To say it has been a busy year would be an understatement. Surprisingly, we were actually able to keep what we were working on under wraps, and with the veil lifted a couple weeks ago at our SharePoint Conference North America product launch, I can now formally introduce ElasticOCR.
The team and I have been hard at work, transforming a paper napkin idea of the world’s first modern document OCR solution into not just a “minimal viable product”, but a generally available solution with a dedicated brand and native integration with the systems and platforms that you already use every single day—and we did this in almost a year to the day from our first white-boarding session.
So what exactly is "OCR", and what does ElasticOCR do? In short, we take documents that have been scanned in (contracts, invoices, receipts, personnel records, etc), and extract the actual text from inside the scanned images. This makes your PDF documents easier to find, more accessible, and more discoverable.
What’s most exciting about ElasticOCR is that we’re certainly “not your father’s old OCR solution”. By that I mean that we’re the first cloud OCR service that’s truly designed for the cloud, and specifically this hyper-scalable, globally distributed, serverless world that we live in now. From a technology perspective it has been an incredible journey, working with some of the newest technology out there, and a small but incredibly talented and dedicated team.
Document Processing SLA Guarantee
We’re the first cloud OCR solution to guarantee a document processing SLA—that is to say that if it takes us longer to process your document than your plan tier’s SLA, that document is free. Being able to accept an unknown number of documents of unknown size and complexity, while still being able to guarantee a delivery window was probably our biggest technical challenge, but one that we solved by designing the service from the ground up to be completely scalable (cough, “elastic”)—to the extreme. When we say we can adjust to meet your needs, it's not just marketing speak. You might have 10 pages to process this hour, and 5,000 next hour... ElasticOCR automatically scales up and down to meet that demand.
Guaranteed Processing Regions
Having been around enterprise technology for as long as we have, we’ve seen firsthand some organization’s apprehensiveness to embrace the cloud. With that said, the rate of adoption of services such as Office 365 is a clear indicator that the tides are shifting, and we really are seeing less and less of those organizations that are married to their costly on-premises data centers. ElasticOCR’s guaranteed processing regions allow an organization to subscribe to ElasticOCR, identify the region where they want their data processed, and rest assured knowing that their data isn’t leaving their borders. It sounds like a small thing, but ensuring resiliency, performance, and consistency across every region we operate in is no small task, even if it does keep your compliance department happy. We're live in the United States today, and we'll be spinning up more processing regions around the world as the year progresses.
Platforms. Platforms. Platforms.
Right out of the gate, we knew we wanted to really rethink the way people interacted with our service. It sounds cheesy, but we wanted it to just work—to not require 30 steps to setup, to not confuse end users (who may not even know the content was being processed), and to make the service as open and extensible as possible. With day-one support for SharePoint on-premises, Office 365, Microsoft Flow, Azure Logic Apps, PowerApps, and a full OpenAPI for developers, we’re off to the right start—with more integrations on the way in the near future.
Well, we're certainly not stopping here. We've got a lot of ideas, a lot of passion, and a lot of exciting things coming in the not-too-distant future. Until then, try ElasticOCR for yourself with a 30-day/500 page free trial, and follow us on Twitter - @ElasticOCR.