SharePoint can store electronic documents in any format. However, there are still many documents in departments around campus that are received via paper (e.g. doctor’s notes, letters of recommendation). These documents are important to business processes and therefore it would be desirable to store them in electronic format.
With the current implementation of SharePoint, it is possible for departments to scan paper documents. Many departments already have either stand-alone scanners or Xerox copiers/printers that are capable of scanning. The scanned documents can then be uploaded into the appropriate library. However, this is a manual process and will be time-consuming if the department receives a large number of paper documents.
A number of companies have solutions that will scan documents directly into a SharePoint library. For example, Xerox and Lexmark each have their own software that works with their respective multifunction printers. ICT has not yet evaluated any of the available options. If your department is interested in discussing options, please contact the SharePoint team. There will be costs associated with purchasing or leasing the scanning hardware if necessary, the scan to SharePoint software, and the setup and configuration of the solution; these costs are over and above the normal fees for the SharePoint service.
There are questions that must be answered by each department before implementing integrated scanning: