Open-source technology is widely used in businesses these days. However, these solutions aren’t created equal and will thus work differently for different users.
Let’s take, for example, optical character recognition (OCR). You will find many companies offering OCR development kits (SDKs) that are free or open-source. But fact remains that these options vary in so many ways, and so do the results they bring to various users. How then are you to choose the best OCR solution for your business?
First off, pick an OCR brand that has a good reputation. Do your homework – know their history, customer base, warranties, and so on. Very importantly, make sure they are an original developer and not just repackaging other solutions with their brand.
A robust OCR solution is one that supports conversion in a whole variety of image and application formats, such as JPG, PNG, etc. In short, all applications utilized by businesses these days! If you need to go outside of the software, it’s not the solution you need.
Running a business means complying with several government regulations, so you cannot afford conversions that are less than a hundred percent accurate, whether you’re talking about letters and numbers or punctuation marks or images and so on. The copy must be no different from the original, that’s it. Not even small errors are okay. Why invest in software if you still need to spend time checking for errors in the final output anyway? It just defeats the purpose.
It’s a fact of business: time equals money. You cannot allow delays in transactions just because of a turtle-paced OCR solution. Look for an OCR vendor that offers a free trial. Let the software run without intervention and see how many documents it is able to convert within the span of an hour. If they won’t give you a trial, that means they’re not sure of their own product. A red flag definitely.
Accuracy is critical and so is data security. Most businesses need the ability to convert, deliver and store data in a highly secure setting. Thus, make sure your OCR vendor understands this specific need.
Finally, keep in mind that the job of your vendor is not only to provide technology but quality service and support as well. It’s true that you can only learn about this once you’ve actually purchased their product, there are online reviews that can give you a fairly accurate picture. Not all online reviews are true or authentic, but you’ll be pretty safe if you only read from popular consumer websites like Angie’s List and Yelp.