Has anyone here had any experience with the 'SIMS Connector' system which allows you to scan documents and tie them into SIMS.net records without much effort?
We are interested in it and I'm just seeing if anyone else has experienced it in a working environment yet?
Just joined the forum - First posting
The answer for the scanning is that Toshiba have a connector, via an external eCopy box, however I believe that 2 other manufacturers will be supported in the very near future
Sorry I should have sort of said something here earlier, yes Toshiba have something that works with their range of Photocopiers, I know they wanted me to trial it, but as I don't use SIMS its not a lot of use!. I don't know if its a full on Tosh product though or just something that has been worked on by others with the idea and connectors built in to talk to Tosh copiers.
I know about the connector and that it works with Toshiba devices and some other TWAIN compliant scanners but my question was more along the lines of whether anyone has actually used such a device/system.
It appears not so I will be looking at trialing one and seeing if it is really as good as it sounds - it is hard to imagine my bosses desk without the giant mountains of paper that litter it at the moment though!!
Probably like many other schools, toshiba cold called us and were trying to hike this product.
Turns out it is very limited in what it is compatible with, and shockingly expensive to boot. If memory serves, it was £5000 plus a quarterly fee, of 400 some odd quid.
The other cost to consider would be the need to upgrade to a full version of MSSQL, if you are going to be storing a lot of binary data in the database.
We would interested to know how you get on, the system seemed rather expensive for what it claimed to do.
I've been involved in developing the eCopy Connectors for SIMS so I should declare my interest here and I will try to be unbiased.
You can find eCopy Connectors for SIMS from Toshiba, Konica Minolta, Ricoh and Canon. In general you use the digital scanner built in to your networked copier to scan hard copy docs straight into SIMS as if it were a linked document. You can buy the eCopy box as an add-on or have the software embedded in the copier from Ricoh and Canon. There are pros and cons to both ways.
I like to think there are some useful advantages to having hard copy docs scanned and I am happy to answer any questions but I don't want to advertise in the forum. We have also tried to add value in the scanning process so you can scan to lists of students, create database entries in SIMS and the like. You would need to check what you get with the Canon solution as its not one I have dealt with.
You don't just have to scan to SIMS. eCopy is flexible so you can scan to network locations, databases etc using fixed or variable formats in the file naming conventions as you see fit.
If you don't like the hardware element you can use any scanner to scan to a network location and then use eCopy desktop which handles the PDFs and also has SIMS integration. On the flip side its a two stage process and you lose the eCopy flexibility in scanning. You would normally get the desktop application FOC with the hardware too.
Those are the options open to you. Hope this is useful and not a sales pitch. I've just joined the forum and have more information and web addresses if you want but haven't got around to the ad module yet.
User3204 (22nd October 2008)
We seem to be leaning towards just buying a standard sheet feeding scanner and getting one of the admin team to do it. We can already scan to PDF, doing it via a computer doesn't add much to the task... And it saves you a fortune.
I think the biggest time constraint is once you have scanned, then adding docs to SIMS using the linked document routine as this can take hours for any volume. So if you choose a scanner with an ISIS driver you could scan directly to eCopy Desktop and with the eCopy snap-in for SIMS you can then push out to SIMS from there and save a scanned doc to a single student, an editable list, User Defined Group or Academic class. You can also create the database entries such as an Achievement for multiple students on the fly. I am biased but IMHO its easier than linked docs in SIMS. You can also edit the PDFs easily. The last bit (this is all fine for scanned hardcopy) is you can print internal electronic docs to PDF and save them down too. We've released a similar snap-in for MS Office products too. A word on the hardware. When you do come to replacing your networked gear (MFPs and the like) I would give it some serious thought as the savings should pay for the kit. Have I banged on enough - suffice it to say I do like eCopy. As I say, I am biased, but not necessarily wrong.
Just come across this post, yeah we're using the Sims Connector on a Canon IRC4800, works fine no problems as yet, let me know if you want any more info
Funny, I've had Ricoh, Canon and Toshiba trying to sell me this recently. Their sales reps must have it on a special commission this month
Just in case you are interested there is an alternative to E Copy when it comes to Scanning in to SIMS from your Copier. Have a Look at Callisto Managed Scan which is available from Business IT Systems Ltd who work with Digital Link Solutions who are the Capita partner.
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