When the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern made e-government a priority and to digitize as many paper-based processes as possible, IT services provider Datenverarbeitungszentrum Mecklenburg-Vorpommern GmbH (DVZ) built a central data capture solution based on Kofax Capture™ and Kofax VirtualReScan® (VRS) Elite. Today, Kofax technology is used as the standard solution throughout the state, helping the state Payroll and Pensions Office to accelerate workflows, boost efficiency and stay compliant with the Federal Office for Information Security’s (BSI) Technical Guideline on Replacement Scanning, TR-RESISCAN.
As the IT service provider to the regional government authorities of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, DVZ Datenverarbeitungszentrum Mecklenburg-Vorpommern manages a wide range of e-government solutions.
When the state Payroll and Pensions Office decided to modernize its manual, paper-based administrative processes, it turned to DVZ for help.
André Martens, Service Manager of Document Management at DVZ Datenverarbeitungszentrum Mecklenburg-Vorpommern GmbH, begins: “To calculate and pay civil servants’ salaries and state pensions, the Payroll and Pensions Office had to process over 6 million pieces of paper a year on average. Passing around this volume of paperwork was unproductive and we knew that there had to be a more streamlined way for the Payroll and Pensions Office to manage documents.”
He continues: “As part of the ongoing e-government initiative, it had become state policy to digitize paper-based processes wherever possible. We wanted to deploy a suitable document scanning and management solution for the Payroll and Pensions Office that would comply with strict legal, auditing and privacy requirements, including recommendations specified in the Federal Office for Information Security’s (BSI) Technical Guideline on Replacement Scanning, TR-RESISCAN, to make sure the scanned digital documents can, for example, be used as evidence in legal proceedings if needed. This would help eliminate the need for paper archives over the long term. As additional benefit for us, we could then offer the solution to all departments with similar needs, not just the Payroll and Pensions Office.”
Since DVZ selected Kofax® Capture™ as its strategic document capture platform, it has successfully used the scanning technology in many departments in combination with Kofax VirtualReScan® (VRS) Elite software to ensure that the scanned images would always be of the highest quality.
For the Payroll and Pensions Office, DVZ extended the existing solution blueprint by adding qualified electronic signatures, which ensures the accuracy and authenticity of the scanned documents. André Martens says: “The Kofax solution allows for seamless integration of the state government’s standard solution for digital signatures, helping us to ensure that the department satisfies BSI TR-RESICAN requirements.”
The Kofax solutions automatically extract data from scanned documents, validate the data against defined rules and existing records, optimize the image quality if necessary, and then store the data in a central archive.
André Martens comments: “A highly attractive feature of Kofax Capture is the ability to customize workflows and add features to the software. We are able to implement pre-configured processes, develop custom modules to extend existing functionality, and quickly and easily integrate it all into scanning procedures. We are also able to build entirely new workflows from scratch. This flexibility enables us to adapt the solution to meet each departments’ individual requirements. Furthermore, because we are able to easily add digital signatures to scan workflows, the Kofax solution integrates smoothly into the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state government’s standard IT processes.”
For the Payroll and Pensions Office, DVZ reads in staff identification numbers, looks up if the number exist in the source systems, and then attaches the document to the relevant staff record. If a staff identification number is invalid, the system immediately flags the issue up, so the administrative staff can correct the information directly within the scanning process, streamlining the workflow and improving data quality.
DVZ also built on the flexibility and extensibility of the Kofax platform to connect the Kofax Capture solution with the user management of its existing document management system. This helps DVZ to reduce administration workload, as the seamless integration substantially simplifies permission management. Thanks to the many easy ways to customize the Kofax platform, DVZ does not need to maintain a separate user registry.
The new document capture and processing capabilities are available to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern government authorities and fully comply with all technical guidelines.
“Another great feature of Kofax software is that it works no matter what scan hardware is being used,” adds André Martens. “This is particularly important for us, as our customers might have different vendor preferences and use a wide variety of systems.”
“As well as being easy for us to configure and deploy, the Kofax solution has been well-received by staff operating the document scanners. After a relatively short training period, users are confident in using the solution for their day-to-day tasks.”
Today, Kofax acts as the standard for data capture across various Mecklenburg-Vorpommern authorities. Many state authorities have successfully digitized their previously paper-based document processing and management workflows, bringing a new level of accuracy and efficiency to operations.
Crucially, the Payroll and Pensions Office’s data capture processes are now fully compliant with the BSI TR-RESISCAN guideline, due to the extended support for electronic signatures in combination with the organizational structures established as part of the implementation. Gerhard Kreienbring, Head of Central Services at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Payroll and Pensions Office, comments: “Thanks to our successful collaboration with DVZ and Kofax, we are now fully confident that we meet the requirements set out by the BSI – without breaking the bank.”
André Martens adds: “As well as helping the Payroll and Pensions Office comply with the TR-RESISCAN guideline, we plan on offering the electronic signature integration module as a standard part of the Kofax data capture solution to other departments, too. This will ensure that all departments who want or need to comply with the guideline for their digitization projects can easily do so by using our Kofax solution bundle.”
“Today, the Payroll and Pensions Office alone scans and captures data from an average of 1,500 incoming documents per day. While the Payroll and Pensions Office also digitizes archived documents, the annual scan volume over the last two years amounted to roughly 4.5 to 5 million pages. Because the captured data is stored in a central document management system, employees have rapid access to the information needed to complete administrative tasks. As a result, these departments have accelerated workflows, reduced time spent on repetitive, manual tasks, and boosted efficiency.”
“The Kofax solution delivers consistently excellent results, as the VRS Elite software ensures high-quality scans. What’s more, as Kofax VRS Elite can extract text from printed and handwritten documents, teams are able to automatically capture data from a wide range of documents. In general, data extraction accuracy is around 90 percent, and even for handwritten numbers in forms, we achieve an accuracy of 85 percent.”
He concludes: “We – as well as the staff at the Payroll and Pensions Office – are very satisfied with the Kofax solution. So much so, that we are planning to test the Kofax Mobile Capture™ Platform to meet growing demand for a mobile data capture solution.”