Santa Clara County Optical Character Recognition Case Study

Santa Clara County Solution Case Study

Santa Clara County Gains Efficiencies, and Office Space, with KnowledgeLake Solution

Santa Clara County, California—home to Silicon Valley—wanted to modernize its legacy paper-based systems. It deployed a KnowledgeLake ECM solution on top of Microsoft SharePoint. With the solution, valuable physical space once dedicated to filing cabinets has been reclaimed for offices, the county has better tools for disaster recovery, and streamlined workflows help employees be faster and more efficient in helping constituents.

Challenge

The County of Santa Clara, California, located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay, has a population of more than 1.8 million people. The county seat, San Jose, is the tenth most-populous city in the United States and one of the most affluent counties in the country.

The county is also home to Santa Clara Valley, also known as Silicon Valley for its high concentration of information technology companies. Historically, though, the county government struggled with legacy paper-based processes. Paper documents consumed valuable office space with filing cabinets. They created inefficiencies and redundancies with documents created in duplicate and distributed to various offices via messenger services, and made it difficult to quickly find information.

These inefficiencies affected productivity in key county departments, such as the Employee Services Agency, which includes the Human Resources Department; the Probation department; and the Clerk of the Board, which manages and administers documents with information that is routinely requested by citizens.

Solution

The county decided to implement an enterprise content management (ECM) system, starting with Microsoft SharePoint. During this process, Microsoft consultants recommended that the county consider a KnowledgeLake solution to run on top of SharePoint.

“We knew we wanted third-party tools that were designed for and integrated seamlessly with SharePoint,” says Ed Bagsik, Assistant Supervising Program Analyst for the county. “KnowledgeLake met that requirement. The combination of SharePoint and KnowledgeLake provided us with a robust yet intuitive platform for collaboration and document management.”

The county deployed several KnowledgeLake products on top of SharePoint. These include KnowledgeLake Capture for SharePoint, used for scanning and indexing documents, and KnowledgeLake Capture Server for high-volume scanning jobs; KnowledgeLake Imaging for SharePoint, which provides functions such as search, view, edit, index, and export; and KnowledgeLake Connect, which integrates KnowledgeLake functions into Microsoft Office applications.

The county used the broad range of KnowledgeLake capabilities to streamline document management, including optical character recognition (OCR) and indexing after scanning documents, tagging documents with metatags to aid in searches, and creating electronic forms that can uploaded into SharePoint from within Microsoft Office, eliminating the need for many paper documents altogether.

As part of the implementation, the county integrated its new ECM tools with the K2 Blackpearl workflow engine.

Benefit

Implementing a KnowledgeLake ECM solution on top of Microsoft SharePoint has allowed the county to reduce its physical storage space needs while streamlining document searches. The solution also helped the county with its disaster recovery efforts.

Reclaimed Office Space

Implementing a KnowledgeLake ECM solution on top of Microsoft SharePoint has allowed the county to reduce its physical storage space needs while streamlining document searches. The solution also helped the county with its disaster recovery efforts.

Faster Searches, Improved Productivity

When scanning documents using KnowledgeLake Capture and KnowledgeLake Capture Server, county employees can take advantage of OCR and indexing, which helps expedite document searches inside SharePoint.

“It cuts down on the time it takes to find specific documents,” says Bagsik. “Searching documents before could sometimes take hours if not days, assuming the document could be found. Now it just takes seconds. That let’s our staff concentrate on providing more valuable services to the public.”

Increasing visibility into work processes

Along with improved productivity, the county has been able to enhance its disaster recovery efforts.

“Before, when documents were stored in filing cabinets, they were sometimes in locations that were exposed to hazards such as fire or flood,” says Bagsik. “By scanning and storing documents online using the KnowledgeLake solution, we have a much better chance for quickly restoring documents so we can get back to serving our constituents faster.”

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