Currently many clients import photos into their case management systems by transferring digital images via a USB connection to a computer and then uploading them through a traditional content management client application. This post will discuss how to enable clients to leverage smartphones for a better experience.
USB Picture Transfer versus SmartPhone Wireless
Transferring photos via a USB connection is a cumbersome multi-step process that can often leave pictures stuck on cameras and potentially delay the e case. To take advantage of cameras that have wireless transfer capability; one of our clients designed a two-part application leveraging a smartphone that closes the time gap between taking the picture and uploading it.
The camera app solution consists of two parts, the application running on the mobile phone and a web service that accepts the photo and uploads it into the content management system. In this solution we used the camera on an android phone. Using a camera-equipped phone takes advantage of the cell phone network. Our client found the ability to function in a remote location without wi-fi was critical to the work done by field representatives handling tasks such as insurance claims and on-site equipment maintenance.
From our experience with mobile apps, we found it is easier for the user to interact with the application if the interface is kept simple and single purpose. The camera application captures only the information necessary to properly categorize and label the photo. For our client, we only needed to ask for Case Number and Picture Title. A new picture may be taken and sent to the content management system or an existing picture in the camera memory may be sent.
Once the picture is sent to the web service, our service uses OpenContent to store the picture in the appropriate location and set its attribute values. With the picture now filed, it is available to anyone else who has access to the case. A single purpose mobile application when used as part of a case management system can increase business efficiency and improve service.
To see a demonstration of our camera app – access our screen cam in our Learning Zone.
If you have additional thoughts or techniques that you have found useful, please comment below.