7 / August / 2017

Faster mobile forms


Posted 7 August 2017

Whether it’s a building foreman conducting site checks, teachers taking assessments, government officials conducting surveys, medical clinics capturing customer information, or real estate agents completing housing inspections, there is a more efficient way to do this than using paper based forms.

Capturing information directly into a digital format has the added benefit of creating cleaner data streams, which can immediately be integrated into existing databases, reducing risk and diminishing the chance of user errors.

Every time James Quigley, chief executive and founder at Canvas, sees a paper form he sees an opportunity to make organisations more efficient. He’s making headway with a digital content capture app capable of scanning existing paper forms, creating new forms from scratch, or selecting the right form from an ever expanding library.

The Canvas app, which is available from Telstra, runs on any compatible mobile or tablet device, replacing paper-based data forms with a digital content capture system that’s already shaving millions from the cost of collecting information in a vast range of businesses, schools, councils and government departments.

“The moment you write anything down on paper you lose time and money,” Quigley says. “Because that paper then has to be sent away to be processed, stored and checked before it is actually useful to the business.”

Digital information capture saves money

According to a survey carried out in 2013 by the Association for Information and Image Management, the average cost of paper-based processing is US$4.56 per form, with much of the cost generated by backend data processing and administration. For about 20 percent of respondent these costs were US$10 or more, and for highly specialised applications or remote workers, costs can reach more than US$75 per form.

“The difficulty and cost isn’t just in the data collection but the fact you need to interact with that data after it has been collected,” Quigley says. Data processing is particularly relevant in sectors such as healthcare, government and finance that rely on complex business processes.

Because Canvas makes it easier to capture data on digital forms, patient or customer information can be automatically processed and cross-referenced with existing databases. This enables large companies to more efficiently capture, store, manage and protect company data while improving customer service. As a result the companies using Canvas have been able to both helpreduce risks of losing company data and boost productivity.

It means, for example, that medical specialists can quickly see if a certain medication can be used in conjunction with another medication already being taken by a new patient. In financial services, the process of conducting loan approvals and background checks can be improved when an employee cross-references new customer data with information located on remote databases.

“Canvas software makes it possible for any business to automatically transfer information from paper-based forms without spending large amounts on software development,” Quigley says. “Our existing customers have the option of sharing their applications through the Canvas applications store.”

Ease of use and flexibility key to success

Laurent Deheuvels, product lead at Telstra, says Canvas is already being used in Australia across sectors where data-capture is of vital importance such as mining, transportation and logistics.

“Canvas makes it possible for customers to develop their own data capture forms in a matter of minutes, and then these can be delivered to any device,” Deheuvels says.

“It’s also easy to integrate features like signature capture and geo-tagging, and really this flexibility and ease of use means businesses can rapidly respond to change and adopt new, more effective ways of operating.”

With more than 13,000 information-capture apps to choose from, Canvas customers are able to replicate existing processes by building their own forms, or simply adopting a similar process. This makes the transformation from paper-based information capture to digital information capture easy and cost effective.

At the same time, Canvas makes it easy for customers and software developers to build forms and connect them to business processes through an Application Programming Interface. This makes it easy to transfer date captured from Canvas forms into pre-existing software packages.

“In the US we have large businesses, councils and government departments using Canvas to save the cost of data capture, but that is just the first step,” says Quigley. “At the enterprise level, CIOs are taking a really sophisticated view of how Canvas can be used for process transformation.”

Discover the flexibility of Canvas for the digital information capture here or speak with your Telstra Account Executive.