One of the largest gathering of ECM users

laserfiche annual conference - MinnesotaThis coming Febuary over 3000 Laserfiche customers, partners and IT professionals attend Empower 2017. There will be more than 200 sessions and hands-on labs taught by industry experts, Laserfiche engineers, and customers. You will be able to see the latest releases and newest features in the Laserfiche product line. Another really great feature of this event is to be able to hear for many of this years top customer use cases – called Run Smarter. They are organizations that use Laserfiche to improve their productivity, processes and overall results. These are great sessions to find ways that you can use Laserfiche ECM to make your organization more efficient and effective.

More Info on Laserfiche Empower 2017laserfiche-conference


My new favorite application for my Android phone.

I have tried out the new application that Laserfiche just released for the Android, the Laserfiche Mobile 9.1 App and Add-On for Laserfiche Web Access. It has many of the same features as the IPhone iOS app as well as an amazing new widget that allows you to quickly upload of new documents to Laserfiche.
This application is amazingly fast on my Galaxy s4. I can login, browse and display a document at if I was setting in my office running Laserfiche on my PC. I think it is now my favor application for my Android.
Here are the Features for Android app:
• Search across all documents in a repository.
• Pan, zoom, rotate, and easily access metadata while working with a document in the Document Viewer.
• Quickly create and upload new documents from your device’s camera, images in your device’s gallery and files stored on your device.
• Full support for Laserfiche 9.0 Business Processes, including starting business processes and viewing their details.
• Use personal libraries to create task lists or group related entries to make working with them faster and easier.
• Add, edit and view entry metadata.
• Process, clean up and compress captured documents for easier viewing.
• Capture the geographic coordinates of an image to allow linking documents to their mapped location.
• View and export PDFs and other electronic documents.
• E-mail document or folder links to colleagues.
• Manage documents using copy, move, rename and delete.
• A variety of security options keep documents secure in Laserfiche and on your device.
• Widget lets you quickly upload new documents and images.

If you are not sure what Laserfiche is, click on this link and I will show you.

Why did President Obama order Fedeal agencies to implement Document Management?

President Obama ordered federal agencies to make wider use of electronic document mnagement systems, like Laserfice. Why you ask. He is his comment:

His plan to implement document management is designed to eventually cut federal spending on record-keeping. The President and his staff recogonize that handling paper documents is a waste of tax payers money.

How about you and your company? Are you still handling paper documents in your office, much the same way people have been doing for many, many year?

Beware of these PDF attachments

Be aware of attached documents delivered as a piece of spam with a filename such as ‘BILL.pdf’ or ‘INVOICE.pdf’.


Canon Networked Scanner

Canon Network Attached Scanner

Here is a new scanner that we are really excited about.  It  scans directly to e-mail, FTP, shared-folders, and USB memory. You can choose from personal and shared address books and customize Job Buttons.   So for example, you can have accounting people log into the system simply by using the build in finger print recognization and scan directly to a accounting folder.

You can use Laserfiche import agent to automatically import the documents into Laserfiche in the proper folders.   Another easy method using the email feature, you can email documents directly into specified folders in Laserfiche using the Email Importer we developed.

If you would like to see it in action, just let me know.

Larry Phelps

Solbrekk, Inc

Minneapolis, MN


7 Ingredients to a Successful Electronic Document Imaging/Management (EDM) Project:

Over ten years ago, I volunteered for an assignment I had no idea how to start.  It took me back to the days in high school algebra class.  If the teacher turned and began sribbling a long equation on the blackboard, you knew that when she turned around and faced the class she was looking for a victim to call on to solve the problem.  That was something you never volunteered for.

The assignment I mistakenly volunteered for was to help my client select an electronic document imaging/management solution (EDM).  Maybe you are in the exact place I was those many years ago, you are responsible to select an EDM system and you too do not know where to begin.

I began my task by talking to vendors of these products and their references, and I learned very little.  It wasn’t until I remembered that in life we learnfrom our failures.  So, I began searching for “failed” document imaging projects and that is when I really began to learn.  From the lessons learned from the failures, I came up with what I call the 7 ingredients for a successful Electronic Document Imaging project.  If you use this recipe of ingredients, you will find the result is a successful implementation of an EDM system.

Ingredient 1:  Easy to Learn and Use:

The product you select must be easy to learn and easy to use otherwise your project will fail.  Why you ask?  I believe there are two reasons: people are too busy or too lazy to learn a complicated program, or people take the path of least resistance.  In either case, most people will either go back to their old ways or go to the one person that took the time to learn the product.

Another important aspect to this ingredient is that it is important for the user to easily find the document they are seeking no matter what they know about the document.  That means that the product you choose should have a good search engine  and allow index searches as well as full text searches. 

Ingredient 2:  Non-proprietary

The product that you select cannot have anything proprietary in it.  Many of the early EDM products were loaded with proprietary technology — they had drives, hardware, database, and image file formats that were all proprietary.  Today we even see that in many products.  These products with use a modified TIFF file format or will use the popular PDF format which requires an Adobe reader.  Also, many vendors offer an add-on imaging module to their product such as a CRM or ERP system.  These imaging modules for the most part are very limited in their capability and are only useful for documents related to the vendor’s product.  And often they use proprietary formats or methods of attaching documents to their system.  Having these proprietary items may make it difficult to upgrade the system, integrate it to another system, use for other documents in the organization, or migrate to a completely new EDM system.

Ingredient 3:  Scalable

Any product you select should be able to grow as your needs grow.  Many of the early systems came in certain user units such as 10, 25, 50, or 100, so if you were at 24 users and wanted to add just one more user, you had a huge expense.  Also, many systems have limitations on the number of users and the number of pages it will handle.  The system you select should be able to expand from one user to any number of users you need and add features such as batch processing or workflow if and when you need it.

Ingredient 4:  Adaptable

The product you select that the way you implement it into your environment must be able to adapt to the way people are familiar with working.  That means that the way we stored things on paper should be similar to the way we store them electronically.  For example, if we stored accounts payable documents on paper filed by company last name, then in the imaging system you should be able to able to see the AP documents stored in electronic folders alphabetically by company name.  You should not have to change the way you do business to fit the software.

Ingredient 5:  Open architecture

Electronic document imaging systems are very powerful and useful to an organization as a stand alone unit, but the value grows exponentially when you are able to integrate it with other existing systems such as accounting or contact management systems.

I suggest picking a system that runs on an open platform such as Microsoft SQL and has a
programmer’s tool kit and other utilities that allow it to link to other databases.   One city that I work with realize the power of integration when there integrated their document imaging system with their geographic information system (GIS), their permit program and their online credit card processing system.  Now they are able to go to a map of the city and clink on a parcel (lot) and quickly see all documents associated with that parcel of land including permits, correspondence, payments or building prints.

Ingredient 6:  Long term vendor

When I was doing my research on failed EDM projects I was surprised to find a large number of failed projects were cause by the vendor no longer supporting the product that the organization was using.  Looking deeper, the companies that dropped their EDM products were not the small entrepreneurial companies but were large, solid companies that had their major focus in some other product area such as copier equipment or computer hardware.  These companies saw EDM as a small distraction to their large corporate portfolio, but to their users it was a key product that housed vital company documents.  The users felt betrayed and left hanging with no recourse but to find a way to migrate their data and documents to a new system.

Today, I tell people to find an EDM vendor who main focus is document imaging and that
has been in business for more than ten years. 

Ingredient 7: Phased approach

I also found that organizations that tried to implement everything all at once were more likely to fail than the organization that broke the project into several phases and systematically moved thru the organizations.  One reason these all or nothing type projects fail is that nothing actually get completed because time is divided amongst all the
departments.  The other reason project like this fail is that people basically hate change
and when you change everything at once they push back.

Therefore, I believe the best way to implement document imaging in an organization is by
evolution rather than revolution.

Hope you find this article helpful.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Larry Phelps

Solbrekk Inc

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Document Imaging – Lost Files

If you lost a $100 bill how would you feel?

If you had ten $100 bills in your billfold and you
lost it how would you feel?

After you frantically retraced your steps and didn’t find it
you’d probably be sick to your stomach.

Why? It’s just paper. That’s a ridiculous comment isn’t it?

It’s not just paper, those are $100 bills!

Now let me ask you another question. How many important
papers that are worth far more that ten $100 bills are in
your file drawers in your office?

How many of them have been lost? You may not know until you
need them.

If you can’t find them how much could that cost? It depends
doesn’t it?

Are you getting that sick feeling again? Are you wondering
what’s missing?

There is a solution to the problem and it’s very inexpensive,
it’s called document imaging.

Here is an article about lost documents, just reading it is
frustrating and I can’t imaging what all of the legal
opinions cost the city.

Check it out.

Would you like to talk about that sick feeling? Send me an
email at

Take care,