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Laserfiche — Laserfiche 8

From the June/July Review of Document
Management Systems

Laserfiche was established in 1987 to provide enterprise-level DMS solutions
to many different industries including corporate, healthcare, nonprofit and
the municipal government market. Due to its extensive penetration into regulated
industries, the vendor understands how to meet and exceed regulatory compliance
requirements — a natural fit for accounting and tax firms. Laserfiche
is installed at over 25,000 organizations, which implies extensive experience
in the DMS market. This is a horizontal solution as opposed to an accountant-centric

Usability — 5 Stars
The Laserfiche interface is based on a common folder view similar to Windows
Explorer. Each folder list starts at the repository level, which can establish
the folder and subfolder tree template within the repository for navigating
files based on the type of information. Each folder has a pre-established template
for the indexing metadata that is associated with that type of document. The
indexing metadata can be customized to your specifications and can include drop-down
lists such as client number, year, PIC, etc.

Every page is stored in the system as a single page TIFF (tagged image file
format) file, which is a key engineering feature that significantly enhances
the speed of retrieval. The multiple pages are transparent to the user and appear
as if it is one document file. The system includes a set of proprietary stamps
for annotating documents, including the ability to add searchable sticky notes,
highlighting, redaction of sensitive information and more.

Scanning — 5 Stars
Scanning capture tools are included with Laserfiche that support both manual
and automated scanning and offer document “clean up” features such
as de-speckling and de-skewing. OCR processing is done separately from the scanning
process to eliminate the bottleneck and can be applied selectively. The system
supports scanning across the Web so that your field workers can scan directly
over the Internet. The Quick Fields forms processor provides the capability
to use barcodes to scan and index documents. Quick Fields also lets you automatically
index documents based upon content that is located at a specific position on
the paper document or file, i.e. invoice number.

Integration — 4 Stars
Laserfiche does not take the cookie-cutter approach and is not an accounting-centric
solution that offers pre-developed integrations with accounting and tax applications.
Rather, the software is designed to be configurable and flexible enough to work
with every accounting and tax application. The Laserfiche Integrator’s
Toolkit provides you with the tools to build interfaces to nearly any application.
Direct integration to MS Office and Outlook is provided, including the ability
to unbundle and store e-mail attachment files separately. This includes an “e-mail
surveillance” system to support the SEC requirement for archiving all
pertinent e-mail messages.

Workflow Tools — 5 Stars
The Workflow 8 module is dedicated to automating all of an organization’s
processes. You can automatically route documents and files through as many steps
as you designate. The workflow reporting tools allow you to view all workflows
in process as well as their status. E-mail notifications can be set up to notify
users when an item requires their attention. The intuitive Workflow interface
allows you to graphically model your current processes for a paperless workflow.

Client Portal — 4 Stars
The Laserfiche WebLink module provides the platform for sharing documents and
information with clients. WebLink is a publishing tool that supports document
presentation as well as file uploads. The WebLink tool is not an “out
of the box” solution in that it requires a certain level of technical
expertise to set up and deploy.

Technology — 5 Stars
Perhaps the most compelling feature of the Laserfiche technology platform is
that it is designed to run 100% through your browser, either over the Internet
or through an internal network. The advantage is that it can be run in a configuration
that requires literally no software to be installed at the personal computer
level, thereby minimizing the level of end-user technical support required.
The system is designed in the .NET platform and can be implemented in either
a SQL or Oracle database platform.

Pricing/Overall Value — 4 Stars
Laserfiche pricing will vary because the product line offers a number of optional
modules that allow you to mix and match to meet your needs. The base network
system is priced starting at $2,500 plus a $780 per-user license fee. The Laserfiche
Workflow is priced at $15,000 for 10 concurrent users. Laserfiche offers a compelling
solution that is better suited for larger firms due to the depth and breadth
of functionality available. It is a system around which you can build a true
digital workflow model, but it is probably too sophisticated for the needs of
smaller firms. To address that segment of the market, Laserfiche has introduced
a new product for small businesses called Intuition (,
which is priced at $1,495. This is a completely different product from the Laserfiche
product reviewed here and will be covered in the August Document Storage product

2008 Overall Rating 4.5