Capturing And Processing Documents Within One Easy-To-Use Program

Thursday, January 1, 2004 - 01:00

Girts Jansons
DATAssimilate Systems Inc.

Remember the days when photocopiers came into the legal marketplace? Most firms did not jump on the bandwagon to install these machines immediately, but rather chose to continue outsourcing their copy needs to a copy house. Although outsourcing copy needs still occurs today, I dare say that almost every firm has a substantial copying capacity in-house with the larger firms maintaining complete copy departments. This trend is slowly beginning to appear in the conversion of paper document to the electronic image arena. As software becomes increasingly friendly to use, law firms are, due to security, quality and confidentiality reasons, opting to scan, code and process their client documents in-house. Not only are they maintaining control over their client's document but, since the client ultimately ends up bearing the cost whether outsourced or not, many firms are realizing a substantial return.

Whether large or small, law departments around the globe continue to be challenged to do more with less. In these tough economic times, every expense needs to be scrutinized. To assist firms in making a valuable decision on which method of document processing will best suit their environment, requirements and needs, DATAssimilate Systems Inc. has created a Document Processing and Costing Case Study. The Case Study will provide law departments with an actual cost analysis between outsourcing document capture, indexing and processing to a service bureau, as compared to performing the work in-house using the DATAssimilator software. As with copy houses, the need for service bureaus will always remain to assist with large and overflow projects, together with rushes that are prevalent in the legal industry. The objective of the Case Study is to demonstrate how, by using DATAssimilator software, the firm will gain profits and/or realize considerable savings. Further, it will provide law departments with an actual cost analysis between outsourcing document capture, indexing and processing to a service bureau, as compared to performing the work in-house using the DATAssimilator software.

DATAssimilator Software Overview

The secret to DATAssimilator software is its extremely friendly user interface which takes maximum advantage of its powerful functions, allowing law firms or corporate legal departments to easily bridge the gap and do more work in-house. You no longer need to be a programmer to make scanning and processing software work. The DATAssimilator software allows you to intelligently capture and process all of your documents within one easy-to-use program in real time. Unlike most packages which function on batch processes, DATAssimilator's real time functionality allows coding and other processes to start and run simultaneously as soon as scanning has begun. This allows the entire litigation team to begin their work and review simultaneously as the data is being captured. Some of the functionality and sophistication available in the software are:

Scanning. The intelligent scanning interface allows for both manual and fully automated capture of both images and information.

OCR. The software's Optical Character Recognition (OCR) engine converts images to computer readable files that enables their content to be searchable using full text engines. Multiple language capable.

PDF. The software creates PDF (Portable Data Files), image only or imbedded OCR text.

Coding. Service bureau tested, the software's keyboard functions and quick keys promote maximum coding speeds. The auto-code grabber feature further enhances coding by allowing users to highlight areas of a .tif image and populate entire fields with that information.

Branding. The pages of documents can be electronically numbered using the Bates numbering system, along with the capabilities of branding a caption on the image. This eliminates document numbering duplication and authenticates each image.

Printing. The software enables you to print reproductions of the images, complete with colour separator sheets along with coded data captured from fields on the separator sheets.

DATAviewer. The software comes with a complimentary DATAviewer which acts as a searchable sortable database document viewer - a real plus for your clients in terms of archiving, reviewing and collaborating with you regarding their collection of documents. In addition, case preparation is greatly facilitated when select document collections can be forwarded to experts and witnesses on the DATAviewer, rather than preparing cumbersome voluminous paper copies.

Other Features. The software also comes with security features, spell check, user and process tracking, search and sort capabilities, the ability to make sub collections, re-numbering, as well as built in intelligent quality control checks. DATAssimilator exports to most popular litigation software packages, such as Summation, Concordance, Ringtail and others, as well as to a generic format.

The DATAssimilator Document Processing And Costing Case Study Common Assumptions

The Case Study values are based on processing one banker's box® of documents. Along with certain assumptions, it takes into consideration labor, office space, hardware, software, processing time and other related costs, which are then amortized. These assumptions, amortized values and calculations are available on the Case Study CD.

The Case Study looks at the cost of processing the banker's box® in-house versus the cost of outsourcing the work to a litigation service bureau, and the results are as follows:

Costs Associated With Processing In-House Using DATAssimilator

The cost of processing one banker's box® of documents in-house using the DATAssimilator software would be $1,128.98.

*DS Cost refers to the associated cost of using DATAssimilator software on a pay-per-use basis, which does not require an initial financial investment in the software. Firms can take advantage of the software for as little as $150.00 per month. For information about the different types of price plans we offer, visit our website at www.datassimilate.com.

Costs Associated With Outsourcing To A Service Bureau

The Case Study, adopting similar processing assumptions, estimates that the costs associated with outsourcing to a service bureau, exclusive of taxes and based on average market prices in North America, would be $2,114.00.

Observations And Summary Of Cost Comparison

The savings realized by doing the work in-house using DATAssimilator software is almost 50 percent. As projects expand in scope and processes become more streamlined, this percentage can only get greater.

Other Considerations

The Case Study calculations are intended to present a conservative snapshot of the document capture process. The values used in the Case Study are deliberately understated. Expenditures are estimated on the "high side." This method of explanation avoids appearing to exaggerate the model for the benefit of the DATAssimilator software. Firms may realize the savings themselves or, if performing work on a client's behalf, gain profits for the firm through cost recovery. To accommodate accurate calculations, the DATAssimilator software tracks counts of all functions performed on a project by project basis.

To Request The DATAssimilator Document Processing And Costing Case Study

For copies of the Document Processing and Costing Case Study, contact Robert Morgan at rmorgan@datassimilate.com. Because assumptions vary based on geographic location, personnel costs, length of documents and other variables, the Case Study includes a "live" Excel spreadsheet version that enables you to adjust the Case Study assumption values yourself.

Girts Jansons is Chief Executive Officer of DATAssimilate Systems Inc. Questions about this article can be submitted to him at gjansons@datassimilate.com