A short background
We are an electronic document management company that provides services to nearly 500 hundred companies across the US and Canada. We pride ourselves in very fast responses for support issues. (Ask our customers). Just the other day we received a support request from an auto dealership (to remain unnamed). The gist of the support ticket was “We are trying to transmit a scan and it repeats & repeats but does not go”.
Getting down to it
Let’s see, it starts to upload, but then it stops, and then tries to upload again. Hmmmm. We had not experienced this in the 2 year history of our newest product, Scan123 Version 2. This was puzzling to us at first until we began to get down to what was really happening.
A little more info
We tend to strongly suggest that our customers use Fujitsu scanners as they are fast, dependable, and competitively priced in the industry. When I say fast, I mean from 40 to 80 double-sided pages per minute. That’s a lot of scans in one minute for a desktop scanner the size of a shoebox. So, because of that, we have users armed with a scanner that can generate HUGE files. You could conceivably put a stack of 100+ 2-sided documents in the hopper and click ‘Scan’ and our product would scan them all and bundle them into one PDF. Depending on your scanner’s settings, you just might generate a 200 megabyte file in under 2 minutes. 200 what? Most people won’t even know what a megabyte is, and how it relates to file transfer so I will use a real world example.
The pizza delivery guy
Your task is to deliver 10 pizzas per hour. It’s rough, but you get it done. (In this example, your internet connection is your pizza delivery guy.) Everyday you come to work and route your deliveries so you can deliver 80 pizzas a day. No problem, until your boss comes to you and says “I bought a new wiz bang pizza maker. I just push the button and out comes a lot of pizza.” You say “How much?” Boss says “I’m not sure but you can handle it.” For the purpose of example, lets say 1 pizza is 100 kilobytes, (100,000 bytes). You could deliver 80 pizzas a day so, 8000 kilobytes per day. (or 8 megabytes). Now the boss pushes the magic ‘Make lots of pizza’ button. He is amazed at how fast the work is done and leaves you to figure out how to deliver all the fresh pizza. Remember that you only have the capacity to deliver 10 pizzas an hour and the bosses new machine made 250 for you to deliver! Further more, he’ll be back in an hour to push the button again!
Back to reality
Many dealerships still run on a DSL connection that is only able to deliver (upload) about .5 megabits per second. Notice ‘bits’ not bytes. Lets assume you have 8 bits in a byte. That’s about 67kb (kb = thousand bytes). That means in a minute you can upload about 3.75 megabytes, (mb=million bytes). So if you generate a 200 mb file, it would take you (if everything went fine) 53 minutes to upload that file at .5 megabits per second. Even if you have a 5 times faster internet connection, it will take you over 10 minutes to upload that file. Furthermore, the file would be stored on a server for you to retrieve when you need it. If the file did actually get there, (Which it probably wouldn’t), it would take you 10 minutes to get it to look at, (if you could retrieve it). This makes a file like that functionally ‘unusable.’
What really happened
You guessed it. They generated a digital file but they had no idea how big it was (over 100 meg.) Then they pushed the magic ‘Send’ button and (‘chug, chug, die’). Send again! (‘chug, chug, die’). Send again! (‘chug, chug, die’).
Support! HOW COME YOUR PRODUCT DOESN’T WORK NOW?
Support answer: You have the capacity to deliver 10 pizzas an hour and the boss’s new machine made 250 for you to deliver in an hour! Please try to deliver smaller amounts of pizza!
Here’s some best practices for scanning documents
- Know your connection speed. You can test your speed here.
- Know roughly about how big the file size is for the files that you want to send. Review your file sizes in the web portal for Scan123. If you send a whole deal jacket, check the file size there.
- Know your hardware; (Your computer.) How much ram? Processing speed? Hard drive capacity? This is very important.
- Break down large (50 to 100 meg) files into much smaller batches of documents to scan. Moving these smaller files around will be much easier. You can still organize them in the same web folder.
If you have any questions about an Electronic Document Management system for a small to medium sized business , please contact Scan123. We’re glad to help.