Document Imaging Report
KM Veteran Heading
Federal Government insider initially targets mediation community.
It's no secret that Scan-Optics has spent a great deal of energy over the past few years diversifying its business. Once considered strictly a vendor of high-volume scanning solutions anchored by big-iron scanners, in recent years, the company has acquired a software development firm as well as a third-party service business. Earlier this year Scan-Optics introduced a conversion services business [see DIR 3/21/03] that appears to be the start of a broader BPO strategy.
As part of its BPO initiative, last month Scan-Optics signed the first contract for its Knowledge Application Services business unit. The contract is with the National Mediation Board (NMB) and calls for Scan-Optics to manage the organization's corporate memory. “This involves working with the internal information that is of value for re-use,” explained Dr. Kenneth A. Megill, who has signed a two-year contract to develop Knowledge Applications Services for Scan-Optics. “NMB's corporate memory includes records of processes and procedures used to solve disputes. Because of the types of cases NMB works on, these can be very important documents.”
Megill is an experienced knowledge and records management consultant, teacher, and author. He became involved with Scan-Optics through ties with the trade organization TAWPI and respected document management consultant Herb Schantz. Both Schantz and Megill have
worked for several years in the Washington, D.C. area.
Megill became aware of an opportunity with NMB during a software demo on behalf of Cuadra Associates. “NMB's records manager had recently retired, and it had hired an intern from the University of Maryland's librarian school to provide some advice,” Megill told DIR. “NMB was looking at different software applications. After I met with them, I realized they did not need to buy software. Sure, they needed the functionality that Cuadra's software offers. However, they also needed a level of professionalism and expertise to manage the application, which would have forced them to hire several people.”
Megill suggested to Cuadra that it make its software available as a hosted application. When Cuadra agreed, Scan-Optics was brought in to manage the business aspects of an outsourced service. Scan-Optics is hosting the application, writing the contracts, and working closely with clients, like NMB, to ensure their needs are being met. Megill, who is a certified records manager and chief archivist, is overseeing the design of NMB's application.
“To internally set up the type of program that we are offering would run a minimum of $300,000 to $500,000 per year,” estimated Megill. “Initially, we think we can provide a higher quality of service for around 20% of the cost.”