The closer to the point of origin that content is captured, the faster it reaches the start of the downstream process. Distributed capture platforms have already extended the data entry point to include branch offices and subsidiaries, speeding up customer response and reducing the amount of physical handling required. The next step is to provide capture on mobile devices - in the field, on the move, and even in the hands of customers and suppliers.

Using mobile devices for capture presents an immediate technical challenge as regards image quality from the camera and the capability of the recognition process, but it also presents two major additional issues: security and integrity. Many of the potential application areas in finance, insurance, healthcare, etc., are security sensitive in their own right. In addition, local capture is useful for proof of identity, proof of creditworthiness, and proof of signature, but these are all subject to privacy rules, or indeed, data protection laws in many countries.

Assured integrity applies to the end-to-end process itself. Ad hoc "send to" arrangements (like emailing a picture or saving to a local file-system) are not reliable for employee use and are completely inappropriate for customer self-service. A one-touch process initiation is required, with completion taking place in an assured, secure way, no matter what issues of coverage, bandwidth, battery exhaustion, or server connections apply.

In this report, we will review the adoption of distributed capture systems for on-premise use, and plans for extension to local and mobile devices. We will look at the potential benefits of capturing as close to the customer as possible, including customer self-service, and also at the business and technical issues of concern. We will then provide useful ROI data for business-case preparation based on the views of existing and potential users.

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