Open-source technology has become a commodity for many businesses nowadays. However, these solutions aren’t created equal and will thus work differently for different users.
One example is optical character recognition (OCR). There are lots of vendors offering OCR software development kits (SDKs), many of which are open-source. But fact remains that these options vary in so many ways, and so do the results they bring to various users. If you own a business, how then do you select an OCR solution that fits your needs perfectly?
First and foremost, find an OCR brand with a positive reputation. Do some research – know their beginnings, important events happened to their company, their products, warranties, and the rest. Most importantly, check if they are an original developer or simply repackaging other solutions and stamping on their label.
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 used by businesses nowadays! If the software isn’t a one-stop shop, it’s not worth your investment.
As a business, you probably have to comply with many government regulations, which means the conversions you get should be 100% accurate, whether characters, punctuation marks, graphics, etc. The copy must be exactly like the original, period. Even minor errors are unacceptable. Why pay for software if you still have to manually go over the output to look for mistakes anyway? It practically defeats your purpose.
It’s a fact of business: time equals money. You can’t be stalled by an OCR solution that isn’t running up to speed. When considering an OCR vendor, make sure they can give you a free trial. Run the software for an hour without intervention and see how many documents it can convert. Refusal to give you a free trial means they’re unsure of their own solution. A red flag definitely.
Aside from accuracy, data security is also a critical part of a good OCR solution. Businesses usually have a need for secure data conversion, delivery and storage capabilities. Therefore, your OCR vendor should demonstrate an understanding of this 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 won’t really know these things until you’ve actually brought them on board, but online reviews can help. Not all reviews can be trusted, but if you only read them in well-known, third-party websites, you’re fairly safe.