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Document Processing

Tag Archives: MFP’s

UDOCX brings SharePoint compliance to the MFP

In one of our previous posts we summed up the top ten reasons why companies are choosing UDOCX to bridge the gap between their multifunctional peripherals (MFP) devices and their IT infrastructure.  One of those reasons is to ensure security and compliance when employees utilize the MFP devices in their work environment.

What is Compliance?

Wikipedia describes compliance as following:
“In general, compliance means conforming to a rule, such as a specification, policy, standard or law.  Regulatory compliance describes the goal that corporations or public agencies aspire to in their efforts to ensure that personnel are aware of and take steps to comply with relevant laws and regulations.”

Some of the compliance requirements in the IT industry include information security and availability, data storage and data protection (privacy).  As non-fulfillment (non-compliance) can lead to fines or even legal sanctions, it’s important for organizations to take these obligations seriously to protect both their business and their reputation.

In April 2011, 2400 IT managers took part in an ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) virtual seminar to discuss cloud security concerns. One of the conclusions of that conference was that the complexity of compliancy has increased in recent years and the complexity is largely attributed to new legal requirements, threats of data theft, inadvertently distribution of secure documents, new technologies and increased usage of personal technologies in the workspace.  These issues, amongst others, have forced compliancy into the spotlight as a major concern for professionals in the IT industry.

In particular, both the unintentional and malicious distribution of secure documents using unsecured multifunctional devices has proven to be the Achilles’ heel that violates the compliancy and security policies of many organizations.  As mentioned before, employees have scanned confidential information and sent it to the “wrong” recipients or stored it in inappropriate (general or public access) locations such as SharePoint libraries or web sites.  IT professionals must learn to address these security and compliance concerns without compromising the productivity of the employees.

As UDOCX uses the existing SharePoint security and infrastructure of an organization, the technology guarantees the “Compliancy Everywhere” of SharePoint from the MFP as well.  UDOCX integrates MFP devices with on-premise or hosted Microsoft Exchange/SharePoint as well as cloud-based environments such as Office365, ensuring that all the configurations (including compliance) are 1:1 the same on the MFP as they are in Exchange/SharePoint.  The MFP becomes as secure as the desktop and IT administrators can concentrate their efforts purely on domain-based security where it belongs.

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Questions for UDOCX

UDOCX answers questions

We receive many questions concerning our UDOCX service via phone and emails.  Every few weeks we’ll be compiling these and responding to them in our blog.

Q. Does UDOCX support Lotus Notes?
A. No.  At this point the UDOCX service only supports Microsoft Exchange (on-premise), Exchange Online/BPOS (hosted Exchange) and Office 365.  Hybrid environments (such as a combination of on-premise Exchange and SharePoint online) are also supported.

Q. Which MFP’s are compatible with UDOCX?
A. All Ricoh and Xerox MFP’s with the browser-unit option (for internet connectivity) are supported.  The browser-unit is an extended feature which comes standard on many MFPs and in most cases can be added to an existing MFP by the OEM (via an SD card or some other method).  Support for MFPs from HP, Oki and Canon are in the works.

Q. Which document formats are supported with the “Print from Email” & “Print from SharePoint” features?
A. The document conversion service that is used by UDOCX (borrowed from our Faxination and Fenestrae Communication Server products) supports over five-hundred document formats including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF,  and HTML.  Pretty much any office document or image format in use during the last two decades is supported.

Q. Where can I find more information?
A. You can download documentation from our UDOCX web site at: http://www.udocx.com/udocx-brochure

Q. What is the pricing model for UDOCX?
A. Prices are calculated per MFP per month.  The cost depends on the service plan chosen by the customer.  More information can be found here: http://www.udocx.com/pricing

Q: Are PDF/A’s supported?
A. Yes, UDOCX supports the PDF/A (archival) standard by default.

Q: To print PDFs, does the MFP need to have Postscript?
A: Every MFP includes the PCL printer language which is sufficient to print PDFs.  There is no requirement for Postscript to be available on the MFP.

Q: What about searchable PDFs?
A: As UDOCX includes optical character recognition support, all scanned and faxed documents are “OCR’d” and can be searched with any PDF reader or even the basic Windows search functions.

Q: Can UDOCX scan to a “list” in SharePoint?
A: At this time UDOCX does not support scanning to “lists” in SharePoint.  If clients require this functionality it can be added to the UDOCX development roadmap.  Please contact us if you have a requirement for this feature.

Q: Can we have multiple fax numbers with the UDOCX fax feature (we currently have six fax lines and want to move everything to UDOCX)?
A: Outbound faxing does not require any specific fax numbers.  For inbound faxing you can have as many fax numbers as you wish (you pay a small amount per number per month).

Q: How are long distance and international calls billed when using the UDOCX fax feature?
A: UDOCX itself does not make a distinction between long and short distance calls.  All telephony fees are billed directly to the sender based on their usage.

Q: Does UDOCX require a cloud-based Exchange server or will it work with a traditional, on-premise Exchange server?
A: UDOCX supports cloud-based and on-premise Exchange environments as well as any “hybrid” combination.

If you have any additions questions do not hesitate to ask us. Send your questions to info@udocx.com or post it as a comment.

Thanks Mark ;)

The transaction log

UDOCX – the transaction log

Being an owner of a telephone or a mobile you are regularly reviewing your bills in order to check how many calls you have made and which numbers you have dialed just to make sure you are not paying too much (well, at least that what I do when I receive my phone bills).  These days you can simply log into an account on the Internet and voila, all the transactions are visible.

Having your MFP configured with the UDOCX service allows you to review all transactions as well (transactions = every actions users have done on the MFP – faxing, scanning, emailing and printing via UDOCX).  This is possible via the UDOCX TRANSACTION log.
The TRANSACTION feature allows administrators to review all UDOCX-enabled transactions on a per-user basis.  Only administrators and users that have organization permission in the UDOCX portal can access these logs.

Simply login via www.udocx.com (top right – login) with your (Exchange or Office 365) email address and its associated password.

When logged in, choose the menu option [Transactions] and you will be able to see the transaction log: what happened, when, by whom and from which MFP.

For compliancy reasons it is not possible to see the content of the documents that are sent, scanned or printed.  UDOCX does not store any document itself!

The transaction log gives you an overview over the transactions (see screenshot). Furthermore you can check if the action has been successful or not. If the transaction has not been successful the result column shows “Error”. I guess you figured that out yourself….

If you look closer you will see that it is even possible to view details from each transaction. Simply click on [VIEW]:

Well in a later stage, I will take the time to explain each property but I guess most of them speak for themselves.

Going back to the transaction overview; the option [Download as CSV] gives you the possibility to download the complete transaction log and store it locally. This can be very handy to do some extensive analyzing on the data. For example us Microsoft Excel or SQL to run queries and find out more details about the use of UDOCX.

Please note that for the sake of privacy I have changed the email addresses in ALL the screenshots.  I do not want to get in to trouble with my colleagues.  ;)

The transactions log in the future?  In new releases of UDOCX we are going to enhance the transaction log view more and more.  If you have any questions or ideas to improve the UDOCX log feature, please let us know. (info@udocx.com )

UDOCX in hybrid environments

During the last several webinars we have received the question whether UDOCX is supporting Exchange/ Office 365 hybrid environment or only Exchange or Office 365 environments. Hybrid in our case can be described in difference scenarios:

  • A customer has a mixed form of MS Exchange and SharePoint and one of these components are already running in the cloud (Office 365, SharePoint Online)
  • Or SharePoint is partially running in the cloud
  • or, to keep it simple, any combination you can think of.

But the answer to the question whether UDOCX supports hybrid environments or only Exchange or Office 365 environments is …

YES.

UDOCX supports customers where Office 365 is partially running as well as in house SharePoint/ Exchange or the other way round.
Simply said, for UDOCX it really does not matter which components run where, “up in the cloud” or “down in-house”. The customer is and stays flexible.

UDOCX does support any mixture of SharePoint, SharePoint Online, Office 365 and Exchange on premise. However, the most important thing is that all components do work properly (Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint or SharePoint Online).
Setting up a hybrid environment is not so easy and can be difficult enough, so please do not add more complexity than necessary.

How come that UDOCX can support hybrid environments?

As UDOCX does not require additional accounts or different permissions for the existing accounts (no super user or other accounts) it does not matter if you are running Exchange on-premise or Office 365 or a combination of both.
UDOCX uses auto-discovery, which sorts the permissions and rights out for you; no need to do anything special.

That is advantage of UDOCX in a hybrid environment: getting the scan to SharePoint, scan to Fax or email, print from SharePoint and all other functionalities from the MFP (or MFD) without adding more complexity to your (already) complex hybrid environment.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to send us an email to info@udocx.com

PS: Thanks Ian :)

Generic advantages and differences of UDOCX vs. in house software installs

A lot of companies that are interested in our UDOCX solution often ask us to sum up the generic advantages and differences of UDOCX Cloud based Document processing vs.in house software installs

Generic advantages and differences of UDOCX Cloud based Document processing vs.in house software installs:

  • Broad set of features available to all or specific MFPs vs specific on premise solutions from different vendors
  • Cost per MFP and not for whole company when ordering server and client based software
  • Full support to connect MFP to Office and SharePoint in house or CLOUD BASED (Office 365)
  • No software knowledge need at customer or in MFP channel to implement solution

Although MFPs can have a limited feature build in that allows scanning documents and sending them to an email address the solution offered is only very basic and might jeopardize a company’s security and authentication standards easily.

Even with a limited on premise installation of software the maintenance and error rate on software and user maintenance will go up:

  • When using the scan to email feature from the MFP, messages are sent from the email address of the MFP only (No User identified but unknown user/ known
  • MFP address only is identified (the MFP includes a SMTP server and has its own email address). The MFP becomes the originator of the email, the Sender.
  • Email addresses have to be typed in by the user which can result in mistakes and subsequent consequences related to security, privacy, faults in processes
  • There is no personal address book integration for the user available on the MFP and when provided, such service implies continues configuration and address book synchronization on every MFP.
  • Sending email via the default MFP functionality results in email messages that cannot be traced/ tracked. As it is impossible to find out who sent which document this feature is a potential security threat for businesses and companies tend not to allow this functionality on MFPs undermining user’s productivity. To solve this, client/server software has to be installed on premise which is expensive and maintenance intensive; definitely not the approach for companies that are looking for cloud services and reducing maintenance cost and simplifying their own hardware/ software infrastructure.

MFP integration and connectivity to Cloud based Office and SharePoint

UDOCX offers a seamless integration of Multifunctionals with Microsoft Exchange/ BPOS or Office 365 without the need of installing or maintaining additional software or hardware. The UDOCX Scan to Email feature provides the following advantages as compared to the standard scan to email feature delivered from the MFP:

Convenience:

  • Set up, activation of MFP and integration with Cloud services done in minutes
  • User specific UI, integration with personal contacts (in house or in Cloud) to avoid mistakes and integration with in house or Cloud based SharePoint systems. The contacts of the users are always up-to-date independent from which MFP the user logs in. The user’s desktop/ laptop do not have be switch on.
  • No software or hardware installs, in line with outsourcing of ICT
  • Start with MFP to office in house and migrate easily to Cloud based Office systems
  • Web portal to view all transactions – with the UDOCX admin portal customers can view all transactions done from any MFP

Specific functionality:

  • Faxing from Cloud office systems or from MFP with logging in Office systems
  • User based sending reduces spam filter based rejection of unknown senders by destines
  • All documents, out going and receiving OCR-ed for convenient filing and retrieval and further processing and for allowing electronic checks on content in case of sending out
  • Archiving on request in SharePoint AND Office systems – No need going back to MFP to send the document again (use MS Outlook > Sent Items > Send Again)

Security/ Compliance

  • Fault free, monitored and logged communications of all transactions on the MFP, for all Authorized users on any MFP

If you have more questions or specific questions do not hesitate to contact us (info@udocx.com ) or sign in for a Free Trial.

10 reasons why our customers have chosen for UDOCX

10 reasons why our customers have chosen for UDOCX

1. Having a Ricoh or Xerox machine and wanting to print/email/scan/fax and store

Our clients have all chosen for UDOCX because they own Ricoh or Xerox multifunctional devices and want to increase their value through the services that UDOCX provides, including integration with cloud-based or on-premise Microsoft Exchange environments

My colleagues in the development department are working very hard to support other brands as soon as possible.  If your multifunctional is something other than Ricoh or Xerox, just have a little patience.  Support for more manufacturers and devices are on the way.

2./3. Security and compliancy

Reasons number 2 and 3 are still the security and compliancy issues concerning the MFP’s.  Companies with a high security and compliancy policies (such as law firms and government agencies) are struggling with the problems of unauthorized distribution of confidential information and accountability.  They cannot avoid users scanning, emailing and faxing documents from a productivity standpoint, but they also need to discourage security breaches.  UDOCX solves the security and compliancy issue around the MFP as UDOCX uses and authenticates against the Microsoft® Exchange Server environment.  Only users that are already known to Exchange Server can access the chosen functionality and all actions of those users are logged in detail.

4. BPOS/Office 365

Most of our UDOCX customers have already moved to BPOS or are planning to move to Office 365.  In many cases they were unaware that their MFP fleet would present a problem when moving to a cloud-based environment.  The whole IT infrastructure moves to the cloud but what about the MFP’s?  In the past, integrating MFP’s with hosted or cloud-based solutions involved high costs due to proprietary hardware and software.  This is not the case with UDOCX.

UDOCX makes it possible to easily integrate the MFP’s directly with the office environment just by using the built-in browser technology – whether your infrastructure is in the cloud or on-premise.

5. Usability

MFP’s are not exactly known for being “simple to use”.  How often do end-users stand in front of the device not knowing which button to press first in order to simply scan a document to an email address?

It is common to see manuals sitting next to the MFP so that end-users do not have to call the IT department every time that they want to use the all-in-one device.  Training new employees to use an eccentric MFP interface is also a major hassle.

The UDOCX user interface, however, is so simple that everyone who can read or just see the icons can use it.  Too good to be true?  Take a look at this screenshot:


6. Costs

Just as with Microsoft’s Office365, UDOCX follows the “Pay as you go” model.  Many of our customers have chosen for UDOCX as we have a very simple and clear pricing structure (for those who have experienced it, it is definitely simpler than Office365 ;)).

UDOCX customers do not pay per-user but per MFP that is connected to the UDOCX services.  You simply pay a certain amount per MFP and are able to use the UDOCX services (scan to SharePoint, email, and store) as much as you want.  OCR and fax options are additional applications.  Send an email to info@udocx.com and ask for the service plans either in Euros or in Dollars or take a look on www.udocx.com .

7. Go Green

More and more international companies have introduced “Green” initiatives and are moving to energy and resource-efficient systems in order to reduce CO2 emissions, paper waste and toner costs.  UDOCX is an excellent way to reduce your organization’s carbon footprint.  The Print Anywhere™ feature alone has helped our customers reduce their paper costs as they print only the documents they really need when standing at the MFP device.  In contrast to “Follow me” print systems, Print Anywhere™ from UDOCX does not need to be activated at the computer and works directly from the multifunctional device.    

8. No Software or hardware

UDOCX is a cloud-based document processing solution.  Cloud-based simply means that UDOCX is an Internet-based service so there is no special software or hardware required.  Many of our customers wanted to get rid of their servers (email servers or fax servers) and hardware (i.e. fax machines, telephone exchange, etc.) in order to save costs and space… but, they were stuck with what to do with their MFP’s.  Integrating the MFP’s with cloud services (as mentioned before) was only possible by purchasing additional and proprietary software or/and hardware components from the MFP manufacturer and that is not what our customers wanted.  Instead, they signed up with UDOCX.  UDOCX can be activated via a link in the MFP browser so neither hardware nor software needs to be installed.  A UDOCX account and three minutes of configuration (or less!) are all that is required.

9. No maintenance

Together with no hardware and no software comes …? No maintenance J UDOCX does not have to be updated by the IT staff and no one needs to run patches in order to let UDOCX run on the latest version.  Our hosted model ensures that you always have the latest revision of UDOCX.

10. Flexibility

Last, but surely not least of our Top 10 list, is flexibility.  Flexibility is exactly what our UDOCX customers have.  You can decide for yourself how many MFP’s to connect to the UDOCX service and what options you require for each.  For example:

One of our customers needed UDOCX for 5 MFP’s, BUT …

  • Two of the MFPs are in the finance department
  • Three others are distributed in the sales, marketing and development departments
  • Only the MFP’s in the finance department needed the fax function
  • The lease contract of the MFP in the development department will run out end of June 2011 and they are not using it enough to justify renewal (plus they can just use the MFP in the sales department).

UDOCX offers the flexibility to connect all of the 5 MFP’s to UDOCX but only the MFP’s in the finance department will have fax capabilities.  In case the customer really wants to get rid of the 5th MFP they can simply cancel UDOCX service for that specific device.

Also, customers that are in the planning stages of a cloud-based migration can utilize UDOCX with their current on-premise systems and easily reconfigure for the cloud when they’re ready.  The UDOCX functionality doesn’t change and the change is no more complicated than the initial configuration.  Quick, seamless, painless, and flexible.  That’s how we designed UDOCX.

 

…Thanks Mark :)

IT Administration with UDOCX

The System is Down day 1 (aka IT Administration with UDOCX)

7:35 AM – Computer screen is a little blurry.  Coffee should help.  Checking trouble tickets.

7:45 AM – Our TC Doug has just stepped off a plane in Belgium and his luggage arrived safely in Bahrain.  He’s lost his notebook, his security token, his itinerary, everything, and he’s expected onsite in less than an hour.  He asks me to hack into his account so he can write down the customer’s address on a napkin.

UDOCX may be deployed in a publically-accessible configuration for use in environments such as airport and hotel business centers.  Using this system, Doug could easily print his agenda and any emails pertaining to his trip.

8:10 AM – Sylvia has fat-fingered the fax number of our human resources department and accidentally sent her insurance claim to our marketing team.  I overhear two marketing guys arguing about which is worse, scurvy or scabies…

UDOCX gives you direct access to your personal Outlook contacts right from the MFP.  No need to write down or try to remember a fax number or email address and no need to spend time entering the information manually, greatly improving efficiency and accuracy.

9:25 AM – Diane is upset.  She printed out a 20 page document from a lead-generating web site to the MFP down the hall and then got pulled into an unscheduled conference call.  By the time she was done, her print job had mysteriously walked away.

Because you can access your email and attachments directly from the MFP via UDOCX, there are none of the security issues commonly associated with a shared-access printer.  Your document(s) print immediately and remain in your control the whole time.

10:15 AM – Our new hires from the job fair were all setup with domain credentials and email last week.  Now they all suddenly want logins for the MFP’s as well.  There goes the rest of my morning…

UDOCX uses your standard domain/email credentials and an optional PIN code for authentication.  There is no need for the administrator to duplicate all of the domain accounts just for use with UDOCX.

12:15 AM – The scurvy vs. scabies debate rages on in the cafeteria.  Sylvia went home early and seemed to be very upset about something.

1:45 PM – One of our new sales guys is trying to upload his Q3 projections to SharePoint.  He’s totally lost and getting frustrated because he doesn’t have write permissions on any of the document libraries he’s trying to upload to.  Hint: He only has write permissions where he needs them.

When utilizing the Scan-to-SharePoint feature of UDOCX, only the SharePoint document libraries where you have write permissions are displayed as possible destinations.  A list of recently accessed document libraries is also displayed, allowing you to select commonly used locations quickly.

2:30 PM – Tim just copied our non-disclosure agreement down from SharePoint, printed it, signed it, faxed it to himself, went back to his desk, found the fax in his inbox and then uploaded it SharePoint.  I’ll bet all of those 1’s and 0’s were really tired after such a long trip.

Using UDOCX, all of these steps can be greatly simplified and performed directly at the MFP.  Print the document, sign it, and scan it into SharePoint.  No need to run back and forth to your workstation.

3:45 PM – A few days ago, Becky used the built-in SMTP capabilities of the MFP to send an updated price list to a vendor.  Now the vendor is complaining that they never received Becky’s email.  It turns out that the price list got caught in their spam filter because the email didn’t come from Becky’s email account.

Emails sent from the MFP via UDOCX will appear as though they came directly from your desktop and will even appear in your Outlook “Sent Items” for archiving and future reference.  Recipients will immediately recognize the sender, avoiding confusion and contact-based white/black list spam filters.

Thanks Mark :)

Scan-to-Email

Scan-to-Email and Email from your MFP

Today I would like to take a closer look at the UDOCX Scan-to-Email feature.  Most people, including me I guess, are familiar with the scan-to-email function that is available on nearly every multifunctional printer.

The first time I got to know the “old fashioned” scan-to-email function was some years ago when I was nervously struggling through my first day at my first job.I had been asked to scan my passport and send a copy via email to the human resources department.

I went to the big printer-copier-thingy, put my passport on the scanner (just like I did when making copies at school) and … where was the scan option?  How did scanning work anyway on this machine?  Great.  First day at the office, first hour in the office, and I already have to ask for help.
I took my passport off the scanner, went to the office manager and asked for help on how to scan a document on that machine.  The office manager accompanied me to the MFP and tried to show me how to navigate through the interface.
Unfortunately my new email address had not yet been configured by the administrator. I had a functioning email account (it worked on my desktop) but the MFP just didn’t know who I was.

Well, the office manager told me it would be best to go directly to our IT administrator so that he could configure the MFP with my account information (I would likely need to scan-to-email on a regular basis anyway).  Ok, the second person I had to ask for help on my first day at my new job.  Fortunately he was available (and willing!) to update the MFP with my account information immediately.

Half an hour later, the multifunctional scanner was configured and I could continue my task…

Scanning my passport and sending it to human resources (adding a nice email to give a good first impression).

These are the traditional (i.e., “old fashioned”) steps required just to scan and send a document via email.

  1. Scan the document on the MFP.
  2. Send the document to myself via the MFP.
  3. Go back to the desktop.
  4. Log in again on my computer.
  5. Look for an email sent by printer-name@domain.com-whatever with a document named image-3435356478.pdf-whatever  this can be tricky if you’ve just scanned multiple documents (you might have to open every single PDF just to find out which is which).
  6. Rename the document.
  7. Save it to my hard drive.
  8. Look for the email address of the person I need to send the document to.
  9. Compose an email to accompany the document.
  10. Attach the document.
  11. Send the email.
  12. Confirm that it went out.

So now let’s invite UDOCX into this scenario.  Having UDOCX on your MFP makes things so much easier – for me being a user and for everyone being an administrator (UDOCX is cloud-based so no maintenance or software installations are necessary).

We do have UDOCX on our MFP so these days I only do the following:

  1. I login directly to the MFP with my normal Exchange credentials (my email address +  my password  — same as I use to log onto my desktop).
  2. I touch the Scan-to-Email icon on the UDOCX display.  (How much more easy can it be?!?)Scan to Email
  3. I can browse through my contacts (which are the same as in my Outlook address book), I can change the name of the document from the default, and I can add text for the message body of the email that explains what the document is, why I’m sending it, etc.
    All of this happens on the multifunctional.Scan to email select recipients
  4. I press on send.
  5. Back at the desktop and in front of my mailbox, I will see that the scanned documents have been sent by me to the contact(s) I have chosen and it can be found in my sent items just like any other email.

UDOCX makes an MFP more efficient.  UDOCX makes the MFP more like a desktop (just like we see happening with smart phones).  UDOCX makes an MFP smart.

Try it yourself and download Free Trial!

Multifunctionals

How multifunctional are multifunctionals?

Yesterday, when I wrote the article about faxing I thought it might be useful to give you a short overview what you actually need to use the MFP (multi-function peripheral).  An MFP provides multiple features such as print, scan, email, fax and store, right?  Wrong.  Well, it stands for multi-function peripheral but funny enough you have to purchase more software and hardware on top of the MFP in order to actually use it as an MFP.  Just take a look at this image:

In order to use all the functions like scan and store to SharePoint, Email, Fax or even print securely and integrate it into your office environment ( like Microsoft Office) you will have to purchase additional software and hardware. Purchase = €€€/$$$!

The next question would be: What if the organization starts moving to the cloud?  The MFP with its functions should be integrated into the cloud as well.  In order to integrate the MFP with its software and hardware on it you will need to purchase even more software to be able to somehow connect the MFP to the cloud, too.  Purchase = even more €€€/$$$!

Think about that for a moment, then think about UDOCX. Go to www.udocx.com , take a look at the monthly UDOCX pricing and try it yourself with a 30 days Free Trial (no obligations).

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