Thank you for your question.
For the first part of your query, I would suggest replacing your fax
machine with a computer (on your network) installed with a fax modem.
You can then opt to use a fax server software package such as GFI
FAXMaker (in use by companies such as Microsoft, Mercedes Benz, and
Volkswagen). This software will "Fax-enable" your network using your
existing email setup, and give you the exact revised configuration
you're seeking. It's touted as zero-maintenance, and is $700 for 25
Feature set is here:
(additional archiving capability may require purchase of another one
of there software modules -- Archive
Other fax software offerings:
ZetaFax - $695
Biscom is another company offering very high-end faxing network
software and hardware ($3k+):
For a more budget-minded solution, it's always possible to do simple
outbound and inbound faxing with a fax modem and standard
shareware/freeware or <$100 fax software. The archiving and workflow
management can be handled with your document management software
package (discussed below), if you plan on installing this for your
office. (You'd simply store your incoming faxes as PDF's, and add
them to the database. Outgoing faxes are scanned using your scanner,
and saved in digital format on your system, ready to be archived
Pages of shareware/freeware/inexpensive fax software lists are here:
Something as simple as SnappyFax by Snappy Software may fit the bill:
Another, increasingly more popular option, is to remove the fax setup
entirely from your office, and use an outside fax service, such as
eFax, MyFax or jConnect. For a monthly fee and/or pennies per fax,
these services will automatically convert all incoming faxes to PDF
and email them to you, and automatically send out faxes via emails you
send to it (which are scanned in using a scanner on your network,
discussed below). This outsourced solution eliminates busy signals
and any potential hardware/softwrae headaches.
There are several other services such as this (simply search Google
with "efax" or "internet fax")
With regard to the second portion or your query, I spoke with a
company called Kofax, a market leading manufacturer of software for
document capture and processing, who counts hundreds of the largest
companies in the world as their clients. They sell a program called
Ascent Capture, which, for $995, will entitle you to a 5,000
image-scan/month license. The 25,000-image license goes for $3300.
It handles the entire capturing, optical character recognition, and
metadata indexing of your documents at a very professional level. The
database/archiving/document managmeent portion will be handled by
another piece of software (options for which are discussed below).
16245 Laguna Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92618-3603
Hundreds of scanners are officially supported by Kofax to interface
with their software. You can use their Scanner Configurator to see
Transform Magazine cites the Xerox DocuMate 262 as one of the
latest-in-class values for higher speed scanners. The 262 is a 66
page-per-minute sheetfed scanner, available at a sub-$1000 price
point. Vendors offering the product are here:
Xerox's home page on the product is here:
It is listed as being compatible with the Ascent software above.
(While this scanner does have one-touch OCR and PDF conversion
capability, any use of it beyond pure scanning may or may not be
appropriate in a situation requiring thousands of scans.)
Some of the latest scanners are at this Transform Magazine article link:
To effectively manage and archive your library of documents, it's
necessary to purchase a document management software package.
BuyerZone is a website that allows you to enter in specific criteria
to search for document management software from several vendors.
Additionally, I spoke with a few notable vendors in this space:
Hummingbird DM - Products used by 90% of Fortune 100 companies
Price is per seat/workstation; for 12 users, under $12,000
(specific price given directly to you)
Contact: 877-425-6245x6323 (Patrick)
Recommends for Kofax for integration.
DocumentLocator - used by Texas State Bank, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, NetFlix, etc.
Contact: 503-892-3972 (Chris) / 800-298-1172
Price is "per seat" and is $11,760 for 12 users. Extra $1200 for
run-time SQL, if you don't have it.
DocuXplorer - used by CitiMortgage, Intuit, Johns Hopkins, Wells Fargo, etc.
Contact: 212-496-9871 - Ira Fogel
Price is "per simultaneous user"; at 5 simultaneous seats: $6457 +
$500 import option ($12,460K for 10 users) -- they say 5 is typically
enough for 12 workstations.
Their software works with Kofax Ascent, but they also have "DX
Capture" for $3000, a competitive alternative offering unlimited
number of captures.
Other vendors to look at include:
Co-Star by Keynet (also has inbound/outbound fax-management capbilities)
TokOpen from Tokairo
I discuss two lower priced options in a previous Google Answer; these
are lower end, ~$2K budget solutions, and may or may not efficiently
handle the volume you're requiring (i.e., possibly slow down when
dealing with tens of thousands of documents):
Nuance PaperPort Professional
SentryFile - Corporate edition
There's a downloadable demo of it available:
Purchase it for $1995 from here:
E. Accufile, Inc.
If you anticipate low-volume conversion of documents in the long term,
but have a high-volume upfront requirement, a possible option to
contemplate may be to hire an outside document-conversion service to
provide you with a one-time bulk conversion of your existing
documents. This would obviate the need to purchase equipment for the
job, pay staff to man the equipment, and alleviate any possibility of
technical angst encountered with setting up an in-house scanning
solution. It would arguably be the fastest, turnkey solution,
supplying you with a point-and-shoot disc containing all your data,
scanned, catalogued, and ready to go, to your specifications.
There are several companies on the net that do document conversion,
and one such company I contacted (and also suggested in the previous
Google Answer mentioned above) is Golden Images, LLC; they estimate
somewhere in the neighborhood of $.10-$.12/page for a full-service job
-- disassembling documents as needed, reassembling them once scanned,
indexing, etc. This company's rates are very competitive. Contact:
Golden Images, LLC
1680 Trinity Circle
Arnold, Missouri 63010
Document Scanning Companies of America lists companies that do these
services by state:
Business.com also has a listing
If you need any additional clarification, please don't hesitate to ask.
Select search strategy:
Terms: affordable data conversion
fax software pdf
document management software pdf
(made several phone calls)