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What is the most efficient method you used to scan and upload large volume (> 10 TB) of records and documents into SharePoint?

The things I am interested in are:

  • Speed
  • Ability to add metadata and OCRing
  • If used a special scanning hardware to speed up the process

I am interested to find a proven scanning infrastructure hardware/software solution. I am guessing HP or Xerox have some sort of software to make the process of scanning and importing docs/records into SP easier.

User friendliness is important since end-users will be scanning documents into the SP system on a daily basis.

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This is a question that would require more to be completely answered, but here is my take:

  1. Capacity planning, sizing and proper design before anything else, particularly considering envisioned volume. You might be considering features such as Content Organiser to help you distribute according to metadata configured.
  2. What would you like to do with the data? E.g. Search(consider filters for indexing - e.g TIFF/JPEG, how about OCR??) or Records Management - you need file plans, etc.
  3. Metadata Extraction -what data and how you plan to have it detected/entered - is not simply a matter of SharePoint but also what your Scanning infrastructure tools are? You might want to consider 3rd party products that help with bulk-metadata edit on upload (don't want to advertise, but simple search on the web)

This is just the starter, C:\>Marius

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1. I will use the Content organizer feature to route the records to the appropriate record center, once I have the records scanned and uploaded into SP. 2. I will use the built-in IFilter of the Windows Server to OCR TIFF records. 3. I am interested to find a proven scanning infrastructure hardware/software solution. I am guessing HP or Xerox have some sort of software to make the process of scanning and importing docs/records into SP easier. – Hossein Aarabi Dec 13 '12 at 0:52
Sorry, cannot actually help there, as I haven't used any direclty! I've seen one solution based on Xerox that send mails to special drop-in mailbox, which points to SharePoint, and particular workflows tag, OCR and forward document from there! – Marius Constantinescu - MVP Dec 17 '12 at 15:15

One of the first thing that you'll need to setup is Remote Blob Storage (a third party provider might be recommended due to the volume) to put most of that 10TB of documents / assets outside of the SharePoint content database otherwise you'll need to make sure you have the relevant infrastructure and SQL Server rigs to support this "big data" volume.

Kodak (I do not work for them, neither I am affiliate, neither I used it) has a dedicated toolset for this kind of work it might be a good candidate to investigate and see what are the other options in the market (price, capacity, functionality wise).

Like C. Marius suggested, it's not just putting them into SharePoint that matters, it's what you'll be doing with these data. How will you handle the search experience ? How will you define the required sites / workspace structures, etc.

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The use of BLOB storage is not necessarily a good option if the documents and records, on average, are < (80 - 100) KB (…) But, I will surely use this option for very large documents, records, and assets. – Hossein Aarabi Dec 13 '12 at 1:19
Regardless of the size, your content database will breath being smaller. And nowadays, anything scanned / docx / pdf is usually way above 500Kb. But I agree with your recommendation nevertheless. – Francois Verbeeck Dec 13 '12 at 8:51
Agree with you 100% that we should keep the content DBs under recommended supported limit. That is have many small (manageable) content DBs, instead of few large ones. – Hossein Aarabi Dec 13 '12 at 22:51

There are five companies I know of that operate in this space:

  • Top Image Systems (Aim mostly at large corporate mailroom solutions)
  • Knowledgelake
  • Kofax
  • Readsoft
  • Kodak (Although I've heard their solution is pretty basic)

All of them can be made to work with SharePoint.

I would have a look into their offerings and pick the one that suits you best.

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