6 key considerations when choosing an OCR solution

Product managers and developers looking for optical character recognition (OCR) technology will find many free, open-source solutions – but are they really the best choice? This article offers a closer look at six features you should demand from an OCR vendor as well as an ebook offer to learn more.
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Today, product managers and software developers know that open-source technology can often be an efficient and cost-effective way to get a software product to market. But speed and cost aren’t always the most important considerations, especially if your goal is to differentiate your product.

Take optical character recognition (OCR) for example. There are many OCR vendors on the market with OCR software development kits (SDKs), and many of them offer free open-source solutions. At first glance, this seems like a good option, especially for developers operating with a limited budget. But this often means that these solutions lack a number of vital characteristics, many of which could leave your end product vulnerable to shortfalls in critical areas such as conversion accuracy and security.

Worse, you could be missing out on innovative ways to use OCR technology – such as data loss prevention, security and eDiscovery – to improve “larger” business processes.

Yet the question remains: How can product managers and software developers make the right call when choosing an OCR SDK?

The first answer is to download our new ebook for more information on six must-have features to demand in a best-in-class OCR solution.

How to select OCR software

  1. Brand reputation. A partner with a proven track record is the best way to avoid unexpected issues and shortcomings. Take time to understand the partner’s history, customer base, breadth and depth of solutions and support and warranty models. Most important, make sure you learn if your partner is an original developer or repackaging other solutions since this could affect the quality of the software.
  2. Robustness. Make sure the solution you choose supports conversion in a wide range of image and application formats, including JPG, TIF, PNG, PDF and Microsoft Office. Or in other words, essentially all of the common applications used by businesses today!
  3. Accuracy. It’s hard to imagine selling your software with confidence to a legal or healthcare organization if the accuracy of document conversion is in question. These and other types of businesses must comply with strict government regulations — thus every character, punctuation mark, table and graphic must be converted with 100 percent accuracy. Like the original.
  4. Speed. Time is money, especially for businesses competing today. Whether your software is intended for internal use or is being sold to customers, the ability to guarantee documents will be converted accurately as quickly as possible may mean the difference between a highly competitive offering or an “also-ran” product. Make sure the OCR vendors you consider offer a free trial. Test how many documents can be converted in an hour without human intervention.
  5. Security. Just as accuracy is critical for legal and healthcare organizations, the same can be said for data security. The ability to convert, deliver and store information securely is a must have for most businesses. The OCR vendor you choose should demonstrate an understanding of the importance of protecting the safety of your client’s proprietary data – as well as the capabilities to do so.
  6. Support. Providing the best technology isn’t enough; leading vendors must also offer the best service and support. Choose an OCR vendor ready to help your development team during the integration process, and perhaps be willing to develop a very specific feature to help you take your product to the next level. They should be willing to partner for your success, not just theirs.

Additional resources

Download the ebook to read more about these six considerations for your OCR technology partner.

Or if you’d like to try our OmniPage® Capture SDK in your own environment, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial today.

Ready to learn more about OCR technology?

Register now for our upcoming four-part webinar series, "Become an OCR Guru," today.

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Jeff Segarra

About Jeff Segarra

Jeff Segarra is the Senior Director of Product Marketing for the Nuance Document Imaging Division. He is responsible for the global team that delivers industry product positioning, messaging and content to help our customers around the world identify how Nuance solutions can meet their needs. He enjoys speaking and writing about business process improvement, The Internet of Things, document security, document conversion technologies and personal productivity. He has an MBA from Iona College, Hagan School of Business and has been working with software technology for 20 years. Jeff is an original New Yorker and, therefore, a staunch Yankees fan – in the heart of Red Sox nation.