Cleaner Image In Las Vegas

Scanners that image and index in one pass are making government documents easier than ever to access. Integrator Southern Nevada Micrographics put those documents at users' fingertips.

Back in the 1980s, the Clark County government center microfilmed everything from treasurer's office checks to engineers' drawings. As micrographics technology advanced, Southern Nevada Micrographics (Las Vegas) upgraded Clark County's PC-based system to an AS/400 CAR (computer-aided retrieval) imaging system.

The microfilm library at the government center was only partially indexed, though. Bo Fields, general managing partner at Southern Nevada Micrographics, knew that the KoVIS product from Kofile (Rochester, NY), along with some new scanning and storage hardware, would put the images on the desktop for users.

User Was The Most Effective Sales Tool
Southern Nevada Micrographics installed the first system in the Clark County Building Department. Bo Fields says that Dan Owens, IT manager at the building department, was his best salesperson. It worked so well that Owens brought other department managers in to see the system. Pretty soon, Fields was looking at his biggest installation ever.

The entire installation came in at under $500,000. Components that went into the system were two Kodak ImageLink 990 scanners, five Vidar large document scanners, and a few smaller scanners from Fujitsu, Ricoh, and Canon. In addition, Southern Nevada Micrographics integrated four jukeboxes and Smart Storage Software for archival.

Integrator's Biggest Installation Ever
Southern Nevada Micrographics' next-largest installation involves around 60 users. The Clark County installation is exponentially larger. It now covers 10 different departments at the government center with 100 different applications running. Clark County bought 500 concurrent seat licenses and loaded KoVIS on 800 computers.

Now the users can access drawings and maps just by double-clicking on their desktops. Fields' company provided training classes to hundreds of county employees. The Kodak ImageLink 990 films and scans in the same pass. "We sold them on the ability to access documents no matter what the media changed to in the future," said Fields.

"We helped to integrate the KoVIS Internet/intranet module, too," said Fields. "The application is on the county's intranet right now because of the county's firewall, but it will eventually become Web-enabled." Suprisingly, not all employees are thrilled with having their department's documents accessible by other departments or by the public. However, the documents are public. It just took them a little while to get used to that idea.

Built-In Security Features Protect Sensitive Data
Security features are built in for documents that are not open to the general public. Las Vegas, in its attempt to become more of a family town, has opened many amusement rides for visitors. The architectural plans for these rides are extremely confidential. Only two or three employees are allowed to access them.

Future plans include possible integration of a COLD (computer output to laser disk) module and Internet capability. Fields is hoping to supplant its competition's hold on the Clark County government center. The competition has long been known as the "county imager." "We've already shown how we can give the county a more open system," said Fields. "The competition's system employed a hashing routine that hid images from the users. We were able to break through that hashing routine, and now it's just a matter of the county working the upgrade into its budget."

Ann DeDad