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Perfect Search Licenses Technology For Searching Paper Documents

Perfect Search, a company whose technology scans paper documents onto disks for retrieval by keyword search, has licensed its technology to Olson DataMax, a digital data storage company. Despite the creation of digital documents in the modern era, many businesses still run on millions of pages of paper, including contracts, invoices, property titles and patient medical records. Demand for document retrieval is driven by compliance requirements under such U.S. laws as Sarbanes-Oxley for public firms and HIPAA for health care, as well as e-discovery rules in litigation. The licensing deal with Olson DataMax was completed June 28.

Perfect Search scans paper documents using optical character recognition (OCR) technology so the digital document can be searched by keywords. Without OCR, all a scanner does is take a picture of a document. An end user can search a disk for thousands of documents in seconds, compared to other systems where documents are organized only by categories or tags. Perfect Search documents can also be stored in a server or in the cloud.

Olson DataMax's CEO, Les Olson, is the former CEO of a dealer selling Sharp copiers and scanners, although the document scanner can be of any make, said Ken Ebert, Perfect Search's chief technology officer. Olson DataMax equipment scans the paper documents and then burns them onto a disk from another partner firm Milleniata, disks which Ebert said never degrade. "This is permanently archiveable storage. It's like writing it in rock," he said.

Perfect Search, in turn, provides the software on the disk that indexes the content and makes it searchable. Besides simplifying image storage and retrieval, digitizing paper documents also enables easy sharing of documents, internal analysis of documents to glean intelligence and improve business processes and generally improve information management. Having digital records also aids in disaster recovery efforts, since documents are not stored only on site or in one location.

The typical Perfect Search customer is a small-to-medium sized business, such as a medical clinic of 5-10 doctors, or a title company that has to preserve documents related to real estate transactions, but it can also serve larger businesses. Perfect Search is one of a number of vendors serving the enterprise search market, which generated $2.1 billion in revenue in 2009, said Susan Feldman, an analyst in search and discovery technologies at IDC.

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