Scan to cloud storage

We went to the moon in the 60s, the Cloud shouldn’t be that hard!

More and more offices around the world are experiencing increased productivity by storing their documents in the cloud, allowing for wider collaboration on all devices regardless of where users are.

We’ve worked incredibly hard at PaperCut to give your users easy access to the storage providers you approve, and better yet, we’ve delivered this to all devices we support — uniformly. We’ve also slashed the time it takes for users to authorize with their storage provider. They can forget about the hassle of re-entering credentials every time they scan something! Authorization is now a one-time action — all the users have to do is simply click the setup link in their Welcome email and they’re permanently authorized.

The ‘Scan to cloud storage’ scan action is the ultimate time saver and it only takes a few clicks for SysAdmins to set it up centrally. Just like that, users can walk to any device in your organization to scan to their cloud storage.

Scans are delivered from our server, allowing controlled access for jobs leaving your network. It doesn’t matter what brand, make, or model of MFD you have. PaperCut’s embedded solution enable you, the administrator, to choose from any of these cloud providers: Google Drive, GSuite, Dropbox, SharePoint, Microsoft OneDrive, Box, Evernote, and pCloud.

Five common problems solved simply by PaperCut

Problem Action Product
Configuring scan to cloud storage on one, let alone many MFDs is cumbersome and hard to update. PaperCut MF’s centralized Admin web interface provides a single ‘tick box’ option to provide secure access to all providers. Scan to Google Drive? Yes! Scan to OneDrive? Yes! Scan to DropBox? Yes! PaperCut MF
Entering my username and password to access my cloud storage on an MFD screen is reason enough to give up. Just click on the link PaperCut will send you after your first scan to approve access…. and if that device has already accessed that service, you’ll likely not even need to enter credentials (cheers OAUTH). PaperCut MF
Did I set up scan to cloud storage on this MFD for my account? With PaperCut MF, after the first time you authorize our cloud service to write documents to your cloud storage, you can scan to your cloud storage from all embeddeds. PaperCut MF
Is this the one that has OCR? What is this? 2009? Is OCR still an ‘extra’? No! If it can run on our embeddeds, we’ll level up your device to have the modern features we don’t consider ‘extra’. PaperCut MF
What about scanning/capturing to new cloud storage providers? As we add in new providers, and we often do, any MFD running PaperCut MF’s embedded solution will be able to access it. No more firmware updates or add-ons! PaperCut MF

Real world example

There are many tips about scanning to cloud. Here's one for use in a large enterprise.

Large Enterprise

Helping branches work with head office!

Large, repetitive scan jobs should be automated, because your staff have more valuable things to do.

A chain of real estate agencies uses Integrated Scanning to save time by partly automating the accounts payable process.

The agencies use Microsoft Sharepoint Online to store and manage most of their business data. Invoices come in from cleaners, advertising vendors, trades, and other suppliers. Each branch needs to submit their invoices to head office weekly for approval and payment.

The head office set up a scan action called ‘Invoices for Head Office’. It performs OCR and batch splitting, then delivers the scan to a Sharepoint Online document library that head office uses to collect all the branch invoices for the accounts team.

In each branch, on Thursdays a staff member piles up all the week’s invoices and uses a single scan action to process approximately hundred pages through the auto feeder at once. The scan action splits out each invoice into an individual file, turns the file into a text-searchable PDF with OCR, and posts it into the OneDrive folder with a file name that identifies the branch it came from.

From there, the head office accounts team pulls the invoices into their finance system, which uses the OCR data to match supplier names and notifies the right people to review, approve, and pay.

Features in more detail

The following content explains a number of the features referenced in the example above.

Authentication flow

PaperCut provides a cloud-hosted broker service to deliver a user’s scans securely to their chosen cloud storage provider.

This lets us offer a number of workflow and security benefits for your end users, starting with a trivial authentication flow for your users.

The first time a user scans to an approved cloud storage provider (‘approved’ is at the discretion of the system administrator), our broker service will email that user asking them for authorization to access the provider on their behalf. The user simply clicks the link in the email to grant the access! No more entering email addresses and complex passwords on screens of an MFD. And considering most users have already accessed their cloud service from their phone before, the joys of OAUTH means they probably won’t need to enter anything at all!

And since they’ve authorized our broker… any other MFD in the organization will now be able to scan to the same storage source for that user.

A PaperCut MF authentication email for a scanning job
Authenticating to whichever cloud storage you use is easy, and uses familiar email formats used by other 3rd party services too!

Encrypted transfer (from the Multifunction Device through to cloud)

Scan jobs are encrypted every… step… of… the… way, not that there are many steps! Quite simply, the scan is sent from the MFD to your PaperCut MF server. Encrypted and secure. From your PaperCut MF server to our broker server. Encrypted and secure. Of course, from our broker service into the Cloud Storage provider. You get it, encrypted and secure. Emails for authorization and even the return click to approve the broker. Every interaction of the process uses the most modern encryption and security practices.

As a sweetener to the network administrator… there is only one path out from your network for these Cloud Services too. Who doesn’t love a simple firewall rule!?

PaperCut MF secure scan journey
PaperCut MF secure scan journey

Connection reliability

Everyone has experienced that frustration of making a disproportionate amount of clicks to start a scan, the frustration of entering an email address using a tiny keyboard prone to errors, feeling like they’ve completed the technical equivalent of climbing Mt Kosciuszko (that’s our Everest down here) to get that scan to actually send — to then find out there was a send error. Nobody likes that walk to start that process again.

When a user starts a scans with the PaperCut MF embedded application, there are built-in retries for every step to reduce the chance of users having to start the scan process all over again.

Having said that, our scan process starts with just one click. Makes our Everest a casual Sunday stroll.

Cloud storage providers and cloud document management systems (DMS)

Just look at the list of Cloud Storage providers we support. You might not even recognize some of them, right?! That’s where we’re at — and we’re still adding more. Since we add these to our broker service, embedded solutions connected to an up-to-date PaperCut MF server will inherently access these new services too. No new add on for each MFD. No firmware rollout to each MFD. The simplest addition of a new service you’re likely to encounter.

PaperCut MF cloud providers
PaperCut MF cloud providers

HIPAA Compliance

Okay — time to not worry!

PaperCut will help your organization with HIPAA compliance around printing. No longer do you have to worry about patient health information (PHI) misuse when scanning. PaperCut uses HIPAA-compliant technology when sending data to your preferred cloud storage provider.

Want to know more…?

Check out these links for other Scan to Cloud storage details: