best interest, hopefully they can realize that in order to maximize their investment to the fullest all the important information still trapped on paper documents in file cabinets and desk drawers must be added to their cloud applications available content.

The most important and relevant data in the cloud is your organizations intellectual property and an effective document capture strategy can contribute greatly to providing quick and accurate access to information.

I’m predicting a “cloudy” forecast for document capture…..and this is a really good thing.  As always, I encourage any constructive feedback or comments.

LinkedIn Endorsements – Love ‘em or Hate ‘em?

Whether you love them or hate them, I think LinkedIn Endorsements are a fairly good gauge of your professional skills, and especially your online professional persona.  I promised myself that after my personal LinkedIn profile achieved 99+ (99+) Endorsements in any particular category then I would share some of my honest observations on the topic of LinkedIn Endorsements.

I checked a few of my LinkedIn contacts at random and viewed their Endorsements.  Knowing all these persons in various capacities whether it be only virtually, in-person or a mixture of both, I can say that most of these persons highly ranked Endorsements personified their professional skills fairly decently.  In other words, LinkedIn Endorsements might not deserve the harsh criticism they received when initially launched about one year ago.

Are Skills Perception or Reality? (…and does it matter as long as it is accurate)
linkedin reqs 011016Let’s dig a bit deeper and see if LinkedIn Endorsements are truly representative of one’s professional skills.  As a reference, my personal LinkedIn Skills & Endorsements screen print as of 1/10/16 is listed to the left.  As you can see the three Skills for which I have 99+ Endorsements are ‘SaaS’, ‘Enterprise Software’ and ‘Cloud Computing’.

With over 100 of my professional contacts ‘endorsing’ me for each skill, (without asking or any sort of encouragement) anyone that didn’t know me personally would think that my entire career might have been in the solutions and software business.

Au contraire! (On the contrary)

I have never worked one minute for a ‘SaaS’ (as-a-Service) company.  Never have I received a paycheck ever from any ‘Cloud Computing’ organization.  Nor have I been a part of an ‘Enterprise Software’, until the past few years.  So what does this mean exactly?  Are all my Endorsements bogus, or is it misguided individuals or is it blatant propaganda?  None of this – let me explain.


Where there is smoke, there is (professional) fire!

Passion for work, industry and others is I’m sure where my Endorsements came from.  People know Kevin Neal as an extremely passionate professional about the topics of SaaS, Enterprise Software and Cloud Computing.  I don’t hide this passion; in fact I embrace it and wish to share experiences with others with such interests.

* I am a proud Professional Member of AIIM ( – A nonprofit educational organization of the topic of Information Management

* I am honored to be a ‘Expert Blogger’ on the topic of ‘Capture’ for AIIM’s web communities

* I genuinely enjoy using my personal time sharing my knowledge freely with others and with no expectations in-turn.  A few examples are below:

    • SaaS:  saas
    • Enterprise Software:  enterprise
    • Cloud Computing:  cloud

In summary, my professional life is an open book which I am glad to share with others.  I feel it is a pay-it-forward type attitude for those that have helped me so much in my personal career.  I can’t thank them enough and I would just encourage others to do the same.  Share your experiences, express your thoughts and have an opinion.

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