Enterprises understand the need for automation, digital transformation, data intelligence and accelerated processes. Cloud capabilities are what make these critical initiatives achievable goals. Whether you are a small business looking to automate your document-centric processes without the added burden of server management or a global enterprise aiming to take advantage of cloud capabilities and ensure business continuity, Ephesoft’s cloud can provide the capture tools you need. 

Market Trends

According to Flexera’s 2020 State of Tech Spend Report, cloud spend finally surpassed on-premises software spend. In a survey conducted in 2019, more than 80% of the study respondents reported that they planned to increase their Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) spend in 2020. Despite technology survey results, concern about cloud usage from security-conscious organizations for storing, processing or routing documents and data have not fallen by the wayside. 

Companies of all sizes have embraced mission-critical business tools like CRM and ERP in the cloud as SaaS solutions. Look at the wild success of applications like Salesforce and NetSuite, respectively. Why not extend the same principles to documents and data? Flexera found that the top IT initiatives for enterprise organizations are digital transformation, cybersecurity and the shift to the cloud. Given this focus and the increased tech spend, industries like Financial Services that previously refrained from cloud usage, are going to start dipping their toes in the waters of the cyber sky.

Coupled with the fact that Gartner predicts SaaS will be the largest category of cloud computing, we’re looking at a major change in the way businesses interact with technology vendors and the manner in which companies demand cloud continuity for their line of business applications. It’s unreasonable to look at any type of trend or market analysis without taking a world-wide health crisis into consideration, though. And in the wake of the global pandemic, business continuity and security are key concerns for companies in every industry. Even though IDC projects a slower growth rate of 2.1% for cloud applications than previous predictions, it is still the largest area of anticipated spend for everything IT-related. 

It’s crucial for companies to adopt a cloud-first approach to operational tasks and projects if they want to remain competitive and profitable. Enterprises around the world still need to unlock and access their valuable information to better serve their customers. With the new version of Ephesoft Cloud and service/feature pack 2020.1.2, this transformation can be easier and faster.

As the market drives toward remote needs for the enterprise and a cloud-first mentality, we’re embracing the change with a refresh of our public cloud offering to support capture in the cloud to drive digital transformation of the future. Transact Cloud is a global single tenant cloud solution that transforms your physical documents into usable data by automatically identifying document types, extracting key information and delivering them directly to any type of repository or workflow. 

Hosted in the Amazon Web Services cloud (AWS), Transact Cloud provides secure, scalable, intelligent data capture capabilities for organizations to automate their document processing without the added burden and expense of server management. Transact Cloud customers can go live in hours – our SLA is within 24 hours – compared to the days, weeks or months often required for on-premises deployment.

With the latest version, we’ve also added data import functionality from AWS S3 buckets, server performance monitoring, and accelerated feature deployment for continuous product updates. Something a lot of companies don’t consider when looking at the comparison between cloud subscriptions and on-premises purchases is the cost of IT overhead for internal (or contractor) employee time to manage and support the software application. When you factor in the (difficult to calculate) opportunity cost associated with cash flow and potential investments of a large upfront purchase versus a smaller year over year spend with a subscription, the monetary benefits weigh heavily in favor of the cloud. Ephesoft’s intent is to be able to provide hosted, subscription-based capture solutions with a lower cost of ownership and capital expenditure to cloud clients.


Forefront on everyone’s mind when you talk about the cloud is security, so I want to highlight how Ephesoft is working toward creating a secure environment for a company’s data productivity needs.

Ephesoft achieved SOC 2 compliance and we adhere to standards for securely handling data. Transact Cloud has been evaluated by independent third-party security and vulnerability assessment companies. There are automated dynamic and static code scanning tools built into the engineering pipeline. The Ephesoft engineering team regularly completes security awareness training. And finally, data is secured and encrypted in transit and at rest.

With COVID-19 in mind, continuity is crucial for line of business applications. AWS has numerous global regions where they offer their services. An availability zone is a data center in a region. Each zone in a region has redundant and separate power, networking and connectivity to reduce the likelihood of two zones failing simultaneously. At Ephesoft, we select regions with at least 3 availability zones to ensure high availability. Customers are allocated instances across different availability zones. For example, Customer A will have an instance in Zone A and in Zone B – so they will not be affected if one of the zones goes down.

For security purposes, we allocate within our Virtual Private Cloud separate customer-specific security groups. A security group acts as a virtual firewall for your instance to control inbound and outbound traffic. The security group is set to only allow in connections from the load balancer or the jump host. And to minimize the chance of a host attack, Ephesoft administrators connect via a VPN connection to a Jump Host. 

New Capabilities

The AWS import plug-in is built for large volume document import and easier collaboration for both cloud and on-premises users. As AWS consumption soars, we realized how important it was to have the native ability to ingest content with an S3 plugin. An AWS S3 bucket operates as an additional ingestion point into Ephesoft Transact, expanding from your traditional ingestion points like email, folder monitoring and Web Services calls for mid-workflow document capture processing. Using the S3 Import plugin, a batch class – the document capture configuration – can be configured to import files from an S3 bucket. Once the plugin is configured, the S3 bucket is monitored every minute for new files. When new files are detected, Transact uploads the files into your specific batch class, and the file is removed from the bucket after processing. This makes for an efficient processing workflow of large file volumes in Ephesoft Transact.

Another new set of features for Transact 2020.1 Service/Feature Pack 2, available in the Ephesoft Cloud, is the ability to capture handprint data, optical marks and perform signature detection without having to create templates or fixed forms. If you look at the panel on the left hand side of the screen in the screenshot below, new fields have been added to the Key Value rule configurations that allow an administrator to select what type of extraction method they’d like to use for document data capture, including handprint. For capturing handprint data (using an ICR engine for text conversion) administrators will not have to open a separate tool or user interface to define zonal locations on a page for handprint capture rules.

Similarly, check box detection – or OMR for form features like radio buttons or toggles – can be configured using this same Key Value approach to capture the data. This saves administrators time and effort when creating a batch class designed to capture this visual data from a document.

This new key value configuration mechanism comes in handy when defining variables for extraction like signatures. When working with highly unstructured documents like contracts or packets of mortgage loan documents, the ability to perform signature detection without having to specify a specific region on a page provides flexibility and scalability to any capture project.

The mortgage industry presents countless ideal use cases for capture in the cloud. Unlike invoice processing or mailroom workflows, which present a fairly steady stream of physical and paper documents that need to be ingested, categorized and indexed, mortgage documents are often received or processed in bursts at very high volume. Turn-around time is crucial, and we’re going to increasingly see the need for remote (or distributed) account opening and loan closure processes.

In the last several weeks I bought a new house and sold my old house, and I can say from personal experience, financial institutions are scrambling to keep up with the changing pandemic guidelines, support people who require remote closing and in general just work with the huge volume of content at a pace that’s acceptable to their clients.

Cloud-based capture solutions are ideal for mortgage use cases and more. At Ephesoft, we have a depth of experience working with customers in this particular financial services niche and supporting the cloud needs of small businesses and enterprise organizations. It’s time to take digital transformation into the cloud!

Watch the webinar on BrightTALK starting on August 27. Register here. Learn more about Transact Cloud here.